In February in Toronto, I usually suffer a bit of spring fever, some restlessness, and even a need for a shift in routine. Yet, the past couple of weeks have been especially enjoyable and busy–full of writing, discernment events, special attention to my Lenten journey, and prayer for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church. Approaching Lent as a time of retreat was definitely the right choice for me this year. Both spiritually and artistically, I’m appreciating the sharpened focus on my spiritual journey. Here are some of my Lenten companions.
- I’m blessed to be listening to Father Larry Gillick’s Lenten Retreat, which is more meaningful now that I’ve made the full Spiritual Exercises.
- The online Sunday Lenten reflections, Signs of Faith, offered by our sisters in Italy at www.paoline.org are available in English, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese. This week’s reflection is focused around listening, based on Sunday’s Gospel of the Transfiguration, where God the Father tells the apostles (and us) to listen to His Son.
- I was also privileged to be part of a short audio series on Living the Beatitudes for the Year of Faith. Produced by Sharon DiCecco and Alex Dias, the series is available online at HMWN Radio Maria, offering short, five-minute reflections on each beatitude. (My beatitude was “Blessed are the peacemakers…”)
Of course, this Lent is also a time of intensive writing–actually, mostly rewriting. My writing process for longer works usually includes several drafts, but each chapter of this book on the Eucharist actually needs a series of rewrites, with each draft focusing on a different aspect: theological, accessible, logical development, pastoral, and practical for use in prayer. Each chapter feels like a puzzle that takes constant mulling and several rewrites to put the pieces together. As I go through the day, the chapter I’m working on is never far from my mind. I’m a little over half-way through the rewrite (with only a proofread left for the first six chapters), so I’m trailing just a bit behind my schedule.
The intensity of the rewrites means that I’ve temporarily put aside work on the author website, for which I’m developing additional content for the books I’ve written. I look forward to getting back to that soon.
One last update. For readers of See Yourself Through God’s Eyes, our app team at Pauline Books & Media has added additional content to the See Yourself Through God’s Eyes app, which now costs 99 cents. If you find the book helpful, you might enjoy having some of the powerful reminders about God’s love easily accessible through the day via your iPhone or Android phone. (The app team forgot to tell me about it, so I didn’t give any input on the new content, but I just downloaded it yesterday and so far, I like the app’s simplicity.) The revised app is still easy to use, and now has:
- additional thoughts from the book
- a “table of contents” that lists each thought according to its theme
I hope that eventually, I’ll be able to add my readers’ guide not just to the author website I’m planning, but also to the app.
If anyone has enjoyed See Yourself Through God’s Eyes and would like to help spread the word about it, please review it on www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, or goodreads.com. I’m told that reviews on these sites really raise the visibility of the book–so it’d be awesome if a few more readers could write one! (It doesn’t have to be long.)
For those who haven’t read the book, here’s my informal reflection on how and why I wrote See Yourself Through God’s Eyes: