My guest author for June is a prolific writer and enthusiastic educator. She and I share the love of reaching others through the written word, backgrounds in the teaching profession and dedication to our Catholic faith. And I'm convinced that she may be one of the busiest women in the world.
Kathleen Glavich, is an author and a Sister of Notre Dame from Cleveland, Ohio. For thirty years she has produced faith formation materials including over seventy books, most recently The Fisherman’s Wife: The Gospel According to St. Peter’s Wife and Arts and Crafts from A to Z: over 150 Ideas for Catechists and Religion Teachers. Kathleen has taught every grade from first to twelfth. She speaks at national conventions and churches. Three times she’s spoken in the United Arab Emirates at a conference for religion teachers from Arab countries. Kathleen also enjoys playing the piano, reading, and crocheting baby blankets.
A synopsis of The Fisherman's Wife:
What was it like to be a Jewish woman whose husband leaves home to follow a controversial preacher? Through The Fisherman’s Wife you experience the life of Peter’s long-suffering wife vicariously. You meet the impetuous Peter she loves and other Gospel people. At first she regards Jesus as a rival for her husband’s affections. When Jesus moves to her home in Capernaum, she witnesses his works and transforms into a fervent disciple. You are treated to a unique view not only of Peter but of Jesus, and the Gospels won’t be the same.
The method she used to write The Fisherman's Wife is not only an excellent tool for writers to experiment with, it can also aid all of us in advancing on our spiritual journeys. So, now I turn my blog over to Sister Kathleen, who, in the true spirit of teaching, generously shares her wisdom:
Gospel-Based Writing and Gospel-Based Prayer
You could say that The Fisherman’s Wife, my first novel, was a novel experience for me. I became so engrossed in the people and happenings in Capernaum that when I left the computer, I didn’t know if it was morning, noon, or night! That never happened when I wrote other books.
My heroine, Peter’s wife, and her life were imagined, of course, because we know absolutely nothing about this woman. Yet, we do know what being a first-century Jewish woman was like (if we do a little research). We can also conjecture what Peter’s wife saw Jesus do because according to the Gospels her house was his home base in Capernaum. As I brought her to life, I grew to admire her. She loyally stayed by her man while he left her to follow Jesus. Most important, as I told the story through her eyes, I felt as though I really got to know the people in the Gospels, in particular the Lord himself.
This unique writing experience called to mind a method of praying that I learned long ago. It is one that writers especially will want to try. Here are the three steps.
1. Read a Gospel story, imagining the scene as vividly as though you are watching a movie.
2. Rewrite the story in the first person. You are an eyewitness. Remark on the weather, people’s expressions, and what you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell. State what you are thinking as the plot unfolds.
3. At the conclusion of the Gospel story, extend it by arranging a situation where you and Jesus are alone together. Maybe you are sitting on a rock with him, walking on a beach, or drifting in a boat under a starlit sky. Then write the dialogue for the two of you. Refer to the event that just occurred. Tell Jesus what you think of it. In your conversation link the event to your own life, for example, what is happening, how you are feeling, or your relationship with God. Write the responses Jesus makes to you. I know, you will feel like you’re putting words in God’s mouth. But trust me. This works.
I once used the story of the woman of faith who snuck up and touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak. She stole a miracle because Jesus healed her. I described being in the mob following Jesus, the frightened woman’s voice, and the kind way Jesus treated her. In our conversation that night as Jesus and I walked along the Sea of Galilee, I commented that it was too bad the woman waited so long to be cured. Jesus said he wished she had come sooner with the other sick. I spoke about my fears in learning to drive. (To avoid hitting the oncoming cars, I drove so close to the edge of the road that the instructor had to push branches away from his face!) I also told Jesus how difficult it was to trust him since he is invisible. He assured me that he was always ready to help me as he had in the past. Then I asked him to heal me of a bad habit. He told me that he loved me anyhow and that I wasn’t a hopeless case.
There are some great benefits of praying this way:
• You become more familiar with the Gospel stories and delve more deeply into them.
• You come to know yourself better. In the words of author E.M. Forster: “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”
• You encounter Jesus, and through your pen he says things that may surprise you and even take your breath away!
If your prayer life is routine and dull and you are looking for something to jumpstart it, try this method. Or why not write a novel about a person in the Bible?
Connect with Kathleen and purchase The Fisherman's Wife:
Books can be purchased from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, the publisher (WestBow Press), or directly from Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fisherman’s Wife has its own Facebook page at https://facebook.com/St.PetersSpouse
Kathleen’s blog is at www.kathleenglavich.org On it under “Articles” you can read the prologue to The Fisherman’s Wife and find discussion questions for the book.
Link to The Fisherman’s Wife on amazon.com is