My arduous journey from manuscript to publication. A personal testimony from a would be writer.
I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed my summer vacation. It not only gave me an opportunity to visit the exotic South American countries of Peru and Ecuador, but it also afforded me a much needed break from writing. Although writing about my love for God is exhilarating, it can be simultaneously exhausting at times. Currently, I am in the midst of trying to publish my first book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love. Additionally, I face many writing demands in pursuit of my Master’s Degree in Theology from the University of Holy Cross, and as the manager and weekly blog writer for spiritualsafariguide.com (the blog site for my non-for-profit company founded for evangelization and the benefit of people in Haiti, Rwanda and the Holy Land).
I took a two-month break from writing in search of rest and spiritual rejuvenation, for even Christ took time away from His ministry for peaceful contemplation and quiet prayer. However, my break from blogging had an additional, less obvious origin: frustration and concern about the unforeseen challenges in taking my first book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love, from manuscript to publication. As I reflect upon this Sunday’s readings, I find a voice for my frustrations. A voice that I hope resonants with any and all of your own struggles as you try to surrender and turn your life over to God. I leave these thoughts with you in my blog posted below: A Bride of Christ, In Good Times and Bad. I hope you enjoy it!
In conclusion, I ask for your prayers as I head into my third year in this arduous book publishing process. I also want to let each of you know that I will only be writing and posting a spiritualsafariguide.com blog on the first Friday of each month. I hope that the resulting “free time” will allow me to get The Healing Eyes of Mercy to final publication and into the hands of each of you, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and other potential readers. Thank you in advance for your prayers.
Karen Sheehy, Your Spiritual Safari Guide.
A Bride of Christ, In Good Times and Bad. Inspired by this Sunday’s Readings (Sept. 3, 2017)
I love scrapbooking, not only because it gives me an outlet for my less than creative artistic abilities, but also because it affords me the opportunity to relive and remember many important moments in my life. Reading Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm, I found myself experiencing a “scrapbooking moment” of sorts, as I remembered a magical moment from two years back.
“You are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts” for I have “gazed toward you in the sanctuary” and have seen “your power and your glory,” (Psalm 63:1-2).
Sitting alone in a dimly lit Church, I suddenly found myself in the presence of the Lord. Lost in spiritual ecstasy, I heard Him say, “You have done well, my beloved. Now, offer Me your complete surrender, for I, your Beloved Spouse, desire a freely given covenant of love with your eternal soul.” Dazzled and humbled by His apparent proposal, I simply gazed upon His depicted broken and sacred body hanging on the Cross and declared, “Today, my Beloved Jesus, I give You the most valuable thing I possess, my very life, for You are my Lord and Savior. I promise to love and honor You for all eternity. Amen”
As strange as this mystical encounter sounds, it was real and true. As I rested in His boundless love, I heard Jesus say, “Go now, knowing and seeing Me as you do, and be My eyes, My voice, My hands and My heart to others. Write this story down as a sign of our divine covenant, freely chosen and sealed this very day.” Four months later, this unexpected and simple wedding request led to my book manuscript entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love.
The four months it took to write, however, proved to be the easier part. It was the review and editing process, and all its unexpected feedback which proved intolerable. “How dare you write about Jesus as your Beloved Spouse,” one reader wrote. “Boy Karen, you really have an active imagination,” another said.
“You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me,” (Jer 20:7).
And so, my manuscript editing process came to a screeching halt. “I will speak his name no more,” I reasoned, (Jer 20:9).
“But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it,” (Jer 20:9).
And so, the editing and re-writing process resumes. If the Lord wills it so, I hope to release my completed book, and wedding present to my Beloved, soon. In Sunday’s second reading, I find encouragement and hope.
“Offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect,” (Rom 12:1).
In Sunday’s Gospel, I find the reason for my struggles, for like any marriage, I must accompany my Spouse during good times and bad.
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me,” (Mt 16:24).
Additionally, I find hope, the hope of a bright future, for Sunday’s Gospel not only alludes to Christ’s passion, but also His prophesized resurrection. Jesus, Himself, promises a similar victory or resurrected glory for all those who choose to pick up their cross and follow Him.
“Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” (Mt 16:25).
It is with the eyes of faith, therefore, and for the love of Christ, that I offer my own “yes” to the folly of the Cross, as I cling to the hope of my promised resurrection, and promised book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love! Jesus, I Trust in You! Amen.
Closing 3:00 Prayer for Divine Mercy.
Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).
Jesus, I trust in You. Amen
Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!