An Interview & Book Notes with Christina Semmens

Welcome to Christina Semmens, author, speaker and spiritual mentor from Say Yes to Holiness. Christina’s book, Say Yes, Discovering Purpose, Peace and Abundance in your Daily Life was written in response to her own personal experiences and others who are seeking to become saints. A convert to Catholicism, Christina’s life change when a friend invited her to a Good Friday service in a Catholic church. She has a personal encounter with Christ and eventually joined the Catholic Church in 1989. Since then, she has been on a journey to wholeness, growing in virtue each day, living out her faith.

Her book is bilingual, English and Spanish, and focusing on 3 themes: Discovering Deep Purpose, Encountering Authentic Peace, and Embracing Abiding Abundance. Each theme is fully developed, leading you deeper and deeper into your own personal path to holiness.

She talks about being intentional, being aware and the need for a response. How are we living out our faith every day? Christina talks about 4 steps: prayer/meditation, the sacraments, growing daily in virtue and abandoning yourself to God’s will. While she has examples of different ways to engage in these, there is no one size fits all. It is a process, not a program.

I have read parts of her book and cannot wait to get a hard copy of it. I know I’ll want to underline and make notes in it!

To learn more about Christina Semmens go to her website or Facebook page. To receive book notes and news beginning on July 31, text 66866 with say yes to holiness and you’ll be able to stay up to date on what’s new!

The Cappadocian Fathers

the not lukewarm challenge

 

For the Not Lukewarm challenge, Christine suggests a daily examen and gave a brief outline: 1 What are you grateful for from your day? What could you have done better? Ask forgiveness for your failings. And ask for a good night’s rest and to do better tomorrow.

 

I am God’s Storyteller by Lisa Hendey

God's Storyteller

It was a pleasure to talk with Lisa Hendey about her book, “I am God’s Storyteller” with illustrations by Eric Carlson. Lisa is the founder of CatholicMom.com and a writer of adult non-fiction before she began writing for children. She began with the Chime Traveler’s, a series of illustrated saint stories written in chapter format and after many classroom visits, both live and virtual, she realized that everyone has a story to tell, in different ways.

That is the main message of the book, to tell your faith story how you tell it best – through words, art, music, dance – each way is unique just as each story is unique. Lisa’s goal in writing the book is to empower children to use their particular giftedness to be God’s storyteller.

The book itself tells the story of the many different people who have told God’s story in the Bible. The stories span the Old and New Testament.  It is beautifully illustrated and visually appealing. The book is geared toward elementary school age but I could see using it in middle school as well.

the not lukewarm challenge

Our Not Lukewarm Challenge this week comes from Lisa – ask to hear or tell someone a story of love. It can be the story of your family, of someone you know, or from scripture. Whether you tell the story or listen to it, listen with love.

You can find out more about Lisa Hendey on her website.

 

Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time

Deep down, I think we all long for holiness – yet it seems unattainable or at least, very difficult. But Sara Estabrooks has given us guidance in the form of a new bible study that is part of the series of the Stay Connected Journals published by Our Sunday Visitor.

Sara and I spoke about how she came to study the virtues and the impact it has on her daily life. She began studying about virtues after her marriage when she realized that marriage did not automatically make her holy. She then read The Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and realized that while she intellectually understood the virtues, she was not necessarily practicing them in her daily life. Her study takes a look at the 3 theological virtues – faith, hope and love, and the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.grow in virtue

The cardinal virtues are the basis for all the virtues in life and help us become holy because we are all called to be holy! Sara also talked about how we don’t get the virtue and then we are done. We are called to continuously grow in each virtue so that we embrace our call to holiness.

The book itself has 7 chapters and each chapter can easily be done with a small group in an hour and a half, making it ideal for group study. If you preorder, Sara has some beautiful prints you can download as her gift to you.

If you are looking for a bible study to start the year with, take a look at Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time!

You can learn more about Sara and her work at To Jesus, Sincerely, Facebook and Instagram.

You can order her book and get your pre-order gifts here.

the not lukewarm challenge

 

 

Choose a virtue this week and focus on practicing it each day.