Saturday, 23 November 2013

A Year of Faith

Yof wordle

The Year of Faith, that triggered my writing this blog is coming to an end this Sunday, which makes this a good moment for retrospective. The last 17 months have been a great opportunity for me to reflect on my faith, seek to understand others and to look both for the reinforcement of good, wherever it came from, and an attempt to debunk confusion, emanating from a full spectrum of sources.

The 31,800 times that my blog was viewed have meant a sense of connection for me both with those of you whom I know to be my readers and who are also my friends in "real life" and those whom I have never met and am unlikely to ever meet. More than half of you have accessed my blog from the US, with the UK, Slovakia, Spain and Russia being the next most frequent sources of readership. Having readers from Germany, Latvia, Poland, Italy and France has also been a surprise and a source of joy.

Having had two of my posts picked up by Luke Coppen at The Catholic Herald in the UK, having triggered lively discussions following some post and having had great face-to-face chats with friends in response to my posts, have been highlights in terms of "customer relations management" (eurgh - I'll have to wash my mouth now!).

Looking at the ten most-read posts (from among a total of 179 - all of which you can download as a single PDF here), also shows a satisfying mix of faith, art, maths, sanctity and science:
  1. Pope Francis’ letter to non-believers (1132 views - picked up by The Catholic Herald, reflecting on Francis’ letter to Scalfari)
  2. Pope Francis: Pope Francis: "Brothers and sisters, good evening!" (355 views - written during the night after his election, translating a sermon he gave as Cardinal and quoting from his book with Rabbi Skorka)
  3. Camus on dialogue, revolt, beauty and love (332 views - picked up by The Catholic Herald, collecting fragments from a variety of Camus’ writings)
  4. An atheist creed (306 views - a critique of Dawkins’ The God Delusion that triggered great dialogue and a sincere appreciation of atheists on my part)
  5. Contemporary art and its enemies (292 views - in revolt against an argument in favor of returning to past church-architectural and artistic forms)
  6. A universe from nothing (207 views - an argument for the compatibility of latest scientific theories on cosmogenesis with Church teaching)
  7. Does the word “infinity” make you uncomfortable? (189 views - one of a series of counterarguments against the Faith and Reason column in the Our Faith on Sunday leaflets)
  8. Igino Giordani: the oxymoron of a catholic party (180 views - reflections on the memoirs of a great Italian politician, writer and saint-in-the-making)
  9. What is a holy person like? (162 views - a synthesis of Archbishop Rowan Williams’ great talk about saints)
  10. Ascending the mountain (153 views - on the last days of Pope Benedict XVI in office)
Even though the Year of Faith is coming to an end, I shall continue with my occasional blog posts here, since I have found writing them to be a good way for me to order and clarify my own thoughts and since I know some of you have found them not displeasing.

Thank you :)