Wednesday, June 25, 2008
There have also been a number of issues concerning subscriptions, and the ability to get through to customer service to place an order in a timely fashion.
Please direct your questions/concerns to Rita Perstac, VP Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know she is working on a survey tool to collect your feedback on the quality of your "Canticle experience," but if you'd prefer not to wait, you may contact her directly at this address.
Feel free to copy me as well: hsaxton(at)christianword(dot)com.
Please bear in mind that I am now working on the Nov/Dec holiday issue, which includes an eight page Christmas supplement. If you'd like to write for Canticle and are looking for a foot in the door, I'm often scrambling for a good Christmas recipe (and short story with pictures to go with it) for this issue. Just a thought.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Congratulations to the wonderful writers whose articles appear in the July/August issue of Canticle (in mailboxes across the country NOW!).
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle has a cover story on the International Women's Congress in Rome.
Johnnette Benkovic contributed "Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Her Scapular, Her School."
Elena Maria Vidal presents "Modest, Not Frumpy: Beauty and the Blessed"
Gretchen Garrity, with "Faith Lessons from a Garden."
Theresa Caviccio has a piece on St. Pauline Visintainer, Patroness of Diabetics.
Sarah Reinhard reflects on "Laundry on the Line."
Jean Heimann offers "A Working Miracle"
Ann Abbott writes "Bitterness in a World of Sugar" about the slave trade in the Dominican Republic.
Columnist Suzanne Baars writes about "The Exhausted Parent."
"Media Moments" columnist Genevieve Kineke contributed a moving account of Focolare founder, recently deceased, Chiara Lubic.
Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski's guest "Solitary Genius" column is for single adults who are recovering from their parents divorce.
Judy McCloskey (CatholicMil.org) presents "Incidence of Car Fatalities High Among Returning Veterans"
Kate Wicker contributed "In Search of God's Graces."
Elizabeth Yank wrote "Hey, Mom! Say a Prayer for Me!"
Susan Brinkmann offers a reflection on the Holy Father's recent visit.
Mary Jo Anderson presents "The Feminization of Poverty and Moral Truth"
Esther Baily contributed "Cooking with Grace" column ... Tropical Fruit Salad. Yum!
Finally, yours truly has an interview with Sister Ann Shields, SGL, about heaven.
If you'd like to order a copy, call 800-558-5452.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I wonder which of them were at the gates to meet her ...?
Rest in peace, dear Ann. We will miss you.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
“Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen
As I was preparing today’s morning prayer, I came across this essay that expresses, far better than anything I could say, how to safeguard against the vice of envy. He writes:
“Remember that the writing game is not a competition. The fact that your friend got published does not decrease your chances of being published too. Your association with your published friend may even help your career, but only if you put friendship before career.
"Unfortunately, you must also remember that there’s a good chance you won’t be published, not ever. I’m sorry to write those words, but it’s just a matter of reality. Not every writer gets published, and that’s a good thing. Not even every good writer gets published, and that’s a shame. If you, unjustly and unfairly, fall into this group, does that mean you lost, or that you’re a loser, that you should take up macramé instead, that you should have been envious after all?
"No. As long as you are a writer, writing because you love to write, you’re a winner. The real joy is in the writing itself. Being published is wonderful, but the true high is in the creation, not in the marketing.
"If you don’t believe that, then perhaps you’re not a real writer after all.”
Today’s virtuous antidote is trust. Trust that, however long you’ve been slaving away at a particular project, God has not forgotten you. (That’s not to say you will get it published right away, but sometimes the most important things we write are for our eyes alone.)
And so … without further ado, go read "Writer's Envy”!
Jesus, I trust in You!
Then please join me in praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the intentions of the Holy Father as well as the intentions of all those attending this conference. The chaplet concludes:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Day 5: Sloth
“Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?”
Writing is hard work. Not just the simple act of putting pen to paper, or fingertips to keys. No, I’m talking about the effort that is required to shape each thought, turning it and placing it for maximum impact … and then sitting back and bracing oneself for the aftermath.
As every writer knows, to write well is to expose oneself to the universe. To write deeply, thoughtfully, and well is not unlike preparing to bring a child into the world (so I’m told). There is the thrill of first discovery – the signed contract, perhaps – followed by an interminable period of preparation. Writers don’t have to give up caffeine, but there are other considerations. Has anyone ever been asked to write about suffering or loss, or (God forbid) good parenting or patience, and not had the heavens rain down ample anecdotal material?
God doesn’t care about our hitting the bestseller lists nearly as much as He cares about the state of our souls. The labor may take place while we’re alone in the office, sitting before the computer … but the lessons transpire in almost every OTHER room of the house. Courage!
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
(Prayer is popularly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi)
Please join me now in praying: Our Father…
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Day 5: Lust and Gluttony
“Love is a mutual self-giving that ends in self-recovery.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen
“Catholics who acknowledge the wisdom of the late Holy Father’s Theology of the Body see an inescapable connection between the body and soul, the tangible and spiritual. This sacramental mindset is God’s gift to good writers, as it liberates us to express truly – yet not lasciviously – the ‘stuff’ of life.” (from “The Good Writer” presentation by Heidi Saxton at CWCO. To order the book, click here.)
Thought for the Day: How does my desire to consume – whatever bodily appetite these urges are meant to satisfy – need to be moderated? Do I have any inordinate attachments that prevent me from giving myself 100% in service to God and His Church, to my family, and to the world around me?
Hymn: “From Prayer That Asks” by Amy Carmichael
(to the tune “Faith of Our Fathers)
From prayer that asks that I may be sheltered from winds that beat on Thee
From faltering when I should aspire, from stumbling 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 the 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 would burn like fire.
Let me not sink to be a clod. Make me Thy fuel, O Flame of God!
(“From Prayer that Asks” from the Collected Works of Amy Carmichael. All rights reserved.)
Please join me now in praying: Glory be to the Father…
Monday, June 02, 2008
“All quarrels, disagreements, wars, strifes, and dissensions begin with a false declaration of independence--independence from God and independence from fellowman. A man without God is not like a cake without raisins; he is like the cake without the flour and milk; he lacks the essential ingredients of happiness.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
In our defense of truth, do we have a tendency to cut off love at the kneecaps? We must never forget that the enemy we are fighting is not our brother. His soul is the prize to be won, and yet we can never lose sight that it is God who woos, God who wins, and God who claims the prize for the sake of Love alone.
We may disagree with one another, but we still need one another.
When in doubt, close your mouth and pray.
Please join me now in praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the intentions of the Holy Father as well as the intentions of all those attending this conference. The chaplet concludes:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
“Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a Divine mystery, or a waterfall.”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen
In the Gospel reading for May 4 (when this was originally posted), Jesus is praying the high priestly prayer of John 17. One passage is particularly striking:
”I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
Notice the posture of openness and generosity – rather than selfishness or greed. To truly have the “heart and mind of Christ,” this is the attitude we need to have not only with our possessions but with other, less tangible gifts as well. “Everything I have is Yours, Lord, to do with as You see fit.” There are times when these words stick in our throats … When we want to be doing “A” and it is abundantly clear that we are needed to do “B,” for example (moms especially know what I mean here).
Today as we rest from our ordinary activities – the ones that make us feel “useful” and “important” in the world, perhaps, as well as those that are not inherently bad but simply unnecessary – we do well to ask ourselves, “Have I given everything I have, everything I am, back to the one who gave it to me first? Do I seek my family’s good before my own, and His glory above all?”
Please join me now in praying: Glory be to the Father...