Saturday, December 22, 2007
"Hey everyone, I just had to share this great news! Christmas came early for me this year!!You can check out the details at http://www.sqpn.com/?p=2489 and comment there if you are as excited as I am! This happened just in time for me to ask you to join me in supporting SQPN with any size donation you might be able to share this year. I truly believe that podcasting and new media are tremendous tools for lifting up our Catholic families and sharing our faith. If you can share a donation of any size, please visit http://www.sqpn.com/?page_id=528 - your donation will go to help SQPN continue to grow and will support the talented individuals who lead this organization and have committed their lives to this project.Thanks to all who have supported and encouraged me in this new project, and here's to many more "Catholic Moments" in 2008. Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent, Lisa"
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I want to share my excitement with you about being invited by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company to attend the RBTE as one of the three authors that they will sponsor for the event! I will do a book signing of my new book coming out in March, Catholic Saints Prayer Book.
Amazon.com: Catholic Saints Prayer Book: Books: Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
I know you join me in congratulating Donna in this great opportunity, the sweet fruit of all her hard work! (Now I'm REALLY sorry the writer's conference won't be at RBTE this year. Oh, well. Let's pray next year works out!)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Feel free to "regift" this present to as many as you can!
My book Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments is now at press, and should be available in a few weeks. I'll post a message when it is actually in the warehouse, or you can get a message in your e-mail box directly if you send your request to me at hsaxton(at)christianword(dot)com. Thanks to all you kind souls who have offered to review it on your blogs and other venues. We'll need all the help we can get to spread the word!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
There are a couple of omissions and errors in the January issue that I'd like to bring to your attention.
- Donna-Marie O'Boyle alerted me to the fact that there were a couple of errors in the review of her book Unlikely Saints. The most important is that her book is not yet out -- it will come out sometime in 2008.
- Concerning the "Grace in Action" column on military chaplains, Renee Gardiner writes: "I'm sure you've already realized the Jan/Feb issue went out with a mistake in the article about the AMS. On July 12, 2007 Archbishop O'Brien was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore by Pope Benedict XVI and he was formally installed on October 1. 2007. Our new Archbishop 'to be" is Archbishop Broglio - this was announced on 19 Nov 2007." (Judy McCloskey informs me that Abp. Broglio's appointment may be temporary.)
Speaking of the military, I received this in the e-mail today, and thought I'd pass it along to those who have loved ones in military service. (Warning: be sure to have the tissues handy.)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
In Thanksgiving for Jane Denton
by Judy McCloskey
While Jerry was captive and tortured, Jane remained strong in her Catholic faith, prayerfully and steadfastly devoted to the souls on her spiritual radar. Jane worked tirelessly raising their children and became an activist for POW and MIA families. She helped found the National League of Families of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, credited with contributing to the ultimate release of her husband and numerous other POWs. Jerry was finally released, authored “When Hell Was in Session”, retired as Admiral, elected Senator of Alabama, and founded the ADM Jeremiah Denton Foundation, dedicated to keeping America “one nation under God.”
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Living His Life Abundantly/EWTN has scheduled the airings of my two shows with Johnnette! The show will air four times each week on the following time schedule: Mondays at 10 p.m., Tuesdays at 4 a.m. (great for those early-morning feedings!), Wednesdays at 2 p.m., and Fridays at 4 p.m.
* Mary, the Feminine Ideal. Do you -- or does someone you know -- ever have difficulty coming to terms with Mary as our mother in heaven? In this show, Johnnette, Patti Mansfield, and I talk about Mary -- and do a none-too-subtle plug for Canticle magazine. The show will air the week of November 4.
* Raising Up Mommy. In this show Johnnette and I talk about my new book with Simon Peter Press, Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments. Originally titled Taming the Mommy Monster (I still like this one better, but Johnnette worried that it might scare off some readers), this book takes a look at each of the seven deadly sins as expressed in motherhood. It contains quizzes to help you spot your trouble spots, and offers exercises to help you improve in strength and endurance. (This is the first in the "Women of Grace LifeGuide Series." Later this fall, we will also be publishing a facilitator kit, which will allow the book to be used in group studies.) The show will air the week of November 25. Closer to this time, I'll post a reminder on "Mommy Monsters," which you can feel free to link to as the Spirit leads.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Saturday September 29th, 2007
At 11:30 pm, last night, my Lord entreated me to pray. As I pondered this command to pray, my soul was drawn in sorrow, to pray especially for Christopher, my step grand son, our beloved child. I certainly did not know the tragedy which was unfolding, yet God in His mercy made sure that Christopher was surrounded in prayer in his final moments. I prayed the Divine Mercy for Chris, and asked the angels to surround us all.
At 12:50 am, Feast of the Holy Angels, I drifted off to sleep, secure in the knowledge that God had heard the prayers he asked me to pray. And as I did so, Christopher slipped the bonds of earth, and flew into Eternal Life, surrounded in Gods love and Mercy. Now, in the early morning hours, I am reflecting upon our violent and sudden loss of our Christopher. Yet in my heart, I know that God knew Christopher would be dying as I prayed the Divine Mercy for him.
My heart is heavy with the loss of Christopher, but I know he is safe and God has him firmly in his arms.
“Jesus, I trust in You!”
Please hold Christine and her family in your prayers.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I believe that the universe waits for us to follow desires that are too tall an order. When we desire big things, God is ready to step in with the grace and the growth. It's better that I long for peace in my marriage than cover that desire with the "need" to suddenly look twenty-five again. I'll go further in my soul development if I desire the best use of my creative gifts rather than concoct a desire to climb some social or financial ladder. ...
I believe that my deepest, truest desires are actually the Creator's desires for me. ... Your deep desires are located in that well that is your very soul, and God created our souls to move us constantly toward health and wisdom and peace (p.102).
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The November/December issue of Canticle is now put to bed! Check the theme list for January/February ... we still need a few more articles. Thanks!
Saturday, September 08, 2007
For those who care to read about it, click here.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Blessed Teresa, mother of all the poor, pray for us!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I majored in International Studies and Communications, and so this kind of thing fascinates me. Words are powerful, and one of the more challenging aspects of cross-cultural communications is the process of defining terms. We do this all the time when we "translate" Catholic truths in terms that are more accessible to Protestant ears.
In my latest post in "Streams of Mercy," I take a closer look at what the Church teaches about the commonalities of the monotheistic religions, and attempt to explain why (assuming his reasoning was anything like mine) the bishop's suggestion could have merit. I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this -- one way or the other.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
For the next year, we are going to be hearing a great deal about the relative merits and flaws of various political candidates. But what about the "keepers" -- those who are out there truly doing the best they can to promote the common good?
Please contact me if you have one you'd like to nominate ... possibly for an upcoming article. Tell me who, and why you think this person is an exceptional public servant.
Thanks to Judy McClosky at CatholicMilitary.org for the patriotic image.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I recently read this book, which is making its rounds on the adoption and foster care circuit. The subtitle alone makes a none-too-subtle record of the author's perspective. However, I wanted to share this with you thoughtful women of faith, in hopes that it will cause you to ponder what it means to be a voice of hope and faith in the world.
These women's stories are powerful. There is no denying that they have suffered a great deal, as have their children. What I most appreciated about the Catholic perspective on womanhood in general and motherhood in particular, is where that suffering comes from ... and how that suffering can be used for good. I write about the book here. Let me know what you think!
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
1. Set clear financial goals
2. Quit overspending
3. Create and use a budget
4. Save for a rainy day
5. Share your wealth with others
6. Eliminate debt
7. Plan for retirement
8. Teach the next generation about good stewardship
9. Avoid having a hoarding mentality
10. Live within your means
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Thanks, Pat, for sending this to us!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
It has been a busy 24 hours ... flew to Birmingham to tape two television shows, one on Canticle and one on my upcoming book through Simon Peter Press called Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments. (Personally, I preferred my original title: Taming the Mommy Monster, but you can't get too attached to a working title, since most publishers reserve the right to market books as they see fit.)
Both programs will probably run in the fall. I'll keep you posted on the date (maybe we can all have a virtual tea party or something).
SPOILER ALERT! But you heard it here first ... when the program airs, LHLA is going to offer free trial subscriptions to anyone who calls in to request one. (You get one free copy to decide whether you want to continue the subscription, either by paying the enclosed invoice or signing it and returning it.) Of course, since it's such a fine magazine, no one in her right mind would ever decide not to subscribe ... right? :-)
On my way to the studio, I struck up a conversation with my driver, and learned that his daughter's husband was a Marine. Immediately I pulled out a copy of the latest issue (the one with Elena Vidal's darling daughter) and offered it to him. He looked a bit confused. "Are you Catholic?" I asked him.
"No, I like James Dobson ... you ever heard of him?"
"Oh, OK.," I replied, assuming that a Dobson fan might not want a magazine emblazoned with the Blessed Virgin. "I just thought that since your daughter was a military wife, she might find this interesting."
With that he pulled the magazine out of my hands. "Well, I guess it doesn't matter what kind of Christian you are ... mothers can always use some good advice, right?" I couldn't have said it better myself. Please pray for the driver, Steve, and his family.
While I was in Alabama, I had a chance to chat with Virginia Fisher, who wrote a wonderful article for the Sept/Oct issue based on her interview with John "Wild at Heart" Eldredge (Genevieve reviews Stasi Eldredge's book for women: Your Captivating Heart). There are many men -- both Protestant and Catholic -- who have been drawn to Eldredge's work, which focuses on authentic Christian manhood. If you don't already subscribe to Canticle (or if you know someone who is reading these books who is interested in a Catholic perspective on the Eldredge books), order your subscription today! (800-558-5452).
And if you're in the market for an apron, check out Virginia's site.
In other news, Donna O'Boyle has posted her first "Catholic Mother's Carnival." Check it out!
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Greetings!Every once in a while a very special need occurs here at the ministry that compels me to reach out to our supporters with a request for prayerful and financial help.
That special need now is for Gabriel Sullivan, the youngest son of Tom Sullivan, our Information Technology Director here at the ministry. Gabriel was diagnosed with leukemia on May 1, 2007. We at the ministry, along with Tom, his wife Carol and their six children, have been devastated by the sudden and unexpected news.
Gabriel is 3 years old and his diagnosis is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), cancer of the blood. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. Gabriel has been hospitalized many times since May 1 with various complications that have added to the already soaring medical costs.
Gabriel's medical team is very hopeful he will survive leukemia and experience a full recovery over a 3.4 year period of medical treatments. Those treatments include bone marrow biopsies, spinal taps, blood transfusions and testing, more chemotherapy, and creating a germ-free home environment for Gabriel so that the extremely dangerous chance of infection can be reduced.
Perhaps you know of a child with cancer and can relate to the heartbreaking situation Gabriel and his family are experiencing right now. Nothing hurts more than to see a little one suffering. It is, indeed, one of the greatest devastations a parent can experience.
Adding to the hardship of the Sullivan family, is the cost of care associated with Gabriel’s cancer. The mounting balance is staggering. I am asking you today to prayerfully consider helping to defer some of those medical costs for Gabriel. We have established a special fund for this purpose and 100% of your charitable, tax-deductible donation will go to the cost of Gabriel’s treatment and medical bills.
You can follow Gabriel’s progress at his website. There you can read regular updates, reflections by Tom, view pictures and videos, download a prayer card to join us in praying for Gabriel and make a tax-deductible donation through Living His Life Abundantly.
For the sake of Christian charity, please ask the Holy Spirit to guide your decision. I pray that you’ll consider a sacrificial offering to help Gabriel recover from his leukemia. I am confident God will reward you greatly for your generosity. Simply click here to make your contribution.
If you prefer to mail your donation, you can do so by sending it to:
Gabriel Sullivan Fundc/o Living His Life Abundantly325 Scarlet Blvd.Oldsmar, FL 34677
Make your check payable to LHLA and mark “Gabriel Fund” in your memo. Or if you would like to make a donation over the phone, you can give us a call at 800-558-5452.
From all of us here at Living His Life Abundantly and Women of Grace, thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely in Christ,
PS: I’m including below the prayer we at the ministry say for Gabriel at daily Mass. Would you join us by praying this prayer for Gabriel as well?
Prayer for Gabriel
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
On Sunday I leave for Alabama, where I will be at EWTN taping two shows with Johnnette, one on my upcoming book "Raising Up Mommy," and one to promote Canticle. I'm not sure yet when the show is going to run ... I'll keep you posted.
Finally, I'd like to alert you to a special post I wrote today in honor of our country's birthday, and especially to honor my nephew Ryan, who left this week to start basic training in artillary. He graduated from high school just last week, and it is hard to imagine him holding a gun. Please pray with me, that he will come through this experience physically and spiritually unscathed.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Do you ever wonder if as Catholics we take ourselves a tad too seriously at times? Check out the June 20 post at "Streams of Mercy" and let me know what you think!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Mrs. Graham was considered by many the "first lady of Evangelical Protestantism." Almost sixty-four years ago she exchanged one holy passion -- to be a missionary in China, as her parents had before her -- for another: to be Billy's wife, and the mother of his children. This turned out to be a monumental undertaking, and in many ways her life might have been much easier if she had stuck with the original plan and wound up an "old maid missionary" serving in some backwater Chinese hospital.
However, "easy" was not something to which Ruth aspired. Neither was "glittering" or "world-famous" or "celebrated." Hers was an unmistakable presence of gracious warmth and sincerity. Sitting on the overstuffed sofas with Mrs. Graham and her daughter Gigi, it was easy to forget that I was sitting where the Grahams had entertained countless notables and celebrities from every walk of life. The carving on the fireplace mantle summed it up perfectly: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." It was Ruth who had made that fortress home.
Today I imagine them all gathered together in that place, and my heart aches for them. As Ruth herself observed in her Collected Poems (p.179),
is not the same
who made it home
as it has always
There is an emptiness
where her chuckle was.
From now on
it is me alone
who once was "us."
I was still a "single career woman" when I met Mrs. Graham -- I married Craig almost exactly a year later, in 1999. Knowing what I know now about the challenges inherent to the vocation of motherhood, I can appreciate even more what a remarkable a woman she was, and how it took the steadfastness of a "missionary heart" to accomplish what she did. Her secret? She stayed as close as possible to the heart of God, drinking deeply of the Scriptures until her soul was fairly steeped in its revealed truth. And yet, somehow she didn't seem overly "religious." She was lively, she was adventurous, she was funny, she was warm ... she knew God intimately, and that is what kept her centered in a world spinning dizzily off-course.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Please pray for my daughter Jessica in Bangladesh doing a research project where a monsoon just killed 130. I am praying to hear from her. Please pray. Thank you so very much,
UPDATE: Received from Donna today (Thursday):
I just heard from Jessica (email) and she is fine. Thank you dear Jesus!! Thank you so very much Heidi for your prayers and putting out the word for prayer. I am so appreciative. Let us continue to pray for the victims and their families.
Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration: My daughter, Jessica
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
God bless you!
Saturday, June 09, 2007
...we welcomed our second daughter on Wednesday at 11:41 p.m. It was a beautiful birth-day. We are so blessed. She was considered full-term on Wed. and weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 inches long. We came home yesterday afternoon and she is nursing beautifully. God is good!
Yes, He is, all the time. For pictures, click here. The one with big sisters Madeline is especially precious.
Contact me with a "nut graph" if you'd like to tackle this subject.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
We are still looking for someone who can set up an actual website for us ... but for now, this should do the trick!
Finally, a couple of people have been in touch with us about other conferences that are going on in May 2008. We understand that some may have to decide which conference to attend, but because our conference is a track in the RBTE Conference, we cannot move the date. Thanks for understanding ... and we hope to see you there!
1. First, the bad news: Everyone -- speakers included -- will need to arrange and pay for their own accommodations and travel expenses to and from the conference. I wish we could afford to fly you all out first-class, but the truth is we're working (almost literally) on a shoestring. My goal is to make this conference as useful and as cost-effective as possible. That means that each person will need to contribute financially at least this much. Yes, even me.
2. Those who would like to give a talk (or would like to recommend someone else for a particular talk) are invited to submit a one-page list of "talking points" (one for each talk you have in mind). Be sure to include:
- Title of talk
- Experience level of target participant: beginners who need to know how to write a query, intermediates who have been published in some format, or advanced writers who are already supporting themselves with their writing but who want to learn more). (NOTE: Talks may appeal to more than one level of writer - if so, just say "all levels.")
- Type of writer: authors of books, magazine articles, blogs, e-books, POD writers, etc.
- Genre: inspirational/devotional, non-fiction, science fiction, chick lit, biography, etc.
- What are three things participants will take away from your talk?
- Brief bio (who you are and what your qualifications for this talk are -- professional background, publishing credits, etc.)
3. As soon as we get our website up and running, I will post all speaker submissions that I have received by September 1, and invite participants to vote for their top choices for different categories (fiction/non-fiction book publishing, magazine, marketing, etc.). Based on this feedback, Lisa, Karina, and I will make the final selection of speakers for the general sessions as well as breakout sessions for "niche" topics. We will then confirm the availability of each speaker, and post the results on the conference website.
4. In addition to these talks, we also plan to . . .
- Give writers opportunities to talk with real, live editors (details to follow)
- Arrange a pre-, post-, or extra-conference "road trip" so we can all enjoy a slice of real Chicago deep-dish
- Hold a book signing and possibly a reading session for our published authors
- Have a special parting gift for participants (details to follow)
- Offer alternate (e.g. "less expensive") accommodation sites on the website
Questions or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, June 03, 2007
"What's a Meme," you ask? Well, you'll see... Here are the rules:
"For this meme, each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog."
And so ... TAG to:
So ... here are my eight facts/habits.
1. I spent a year in Senegal, West Africa as a short-term missionary, teaching English and playing keyboards for a band of African college students. During that year I developed a weakness for freshly baked baguettes and yoghurt with peanuts.
2. A few years later, I directed a group of college students on a bus tour across Poland. Half the team was Polish/charismatic (NOT Catholic), and half the team was American (NOT charismatic, mostly Quakers). Our bus driver was Hungarian, and the only language we had in common was German. (I had two years of it in high school.) At the end of the summer, I decided (a) I was not cut out to be a missionary and (b) Hungarians make the best ice cream in the world. (Our tour originated in Budapest.)
3. After graduating from Bible school (1987), I decided to take a trip by myself to spend time thinking and praying about what direction God wanted me to go. I hopped a cheap flight (from Mpls) to Aculpulco, and spent several weeks traveling by Mexican bus to the northern region of Matehuala, where I stayed with missionary friends. I knew exactly five phrases of Spanish, and packed my backpack with apples (to bribe the little old ladies to let me sit next to them) and toilet paper (need I say more?). To this day, it remains of the greatest adventures of my life.
4. My husband and I met at the University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Club. He asked me out because he liked my lemon tarts. I knew he was the one when he went out of his way to impress my dog. (see photo).
5. I'm the oldest of four girls, and was the last to marry (at age 35). If Craig hadn't shown up when he did, I was thinking about joining the Daughters of St. Paul.
6. My vocational aptitude test in eighth grade indicated that I should become a minister, a missionary, or ... a nun. (My Baptist parents were SO proud!) I studied Korean for two years to become a short-term missionary at a blind orphanage ... wound up in Africa instead when my student visa to Seoul was denied.
7. When I was eighteen I was seriously injured in a car accident. I still get nervous riding in snow storms.
8. White roses or gardenias, dark chocolate, and high tea with girlfriends: three indulgences I'm most likely to turn to when I need a little TLC.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
You would? Great! Mark your calendars, and plan to join us in Chicago May 29-30, 2008 for what I hope will be the First Annual RBTE Catholic Writers Conference, to be held in conjunction with the Religious Book Trade Exhibition (RBTE) the week following Memorial Day at the Pheasant Run Resort in Chicago, Illinois!
This conference is going to be hosted by myself (representing Canticle magazine), the Catholic Writer's Guild (Karina Fabian and others), and CatholicMom.com (Lisa Hendey). We also want to acknowledge Bob Byrns, who met with me a few days ago and is going out of his way to help us make this conference a pleasurable experience for everyone!
We are hoping to keep the costs extremely low (around $100, plus one night's accommodation), so even those with limited means can attend. Bring your whole family -- the resort has everything from golf to an indoor/outdoor pool your family can enjoy while you're at each session. Most rooms have a refrigerator and microwave, and the room rate is the same whether one or three adults stay in the room (kids are free). It is a Pepsi place (:-(), but cans of Diet Coke are for sale in the little gift shop. So grab a couple of writer friends and make a road trip!
Please e-mail me (email@example.com) if ...
* You are planning to attend (and would like to help)
* You have a particular topic you'd like us to cover, or a particular editor to recommend
* You have any general feedback about our first conference (and would like to help)
Based on my experiences at the 2007 RBTE conference this week, I think a Thursday afternoon through Friday (May 29-30) would give us the biggest benefit in terms of the numbers of editors we could draw, and floor time we'd have available to us. However, the conference floor opens on Wednesday, and you can stay through the weekend, exploring Chicago with your family if you like!
Stay tuned for more information, which we will develop into a website (any volunteers?) as we have more information available. Thanks in advance to everyone who is going to help (please?), so that we can make this first conference a success!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
I'd deeply appreciate prayers for the repose of my mother's soul--Josephine Sobel. She passed away today on the anniversary of St. Padre Pio's birthday and the anniversary of my father's death 20 years ago. God bless and thanks in advance. Patti H
Thank you for remembering our sister in your prayers.
In other news ... I was told today that the records in the LHLA office indicate that only 3 new subscribers have taken advantage of the $1 off discount coupon (SC07). Please let me know if you have placed an order since May 10, so we can be sure everyone is receiving the proper discount! (Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
For more information, click here. And if you possibly can, consider making a contribution to this worthwhile effort.
God bless you!
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
"...when things are quiet, Gabriel just wants mommy to lay with him and comfort him, and Carol wraps her arms around him and whispers those motherly words of love that only a mother can. But, as soon as the doctors and nurses come in, he yells and cries for daddy and won't stop until I grab and hold him. This quiets him some but not completely. He is expecting me to protect him from the fear and pain he thinks is coming, but I am helpless to meet his expectations and my heart feels like it is being ripped out of my chest.
"My intellect tells me that stopping the pain is not in his best interest if he is to survive, but the heart of a warrior I have as his father and protector cries out in rage to stop his pain and fend off those behind
administering that pain. However, deep into the night as I sit here in this chair meditating on the silhouette of my wife and child lying on the hospital bed and I cry out in the depths of my soul, 'God stop the pain that has come upon me and my family ... and take it away.'
"I hear Him in my spirit say to me, 'Tom, you are acting with me as your Father, the same way Gabriel is acting with you as his father, so trust in me with the same trust you want Gabriel to have in you.'
With that, I surrender the passions of a warrior, and embrace the calming whispers of my Father who art in Heaven, knowing that when the sun rises in the morning, I must once again don the armor of a fatherly warrior..."
Friday, May 04, 2007
I was just told that we are moving up production on the magazine, so that I need to have completed articles for each issue at least three months in advance (this means queries need to reach me at least four months ahead).
If I have recently given you a deadline that has more leadtime than this, please get in touch with me right away. Thanks!
For those of you who are praying for Gabriel Sullivan and his family, Tom wrote me this morning:
Gabriel has been conclusively diagnosed with Leukemia Tuesday afternoon. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed this. Today he started his first Chemo treatment and in the morning will have a spinal tap to check for Leukemia in his spinal fluid.
His Chemo will continue everyday for the next 8 days and then twice a week for the next 8-12 months. After day 29, the typing of the Leukemia from the bone marrow will be complete and they will know which risk factor he will fall into. Low, Medium, High. This will determine the kind and combination of drugs to use during the next 30 months.
Treatment is scheduled for 2.5 years with the first 12-18 months aggressive, and the remaining 12 months preventative maintenance. This will be a marathon, not a sprint.
God bless, Tom
Would you like to send the Sullivans a card? (Kids always love to get mail ... even from a hospital bed!) Write to them at: 13031 Canton Ave, Hudson FL 34669. If you can, please also remember Michael's confirmation and Joshua's First Communion, both being celebrated this weekend. Tom and Carol had to cancel the party ... but I'm sure the kids would appreciate knowing their special day was remembered!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Heavenly Father, be with little Gabriel.
We don't understand why this is happening,
but we know that nothing takes You by surprise.
And that, no matter what, Your plan is best.
So we entrust Gabriel and his family to You now,
and ask You to heal that little boy,
and make his family stronger than ever before.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Mary, Queen of Sorrows, pray for us.
St. Don Bosco, friend of children, pray for us.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Congratulations, Christine Trollinger!
Christine's entry, entitled "The Park Bench," will be featured in the July/August issue of Canticle. In this story, Christine shares about her devotion to Venerable Father Solanus Casey.
On behalf of all of us at the magazine, I would like to thank those of you who participated in our first writer's contest. We had about a dozen entries to choose from ... and after last week, it was such a pleasure to sit and read about the "prayer seeds" in your lives that are producing such a ripe harvest of faith, hope and love!
Friday, April 20, 2007
A small gallery of photographs greeted us as we entered the church, a sea of faces and celebrations and other intimate moments that those who love him can continue to hold. This shot was my favorite: he was a handsome college graduate, she a high-school senior in loopy braids. "They were very fashionable at the time," Johnnette smiled.
It was the moment of young love, frozen and preserved for the decades to follow. At that time, they were blissfully unaware of the rough road that lay ahead of them. And yet, the looks on their faces say it all: We are in this together. Together through the happy times. Together in the dark.
Together they built the kind of life that Father Ed spoke of in his homily: "In our darkest hour, we believe there is a purpose even in our suffering, and that purpose is love. Even the unbearable becomes bearable ... from that darkness, comes light."
His children recalled a man who lived the way he spoke: direct and honest. "He had a way of taking things down to basics," said Thea. "When Simon died, Dad said to me, 'He belonged to God -- your Mom and I were his parents, and guided him while he was here. But he belonged to God, and so we must be willing to give him back when God comes for him.'"
Jessica observed, "We always knew it would end like this, because of that wicked disease. Dad showed us so many things, and he even showed us how to say good-bye. There have been baby steps all along the way, which he grieved along with us."
When it was time for her to speak, Johnnette did so with her unfailing eloquence ... and yet, the magnitude of her grief was palpable. "He was always my champion, always my advocate. I know he will remain so. I told him in those last moments, 'Anthony, I am weeping, but my heart is full of such joy for you. And now I must go to confession, for I feel such envy!' And with that he went into the arms of Our Lady, with her Son standing by."
Later, we gathered at the cemetery to lay Tony to rest next to his son. As the family gathered one last time to say good-bye, Ljubica (Libby) Fill, an elderly Croatian woman and a close family friend -- celebrated Tony's heritage with "Zora je" (When the Sun Comes Up), a folk song that summed up all too well what the rest of us were feeling:
Zora je svanula, suza je iz oka kanula
Zora je, nema te, čuješ li, ne mogu bez tebe
Sanjam te, sanjam te
Sve me još, sve me još
Sve me sjeća na tebe
Samo pjesma moja čuje se
Al' nema te
Each time the sun comes up,
And we know you’re with God,
We’ll keep listening for you,
It’s going to be hard to do without you.
We’ll keep dreaming about you.
You’re our everything, our everything.
Our whole life was wrapped around you.
When we sing these songs,
We know you’re with God.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Today as I was reading through the entries for our "Seedling Prayer" writer's contest, there was one that fell out of the pile and clamored for my attention. Since it was five pages long -- far more than the 500 word limit in the contest -- I almost set it aside. But something made me stop and take a closer look.
In her contest entry, Elizabeth Schmeidler -- mother, singer, songwriter -- shared a story about a time she (with great reluctance) allowed her teenage son to go to Mexico on a missions trip. Elizabeth remembers receiving a phone call from the young man and hearing the exhilaration in his voice. "Then I knew I had to be happy for him, even though it was hard for me to let him go." Later, when she had to comfort a grieving mother who had lost her autistic son, who used to call her cell phone dozens of times each day, she remembered what it was like to get that phone call from her son, and penned the lyrics to a song for her friend, written as if her son were speaking to her from heaven.
Elizabeth has generously agreed to share her song, "If I Could Just Phone Home," which is a cut from her CD Walk On. Please do not copy this song without permission -- to order copies of her CD, go to her website www.elizabethshop.org.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I have no additional details yet. However, I will post them here as I have them.
Please continue to pray for the whole family. I leave you with this prayer of John Cardinal Newman:
O GOD of the spirits of all flesh, O Jesus, Lover of souls, we recommend unto You the soul of this Your servant Tony, who has departed with the sign of faith and sleeps the sleep of peace.
We beseech You, O Lord and Saviour, that, as in Your mercy to him You becamest man, so now You wouldest hasten the time, and admit him to Your presence above.
Remember, O Lord, that he is Your creature, not made by strange gods, but by You, the only Living and True God; for there is no other God but You, and none that can equal Your works.
Let his soul rejoice in Your light, and impute not to him his former iniquities, which he committed through the violence of passion, or the corrupt habits of his fallen nature.
For, although he has sinned, yet he always firmly believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and before he died, he reconciled himself to You by true contrition and the Sacraments of Your Church.
O Gracious Lord, we beseech You, remember not against him the sins of his youth and his ignorance; but according to Your great mercy, be mindful of him in Your heavenly glory.
May the heavens be opened to him, and the Angels rejoice with him.
May the Archangel St. Michael conduct him to You. May Your holy angels come forth to meet him, and carry him to the city of the heavenly Jerusalem.
May St. Peter, to whom You gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven, receive him.
May St. Paul, the vessel of election, stand by him.
May St. John, the beloved disciple, who had the revelation of the secrets of heaven, intercede for him.
May all the Holy Apostles, who received from You the power of binding and loosing, pray for him.
May all the Saints and elect of God, who in this world suffered torments for Your Name, befriend him; that, being freed from the prison beneath, he may be admitted into the glories of that kingdom, where with the Father and the Holy Ghost, You livest and reignest one God, world without end.
Come to his assistance, all you Saints of God; gain for him deliverance from [the] place of punishment; meet him, all you Angels; receive his holy soul, and present him before the Lord. Eternal rest give to him, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine on him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Editors ... are they friends or enemies -- gods who save us from our sins or bums who trample on our poetic souls? Like the rest of creation, they come in all varieties. I think with gratitude of a half-dozen editors who sharpened my writing by changing its focus or emphasis, or questioning its tone, or detecting weaknesses of logic or structure, or suggesting a different lead, or letting me talk a problem through with them when I couldn't decide between several routes, or cutting various forms of excess. Twice I threw out an entire chapter of a book because editors told me it was unnecessary. But above all I remember those good editors for their generosity. They had an enthusiasm for whatever project we were trying to bring off together as writer and editor. Their confidence that I could make it work kept me going. ... There is no end of ways in which an editor can improve a manuscript: pruning, shaping, clarifying, tidying a hundred inconsistencies of tense and pronoun and location and tone, noticing all the sentences that could be read in two different ways, dividing awkward long sentences into short ones, putting the writer back on the main stage if he has strayed down a side path, building bridges where the writer has lost the reader by not paying attention to his transitions, questioning matters of judgment and taste. An editor's hand must also be invisible. ... For all these acts of salvation, editors can't be thanked fervently enough.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
As my Easter gift to you, I would like to share with you two selections from Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael. The first is one of my favorite hymns, which I clung to as a candidate on my final hesitant steps toward the Vigil. There came a point when I realized that there were some questions to which I was going to receive answers only after I had been received into the fold. God was calling me to trust … and, in the end, I’m glad I did. I'm happy to say all those niggling questions are gone, gone, gone ... and oh, the riches I've discovered instead!
The second selection is a poem Amy wrote in memory of one of her "treasures"; little "Pearl" had been sold by her own parents as a child prostitute to a Hindu temple in India. Pearl was rescued by Amy, who determined to raise the little girl at Donavur Fellowship -- and then the girl died suddenly. Though Pearl was one of dozens of children who lived at the orphanage, Amy's expression of love and loss in the poem is heartfelt. Reading it again, as the mother of two adopted children, I find my love for this woman as fierce and devoted as ever it was.
Under the Mercy.
MAKE ME THY FUEL/FROM PRAYER THAT ASKS
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went Thy Crucified)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, O Flame of God!AC p.223LENT TO THEEDear Master, all the flowers are Thine,And false the whisper, "ours" and "mine."We lift our hearts to Thee and say:"Lord, it was Thine to take away."And yet, though we would have it so,Lord, it is very good to knowThat Thou art feeling for our pain;And we shall have our flower again.So help us now to be contentTo take the sorrow Thou hast sent.Dear Lord, how fair Thy house must beWith all the flowers we've lent to Thee!AC, 157
UPDATE: Kind thanks to our dear Irish sister Ann Murray, who lives just miles from Amy's birthplace. She sent this link to alert me to the honorary memorial recently installed at Amy's family's estate (November 2006). Thanks be to God!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
An impassioned mist enveloped those
Who stood beneath the Cross,
While Jesus’ suffering endured
Until His last breath was exhaled.
No ordinary man was this -
A veil of mourning covered the sun,
The temple curtain was torn from top to base,
The cold earth quaked as
All were plunged into an ecliptic night
When even the wood of Calvary stood
Bereft of heaven’s lightAnn Murray
Monday, April 02, 2007
And so, dear Papa John, we now entrust you to the angels
with all the rest, like you, poured out in living sacrifice.
May Our Lady take you by the hand, and lead you to our Brother,
And may the Son rejoice to hear her speak your name.
May you adore, in beloved company long anticipated,
and receive your just reward, and dance in jubilation
with the host from every nation, at the love-fest of the Lamb.
Holy Father, our Papa John, please pray for us.
Your loving daughter, Heidi