My newsletter is Sisters and Friends: Refresh Your
Soul with Melanie Rigney, and you can read about the latest issue, download it, or subscribe from this page. Each month, I'll share something about a
Catholic saint and woman living today who will inspire you, spiritual resources, and a brief note of where I'll be in the coming month.
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If it's still the first week of December, you should click on over to a drawing for the Great Advent Giveaway. Handcrafted wood blocks. The drawing turns back into a pumpkin at midnight on December 6, by which I mean sixty seconds after 11:59 PM on the evening of December 5. I wouldn't belabor that except that my webguy made me explain just which midnight I meant. (She means Eastern Time, for that matter —the webguy.)
The Blessed Catalina de Maria (also known as Saturnina Rodriguez de Zavalia) is our youngest saint (by which I mean our most recently beatified saint). During a period of trials and setbacks, she came face to face with her limitations, but she persevered and established in Argentina the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus anyway. Today the work of the Handmaids serves four countries. Even when we know we're not perfect, even when we don't really see a way forward, Catalina de Maria's example says it's worth keeping on. Read the newsletter for more about Catalina de Maria.
Mary Lenaburg is this month's friend in faith. Mary and her family spent twenty-two years caring for their daughter and sister Courtney. Courtney suffered her first grand-mal seizure when she was one month old and died without ever speaking a word. Courtney's spirit and Mary's experience with her speak clearly: God never makes a mistake, and He has a plan for each of us, however limited and flawed we may think we are.
Be the Gift: Let Your Broken Be Turned into Abundance by Ann Voskamp is on my nightstand. It was put there in part by a friend's profound, casual, and unexpected gift to me, and I hope Be the Gift reminds me to share it.
Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks, but Advent is a whole season of it. I'll be thinking of a question asked in a homily by one of my parish's priests: "What if all I have tomorrow is what I gave gratitude for today?" (Whoa! —the webguy.)
What has gone before:
I begin the month of November (and November's newsletter) by wishing you a Happy All Saints Day.
The Blessed Pauline Mallinckrodt reminds us that patience and faith are bound up together. Learning to act matters, and so does learning to wait. Want to know more about Pauline? You'll just have to wait -- but just until you read the newsletter.
Carol Monaco is this month's friend in faith. Carol takes on new challenges boldly and reminds me to follow where He leads without fear. Meet Carol at Journey to Our Lady or through her column at Catholic Stand. You can also meet Carol offline: she is the author of Heavenly Mother Help Me: Prayers, Poetry, and Prose for Daily Living.
My nightstand... let me tell you about my nightstand. Mostly this month is for writing. "Writing what?" You may ask, and I tell you to read the newsletter to find out. There's a manuscript due in March and I have two novels in the works. If I do find time to read this month, it will be Holy Desperation: Praying as If Your Life Depends On It by Heather King. Appropriately enough.
Someday I might retire, and if I do, I'm getting back to my roots, my family roots. They reach back to a dozen people who fought in the Revolution and may even include a couple of links to immigrants on the Mayflower. It all puts me in mind of Thanksgiving. The month begins with All Saints Day, but it comes to a lovely crescendo on the fourth Thursday.