I’m headed to Upstate New York this week for my official book launch at Burlingham Books in Perry, N.Y. on January 3rd. My story, CHASING MY FATHER, opens in the cemetery there where my parents are buried. It’s 2002 and I’m explaining to them that I’m starting a new life with a new husband. I just thought it would be new, but it wasn’t until my breast cancer diagnosis in 2006 that my world stopped. CHASING MY FATHER is about my 6-year journey to find freedom and rest. I had a choice to try to go back to my old life, or start a new one, and I chose the latter.
One scene in the book is from a visit I made to the Abbey of the Genesee in Piffard, N.Y. in 2009. I was struggling with a second failed marriage and wondering what true love looks like.
Fr. John Eudes Bamberger, retired abbot at the monastery still gives lectures during the week and on that visit in 2009, Fr. Eudes explained what true love and friendship are:
“We all stand in need of a kind of trust, someone whose values we identify with, someone who is attractive to us and who cares for us. This friend will always feel a readiness to respond when I act in a certain way.
Friendship and love are characterized by an overwhelming caring to reduce the amount of anxiety in another person.
A spiritual friend is one who will help us to continue to perceive our world as friendly and to help us maintain an appropriate level of anxiety that ensures that we are caring (a lack of all anxiety is indifference), yet engulfing us with love so that our anxieties do not overwhelm us.”
Fr. Eudes’ words made me believe in love again, and taught me that a Christian demonstrating Christ’s love for another is one of the most powerful emotions on earth.
I am excited that I have an appointment to meet with Fr. Eudes when I’m at the Abbey this week. I want to show him this part of my book, and tell him how much his words have meant in changing my life.
I pray that I can be this kind of a spiritual friend to others. Thanks, Fr. Eudes for showing me the way.
For information on my book, click here: Chasing My Father
For a listing of current homilies by Dom John Eudes, click here: Fr. John Eudes
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