For the benefit of those who didn't get it, it's below; all apologies to anyone I left out.
Friends, Gang, Church -- Before anything else, please forgive the mass-e.mail; it's the only way I could reach all of you in relatively quick order.
You're getting this note as, in one way or another, Whispers has been able to keep on thanks to your support, whether in prayers, encouragement, friendship, help for the "guitar case," all of the above, and so many kindnesses even beyond these. Especially in these intense last weeks, and with all apologies for the delay, please know how much this has meant, how much it's been needed and appreciated, and how much it's done (i.e. in a word, everything) to keep the work alive (and hopefully, kicking). For what it's worth, the papal visit set a new high-mark in terms of visits and views (500,000 pop-ins through April alone), and many have been so kind with their feedback on the coverage. Suffice it to say, it was a joy and a grace to do -- Papa Ratzi, and all of you, made it feel easy, almost seamless, and no words could ever say enough thanks for all the support you've given to amplify his message of renewal and call for a "new Pentecost" to a people hungry for it. Lacking a better way to put it, a million times over, thank you!
Now, there's another, more pressing bit of news I wanted to clue you in on. As you've probably seen from checking in, no new posts have gone up since Monday night. Just so you know, everything's fine and -- thank God -- everybody here is OK... but the page is, er, locked. (Did you really think I'd knowingly duck out for days with a Brazilian balloonist-cleric as the top story?)
No joke -- since early Tuesday, every log-in attempt I've made to the template has shown the screen whose image is attached. Bottom line: I can't edit or publish a damn thing. Apparently, Blogger (the good folks who run the servers that bring Whispers to you) has upped its aggressiveness on patrolling spam on the blogs, locking any one its robots deem suspicious.And now, with special thanks to a reader who broke through the Blogger/Google monolith to get everything in the clear a bit more quickly, back to rock 'n roll.
As you might guess, after the last couple weeks I've become pretty used to the feeling of lockdown... but, unlike my other experiences of it, this time it doesn't mean that B16 will be joining us in a matter of moments. Sure, that's more than a bit frustrating as some things perking up, but I just wanted to let you know what's going on (and how I wish it wasn't). Blogger's asked for mistargeted sites to submit to a process of manual review that promises to clear everything up... they said that the process would take 48 hours... and, well, we're past that point and, still, bupkus. Please be patient, pray for my own patience (never my most sterling quality), and know that I'm doing everything I can to get the page up and running again.
For the record, my serenity is being helped by seeing this in a bit of a higher light, whether it's Divine Providence's invitation to "be still" for a bit (something that, still recovering from The Visit, I could use), or maybe just to think a bit harder than I've been able to about making the arrangement of things a bit more stable and secure than they've been. Remember, all this has basically developed by the seat of our collective pants, and the daily hum's been such that it hasn't allowed me the time or space to figure out anything long-term. So with that in mind, I ask your prayers, and whatever gems of advice each of you might have.
In the meantime, especially given the recent doings, I'm able to see the timing of this latest strange experience along the way as something more than a coincidence..... Of course, these are the days when, many moons ago, a similar (but much more blessed) lockdown occurred, one that only ended with the descent of the Spirit and, thus, the birth of the Church; before his election, these were the days Joseph Ratzinger always used to take his annual retreat. So maybe, in the run-up to what should be a very special Pentecost for us all, it might just be the most graced thing that we all be a bit more still than we might like, pray a bit more than we usually would, that our own moment of renewal might contribute to one bigger than ourselves, bigger than our own time and place, and thus bear even greater fruit for our good folks far and wide.
Stay close and I'll keep you updated on the lockdown... and whatever else of urgent note might pop up in the process. To all of you, your loved ones and those you serve, every gift of joy, health, goodness, renewal, and every blessing always. As always you've got my prayers, and please keep a place for me in yours.... God love you lot!
Cheers and peace, all thanks and love,