Ten Years of Writing 

Sitting here at my desk, it occurs to me that this is my tenth year of writing these reflections. I started out teaching Catholic beliefs and practices in nearly every essay. Back then, the questions and comments I received in emails, on Facebook and on Twitter were asking for more clarification on what we Catholics believe and why we believe it. But since those early days, more and more people want to know about things like mercy and hope, and what happens to us after we die. I want to take that change as a good sign.  

We see so much evidence that folks no longer have guiding religious beliefs. Fewer attend church. More couple are divorcing, or never bothering to get married at all. Maybe people are beginning to think more deeply about what life is about, what God is about, and if today is all there is. When I sit down to write, I pray that God will use my words to reveal His glory and to share the love that He has given me and wants to share with my readers. This brings me to the question a lady asked me last week. “Why do you write?”

It wasn’t a new question for me. I think about it a lot. And I come up with a different answer almost every time. I think it’s important for every writer to know why they write. Also, for doctors, and pastors, and truck drivers, to know why they do what they do, too. We should value our limited time on earth enough to know how we’re spending it. Here are some of my answers. 

My favorite, and the first one to pop into my head when my friend asked me, is a quote by Flannery O’Connor, someone whose writing I love. She said, “I write to discover what I know.” Until I put my thoughts down on paper, I’m not really certain what I know or don’t know. Writing helps sort things out, especially complicated subjects like baptism and the Eucharist. I may think I’m clear on something, but writing helps me, and hopefully my readers, see things more clearly.  

I write because there are a lot of misunderstandings about being Catholic. We don’t worship Mary, or pray to statues, or believe we can work or buy our way into heaven. We do believe that Jesus left us a Church and that His Church gave us the Bible. I hope my writing can help my readers better understand what it means to be Catholic.  

I write because I love interacting with my readers. They make me a better writer. They make me a better person. I hear their stories of faith and doubt, of courage and fear and heartbreak. They share their prayer requests with me, which is a wonderful gift. Writing connects me to a community of believers and non-believers that I’d otherwise never know and I thank God for that.  

And lastly, I write with the hope that someone’s heart might to opened to the great love and mercy of God through these little seeds that I sow. I write because I love the Lord and am so humble and grateful for the opportunities that writing allows me to share that love. No sin is too great for the mercy and forgiveness of God. Please join me in saying a special prayer for that person in your life who feels far from God today. And pray for me, that my words might be used by the Lord for His great purpose. Thank you so much for your faithfulness.  

“All writing comes by the hand of God. “

          —Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
    May 21, 2017 @ 23:18:28

    What a journey, I’m glad to have been able to hop on and follow you in recent years. May God bless you always as you share your gifts so generously through your words and your life.

    Reply

    • tiberjudy
      May 21, 2017 @ 23:35:41

      Thank you, my friend. These actually started (and remain) columns in our local newspaper. Meant for a secular and very largely Protestant readership. I’ve been so blessed to have my writing accepted in that media. Please say a prayer for all who read me. I keep you and your family in my prayers. Bless you!

      Reply

  2. kph52013
    May 22, 2017 @ 10:35:35

    I love this, especially the Flannery quote. To discover what I know. In other words, as a writer, I’m working things out for myself, too.

    Reply

  3. Brian H. Gill
    May 29, 2017 @ 16:42:24

    Kudos/congratulations on ten years! About change, I think it can be scary: and that change can be good. And having a voice in media, print or other virtual print, can be good, too. 😉 Prayer, too.

    Reply

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