The Latin Mass magazine was kind enough to write a thoughtful and insightful article reviewing my book The Road Goes Ever On – A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings. When they format a file I can download I will make it available here. The Latin Mass Magazine – The Journal of Catholic Culture and Traditions has serious in-depth articles which enlighten and challenge the reader to study and inform their faith and life more comprehensively. For example their articles in this month’s edition include: Lingering in the Courts of the Great King: The Sanctification of Time through Prayer, The Japanese Catholic Martyrs Part 2: Samurai for Christ – The Shimabara Rebellion, The Strange Case of an Anti – Catholic, Culture Wars: Redefining Marriage, Redefining Parenthood and much more.
For more information about The Latin Mass Magazine follow the link below or simply google The Latin Mass Magazine.
Dorthy Day’s cause for canonization is being put forward by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the city where she lived and worked the later part pf her life. Dorthy Day always left me a bit flummoxed. Her life was such a mix of great good, confused allegiance and horrifying evil. She grew up in a world renowned for its confusion and she was herself a reflection of someone moving from chaos into a more ordered world with more ordered thinking though she was always a woman who thought for herself. Early in life she had a series of relationships, attempted suicide and aborted her first child; not the marks of a a future saint. But then - few saints knew what was coming. Dorothy later embraced Catholicism and came to live for the cause of the poor and the disenfranchised. She did a great many heroic things, things most of us would not dare to do; stand against war, identify with the poor, begin a newspaper called The Catholic Worker. But as popular, and unpopular, as some of her actions were she did live her vocation - attempting to do His will in her life - to the fullest. One thing that can be said for Dorothy – she was no coward!
When I think of Dorothy Day I also think of other Catholic woman who did amazing things. I think of Flannery O’Conner (author of many short stories who also spoke and wrote about being a Catholic writer) and Sigrid Undset (author of Kristin Lavransdatter-Nobel prize winner and a Catholic convert.) both Catholic women authors who had a lot to say about the world and humanity in general. They too offer different paths in their approach to God but they did approach and that is the amazing thing.
There are other examples of famous Catholic women who were brave and amazing and saintly but these three stand out in my mind not because they were the best – but perhaps - because they were not the best. They stand out because they overcame so much and tried to see through such incredibly murky depths. I guess, for me, the fact that Dorothy Day is being considered for the cause of sainthood – coming as she did from so troubled a past into so heroic a future – says as much to me about the power of God as about a woman’s redemption. After all…women have been committing sin for an awfully long time. It seems in our day and age that it is somehow politically incorrect to admit that, but it is true. Abortion – slaughter of the innocents - in today’s world is as much as anyone’s a woman’s crime. Yet from such terrible depravity as killing one’s own unborn baby a woman can be reborn. Eve came to be redeemed not only by Christ but by another woman – Mary- the one who said yes and lived that yes in every heartbeat of every day. What God can do with a willing heart!
I do not know the state of Dorothy Day’s soul. I hope she is in the arms of Christ. I hope a lot of people are in the arms of Christ. I don’t get to make those decisions. Thank God. I get to look at their lives in the clarity of time, be amazed that they ever approached God…and try to do so as well.
I will be posting Ishtar’s Redemption – Trial by Fire cover very soon. Perhps as early as tonight! So keep a look out and tell me what you think! The designer, Trese Gloriod, of IDesign did a great job and I think she captured the feel of the sequel to ARAM very well. We are continuing the editing and hopefully will have the new book ready for down load by middle/late February….. Remember those you love with a story to remember…get your copy of ARAM and soon….Ishtar’s Redemption – Trial by Fire!
by A.K. Frailey
iUniverse, 176 pages, paperback
With the recent Hobbit film release, dozens of news book have hit the market. Many examine Tolkien’s Middle-Earth adventures through the lens of Christianity, and specifically its virtues, but few take A.K. Frailey’s path.
Her new self-published her book, The Road Goes Ever On: A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings (iUniverse, paperback, 163), is anything but amateur. It carries an imprimatur from Bishop Thomas Paprocki and the interior layout is professionally designed.
What sets her book apart, though, is the interesting framework. The early chapters gaze on Tolkien’s stories through the the theological virtues—faith, hope, love. She then she uses the four cardinal virtues, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the seven deadly virtues as alternate lenses.
However, my favorite angle comes in the final third of the book. Frailey pairs twelve of Tolkien’s major characters to Catholic saints. She examines the courageous Frodo in light of St. Thomas More; the prophetic Gandalf in light of Moses; the broken Boromir in light of St. Augustine; and the bold Eowyn in light of St. Clare. Frailey uses Tolkien’s fictional characters to point to real-life heroes who in turn point to Christ. When she compares Faramir to St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, she brings Christ-like purity into focus:
“Both the character of Faramir and the reality of Thomas show us different versions of a pure mind and heart that does not desire the things of this world. They are the examples we should look to first for they show us an uncorrupted path and they are the ones we should offer to the pure innocence of our children.”
In Frailey’s book, the journey into The Lord of the Rings spirals ever deeper with each new lens. By providing several angles through which to gaze on Tolkien’s masterpiece, Frailey brings new color and life to Tolkien’s perennial classic.
For those who are looking forward to the sequel Ishtar’s Redemption – Trial by Fire coming out soon - I have a deal for you. I have a few copies left of the original paperback of ARAM and since we are considering changing the cover of ARAM to more exactly fit the trilogy I am having a sell out sale. ARAM will be on sale for $3.85 for a short time for those who are interested in getting a copy of the original. See Amazon books and get your copy while the sale lasts.
Have a happy and holy Christmas Season!
In the spirit of Christmas Present – there will be a free ARAM download Thursday, December 27th on Amazon Kindle! Enjoy!!
Faith lifts the staggering soul on one side, Hope supports it on the other. Experience says it must be, and Love says let it be. - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
As it turns out I find that I have a few new events bringing me fresh faith, hope, experience and love from those around me.
The first weekend in October I will be with a homeschooling group in Springfield, MO to have fun and share our lives and stories. I will be graced with a chance to give a couple of talks, do a book signing and meet some dedicated souls trying to balance their at-home lives with their homeschooling needs. Hopefully we will work in some sight-seeing too. Beautiful landscapes can do a great deal to refresh a tired mother’s spirits.
In late-October, on Wednesday the 24rd, I will be speaking on Mary’s Touch Radio Show. I had a chance to get to know Cheri Lomonte today when I spoke with her for a bit. What a great opportunity to share our love for our Mother who upholds us through her magnificent example of perfect surrender to the will of God – FIAT!
The last weekend of October, on Saturday the 27th, I will have a chance to speak at Our Sorrowful Mother’s Ministry at their annual Conference in Vandalia, IL. The conference title is Left to Tell – Mercy, Forgiveness, Healing & Reconciliation October 26-28 2012. Immaculee Ilibagiza who survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda will be the main speaker. She wrote the amazing true story of what happened to her and her devastated family during those horrific days of the massacre in her book – Left to Tell. Her message of forgiveness and hope is not to be missed. There will be other notable speakers and guests including Fr. Ubald also from Rwanda, Msgr. Swetland, Fr. Sotiroff and the musically gifted artists Matthew Baute and Annie Karto. If you are interested in knowing more about this event feel free to contact Mariann at (618) 292-8039 or Ann at (618) 267-3876 or look up their website at www.osmm.org
May the God of faith, hope, experience and love uphold you today and every day!
God sure knows how to end a drought! We got the biggest rainstorm in months yesterday and it was awesome to behold! Three and a half inches of rain and though it will be up over a hundred yet again today at least the grass is wet, the ground is brown instead of sandy-parched-white, and the sky is full of beautiful low hanging clouds. What an amazingly changing world we live in! How simple wonders like rain can alter our outlook and refresh our spirits!
And there is more good news. If you remember I wrote a few blogs back about a new publishing company which is willing to look at new authors – Tuscany Press- well they are sponsoring a contest and offering prizes for the best novels, novellas and short stories. They are also writing a blog to share what comes their way so that you can preview and comment on what might be the next up-and-coming fiction of our time. Exciting possibilities for authors and for readers! Go to http://www.tuscanypress.com/category/tuscany-prize-blog/ for more information.
Also I told you about the Catholic Writers Guild Conference in Texas this year and all the exciting possibilities going on there. There will be a trade show, Catholic New Media and EWTN and other wonders. You will have a chance to meet published authors, hear great speakers and even pitch your work to a real publisher - there will be publishers of fiction, non-fiction and even children’s books - but you do need to sign up soon! so don’t wait too long! For more information go to www.catholicwritersconference.com.
Also I forgot to mention a new blog site which comes out of Africa and is dedicated to the service of the church to help connect believers to one another and offer faithful support. See awestruck.com for more information.
God is powerful, creative and unpredictable and in our best selves we reflect His most awesome beauty. May we do His will today.
Did you know that I also write blog posts for the Christian Post (click on the link to check them out)? My blog segment is under the title INSIGHTS by A.K. Frailey. Since I home school my 8 kids and help to take care of my husband who is suffering from the long term effects of Leukemia and a bone marrow transplant including Graph vs Host Disease, I find I do not get as much time to write as I would like. I try to concentrate on my novels and my newest endeavor - children’s stories. I will update my blogs as often as I can. Thanks for your understanding. God bless!