My Broken Chatroom Heart
Since I decided to make the full leap back into Catholic life, I've felt very alienated from most people. My husband is content to call me crazy, my friends have either patiently remained silent "until the storm passes" or have taken some offense to my newfound zeal for the Church.
It's been especially hard for me to find an outlet for the outpouring of love and excitement I have regarding my faith and my God. I have to admit, however, being blessed with one soul who is an absolute mirror to the spark in my own. She is the one responsible for pulling me back into the Church, and she's the one I continuously return to for guidance and comfort as I move forward in my "reversion." We've been friends for over 10 years now, but at no time have I ever relied so heavily on her as I have in recent weeks. Thank you, God, for sending me so patient a teacher and so loving a friend.
In an attempt to find more like-minded people who loved God, His Blessed Mother and His Church, I went online and found several "Catholic" chat rooms. I entered into each, excited at the prospect of kindling a greater love of God through discussion and prayer. Instead of finding solace, I was horrified by the workings of these so-called "Catholic" chats. Most were nothing more than technological corners on which prostitutes of both sexes could whore themselves out behind the screen of anonymity.
Finally, though, after weeks of loneliness, I came across the most amazing chat room ever. Not only was it truly Catholic, it was full of people who relished their Catholicism!!! Oh, my heart couldn't stop singing praises to God for the gift of finding these wonderful, wonderful people! I jumped right in, feeling as though I had found "home" amongst family. I called up my aforementioned friend and shared the good news. What a wonderful blessing! Other Catholics who made me feel I wasn't so alone... that I wasn't completely insane! Ha ha. For days I'd feel my heart skip happily at even the thought of sharing discussion of the Divine through this chat room.
Unfortunately, a moderator came under the impression that I was someone I wasn't. Another chatter told me that there had been a rash of "trolling" within the room, and moderators were taking extra precautions to protect the innocence of the room (which is appreciated... something so wonderful NEEDS to be protected for the good of all who enter). Apparently my communication style was similar to one of these "trolls" and I was mistaken for him or her. As a result, my IP address was banned. At the time, I simply thought it was a glitch, not realizing that I had been misunderstood for someone else. It took a few weeks for this realization to dawn on me, and only after a particularly confusing discourse with the offending moderator.
Instead of using my work computer, I could only access the room from home. So each night I'd get my fill of friendship and enlightenment. So many of these chatters helped me learn more about the various topics in question, and I am eternally grateful for their patient and generous expression of wisdom. However, I was again attacked by this misled moderator. At first, it started out innocently enough. He reprimanded me, rightly, for the downturn of conversation. Upon apologizing for any offense, I continued about the joyous chat. Not content with my reply, and still thinking I was an enemy, he roadblocked me by once more disabling my IP address, successfully cutting me off from the bounty of comfort I found within the people there.
I was smart enough to save the conversation this time, and asked the administrator to assist me in rectifying this problem. It took a while, but once she got a hold of my messages, she must've realized I hadn't done anything to solicit a ban and reinstated my home IP address. Again, I was filled with an ecstatic happiness and gratefulness to God for once again placing me in the company of faithful Catholics.
I was immediately welcomed back into the room by the friends I'd missed during the assault on my integrity. They, too, wondered what had happened as they saw no reason for the moderator's behavior. I didn't wish to speak poorly of a moderator who was probably just attempting to do his job, but I admit to being very slighted by this intense attack against me. I did my best to simply steer clear of him and once more fill myself with the love of God that flowed within the room.
Unfortunately, he found me again and blocked me without so much as a word of warning. In fact, he did it very cowardly, by muting my communications in the room. It took me a couple minutes, but I quickly realized that no one could read what I was saying. I then realized the moderator was invisible in the room, and the only moderator who would act so childishly would be the person who has been after me since day one. I calmly asked, in the only way I could, if he was present and if I'd need to once again submit the matter to the administrator. Apparently he took this as a threat and once more I found my IP address blocked.
*Shakes head* I sighed and lifted my heart to God. I recognized the devil was at play here. The devil knows of my intentions, and how inflamed I become with love of Catholicism after taking part in discussions within the room. As a result, he has attempted to stifle that conversation as best he can. Silly little demon. He doesn't understand that I have the power of God behind me, and try as he might, he can never defeat the love of Catholicism I have.
So I sought out the chat on my mother's computer. I got a hold of one of my most favorite chatters to solicit his assistance. I was blessed to have him in the room at that moment, because as soon as the moderator realized who I was, I was once again booted from the room. By some miracle, my communications with him went unaltered, and I was able to send out my little SOS.
Hopefully, soon, something will come of it. Until then, I remain happy to have been blessed with the chat room at all, because through it, my love and understanding of Catholicism has grown, I've met wonderful people that I wish to continue a relationship with, and hopefully, in the end, this moderator comes to his senses and realizes the error of his judgement. I sincerely pray he hasn't done this to someone else with less patience than I. God forbid he continues misusing his authority, chasing others who truly seek out the friendship of other Catholics away.
Please pray for me and for the moderator who needs guidance. Though I feel a distinct pang of loneliness within my heart over this foolishness, I offer it to God in the knowledge that all is allowed by Him for His Will. Thus, if it be requested that I feel such loneliness so I rely more firmly on Him, so be it.
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