Sunday, December 1, 2013

MY NEW MAGNIFICAT COLUMN: "CREDIBLE WITNESSES"




Each month from hereon in I'll have a 500-word essay in Magnificat about a Catholic artist, thinker, poet, or neurotic who has not been canonized.

CREDIBLE WITNESSES, the column will be called..

All my favorites are on board for this year: Caryll Houselander, Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Flannery O'Connor, Léon  Bloy. There are pieces on Antoni Gaudi (the Sacrada Familia), Matt Talbot (patron saint of drunks), Fr. Walter Ciszek (total hero: spent fifteen years in Soviet prison camps), Marthe Robin (subsisted for decades on the Eucharist, water, and no sleep), laywoman/mystic Elisabeth Leseur, and Michelangelo.



THE 10 EAST, APPROACHING DOWNTOWN L.A.

11 comments:

  1. When I download my Magnificat each month, the first thing I do is look for your contribution. You are my favorite : ) I'm making copies of the funny Fr. Bill story. Last week when I was on retreat and tied in a spiritual knot, I heard that simple declarative sentence voice of Fr. Bill's say: Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it. Retreat over. Let the skipping begin.

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  2. Re: excitement in advance of an event (such as Advent!), I believe it was Augustine who said, "anticipation is the greater pleasure."

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    1. Our whole lives are an anticipation for the Second Coming...

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  3. Hello Heather, greetings from Texas. I have to tell you that I'm so pleased and blessed by "Holy Days and Gospel Reflections." As soon as I heard about it, I ordered a copy and now I will order more. It is absolutely wonderful, Heather. You have a way, you know, and it's always so real. Just wanted to thank you so much for your raw beauty. Not many possess it; if they do, they don't express it as you do. I am also pleased for you and congratulations on your "Credible Witnesses" in Magnificat. I am so grateful you mentioned Fr. Walter Ciszek. He is one of my greatest heroes. Bless you, my dear. It seems you are finally - after all these hard years of waiting - being able to write, have your work published and so appreciated by your fans. I am your fan!!!!

    Heather, Advent blessings! As we wait for Jesus, there are many things that happen. December is one of those crazy months that makes you pull your hair out, smile, giggle, cry, pray harder and more fervently and all of this we do WAITING. I am waiting for my little Savior, not forgetting each day why He came and was born so insignificantly so that we could have significance and salvation. How awesome is that!! And HE is the very best Christmas present ever to wait for. The only difference with His gift and all the others is that it is there everyday, all day, each day, each moment. He just waits for us to open it!

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  4. I love you photos of light in the darkness. I lost my mother last year at this time as well. Light in the darkness seems a fitting way to think of that loss during the anniversary of it. Thank you.

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  5. Looked up credible witnesses in my poor underused Magnificat and there it was. What other treasures are in this monthly book? God bless you Heather.

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  6. I recently subscribed to Magnificat, even though I have my own Missal which I love, because I wanted to read all of your essays! :) I also ordered "Holy Days and Gospel Reflections". I see you are going to write about Léon Bloy; up until recently I had never heard of him. Could you recommend a book I could read to learn more about him? Thanks!
    Peace and all good,
    brenda

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    1. Pilgrim of the Absolute, which he wrote. Thanks, Brenda...

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  7. I am so happy that you are doing this column. You do not mention whether the idea for Credible Witnesses was yours or the Magnificat bunch, but it is a perfect column for you, and flows seamlessly from many of the things you've written here on this blog. I bought a copy of December's Magnificat, and now am tempted to subscribe ( I must admit, I read ahead to read your reflection as well...inspiring as always.) I am sure modesty forbids you, so I will say it for myself, and I am sure many others. You yourself are a "Credible Witness," whose life and journey and writings point us again and again to a deeper knowledge and walk with Christ. After all, who better fits the description of a Catholic "artist, thinker. poet, and neurotic" (hmmm,well), whose life and writings have inspired many. Though it may stretch the definition a little, your essays/reflections flow like poetry. Mazel Tov on all your successes... since I first became aware of you from reading something you wrote for "The Sun" literary magazine, I am surprised at just how frequently your writings show up here and there, and just how thoughtful and impactful your essays can be.

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    1. Steve, you're too kind! The idea was Magnificat's...I'd written on various holy days, one per month, for the previous two years (which I enjoyed) but I like this idea a lot, too.

      My own corollary idea would be to do a series on non-Catholics who are closer to the beating heart of Christ than many Catholics. Kenzaboro Oe, Katherine Boo, Bill Hicks, Chris Hedges, James Rhodes...of course Magnificat would never run THAT series, but I have many ideas for future self-published books...

      I very much appreciate your ongoing support and of course mazel tov on your own ongoing adventure!

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