Month: September 2009

Why am I Catholic?

A Why am I Catholic? post, inspired by the work of Webster Bull. It’s a question that can be asked a variety of different ways: WHY am I Catholic? Why AM I Catholic? Why am I Catholic? Why am I CATHOLIC? As I sat in the middle of a downpour last weekend, cheering despite the rain dripping impossibly into my nose, I had this question running through my mind.  The question I was really trying to answer was whether the answer changes when the intonation changes. I don’t think it does. Once I answer the Why part of the question, the rest of it falls into place.  To answer the Why, I have to know who I am, what it means to be who I am, and what it is to be Catholic. I’ve been examining this question, in whole and in parts, for eight-plus years.  It started while I was in RCIA classes with Father Pat and has continued to today.  I thought I’d know the answer after the Easter vigil Mass in 2001, when I gave in and actually went through with the “becoming Catholic” thing. Nope. I’m Catholic, I guess, because I needed something.  There was something missing from my life, though I couldn’t tell you just what that was.  When I first felt the appeal of Mass, I attributed it to the human need for...

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A Book for Your Journey

Every Woman’s Journey: Answering “Who Am I” for the Feminine Heart, by Katrina J. Zeno, might sound like something you can pass on reading, and, if you’re like me, you might not ever pick it up off the shelf, unless it’s mailed to you as a review copy from a reviewer program. This is the classic case of God’s sense of humor, because after page one, I knew that this book was for me.  In fact, I’d warrant it’s for every woman I know, because though it is a Catholic book, it’s also resoundingly speaks to women today. The tragedy of modern culture is its attempt to remove the billboard, to wipe out the Fatherhood of God.  Nothing could be more harmful to the journey, to discovering our identity as women.  If God isn’t our Father, then we aren’t his daughters.  And if we aren’t his daughters, then we are orphans.  We’re alone and destitute, with no one to help us. Have you ever felt that way?  If you’re like me, a better question might be, when did you stop feeling that way?  I can put my finger on the when, to some extent, and it has to do with kneeling, with tears rolling down my face, in front of an altar, a crucifix hanging over my head.  I stop feeling that way at least once a week, by...

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Questions with Kate: Tips & Books

This week, it’s my honor to host a great blogging and real-life friend, Kate Wicker. Since today’s Friday, she’s sharing her final thoughts as 7 Quick Takes.  (Visit Jen from Conversion Diary for more fabulous takes in quick form.) (In case you missed our discussions earlier this week, Kate shared thoughts on motherhood and writing, her inspiration to write, blogging, and priorities.) Kate, as we wrap up our week together, talking about motherhood and writing, what advice would you share? Tip 1. Learn to let go. I used to hate to cut anything from my writing. I was so attached to my words that slashing them was like severing a limb. However, I learned that it was easier for me to edit my work than for it to either not sell or for an editor to change it so much that it didn’t even seem like it was mine any longer. It may hurt a little at first, but take a deep breath and let go of any words and sentences that aren’t absolutely necessary, especially if you have a strict word count to meet (750 words means 750 words). If you’re fond of a particular image (“the trees reached up to the sky like gnarled hands”), then jot it down in a notebook and save it for another piece. Sometimes a sentence or idea may not work for...

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Questions with Kate: Priorities

This week, it’s my honor to host a great blogging and real-life friend, Kate Wicker. Each day, she has agreed to tackle a question and share her wisdom and insight about motherhood and writing. I hope you enjoy spending this week with her as much as I do!  (In case you missed it, you can find her discussions on motherhood and writing, her inspiration to write, and blogging.) Do you consider writing a primary part of your work or is it a consequence, a way you get the word out about your ministry? I’m not sure if writing is a primary part of my work as a mom, but it is a primary part of my life. Like I’ve said, I have to write. It’s just a part of who I am. (Any surprise that my love language is “words of affirmation”?) I know you have cut back your writing projects over the last few years. How do you prioritize your writing projects while juggling the demands of your vocation as wife and mother? While I occasionally make reprints available, I’ve made the personal decision to not write for free (unless you include blogging, but I even try to make some money in this forum as well). I know this might make me sound like a heartless money grubber, but a wise veteran mom-writer once told me that I...

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