The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion Available for Pre-Order

CathMomPrayerI am one of the contributors of this new book by Ave Maria Press.  It is now available for pre-order from this link.

Are you a Catholic mom who prays for the wisdom and patience to get through each day? Do you pray for your children, husband, family and friends, and sometimes even yourself? The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion offers a new, daily resource to make the most of those few, precious minutes you have to pause and reflect.

For more than fifteen years, the award-winning CatholicMom.com website has been a trusted source for sound, practical, and spiritual guidance. In their new book, authors Lisa M. Hendey and Sarah A. Reinhard bring together more than eighty moms, dads, and trusted spiritual companions to provide fresh, uplifting meditations for every day of the year. You’ll find encouragement when you’re struggling, reassurance when you feel alone, and comfort when you’re distracted by worry.

Created by moms for moms, these hope-filled meditations touch on the issues and concerns you face as you try to get through the day with a sense of God’s presence in your life. Whether you are a new or seasoned mom working in or outside of your home, this inspiring collection of reflections for every day of the year will help you

  • stay in touch with the seasons of the Church year;
  • remember Mary’s loving presence on her feast days;
  • keep company with both new and familiar saints;
  • see the spiritual meaning of secular holidays; and
  • make you smile with occasions such as Houseplant Appreciation Day and National Popcorn Day.

Each day begins with a brief quotation from scripture, saints, recent popes, or important spiritual writers. A personal reflection—written by contributors including Danielle Bean, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Lisa Mladinich, Elizabeth Scalia, Carolyn Woo, Mark Hart and Jeff Young—focuses on some dimension of your spiritual, emotional, intellectual, or physical life. Each day also includes a brief prayer and a question or thought to ponder throughout the day.

In just a few minutes of quiet you’ll find the boost you need from a friendly voice. Each month also has a special theme such as love, family fun, and slowing down. Start these reflections any time throughout the year and feel your days become more grace-filled and inspired.

Other contributors include: Erin McCole Cupp, Barb Szyszkiewicz, Ann Frailey, Celeste Behe, Jeannie Ewing, Patrice Fagnant MacArthur, Jennifer Fitz, Pat Gohn, Margaret Realy, Leticia Velasquez, Karee Santos and many others!

Review:

“Insightful and eminently relatable.”

“The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion is packed full of reflections that are both insightful and eminently relatable. Five minutes with this book will get your day off to a great start.”

Jennifer Fulwiler
Catholic radio host and author of Something Other Than God

The book will be available in late August. To pre-order the book, click here.

Dying For Revenge Now Available On Kindle!

Dying for Revenge (The Lady Doc Murders Book 1) is now available on Kindle!

“Barbara Golder joins the ranks of Chesterton’s bloodthirsty heirs as she spins a tale that will delight mystery fans. With Dying for Revenge in hand, your beach experience is now complete!” Mark P. Shea, Author of Mercy Works

Someone is killing the rich and famous residents of Telluride, Colorado, and the medical investigator, Dr. Jane Wallace, is on a collision course with the murderer. Compelled by profound loss and injustice, Jane will risk her own life to protect others from vengeful death, even as she exacts a high price from those who have destroyed her world. DYING FOR REVENGE is a story of love, obsession and forgiveness, seen through the eyes of a passionate, beautiful woman trying to live her life — imperfectly but vibrantly — even if she won’t survive.

To view the book trailer, click below:

Living a Holy Sexuality Through the Theology of the Body #tobtalk

Photo courtesy KJ

Photo courtesy KJ

My latest post for Catholic Mom is entitled “Living a Holy Sexuality Through the Theology of the Body.”

Marriage is a holy vocation that leads to the creation of life and family, an essential way of spreading the Catholic faith and of attaining holiness.

Taking the four components of God’s love for us (free, total, faithful, fruitful) and comparing them to marital love, we can discover how we can live the sacrament of matrimony as a vocation in the most free, total, faithful and fruitful way, the ultimate expression of not only God’s love for us, but in our love for our spouses. We can discover how we can best express and preserve our Marital Unity.

Free: We need to be able to give our love freely to our spouse.  If we ask for conditions, like… I’ll love you IF, then that’s not love.  If we force our spouse to do something, that’s not love.  If we cannot control our passions, if we cannot say no to our sexual urges, then we are not free.  If we cannot say no, our yes means nothing.

Total: The love for our spouse must be total.  We can’t say, “Well, I’ll give you everything, honey, except for my arm or except for my leg.”  Everything means everything.  Total means total.

In the CCCC, 1643, says: “Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all of the elements of the person enter – appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance, which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values.”  Sex is holy, but the world doesn’t see it that way.

Faithful: We must be faithful to our spouse.  Obviously, we must only have sexual intercourse with our spouse and no other.  However, adultery is not the only way we can be unfaithful to our spouse. Indulging in fantasies, pornography of any kind and flirting all offend the sixth commandment. If we want to be truly faithful to our spouse, we must be faithful in word, action, and thought.

Fruitful: We must allow relations with our spouse to be fruitful – to be open to children – each and every time we have sex, whether or not we are planning a child.  That doesn’t mean we will conceive a child with every marital embrace.  It also doesn’t mean that we must try to get pregnant each and every time we have relations. It just means that we need to be open. Natural Family Planning allows a couple to avoid pregnancy and still be open to the possibility of pregnancy.

Artificial contraception, in fact, destroys all four of the essential components (Free, total, faithful, fruitful). Birth control violates not only God’s plan (because it does not image God’s fruitfulness) but it also destroys a couple’s marital unity, encourages an “I can’t say no” mentality to sex. When a device, medication is used or an operation has taken place to purposefully remove fertility permanently, a couple cannot give themselves totally, no matter how much they love each other.  (This does not include couples who have regretted and repented, nor does this include couples who have lost their fertility through no fault of their own).

Contraception also does not allow a couple to totally give of themselves to each other. You can’t say, “I give all of myself to my spouse – except my fertility.” That means you’re not giving your total self. Contraception destroys marital unity by separating the couple physically. Natural Family Planning preserves it.

Living a holy sexuality through the Theology of the Body is not always easy.  But I can say from experience, it is most definitely worth it.

For more information on Natural Family Planning:

The Couple to Couple League

Billings Ovulation

Creighton Model

Copyright 2016 Ellen Gable Hrkach

 

Learning to Love With the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Jean Heimann

Learning to Love mockup copy (1)Today, on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, this is also the first day of Jean Heimann’s Virtual Book Tour for her new book, “Learning to Love With the Saints.”

New Book Helps Readers Learn to Cultivate a Personal Relationship with God and to Trust in His Mercy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WICHITA, KS (May 13, 2016) Mercy Press announces the release of author Jean M. Heimann’s new book,  Learning to Love With the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir. Available in digital ($2.99) and paperback ($13.99) editions at Amazon.com, Learning to Love with the Saints gives us practical insight into the abundant love and mercy that flows from the Sacred Heart of Jesus to our hearts when we learn to trust in His love and mercy.  The lives of the saints convey precious lessons of love and guidance on how to live virtuous lives. When we befriend them and ask for their prayers, miraculous transformations can occur in our lives and the lives of those around us.  Learning to Love with the Saints shows us how to develop a personal relationship with God, to grow more deeply in love with Him, to trust in His mercy and to use the saints as our supporters and spiritual guides.

Learning to Love with the Saints is the inspiring personal witness of how Jean M. Heimann was wooed by Jesus to return to the Church after being raised Catholic and then leaving her faith for fifteen years. In this riveting memoir, Jean tells the story of growing up in the Midwest in a French-Catholic family during the tumultuous times of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and mass misinterpretation of Vatican II in the Church in the ’60s.

Jean grew up in a stable home environment with devout, hardworking Catholic parents. As a young adult, she deeply desired adventure and romance and yearned for love; however, she searched for it with unsuitable partners. Her life took some treacherous turns as she entered into marriage with a drug-addicted abusive man, which was soon followed by divorce, causing her to leave her Catholic faith.

Throughout her life, Jean faced numerous sufferings and trials: unemployment, loss, divorce, chronic illness, financial difficulties, and emotional heartaches. In spite of personal and professional accomplishments and successes, she describes feeling empty inside.  In this intimate account, Jean shares her fears, her pain and the graces she received from God to rise above her circumstances.  She reveals how she came to see her own value in the eyes of God, to surrender to Him and to embrace His tender love and mercy.

Jean expertly weaves Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Scripture passages, brief biographies of the saints, and poignant quotes from the saints into her story to illustrate how the saints served as spiritual guides who interceded for her, resulting in some astonishing miracles. Through all these trials, it was the saints who restored her faith, kept it alive and helped her discover the meaning of true love.

JEAN M. HEIMANN is a Catholic author and freelance writer with an M.A. in Theology, a parish minister and a diocesan speaker, a retired psychologist and educator, and an Oblate with the Community of St. John.  In addition to her highly acclaimed first book, Seven Saints for Seven Virtues, Jean has had her work published in a variety of Catholic periodicals, some of which include: National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange, Canticle Magazine, and St. Anthony Messenger/America. Visit Jean at her award-winning blog, Catholic Fire http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/

To receive a review copy of Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir or to obtain an interview, contact mercypress3@gmail.com

MY REVIEW: Jean’s new book is a compelling memoir filled with experiences, both positive and negative, and with many references to the saints (including St. John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux and more!) Through Jean’s testimony, the reader can learn to “cultivate a personal relationship with God and to trust in His mercy.” With Learning to Love With the Saints, Jean Heimann has written a beautiful and moving memoir that illustrates how the holy saints’ examples not only increase our faith, but give us the strength we need in difficult times. Highly recommend!

To purchase the book on Kindle, click here.

To purchase the paperback book on Amazon, click here.

Please visit the other bloggers!

Book Blog Tour Schedule for Learning to Love with the Saints:  A Spiritual Memoir

Saturday, May 14 — Rosemary Bogdan, Review, A Catholic Mother’s Thoughts

Sunday, May 15 — Carolyn Astfalk, Review, My Scribbler’s Heart Blog

Monday, May 16 — Lisa Mladinich, Interview, Patheos

Tuesday, May 17—Nancy HC Ward, Review, Joy Alive in our Hearts

Wednesday, May 18 — Esther Gefroh, Review, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

Wednesday, May 19 — Barb Szyskiewicz, Review, Franciscan Mom  and Catholic Mom 

Thursday, May 20–Jeannie Ewing, Interview, Love Alone Creates

Friday, May 21– Patrice Faganant McArthur, Review, Spiritual Woman

Saturday, May 22 — Melanie Jean Juneau, Review, Association of Catholic Women Bloggers  and Joy of Nine

Sunday, May 23–Virginia Lieto Review, Virginia Lieto

Tuesday, May 25 — Tony Agnesi, Review, Finding God’s Grace in Everyday Life

An Open Book #openbook

Open BookI’m joining with both Carolyn Astfalk and CatholicMom.com for “An Open Book”

Dying for Revenge Final Front

Dying for Revenge by Dr. Barbara Golder

I am currently reading through the proof copy of this book, which will be released by Full Quiver Publishing on Kindle May 20th and on Amazon June 1, 2016. (And that’s my son and his fiancee on the cover!)

Someone is killing the rich and famous residents of Telluride, Colorado, and the medical investigator, Dr. Jane Wallace, is on a collision course with the murderer. Compelled by profound loss and injustice, Jane will risk her own life to protect others from vengeful death, even as she exacts a high price from those who have destroyed her world. DYING FOR REVENGE is a story of love, obsession and forgiveness, seen through the eyes of a passionate, beautiful woman trying to live her life — imperfectly but vibrantly — even if she won’t survive.

“Barbara Golder joins the ranks of Chesterton’s bloodthirsty heirs as she spins a tale that will delight mystery fans. With Dying for Revenge in hand, your beach experience is now complete!” Mark P. Shea, Author of Mercy Works

Because of the Rain

Because of the Rain by Deborah Raney

ANNA’S LIFE CHANGES FOREVER ON ONE HORRIFIC NIGHT
WHEN SHE IS ASSAULTED AND LEFT FOR DEAD.

Anna Marquette has everything to live for. Her daughters are in college and, with the support of Paul, her loving husband, she is pursuing her dream of a career in counseling. Then one night, while on a trip to Orlando, the unimaginable happens. She takes a “short cut” to an evening out with Paul and is brutally assaulted.

When Anna suspects the attack has left her pregnant, her faith is put to the test. As Anna and her family confront the heart-wrenching decisions that lie ahead, Anna gradually comes to realize that God has a plan for her and that she must trust Him. But will her family accept the choice she makes? Will her husband’s love for her prevail? And will her marriage survive this ultimate test?
After the Thaw

After the Thaw by Therese Heckenkamp (Frozen Footprints #2)

Some wounds heal. Others leave scars.

Four years ago, Charlene Perigard survived a brutal kidnapping. Now at twenty-two, she’s put that trauma behind her for a promising future with handsome firefighter Ben Jorgensen. But when new trauma strikes, a new nightmare begins.

Sinister threats, a midnight attack, and a deathbed promise drive Charlene to the little town of Creekside, where she encounters a man from her past whom she has long struggled to forget: Clay Morrow–ex-convict and brother of her kidnapper. He’s also the man who once helped save her life.

Despite the odds, Charlene and Clay forge a tentative friendship, unaware of a brooding, mounting danger that seeks to destroy them both. Charlene’s wounded heart must choose between her fiancé and the man whose past is more scarred than her own. But in choosing, she may just lose everything.

My review: When Charlene’s carefully pieced-together life splinters apart, she seeks refuge in a little town. Here she must make the ultimate choice between her fiancé and a man whose dark and disturbing past overshadows her own. Compelling reading, complex and realistic characters, unpredictable plot and solid writing make this a welcome addition to anyone’s Catholic fiction collection. Highly recommend.

Twilight Zone Companion

The Twilight Zone Companion by Marc Scott Zicree

A must for every fan of Twilight Zone! Includes information on every episode and background information about the show. This was one of my father’s favorite shows and one of mine too.  I grew up with this show and watched reruns for many years.  Rod Serling (who scared the pants out of me when I was younger) and his team were outstanding writers.  My favorite episodes: The New Exhibit, The Obsolete Man and Eye of the Beholder.

Cover Reveal – Dying for Revenge

Dying for Revenge Final Front

Full Quiver Publishing’s upcoming new novel, Dying For Revenge (The Lady Doc Murders #1) by Dr. Barbara Golder will be released on Kindle May 20th and in print on June 1st.  Special thanks to Doreen Thistle for the cover design and for Ben and Kay, for being patient cover models!

Synopsis: Someone is killing the rich and famous residents of Telluride, Colorado, and the medical investigator, Dr. Jane Wallace, is on a collision course with the murderer. Compelled by profound loss and injustice, Jane will risk her own life to protect others from vengeful death, even as she exacts a high price from those who have destroyed her world. DYING FOR REVENGE is a story of love, obsession and forgiveness, seen through the eyes of a passionate, beautiful woman trying to live her life — imperfectly but vibrantly — even if she won’t survive.

“Barbara Golder joins the ranks of Chesterton’s bloodthirsty heirs as she spins a tale that will delight mystery fans. With Dying for Revenge in hand, your beach experience is now complete!”   Mark P. Shea, Author of Mercy Works

“Dying for Revenge dives into the deeply personal place in so many hearts with “justifiable” reasons for revenge… but the face of mercy is entwined in the unexpected turn of events.  You’ll be captivated…” Patricia M. Chivers, ABLAZE Radio WNRE-LP 98.1 FM Catholic Church of Saint Monica