I want to share with you the life-changing gift that Arms of Love has been for many. Please consider the impact it has had in your own lives and the lives of those with whom you’ve shared this book, as you read today’s blog.
The Power of Fiction to Impact Lives
When I wrote Arms of Love, 9 years ago, I knew that I wanted to promote purity, chastity, courtship and the teachings of our Catholic faith. I figured this novel would appeal to girls and women in their teens and twenties. I hoped it would impact them with a message of purity. What happened was that this book was reaching teen boys and girls, and men and women of all ages: 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50′s … right up to their 90′s, including single people, married couples, divorced individuals, priest and religious. The testimonies that have come back to us over the years have been numerous and varied from this wide range of readers.
What we have seen is that Arms of Love and its sequel, Surrender, have served to be the channel of many graces in so many lives with its:
- impacting message of hope and purity.
- gentle call to holiness.
- compelling message of God’s healing and forgiveness.
- transforming call to a personal prayer life with Jesus.
- inspiring call to set Jesus at the heart of our lives.
- powerful role models – characters who have become like friends and a community of support for many people, young and old alike.
- easy-to-read depth that has led many to a deeper understanding of our Catholic faith.
- ability to encourage many to embrace the fullness of our Catholic faith.
- unique capacity to open many to vocational discernment – the call to religious life – and to encourage priests and sisters to remain in their vocations.
- ability to strengthen the personal resolve for many to get out of unhealthy relationships.
- ability to inspire many toward holy, God-glorifying romance – having led to holy Christian marriages.
- joyful call for all to be open to life, which has led to many children having been welcomed lovingly into the world.
In short, I have been blown away, over the years, by the testimonies shared with me from readers of both Arms of Love and Surrender. The Holy Spirit has certainly been busy!!!
The Good, The True and The Beautiful
I have often reflected on how simple novels could impact so many lives. What is it about Arms of Love and Surrender that has brought about so much spiritual fruit for so many? What I have come to see is the power of fiction combined with the power of proclaiming the Good, the True and the Beautiful!
We live in a world that turns goodness into evil, truth into lies, and beauty is made ugly. For examples of this, we need not look far.
- Consider how the goodness of having children has been turned into an “evil” in our present day mentality. Children are a burden to be avoided or at the very least minimalized in our lives! We don’t want the inconvenience of children; afterall, children cut into our freedom and stop us from enjoying all the luxuries of life so accessible to us in this culture, don’t they?
- Consider the truth of marriage and how our culture has turned it into a lie. We presume, as a culture, to have the authority to re-define something created and ordained by God. We call everything from common-law unions to same-sex commitments “marriage”. What about either of these reflects the truth of life-long, fidelity in the free, total, faithful and fruitful self-giving union that marriage was intended to be by God? Nothing … but that doesn’t matter to our culture, because truth has become lies. This is just one example.
- Consider the beauty of human sexuality and how our culture has distorted this to be very ugly, degrading, dehumanizing and demeaning. We need look no further than at the epidemic of addiction to pornography to see how our culture has bought into this “ugliness”. Nothing degrades the human person more – so widely accepted now across our culture – stripping men and women of their dignity as children of God, than pornography. It is as accessible as the commercials and programs on t.v., the magazine rack at the grocery store, or the touch of a mouse on a computer. And this ugliness – the distortion of human dignity and beauty – destroys lives and marriages as it corrupts the heart.
Freedom Comes from Embracing the Good, the True and the Beautiful
I have given just three examples of how the Good, the True and the Beautiful are under attack in our world. There are so many more examples around us every day that we can all easily see. What is the reason for the attack against these things: the Good, the True and the Beautiful? Perhaps the better question is: “WHO is behind these attacks?” Of course, the answer is Satan. Lucifer, the Deceiver, knows that we discover God in the Good, the True and the Beautiful!
Satan also knows that if he can successfully distort these things into Evil, Lies and Ugliness that we will become enslaved to the sin that surely follows. We see the evidence of this all around us … we know it from our own lives to be true. When we are caught up in sin, we live in a prison of darkness.
The answer to this is to cast light – the Light of Jesus Christ – into our lives. It is a Light that dispels all darkness!
As we align our hearts to Jesus Christ, as we let Him be the Light unto our paths, the Goodness, Truth and Beauty of His Light will set us free!
Our hearts were created to receive Goodness, Truth and Beauty from God in and through our bodies and in and through His creation. Through our encounter with the Good, the True and the Beautiful we come to know our Lord God; we are better able to love Him more deeply and to serve Him more faithfully. In this we find the freedom to be all we were created to be! We discover God’s will for our lives and the impulse to live according to His holy will!
The Theology of the Body
All of this is at the heart of the message of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body: a theology that beautifully proclaims the dignity of the human person and the gift of human sexuality. The Lord had indeed gifted mankind with the Theology of the Body at a time in history when the attack of Satan against the dignity of the person has become so great!
John Paul II was raised up by God as a saint in our times to lead our Church and to address the great heresies of our day and age! Come May 1st of this year, Divine Mercy Sunday 2011, Pope Benedict XVI – our dearly beloved Holy Father – will declare John Paul II Blessed. This is an exciting time in history, indeed, to have been blessed with such holy and saintly popes!
The Theology of the Body Presented in Fiction
Some have described Arms of Love as the Theology of the Body presented in fiction. Easy and accessible … it is a real-to-life example – with role models that become as dear friends to readers – of what it is to embrace and live fully the teachings of our faith.
In Arms of Love, Goodness, Truth and Beauty are seen for what they are. This rings true in the heart of readers of all ages, men and women alike. It rings true in the hearts of the innocent and the hearts of those broken by the trials of life.
I had one woman call me after having read Arms of Love to thank me. She had been through a bitter divorce of ten years, but as she read Arms of Love, she told me, the Lord healed her. She said that one by one each of the wounds were taken away by God’s grace and mercy in her life. It was a powerful testimony to me of just how important it is for us to continue to proclaim the Good, the True and the Beautiful to everyone! It also showed to me what a gift Arms of Love has been for many … a gift for which I can not take credit, because the Lord had a plan to use it in ways I could never have imagined!
So what will lie ahead?
Nine years after first bringing Arms of Love to print, here’s the situation: There are fewer than 100 copies of Arms of Love left and no funds for going to reprint.
There have been 30,000 copies sold up until now. That barely begins to touch the number of people out there who NEED this life-changing message of hope and purity.
Will this novel simply go out of print?
Perhaps … for the time being. I hope and pray that the day will come when Arms of Love can go to print again! God-willing, someone out there will hear the call to help in this work of evangelization!
Is there a Benefactor Out There for this Mission?
I understand now why in the past artists, musicians, and writers had patrons and benefactors so that they could continue their work. Trust me, it’s not much different today. And Catholic ministries have always depended on the community to support them in some form or other.
Today, in our work of evangelization, if we are to continue providing these books for souls hungry for their message, then Arms of Love needs to go reprint. If Arms of Love is to go to reprint, we absolutely need a benefactor to step forward and put up the cost of printing!
What is needed?
To go to reprint with Arms of Love, we need about $10,000 to cover all the costs … and that is NO small amount, we know! But if we are able to raise it, we will take the book to reprint so it can continue to impact lives and bring souls to Christ. If not, we’ll just wait until the Lord “resurrects” it.
At this point in time we have no other recourse than to wait on the Lord’s timing and providence – which is really not a bad place to be!
Is God Calling Someone You Know to Help?
There are people out there who YOU may know who can help us continue this work. Please take this request (through prayerful discernment) to those who you believe may have the financial resources and the heart for this ministry and/or the call from God to help us out. (Their support may be the catalyst of their own conversion … so don’t preclude those who are not presently active in their faith.)
For now, support of this work will be a gift of total almsgiving, as we cannot offer a tax receipt for a donation, and we are not in a position to take a loan and go any deeper in debt. It will be a work of charity to bring a priceless message of purity to a world dying to hear it … and God will reward you accordingly for your generosity, your almsgiving, your sacrifice!
So that you know, we are in the process of preparing Arms of Love and Surrender in E-Book format. This will enable us to continue to keep these books available. However, nothing compares to the feel of a real book in your hand or makes an easier means of evangelization than by gifting to someone such a life-changing book for them to keep!
We will keep you posted as to when the E-Book formats will be available.
It is YOUR SUPPORT that Makes This Work Possible.
We cannot do this work alone! We are ALL instruments that the Lord uses to accomplish His work. Some of us are able to offer gifts of time and passion for a message; others of us, the gift of financial resources. We are ALL called to offer our prayers and sacrifices to build the Kingdom!
Thank you for all your support … in so many ways over the past nine years!
We hope and pray that you will journey with us
as we continue this work of evangelization!
We cannot to it alone … nor do we want to!
This is God’s work and we are privileged to share in it with YOU!
Mix N Match BULK Discounts
on our books to help you evangelize!
3 for $33 or 10 for $77
Remember that when you order our books, you support this work to continue, helping us to bring more life-changing books to reality. God-willing, someday soon I will be able to begin writing the third book of the Arms of Love series … which is waiting in my heart to be written … when time and resources are in place in our life.
Are you able to help us take Arms of Love to reprint? Every donation – big and small – makes a difference … a life-changing difference for someone that impacts eternity for many!
Also, please prayerfully discern how you might be able to help us connect with the benefactors we need to go to reprint with Arms of Love!
Feel free to email us or call us at 1-800-705-7396.
Thank you ALL for your prayers which sustain our family daily!
Blessings in Christ’s Purity,
With much gratitude for all your support, past, present and future!