Your Word is My Delight, Catholic Writers Retreat

IM000491.JPGYour Word is My Delight

A Catholic Writers Retreat

Sponsored by the Catholic Writers Guild


Do you need time away to finish or start a manuscript? Work on that proposal? Organize your writing project? Finish work to meet your editor’s deadline?

On October 25-29, 2015 the Catholic Writers Guild, for the third time, is offering a writers retreat near Lansing, Michigan.

St. Francis Retreat and Conference Center, 703 E. Main Street, DeWitt, Michigan, is situated on a 93 acre site of woodlands, meadows, and prayer gardens.

$490 includes a private room with a single share bath, three meals a day (and all the coffee you can drink!), internet access, breakout spaces, resource library, three daily presenters, critique sessions, Mass and reconciliation.

The power of the Catholic Writers Guild is why we can keep the cost so low! This retreat, offered every other year, is popular because it is a true writers retreat offering you abundant time to work at writing, and time to critique with other Catholic writers.

You can register on line at  . Or call 1-866-669-8321.

Handicap accessible and dietary needs accommodated.

If you fly into Lansing Capital Region International Airport, a shuttle to the retreat house—only 7 minutes away—is provided.

Retreat space is limited so register soon!


Standing up to Kneel

frog on a cucumberWhile I was away the woman who lives downstairs, Linda, with whom I’ve shared this house for over 25 years, had done her best to follow the list of daily tasks for the care of the flowering pots and small veggie patch. She is not a gardener although she’s always loved the yard.

Since 2008 I’ve attended the Catholic Marketing Network trade show with the Catholic Writers Guild. It is always held mid summer—the gardens are at their peak, produce is ready for picking, and temperatures are high and rainfall minimal.

Every year in eager anticipation of meeting up with writing and publishing friends, for about ten days I leave the gardens in the hands of my housemate. Some years she manages fairly well, other years failed horribly—at least the dog and cat survive.

This year, as always, the trip was wonderful. The time spent on the road was challenging because of my worsening arthritic spine, but the hours on the road were lightened by the company of my dear friend, Ann Lewis. We knew this would be the last year of my help to drive the equipment to the conference.

There were emotional and spiritual challenges too. I felt called to remain in the upstairs hermitage; to pray fervently for the souls of the Planned Parenthood predators, for those involved in the genocide of Christians, and for souls lost to the insanity of homicide and suicide—there were so many prayers to be said.

I’m glad I went to the conference instead. The company of others, their laughter, love and hugs lifted my spirits. My face was sore from smiling!

Once home, I saw my housemate had had a tough go of it all, but she had managed. She too is aging. I was, and still am, grateful for her efforts.

She had taken care of the vegetable patch fairly well, regularly picking the tomatoes, cukes, and zucchini. The vines had not been trained to the trellises while I was away and were overgrown, entangled with the abundant weeds.

The numerous containers of geraniums and petunias had dried back hard on more than one occasion. The copious blooms were partially shriveled and a good third of the leaves were brown and crunchy.

I was amazed at how many weeds had grown in the cracks of the drive, in the stones of the path, and between the trees and shrubs. I hadn’t been gone that long!

For the two days since I’ve been home, and probably for another three, I’ll be cleaning things up. While doing so I look for the lesson of faith in this ordinary effort.

And what I find is a sense of being entrusted.

There are times in my eremitic life of prayer when I must step away from overwhelming events. Events so dark that they can, at times, block the Light. When this happens I turn to others to help me slog through evil, to help sort and order the chaos blocking my efforts.

In my turning to others for the care and feeding of my soul, I realized that they do their best but it is my responsibility to keep in order those things to which I have been entrusted. It’s not up to them to maintain my garden of faith and only if they are willing, to help me along until I am again fully present to nourish, water, and remove the debris that suffocates the soul.

With gratitude I thank them for holding spiritual ground as I am allowed to stand, take a deep breath and then kneel to begin again.

Image by Margaret Rose Realy Obl OSB. All rights reserved.


Sacred Marketing, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

CMN logo-smLet us pray in gratitude for all the Sisters and Nuns who, through the long days at the Catholic Marketing Network trade show, in all their preparation to attend, for tirelessly working to promote the Word of God, shared the hope that is Jesus.

May the Good Lord continue to bless them and all sisters of faith in their efforts to write, to produce, to create, to market, and to distribute their sacred work.


St. Mary Magdalene, Prayers for Sisters and Nuns

Mary Magdalene by Richard Stodart

Richard Stodart, Mary Magdalene, 1995, lithograph.

In anticipation of her feast day, let us pray:

St. Mary Magdalene,

Hear our prayers and carry them to our beloved Lord. We pray for our Sisters and Nuns who seek Jesus as you had sought him, in a world determined to destroy the Christ.

Guide them as a community of women to follow in your steps, and share the Good News with the ignorant and those mired and lost in sin. Strengthen them in prayer, console them in struggle, bring them peace in their final hour.

We ask all this of you in Jesus name. Amen

Original artwork by Richard Stodart, Mary Magdalene, 1995. Lithograph available…and its a lovely litho at that! I have one.


Storms Brewing

I’m on the road!

Yesterday the car was loaded by noon and I headed into town to have my tires checked and then made my way to Adoration for a few words with our Lord before hitting the highways.

My hope was to thread between storms on my way to Indianapolis to meet up with Ann Margaret Lewis to prepare materials for the for the Catholic Writers Guild Live conference.

The storms in Michigan had ended just before noon and if all went well I wouldnt drive through any in route to Ann’s — Indianapolis would get thunderstorms at about 4:00 pm.

And, boy did they! We managed to get the essentials from the car as the skies opened up. For hours, well into the night, the rains and thunder continued.