Sursum Corda
"an insightful Catholic Blog that eschews extremism in any direction."
--Commonweal Magazine
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Topical musings from a Catholic perspective

Monday, May 03, 2004
OKAY, OKAY, I WON'T DELETE IT: You guys are just too much. I've been tearing up all afternoon and evening reading my comments and mail.

Okay, here's the deal. My wife will change the password and keep it to herself. Since she has about a dozen things she'd rather have me doing than blogging, there is little chance of me getting it out of her. So the temptation will be removed, but the archives will sit here as long as Blogger will support them.

You guys are amazing. Take care of yourselves.

posted by Peter Nixon 10:22 PM
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CLOSING TIME: Well I don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to say it:

I’m shutting down the blog.

It’s been a good run, an amazing run in fact. Two years ago, would I ever have predicted that this thing would be written up favorably in Commonweal? No, I don’t think so. Traffic has risen dramatically over the past few months. I feel like a career .250 hitter who decides to retire after his first .300 season. It’s nuts.

But I’ve got too much to do and something has to give. I start a graduate program in theology at the GTU—part time—this fall, which means I’m going to have to get even better at time management. Joseph starts Kindergarten again in the fall, which means I’ll have more things to do at night. Work is getting more intense. I’ve also got a lot of house projects I need to do before the rains come next fall. And to top it off, we just lost a musician from our jail ministry team, which means that I have to practice my guitar more frequently so I can provide music when I lead the service.

I could try to “cut back,” of course, but I’ve tried that before. It doesn’t seem to work. I just don’t seem to have the willpower. And the truth is that this is a medium that favors immediacy. It just wouldn’t be the same if I only updated it once or twice a month.

So here’s the really hard part, and this may even upset some people: when I talk about shutting it down, I’m not just talking about letting it go dormant. I’m talking about deleting it. Because as long as it’s sitting there, it’s going to be a temptation to me and I can’t have that right now. And I’m not comfortable having something with my name on it floating around in cyberspace unless I’m actively maintaining it.

I’ll keep the site up—without new posts-- for another week or so. I’ve got copies of everything that’s been posted on the site. If you want a copy of something, I’m happy to oblige you. Just send me an e-mail. Maybe someday I’ll throw it all together into a book. Or maybe not, who knows. In any case, feel free to keep sending me e-mail. I’m happy to correspond anytime.

I’ve had a wonderful time out here and I’ve met a lot of great people. The hardest part about this decision is the letters and comments I’ve gotten from people who really enjoy the site and find it spiritually and intellectually helpful. I don’t want to let anyone down. But I need a break—a long one.

I know that I was sometimes a little out-of-step with the general zeitgeist at Saint Blogs. That was fine with me because I was being challenged and stretched in ways that might not have happened if I was surrounded by people who saw the world the same way I did. I hope it was fine with you. I think it’s helpful to get out of our own ideological or theological apartments on a regular basis and take a walk around the neighborhood. It might inspire us to do a little redecorating. Or maybe not, but at least we might realize we’re part of something that’s a lot bigger than we are.

It’s hard to stop writing when you know it will be the last post. But it’s time to turn out the lights and lock the door. Be careful about anger, okay? Cultivate the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Always remember that you are the only Gospel that someone might read.

Vaya con Dios, hermanos y hermanas,


posted by Peter Nixon 7:00 AM
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Sunday, May 02, 2004
SCENES FROM A COUNTY JAIL: This morning was a bit of an adventure for a variety of reasons. We just had a musician leave the ministry team (she and her husband moved out of the county) so I have agreed to provide my own music when I lead the service until we can find a replacement. This was the first time playing guitar in front of an "audience" for...well, longer than I can remember. I think I had longer hair back then and very little of the music I played was suitable for a Catholic worship service! In any case, the men love to sing and their loud voices covered my fuzzy chord changes.

This was also the launch of my (reasonably) bilingual service. After three semesters of Spanish, I figured it was time to give it a try. I did the opening and closing prayers, the Gospel and the Our Father in Spanish as well as English and threw a few lines of Spanish into my reflection.

How did it go? Well, there were a few moments where I saw a couple of the Spanish-speaking guys look at each other as if to say "What did he just say?" But I talked to one of the guys afterward who has been at the jail for a while and he said the guys appreciated the effort, because none of the other services out there are in Spanish.

"So how bad was my Spanish?" I asked him.

"'s improving," he said with a smile.

posted by Peter Nixon 8:41 PM
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