Message for you directly from God’s living room.
Some of you will have noticed that I tweet from Mass: not everybody is happy deeming this irreverent and worse.
My thanks to Sammy Douglas MLA and those who respond positively.
I have to be mindful of what people think and of other people’s sensitivities. I suspect what is coming across in some cases is a knee-jerk reaction. I understand that too.
When I commenced using Twitter over three years ago as a new means of distributing news my fellow journalists, newsrooms and a lot of the political parties hammered me.
I had broken rank. I had stepped outside the norm.
It was a BBC Newsnight journalist who summed up the impact of Twitter best: he said “it has robbed government of command and control powers over news.”
In essence, the speed with which information moves on Twitter removes from press offices and organisations the opportunity to shape and mould stories.
No priest has yet objected to my tweeting from Mass. Au contraire, I get reports that our priests like being quoted: I am not a big altar railer: I struggle with so much when it comes to Catholicism and religion: an understanding of transubstantiation is beyond me.
I want however, to stay connected. I am not iconoclastic.
Our local chapel, St Brigid’s in South Belfast, provides a moment in the week for repose, for reflection, a place conducive to taking stock.
The message being imparted by the priest can vary in terms of relevance: if it reminds me of my responsibility as a citizen so much the better.
The question remains – should I tweet what is said during mass? I ask- why not?
I am not an appointed proselytiser but if one steps back and examines the message accurately imparted on Twitter about what was said by the priest- what harm is done?
I behave discreetly and you may find this odd, my focus on what is being said during Mass has sharpened because I want to report faithfully to you what is being relayed.
I find myself quite often embarking on an odyssey to check a quotation in the bible. That can be edifying and uplifting too.
I will leave my exposition at this juncture and in the meantime you too can reflect.
Eamonn, I may have the odd theological difference with your place of worship, but I love your tweets. Keep tweeting! I got an abusive email once about tweets from a preaching conference. Something about it being ‘ungodly’. Nonsense. The great Baptist Spurgeon had his sermons transcribed, printed and hot off the press for Monday morning Victorian London. Twitter is just a modern version of that. Spreading the Word.
Given the change management that JC conducted in his life pre execution I think if living today he’d be proud of your endeavors to spread ‘the good news’ by new, evolving means’
Keep up the tweeting and the service you provide.
Eamonn, you’re in the best of good company. I see that a fellow communicator of yours, one Joe Ratzinger@PopeBXVI, has been on Twitter since the spring of the year. With a mere 6,551 tweets under his belt he doesn’t begin to compare with yourself, but his 16,074 followers may mean he’s a serious player. Of course you’d expect a pope to have at least that many followers – though we’ve had a few playboys with fewer over the centuries. The man needs a bit of encouragement, though. He hasn’t started tweeting during Mass yet and surely some of his homilies must be worth a tweet or two. Unfortunately the whole effect is rather spoilt by the small print: “Tweets are obviously not made by the HF himself.” So what’s the tweetin’ point of it all?
Like Glenn and Martin I say, keep up the good news from St Brigid’s. They’ll quietly love it and the homilies will improve, with maybe a tendency towards the tweetable soundbite. And once you notice an upward curve at your local, take your practice with you on holidays to South Armagh. Mullaghbawn, Aughanduff, Glassdrummond, Cross, Sheelagh and maybe Creggan are all virgin missionary territory. Alas, a few of them may be beyond even the saving power of Twitter. You’ll have your work cut out for you.
I believe that it has to be a good thing for any contributor, in any field, to declare a bias, so readers and consumers can re-evaluate the material in light of the said disclosure. Well done.