Window from Chartres Cathedral by MOSSOT (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 ( , via Wikimedia Commons

How many of use Google regularly, I wonder?

And how many of us are being Googled?

By this I mean to call attention to the way Google subtly (or not so subtly) directs our attention … How it shapes and focuses us.

This is just a short, indignant burst of protest from my heart – so I will not write go in-depth now.

However, I am sure whole treatises could – and should – be written on this subject, even if I am hardly competent to do so.

Still, I note that today the Google home page directs our attention to the invention of the first steam locomotive.

Yesterday, it was the first manned space flight.

Not long ago, it commemorated the 119th anniversary of the first ice cream sundae.

There was also the anniversary of Pac-man … (!).

Google commemorates all these anniversaries of our technological and material achievements …

Subtly (or not) it tells untold millions of us what is important.

I am not saying that all of these things are unimportant.

Still, I ask you dear Reader – is there not a tremendous imbalance here?

How likely are you to see on Google the commemoration of the Revelation of His Sacred Heart …?

2014 will be the 160th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception – an event that should be of considerable importance for the something like sixty per cent of global Christianity that is Catholic or one sixth of humanity that is Catholic.

How likely is it that come 2014, Google will let us know?

These are rhetorical questions, I know.

Catholicism isn’t fashionable in the dominant Anglo-American culture.

And who is that creates fashion …?

Another rhetorical question.

Catholicism isn’t fashionable, because it’s not meant to be.

In the end, this is not really about Google. It’s about the way our whole capitalist, consumerist civilisation (I hesitate to say culture) regularly directs our attention again and again and again from the Sacred to the trivial and profane …

More accurately: it DIVERTS our attention.

What is it to be googled? It is to be re-directed from the Sacred to the Profane.

But there once was a culture that – however imperfectly – did seek to direct our attention from the Profane to the Sacred.

The window from Chartres Cathedral above still testifies to that culture …

From Roger Buck, co-author of this site. Click to buy at Amazon worldwide!


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  1. Posted 13 April 2011 at 21:10 | Permalink

    maybe we should do a mass petition to google, to challenge them to do a google- logo for 2014 160th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception!

    • Posted 16 April 2011 at 09:37 | Permalink

      Interesting idea! I wonder?

      Forgive me if I appear to pour cold water on a creative idea …

      I may be too cynical. I tend to doubt it would work …

      What it MIGHT do though is bring to Google’s attention that there is a whole other universe of people out there, than those which simply follow fashion.

      Still I tend to think Google would think: fringe group … on the margins …

      And in one sense – one sense only! – they would be right.

      But only because they have pushed such things to their fringe, to their margins.

      This is what I object to. People think of Catholic-ism as an “ism” on the margins.

      I might have mentioned this somwhere before, but I have a friend, who after my conversion told me I had joined another “ism”.

      To my mind he did not seem to have really considered that he had long ago signed up for the dominant “ism” of our day, secular -ism and perhaps (?) anything that was not secular-ism appeared to him as just an “ism” on the margins, fringes.

      Or maybe I am being unfair to my friend. Still I tend to suspect such an attitude at Google: “What is this weird, fringe ism on the margins …”

      Without the slightest consciousness, that it is only on the margins because it has been pushed there by people like themselves.

      Again, I am sorry if this sounds like a cold water or a wet banket, Epsilon. I really appreciate you commenting here, appreciate your site (which people can discover by clicking on your name, of course) and your noble attempt to stand up against the dominant ideologies and isms of our day.

  2. Posted 16 April 2011 at 23:30 | Permalink

    Look – The Pope came to The UK last year and everyone thought it would be a failure! Need I say more?

    • Posted 18 April 2011 at 10:48 | Permalink

      No need to say more, Epsilon! Your point is well taken. Maybe once again I need to apologise for pouring cold water on your creative FIRE.

      I am moved by your fire and would certainly sign such a petition were you go ahead

  3. Posted 21 June 2011 at 17:34 | Permalink

    Well – last night the BBC had “Treasures of Heaven” describing the history of Catholic relics – they couldn’t have been more reverent!!

  4. Posted 1 July 2011 at 10:53 | Permalink

    This is truly wonderful to hear, Epsilon. Thanks for telling me.

    Especially as I do not even know if this site would exist were it not for the Mystery of Relics.

    Because in Paray-le-Monial in France there are two chapels with the relics of St Margaret Mary and St Claude de la Columbiere.

    And there I had the deepest prayer of my life, without which …

    Warm thanks again. Your comments most appreciated here …

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