Book Draft 1 Complete

Finally — after four and a half years, the draft is done.  The dreaded final section finally found a “voice,” night before last, and I finished in a blaze of glory, yesterday.

Now the hard work begins.  Step one:  Proofread the new stuff.
step two:  send to Beta readers, including the nonfiction critique group with Catholic Writers Guild
Step three: write a Proposal
Step four: Develop a Marketing Plan…

In short, get my introverted, self-abasing self out into the world and make people LIKE ME.


Tria munera

Literally, Three Gifts –

And those gifts are our sharing with Christ His identity as Prophet, Priest and King. These gifts are given to us at the time of our Baptism and Chrismation, whether we’re infants or adults.

Now, the thing is, we don’t hear an awful lot about these gifts except in the context of the Baptismal Rite, but we need to give them some thought –

They’re not just a nice idea, or some other-worldly notion. They’re our mandate.

This is what is holding me up on my work on Pray, Study, Work: doing research on what this identity means, and how we’re supposed to live out these roles in the living of our common priesthood.

Quite the challenge, yes?


It’s easy to pontificate and to rant and rave as if I had something wonderful and profound and incredibly important to say to the world.

Fact is, I’m scared to the point of having a massive case of writer’s block.

I’m reading through the Old Testament to get some of the background on what it means to be a prophet, priest or king, reading documents of the Church –

Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) and Apostolicam Actuositatem (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity) down – Gaudium et Spes (the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) and a few others to go.

I’ve talked to several friends, far better-educated than I, who are telling me I’m doing something they haven’t seen done before.

If God has given me something unusual to give, in turn, to His people, then I pray to do a good job of it. And I will do it – I accept the call.

But I’m scared. What a terrible responsibility this is! What if I have a priest friend to vet it when I’m done, and he tells me it’s a bunch of codswallop? Okay, Fr. G wouldn’t do that to me, but he’s a scholar and he’ll be pulling no punches if I mess it up.

And this is a lot more work than I had realized, prior to really getting into it – so much I hardly know which way to turn to get it done. When I was conversationally showing the concept to people, it was simple. Now, though, it’s added a layer of meaning, and requires a lot more research in order to be honest and truthful – not just opinionated.

I’m scared. When my husband left me, more than twenty years ago, now, the trauma hit me solidly in my ability to concentrate for prolonged periods of time. This is a lot of work I’m saying Yes to – I’ve got to be able to increase my stamina for reading, note-taking, writing…

I’m scared. This is such a BIG project!

Just who are we, anyway?

Part of my research for Pray, Study, Work – I’ve been reading the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) from the Second Vatican Council. Every Catholic ought to read this, and Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution on the Faith).

In a nutshell (because this has to be a brief post this morning), the laity have two major functions in the life of Christendom:

First, we have a duty, a mandate, to bring the Gospel into the secular world we frequent in our careers, education, and daily associations.

Second, we have the mandate to infuse that worldly world with Gospel values – to be a redeeming influence on it.

Now. It may be because I live in an area where a lot of retirees move, but it seems to me that I far too frequently hear Catholics complain that they’ve “done their bit,” and are now ready to kick back and relax a bit.

Ladies and gentlemen: There is no retirement from the Church Militant. We hope to graduate, but resignation is unthinkable!

This is the sort of attitude I lament in “Spiritual Warfare.” Our culture is in the mess it’s in because good Christian people – Catholic and nonCatholic – have bought into the lie that we have an obligation to shut up and get out of the way so that people who reject our paradigm can do whatever they want in order to think they’re “happy.”

We need to get off our fannies and quit acting as if we were called to be Church Somnolent.

Book update

I engaged one of my student friends to help me as a research assistant, this morning. He’s a good Baptist and well-versed in his Bible. I took him through the chapter I’m working on, showed him what I’m looking for. He’ll help me fill in the baps for illustration and verification, thus saving me… probably a couple weeks’ work?

I’m touched by the comments. I really feel the idea I have, here, is important. The Church is suffering from lack of understanding of what our identity is, and lack of instruction how to live in that identity.

The basic elements of Pray, Study, Work are also integrated in our baptismal identity, with Christ, as Prophet, Priest and King.

This job is getting exciting!

Workin’ on the book

The working title is Pray, Study, Work – taken from the counsel of St. Benedict in his Rule.

The basic premise is this: There are three major dimensions to the Faith: the intellectual/theological, the mystical/emotional, and the servant/practical. Each of us needs to develop each these dimensions in order to serve, first of all, as a microcosm of the Church in the World, and secondly, as effective Christians, and finally, to best prepare for Heaven.

Each of these dimensions helps to shape and balance the other two. Without the other two, any one can develop attributes that are unhealthy and counterproductive.

Each of us is particularly gifted or shaped by circumstances to be keen on one of these dimensions and, likely, to neglect at least one of the others (for me, as an ex-Quaker, the weakness is the practical. Want to get me out of the room? Say, “Social Justice.”)

Stay tuned. I’m not sure how much info I’ll share as I write – don’t want to give the store away before I’m ready. But several writer friends have recommended that I go ahead and blog now – to stimulate your interest and to kick myself in the butt to get more work done on it. So here it is.

Pray for me – it’s slow going. Thanks.