Writing Struggles of 2012

View from my airplane window

I’m on my second trip for 2012–this time, in College Station, Texas, for a meeting with several other Daughters of St. Paul  who also work with young women discerning their vocations. It promises to be a busy and fruitful week, full of meetings with each other and with the students at St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A & M.

While I will have internet access almost daily, I doubt that I will have enough brain-space to post, so this post will be it for the coming week.

Writing has been a struggle in January and these first few days of February. I had scheduled to write four chapters of my book, and instead wrote only two. I have a number of good reasons for this, but my biggest reason has to do with the disorientation of traveling, combined with my intense immersion in other aspects of our Pauline mission besides writing. Both preparation for the trip and the duration of the trips are intense. I’ve found that it takes me a full week to settle back in to a productive writing mentality and routine. (Are all writers such fragile creatures of habit?) However, despite falling behind, I still intend to be faithful this week to my resolution that I will let my “non-writing times” be more relaxed.

A second difficulty I faced in delving back into the book I’m writing is that I don’t feel worthy of writing about the Eucharist. What could I possibly have to say that does  justice to this astonishing, paradoxical Mystery?

The truth is, I cannot do the Eucharist justice.

But that’s not the point. My question leads to a dead-end: me. Instead  of  focusing on my inadequacy or capabilities, I need to focus on the call in this work. How is the Lord inviting me in this project? What has the Spirit been whispering to me in my heart? What do God’s people–the readers whom I might be able to reach–need in a book about the Eucharist? What in my experience of the Eucharist has so deeply touched me that sharing it might have the potential to touch others?

These questions lead me in a direction that could be helpful for every writing project–especially when my doubts become overwhelming. As I was praying Psalm 3 in the Office of Readings today, I was struck by the mention of the “many foes” who deny that God will help me. My doubts take different forms for every project, but are often my worst “foe” as a writer.

Focusing instead on God’s invitations within each project can transform those doubts into the prayerful discernment needed to write about this mystery of life in which we can discover God’s love.

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3 thoughts on “Writing Struggles of 2012

  1. YOU ASKED: What do God’s people–the readers whom I might be able to reach–need in a book about the Eucharist? What in my experience of the Eucharist has so deeply touched me that sharing it might have the potential to touch others?

    …..I believe writing about the most Precious Body and Blood of our dearly Beloved Lord Jesus Christ is an honor and answering Gods call in being a channel of peace to the people and enlightening them on one of the many Sacred mysteries and graces of our faith. Everyone has had their own PROFOUND personal experience with the Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Communion Like Jesus said,”for he who eat My Body and drinks My Blood will have eternal life.I in you and you in ME!”…How beautiful .. I can not wait for this BOOK!!

    Much love and prayers your way ❤

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    • Thank you, Alison, for your thoughts. I agree–anyone who truly encounters Jesus in the Eucharist has a profound and transforming personal experience. I want to reinforce this experience and, for those who have never known this joy and peace, offer a “pathway” towards that experience of being profoundly loved by Jesus in the Eucharist. He is always there for us!

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  2. When it comes to the Eucharist, I like musing on The Matrix, how Neo is offered ‘communion’ with the matrix by Morpheus. The blue pill or the red pill — it is not the pill that changes his reality but his conscious choice of the pill. One choice will keep him in his current ‘blind’ reality, the other promises to open up a new mind-blowing reality.

    Every time we walk up that aisle at church, Jesus is presenting us with the same kind of choice. This can either be bread to you, or it can be my Body — the choice is yours. Current reality or new reality. Which will I choose this week?

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