Before the plane took off Monday morning from DFW Airport, my nose was buried in an advanced copy of The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living. As we landed in Tampa, my new knowledge of Lisa Hendey, myself and true generosity was incredible. And one-third of the book to go!
By Tuesday afternoon my mind was full of spiritual truths. My heart and soul were so reinforced with encouragement that my copious notes now fill this review and overflow into several blog ideas.
Having known and grown to love Lisa long-distance for four years through CatholicMom.com and Catholic Writers Guild (CWG), I finally met her at the CWGLive conference in Chicago. Her keynote speech on “Perseverance,” with many concepts from The Grace of Yes, and a one-on-one meeting in the hall when she advised me on a publishing question, created an instant connection in our spirits.
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“Bless the LORD, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts, who pardons all your sins, and heals all your ills,” (Psalm 103:2-3)
As my husband and I waited on the frontage road to access the busy freeway, a large SUV rear-ended our sedan. I was in the drivers seat, with our car pointed west at an angle, while my head pointed east to monitor the oncoming traffic. The startling jolt pushed our car part way into the access lane, resulting in back injuries for both of us, and a shoulder injury for me. Luckily, I could drive home. I didn’t feel a lot of pain right away – not until we got to the X-ray lab that our family doctor recommended. The next morning I knew I was in trouble when I couldn’t get out of bed, put on my clothes or tie my shoes by myself. We were as pitiful as two drowning rats trying to survive on a sinking ship.
Our family doctor sent us to a clinic that specialized in injury rehabilitation. From the first exam, all the doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors treated me with such loving care that I felt like the Lord put me on a cloud and glided me through the intricate healing process. I could only trust in him and surrender my damaged body into the healing hands of the rehab center staff.
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Jonah 3:1-5,10; Ps 25:4-9; 1 Corinthians 7:25-31; Mark 1:14-20
At the beginning of Jesus’ public life, he invited four professional fishermen to be involved in his new kingdom. Like Jonah’s preaching in the city of Nineveh. his call was to turn from their old sinful ways of life, ”repent or within 40 days or Nineveh will be destroyed.” They were called to turn to God’s plan for a new life. They did repent and were saved.
Did all the natural disasters of the last year say anything to us? Where are we headed personally and as a nation? The prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus preached repentance and gaining a new life in God.
In today’s section of John’s gospel, Jesus called Andrew and Simon to be “fishers of men,” not fish. Next he called John and his brother James. We are here because thousands over the last two thousands years have answered God’s call and were empowered to spread Christ’s good news across the world. Amen, alleluia! Continue reading
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“Down in my bones, my deepest need is to know Jesus better,“ thus Julie Davis opens her second book, Seeking Jesus in Everyday Life: Prayers and Reflections for Getting Closer. I’ve been a fan of Julie Davis since she autographed her first book, Happy Catholic, for me five years ago. I finally summoned the courage to request an interview, which became a long lunch of conversation among fellow writers.
During our time together, I discovered how this new book reflects her journey from atheism to Catholicism, why she wrote it and for whom, how it helps us become missionary disciples and the main takeaway for readers.
Nancy: Your faith journey has taken you from your childhood in an atheist home, into Christianity and then into Catholicism. How does your new book, Seeking Jesus In Everyday Life with its variety of quotes reflect that journey?
Julie: It reflects where I wound up. When I was telling a non-Catholic friend about the book, I realized how some parts of the book are so embedded in me. It didn’t occur to me that I was talking to a Protestant — about novenas, Mary, or the saints — in a way that some Protestants would not understand. Continue reading
1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-10; John 1:35-42
I pray you received the Epiphany Home Blessing of the Magi I gave you last week. As I wrote then, we officially ended the Christmas Season of only two weeks. However, in your personal prayer and thoughts you can continue to pray about what God did in those awesome events of Christ’s birth, the shepherds, kings and other visitors who went to visit and welcome Jesus to earth. No other birthday has been celebrated so universally for two thousand years.
Now we go back to ordinary time until Lent begins. This week we read about Eli and Samuel in the temple. God called young Samuel three times while he slept. He got up and went to Eli, who was asleep and who had not called the lad. Finally Eli realized God called him. Eli told Samuel if he heard the call again to simply say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Continue reading