Seal of Approval

The following books have been awarded the Seal of Approval for the 4th quarter of 2023:

  • Joseph: Little Saint Stories by Cassie Herrington
  • Helmet of Salvation by Theresa Linden
  • Deception in December by Doreen McAvoy
  • Saint Therese: The Sleeping Saint by Maria Riley
  • A Home for Jesus in My Heart by Kristina Schoettle
  • Wild Life by Corinna Turner
  • Bonvida's Quest for Light by C.D. Smith
  • In the Beginning by Stephen G. Kenny

From Our Blog

  • Sanctifying Habits: What is God Asking of Me Today?

    Maria Riley
    April 12, 2024 - 6:00am
    Sanctifying Habits: What is God Asking of Me Today?

    Habits and routines are such strange things. When I’m establishing them, it feels like dragging a screaming toddler uphill in the snow, and then breaking them is as easy as that same toddler falling asleep in her car seat the minute she’s strapped in. Seriously. I can work for months and months and solidify a productive routine, and the moment that something throws me off, it’s like I’m starting from scratch again.

    The crazy thing is that this is true even if I plan and take time for a valid reason. I allow myself a break from writing when I have family vacations or I recognize my need for rest. I am a wife and mom before I’m a writer, and when my family needs me, I let my writing habits fall away.

    When I allowed myself some honest silence with Jesus about this, I realized I’m struggling with feelings of inadequacy. I see what other people are doing. I hear about their book launches and new contracts. I watch their reels on social media and see their following count. I read the lives of the saints, and their virtue seems unattainable. I can’t possibly be as amazing as Joan or Faustina or Thérèse. When I see what everyone else is accomplishing, I feel like I’m falling short.

    In His mercy, God spoke to me in the silence. He told me that He doesn’t want me to be like Joan or Faustina or Thérèse—because I’m not them. I’m Maria. And He has a special, completely unique mission for me. I can’t possibly be like any of the great saints, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be a great saint in my very own way.

    Theodore Roosevelt wisely said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve shared a version of this quote with my kids. It comes out of my mouth in ways like, “Be grateful for what you have”; “If all you think about is what you’re missing out on, you’ll be miserable”; or “Look at what you do have! Focus on that!” Not surprisingly, I don’t have the eloquence of Theodore Roosevelt, but the sentiment is the same.

    If only I had the ability to take my own good advice. I can be astonishingly wise when it comes to parenting and remain quite dense when it comes to myself.

    Learning about the great saints of our Faith is a joy. Having powerful intercessors in Heaven whom I can call on during my difficult times is an unmatched blessing. Feeling inspired by their willingness to give everything to Christ is, well, inspiring.

    Thinking I’m failing in my vocation because my life doesn’t look like theirs? Now that is worthless. A complete waste of time and energy. I heard a priceless gem while listening to The Endow Podcast this week:

    God doesn’t recycle.

    God is constantly creating anew. Every single snowflake is unique. No two flowers are identical. And no one else in the entire history (or future) of the world had or will have the same soul, experiences, thoughts, ideas, disappointments, relationships, situations, creativity, frustrations, or wonder as me. I’m the one and only me.

    God loves me so much He not only created me, but He then continues to give me encounters for my own sanctification. God deeply desires for me to become a great saint, and He knows exactly who I am, what I’m capable of, and what my circumstances are. He calls me today from right where I am.

    So today I am composing an imperfect blog post and getting myself back on track. What is God asking of you today?

    © Maria Riley 2024

The CWG Prayer

Holy Family, guide our minds, our hearts, our hands, as we write, speak, illustrate – help our words to live in union with the Word.

Teach us discipline and skill to use the talents God gives us.

Give us also insight and courage to convey God's love through our craft, and humility to be open to His divine will, shaping our lives, in loving loyalty to His Church.

In Christ's name,

Amen.

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