So that we can serve you well, please read this entire entry before submitting questions – thanks!
Each week we prioritize questions based on how interesting and relevant they are and how often they surface (among other criteria). Here are a few important notes about the goal and limitations of our efforts: The goal of this feature is to answer questions that reflect the common struggles of our readers. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to answer specific personal questions that may only apply to you or to very few readers (i.e. should I take this or that job? etc.). Please note that because of the need to be efficient in serving the number of readers and questions we receive, this address is the only way to submit questions. Questions@myavila.com. Also, if you regularly donate time, talent or treasure to our effort here, please put “PARTNER” in the subject line along with a one line summary of your question. This will help us better prioritize your questions. It doesn’t matter how much of these you donate (even if it is simply a regular commitment to pray for us). Thank you in advance for your questions and for helping us to serve you and His Kingdom!
Small blog sites cost little to nothing. Web sites with as much content as we produce, and as much traffic as we experience, can be very expensive. As well, this site is an outreach of the Avila Foundation which also provides formation through the Avila Institute, Divine Intimacy Radio, and local talks and formation events. Help us reach and serve millions of Catholics with the life-changing riches of Christ found in authentic Catholic spirituality! The blog is just a small part of a larger effort to connect with on-line Catholics who desire to deepen their faith. If you would like to know more, send an email to Questions@myavila.com. Please be sure to include your name, phone number, and the best time to reach you. We look forward to speaking with you!
First, it is important to note that you are more than welcome and encouraged to comment! We really do want to hear from you. Beyond that, spam and trolling have become a huge problem in blog post comments. So, to protect our readers from illicit comments or other unwanted content, we screen every comment. As well, this site has become a haven of rest for many who are struggling with or seeking a deeper relationship with Christ. Our regular readers are by far the most charitable and encouraging group most encounter on the web and we want to keep it that way! We are committed to all dialogue that is charitable, empathetic, encouraging, positive, constructive, and on-topic. Though we are fine with disagreement and critique, and we are certainly imperfect, the purpose of this blog is not to provide a free-thought forum on any kind of spirituality. Instead, our aim is to promote a positive, affirmative, and above all, magisterium faithful approach. If we feel any comments fall outside of these parameters, or are simply not helpful, are argumentative, are not constructive, not edifying, or off topic, we may not authorize them. If the comment is helpful (and most are), we will post it, if not, we won’t – pretty simple.
- Don’t violate the parameters mentioned in the answer to the previous question.
- Don’t attempt to soften Church teaching.
- Don’t argue with others – dialogue is good, and desired, but increased intensity or hostility is not.
- Don’t ask questions you already know the answer to. It wastes everyone’s time. It can be argumentative. It can also be a sign of pride, a bid to get attention and/or stroke one’s ego.
- Do not use expletives, even if they are mild ones; we do not tolerate them.
- Don’t assume or demand that you have a right to be heard – you can start your own blog if you want free reign to say whatever you like.
- Please be patient with the time it takes between when you comment and the time it takes to approve your comment. A human being looks at each comment and either approves or disapproves each one. Sometimes, research must be done to see if the comment and/or link included is faithful to the Magisterium. Sometimes, the moderator is at Mass or at prayer. Sometimes, dare I say, the moderator may even have to answer nature’s call. Please exercise patience with our system. It is for the good of all concerned.
- Be encouraging to those seeking to deepen their faith. Be Christ to them. Help them understand.
- Do not belittle people or their difficulties. If you have an uncharitable “name”, “nickname” or DISQUS name, we will not post it. We are not going to be a vehicle for that kind of agenda. Do not make things up about others. That it lying and it is a sin.
- Be brief – the longer it is, the longer it will take me to review it… if it is too long and doesn’t quickly seem helpful, we may simply delete the comment. Please keep comments under 300 words. Comments as long as our authors’ posts/articles will be deleted. And, do not post multiple comments in order to get around the 300 word limit. Rather, summarize your words as one comment.
- Identify your quotes and quote concisely and briefly – do not lift large paragraphs or pages of quotes from a book (including the Bible), this site, or another site. Rather, provide a link. If both the quote and the link are faithful to the Magisterium, we will allow it; if not, both will be deleted. If we cannot determine whether or not it is faithful to the Magisterium, we will delete it. If we cannot access it, we will delete it. And, do not re-quote large portions of the same post that you are commenting on. A simple reference is enough!
- This site does not exist in order for commenters to promote their pet project or their own website. Please refrain from doing so. If you would like to tell us about a new outreach, which is faithful to the Magisterium, you can do so by writing to Questions@myavila.com
- Do not push your own agenda ad infinitum, ad nauseum. You will risk having your comment(s) deleted and/or getting yourself banned from this site. Again, as stated above, if we feel any comments fall outside of these parameters, or are simply not helpful, are argumentative, are not constructive, not edifying, or off topic, we may not authorize them. If you have heartburn with Church teaching or policies, there are proper Church channels through which you may direct your concerns, starting with your pastor and/or your bishop. Don’t waste the time of our moderators and readership by espousing issues that don’t align with Holy Mother Church and what She believes and teaches. As well, if you go to your pastor or bishop about a concern, make sure you have your facts lined up and backed up i.e. don’t waste their time either.
- Do not violate any copyright, which includes, but is not limited to, a person’s, an organization’s, or a website’s copyright. If you feel you must provide the information, provide a link or reference instead–if it is faithful to the Magisterium we will allow it, if it is not it will be disallowed.
- When quoting Scripture (or other documents or people) be accurate and don’t make people believe you are quoting the Bible (or other documents or people) when you are not doing so. If you are Catholic, please quote from an approved Catholic Bible. If you have a doubt as to whether or not the version you have is approved, please see this link from the US Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): Approved Translations of the Bible for private use and study by Catholics (as stated, it is a complete list) http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/index.cfm
- Be honest about what you write: don’t proof-text the Bible. Proof-texting is when a Scripture quote, which is out-of-context, is used to make a point. This leads to false belief and can lead people astray.
- Do not ask a question in order to get an answer which you intend to use to satisfy a question on an examination or school paper. This is cheating and we are not going to do your homework for you. You are certainly welcome to quote modestly from our site, within reason. Please provide an active link (hot link) back to us when doing so.
- Don’t canonize, beatify or otherwise imply people are on the road to sainthood when this is not so. The Church Herself has a process for this. She will let the world know when that happens.
- Be prayerful about your response,
- Don’t assume technology is perfect and that you have been deleted on purpose. Sometimes folks ask me about a response and, frankly, I don’t remember it. This could mean that the reader didn’t submit the comment properly or that there was some glitch in the software.
- Don’t paste your answers into the communication boxes (comboxes) from Microsoft Word or other applications. This cut and paste brings invisible code with it that causes havoc with the formatting.
- Don’t use all capital letters when writing. Capital letters signify screaming on-line. It can be very irritating to people and is not helpful. Legitimate and recognized acronyms, which would normally be capitalized, are the exception to this.
- Be honest about who you are. We don’t mind if folks want to be anonymous but don’t build a false identity or a false resume in the comboxes. This leads us to be suspicious of your motives and, lying is a sin!
- Don’t be a skim blaster. Skimblasters are folks who don’t show the writer or other commenters the respect of reading and understanding their thoughts before they react or disagree. They skim the post and then blast a commenter or writer of a post without having read the post carefully and thoughtfully. If you are irritated or troubled by something someone said, ask them a question instead of reacting. Usually, you will discover that the information you get back is helpful.
- Don’t blurt out your opinion without reading, viewing, or listening to the content. The goal is to interact with one another on the content, not blurt random ideas out that may have little to nothing to do with the content of the post. If you are so irresponsible as to comment on a post without reading it, it is likely you will be banned from the site. If you troll this site, you will also be banned.
- In the end, the goal in all of this is to build one another up in Christ and His Church, not to win arguments or use the comboxes as a soap box for ideas that are not in keeping with the timeless wisdom of the Church.
Yes and no. Our content reflects Carmelite, Ignatian, Carthusian, Franciscan, and many other rich spiritual traditions of the Church. We will only provide content that is faithful to the magisterium of the Church and is beneficial to our readers. Other than that, it will reflect the spirituality of the writers themselves depending upon their individual perspective. Though we are supportive of all magisterium faithful and valid Catholic institutions, this blog is not formally or even informally affiliated with, owned by, or in any way subject to any specific religious order, organization, movement, or institution.
The spiritual depth and riches of the Church are unfathomable. These riches are particularly abundant in the writings of the doctors of the Church and are an inexhaustible resource. The instinct to move outside of the Church to find answers for the spiritual life is not one that we share.
We are committed to providing insight that is firmly and faithfully rooted in the magisterial authority and teaching of the Catholic Church. Christ has promised to lead and guide his Church – he has never failed to do so. A common absurdity in our time is for people to individually determine that the wisdom of the Church (as developed over thousands of years by the leading of the Holy Spirit) on a particular subject is a matter of personal judgement and that Catholics are free to cavalierly disagree based upon their five minutes of isolated thought or a false notion of the freedom of conscience. We don’t share or condone this kind of willful foolishness. Even so, we will entertain honest questions and struggles with Church teaching as long as they reflect sincere attempts to understand and submit to Christ and His glorious Church.
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