Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year, New Book


Happy New Year everyone! Ok, it's a few days early, but I wanted to announce the availability of my first book, The Story of a Sailor!

My author page is: amazon.com/author/theresejroberts! If you buy it and like the book, feel free to leave a review on Amazon. :) 

Thank you for your interest and support in viewing my website, and I hope you will consider buying a copy of this new book! I am now starting a fiction novel, so be on the lookout in the next couple months for my second book! 

In this new year, everyone makes efforts to have resolutions. Ways to make our lives better are always at the top of the list, whether it is seeking new hope, new happiness, new changes. Above all, everyone wants the year to feel "new," that it will be better, fresher, and more exciting than the one that came before. 

May the new year be filled with new adventures, new discoveries, new advances in virtue so that when we get to the end of 2016 we feel that this year was one spent well.

                                                                      Happy and blessed New Year,
                                                                                                        Therese

Friday, December 25, 2015

God is Love



Christmastime is considered one of the most joyful and wonderful times of the year. Sometimes our Christmas goes exactly as we planned, and sometimes the unexpected happens. Whatever the case, we remember the "reason for the season" and celebrate the Infant King Whose birthday it is.

St. Therese says, "A God Who became so small could only be mercy and love." The Incarnation holds so many mysteries as the most central event in our salvation. The above quote of St. Therese's points to the reason for this event, the mercy and love of God.

What is mercy and what is love?

To borrow some ideas of St. Thomas Aquinas, mercy seeks to alleviate the sufferings of another, while love is willing the highest good of another. God comes down from Heaven as a little Child to save us from our sins and thus He takes on our sufferings. At the same time, He shows us the meaning of love by giving Himself completely to us, Who is our highest good.

Sometimes we don't know what to give God on Christmas, other than to tell Him how much we love Him in return. What God truly wants is our hearts, and everything held therein. Our loved ones, our desires, our needs, our ideas, our treasures, our sufferings... 

If Christmas comes with sufferings this year, St. Teresa of Avila says:

"One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer."

We can be closest to the Infant Jesus in our sufferings, if we remember that from the crib to the cross He suffered for love of us. 

If Christmas is surrounded by joy, laughter, and good company, then we should be extra grateful. Those moments are the most precious in our lives. For a true Christmas filled with the love of God and surrounded by family and friends is the greatest gift of all.

                                                                               Merry Christmas, 
                                                                                           Therese 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Story of a Sailor


It's official! The Story of a Sailor has been published! One of those moments that makes all the effort and time feel worth it. View my author page: amazon.com/author/theresejroberts! Paperback is $9.99, and Kindle edition is $3.49!


Here's an except from the book: 
[The Story of a Sailor Copyright 2015 Therese J. Roberts]

From Chapter 5: 

Strong pirate assailing, 
Bearing merciless might, 
As Will swung glinting sword 
Duly leftward and right.

Will’s stature showed smaller, 
While his style proved nimble, 
Darting and zigzagging, 
Great shield as thick thimble.

Lord Plunder however 
Bragged strength beyond measure, 
Full fighting and dueling 
Did fill him with pleasure.

Coarse pirates stood watching 
Swift swashbuckling scene, 
Awaiting sure victory, 
Hiding hearts hard and mean.

Sailors looked upon Will,
Holding hope with more prayer, 
Sensing doubt for great win 
Since this skirmish unfair.

The two fought quite quickly
Across ship’s wooden deck, 
Swords flashing and clashing 
Whereby captains did trek.

Hushed silence screamed loudly,
Sound centered fierce fight,
Breakers knocking black ship
In gold sun’s brightened light.

Every eye fixed onsite
Daring dueling that raged,
Which person proved winning
Could not truly be gaged.

Lord Plunder perceiving
Newfound opening chance,
For poor Will battled worn
From this tense dueling dance. 

Thus swinging severely, 
Striking Will on an arm, 
He staggered beneath him 
In sharp pain bringing harm.

Lord Plunder yelled, “Come now, 
Surrender lowly lad; 
Assuredly our band 
Will welcome you comrade.”

Will panting replied, 
“Keep your riches in life; 
I know I shall succeed 
By clear win in this strife.”

Lord Plunder sneered with spite 
Upon cornering Will, 
In tall black apparel, 
Icy eyes dark and chill.

Will wondered with weakness 
If he held enough strength, 
Struggle unrelenting 
For tough tiring long length.

Smart thought struck the captain,
Which lifted his spirits;
Though Will battled nobly, 
Present time called for wits.

Observing Lord Plunder 
Bore thin leg made of wood,
Will split timber in half 
With full force as one could.

Buccaneer stumbled back, 
While landing quite hard,
Feeling startled by this, 
Finding loss of cool guard.

In the midst of defeat, 
Gabby grabbed Plunder’s sword; 
Great glorious victory 
Will attempted on board.

Foul furious pirates 
Prepared for reaction;
Lord Plunder yelled out, “No, 
I shall end this action.”

Yet Will pinioned him fast, 
Shining sword aimed at chest, 
Showing master defense
So unlike feeble rest.

“I wish not to injure; 
Merely grant this I asked; 
I request passing through,” 
Will so wearily gasped.

As all pirates possessed,
Villain lord drew dagger,
“Did you hope for success,
As though I did stagger?”

to be continued...

Own a copy for the New Year!! 

                                                                                      Yours truly, 
                                                                                          Therese


                       

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Everydayness"


Each day can be filled with the normal humdrum of ordinary life, but there is one way to make things less monotonous. While the chores and cares that make up our daily life may not change and their monotony may continue to go on, we can nonetheless change our approach to carrying them out. 

Each sacrifice in life that we make has eternal value. Nothing we do goes unnoticed by God. He sees every suffering we go through and brings good out of it. When we offer up all the daily monotonies to Him out of love, they take on a significantly greater value. Love makes "everydayness" rather "extraordinarydayness." These sacrifices also make us appreciate what we do have in our lives by making us grateful we can even accomplish them. For example, everyone dreads having to do laundry. Yet, doing laundry means we have nice clothes to wear, people we care about in our lives, and the ability to keep our appearance nice and orderly. Not everyone has that in life. 


To take the everydayness out of the everyday can simply mean being grateful for each moment in our lives and never taking for granted the little things in life. For those little things make up daily life and without them we might end up with pretty boring lives. As we approach the great feast of Christmas, we should try to make each day like Christmas by causing all our frustrations in life rather to be little gifts of love for our newborn King. 

                                                                          Make each day special,
                                                                                                 Therese 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Adventus Domini


Adventus Domini ~ the coming of the Lord. One of the clearest signs for Advent is the classic wreath with four burning candles in the center, three purple, one pink. Seemingly simple, yet it states so much. The wreath itself is round and ornamental to comprise what makes a wreath, yet the shape of a circle can also represent the idea of eternity. A circle seems to go around continuously, hard to find a beginning and an end. While God is Who we shall adore for all eternity and He is the beginning and the end. 

From the Catholic Catechism, "Eternity has no end. We can never have a proper conception of its duration, because we have nothing similar to eternity. Millions of ages are as nothing compared to eternity. If a bird were to carry away from the ocean one drop of water every thousand years, a time will come when it will have carried away the whole ocean. But that time is less than the shortest moment, compared to eternity." 

So what does that mean for us? The idea of eternity emphasizes the importance of using well the time we are given on earth to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Not simply at Christmastime, but also His Second Coming, or rather what may more likely come sooner, His coming for us at our deaths. The green Advent wreath reminds us that such a coming is soon. The candles die down as each week passes, telling us that Christmas approaches, as also eternity approaches. Preparing for our own death should not be a morbid thought. It is simple really. An old maxim says, he who lives well shall die well. 

Preparing for Christmas helps us to live well. Not by buying lots of gifts, or putting up endless decorations, although these are good too. But, rather to focus more fully on preparing our hearts for Christ's coming to each of us individually, that He may find a worthy dwelling place free from sin and abounding in virtues. For living well, means living fully for God. So let us all make an extra effort to be ready for Christ at His birth, that we may be prepared for Him at our deaths. 

                                                                        Blessed Advent,
                                                                                    Therese                 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

About Me


Hi there! My pen name is Therese J. Roberts and I'm a Catholic author and entrepreneur. I decided to pursue writing as a career because I love stories. Stories have a special way of sticking with you and inspiring you throughout the years long after you have read them. I love brainstorming ideas for books. I always have part of a story in my head and can't wait to share them with readers! To be a writer is a chance to be creative and set up characters who triumph against all odds to inspire our own lives to be just as heroic.

Every writer has their source of inspiration and influence. There is not one author who doesn't hold another author up as their hero. There is always someone who gives us the courage to embark on our own dreams because they gave the example first. That person may be simply our example or they may actually influence the way we write or what we write about. For myself, St. Robert Southwell is the reason I became a writer. I had never even heard of this poet saint until I decided to write my senior thesis on him in college. Southwell was a priest in Elizabethan England, who was martyred simply for being a priest and providing Holy Mass and the Sacraments for the suffering Catholics in England. He stealthily avoided all priest hunters for six years in London, an impossible task, until he was captured because of betrayal, which led to his martyrdom at Tyburn. Southwell's writings were distributed secretly to the Catholics through his hidden printing press. His works kept the Faith alive during the persecutions, and his talent rivaled those of his time like Shakespeare. Southwell's life inspired me because he used his gift of writing to compose literature that would inspire readers throughout history. Be sure to read his poem "A Child My Choice" here which is one of my favorites.

I was blessed with the opportunity of traveling to England on a pilgrimage to visit the sites of the English martyrs. It was an unforgettable experience and one that was in a sense life-changing for me. For although I have always loved to write, it wasn't until Southwell that I considered pursuing writing full time. While in England visiting all the holy sites, I realized that God gives each person specific gifts that are meant to be used for His glory. We cannot waste these talents. Southwell made me realize that being an author is a way of life that can lead to holiness. I knew then and there I would be a writer to try to bring readers to God.

You can view my novels on both Amazon and Etsy in paperback or digital formats. I write three books each year and my titles so far include The Story of a Sailor, The Amanda Case Files No. 1: Old Manor Mystery, The Christmas Picture, and The Amanda Case Files No. 2: Hospital Mystery with more books to come in 2017!

In the words of St. Francis de Sales (patron saint of writers), "Be who you are and be that well." Pursue your dreams and follow your heart, becoming a saint in the process!
                      
                                                                             ~ Therese

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Following A Dream

     
Welcome to the blog of "Writing With Your Heart!" Meet me, Therese J. Roberts, a Catholic author. I decided to begin this blog as I finish my first book, The Story of A Sailor. For all those who are interested in following this dream and learning more about my works, this is the place to come! I will be writing poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children's books in the future. They will all be available on amazon.com, as I self-publish with CreateSpace. My first work should be available this December!

In addition, this blog will have weekly writings that focus on the Faith, day to day life, and everything in between. I love to write and good writing always comes from the heart. Too many people write with their head, or what they think will please an audience, or just to make money. Real authors write with conviction, about something they believe in. It comes from deep inside themselves and in turn truly inspires those who read it. As St. Catherine of Siena says, "Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire."

No one should ever settle in life. Life is too short not to follow dreams. For myself, that dream stems from my Catholic Faith. I have desired for a long time to be an author and I am only at the very start. I appreciate prayers for this journey as I hope to become an author who produces works pleasing to God, leading all to love Him better. 

And my advice to any readers would be to follow your dreams as well! Thank you for following! 

                                                               Write with your heart,
                                                                                 Therese