Days of Deepening Friendship blog is designed “for women growing wiser.” Many of our subscribers and visitors have lived awhile, and their spirituality has grown in wisdom and complexity, and we want to take advantage of that. So my starting point, in many posts, is not at the very beginnings of faith but more toward the middle, after a person has gone through various shifts of belief, disillusionment, enlightenment, damage, questioning, and renewal.
We believe that a faith community can be a rich source of wisdom and encouragement, and that’s our vision for the DDF community. One of my colleagues provided a great quote from a book he’s been reading by Donald Hall, Life’s Work: “a community radiating the willingness or even the desire to be careful and loving.” What an insightful definition of healthy community! That’s what I hope for us at DDF. We come from a variety of backgrounds; our beliefs are not homogenous, although probably a significant number of us are professing Christians and more specifically Catholic Christians. We come with a variety of experiences and many differing views and impressions of Christianity, the church, the Bible, and other faith-related topics.
Yet we are alike in our desire to keep growing and learning. We are alike in our goal to love others and to improve this world by our presence and participation. We are alike in our interest in topics and in one another’s stories. We are alike in our openness as well as our woundedness.
It’s important to point out, every now and then, what DDF is not. It is not a forum for political discussions. While politics plays an important role in the world, the world DDF deals with most directly is the interior universe of personal growth. As we develop as persons, we likely become involved in some form of politics, but the political discussions themselves lie outside the range of this conversation. Political discussions too easily grow divisive and hostile, and a primary goal at DDF is to provide a safe community in which people can explore prayer, reflection, and healthy ways to process the events and challenges of daily life.
DDF is not a forum on theology or Christian doctrine. Theology is a discipline that’s deep and wide and multifaceted, and those who want to debate theological topics need to find sites created for that specific purpose. I certainly am not qualified to moderate discussions in theology. And although this site is managed by a Catholic ministry, Loyola Press, it is not designed to debate doctrinal issues. Loyola Press services many parishes through its curricula, and for this reason we are not in a position to debate controversial topics; our main purpose as a publisher is to provide materials for faith formation in Catholic schools and churches. While many of us who work here have strong opinions on various hot-button issues in the church, our work focuses on the basics of teaching spiritual practices for the benefit of personal growth, whether in children or adults.
We do have a policy for making comments, which you can find by clicking on the “About This Blog” tab. It’s pretty basic and similar to the policies used by other established blogs. For the most part, our comments section has been a lively and lovely meeting of minds and stories. But occasionally we’ve had some comments that were disruptive to the welcoming spirit that we strive for at DDF. Consequently, I’ve determined to be a bit more proactive in reviewing comments and deleting those I feel are less than welcoming and generous. We want people to be truthful but to “speak the truth with love” as we are encouraged to do in the New Testament letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 3:15).
On a regular basis, we will continue to provide:
- Weekly posts, most of them written by Vinita specifically for this site
- Excerpts from other sources when they are fitting for the audience and topic
- Video clips of all sorts—music, interviews, inspiring images
- Information on Loyola Press products—mainly, our books on adult spirituality, especially those that we think are well-suited to the DDF community
- Interviews with authors—because they are unique sources of wisdom and inspiration
- Spiritual exercises—not just during Advent and Lenten retreats but whenever they fit the topic or the time
- Links that might be beneficial—to other blogs at Loyola Press. We have a family of blogs, each a bit different from the others. Also links to other sources just because we think you’d like them.
Our description for this blog is “for women growing wiser.” What other descriptions can you think of, for this blog or for your life at this time?
We began this blog five years ago with a Lenten retreat, and now I’m pleased to announce this year’s Lenten retreat: Practicing Mercy. Join us starting next Monday.