Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Trusting God With St. Therese, an Interview with Connie Rossini



Connie Rossini, blogger at Contemplative Homeschool and administrator of Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network, has just released a new book.  Connie and I agreed to share an author interview with you, to tell you more about her life and her book...  and she will be stopping in here today to respond to comments or questions you might have! 

I have read Trusting God with St. Therese and can wholeheartedly recommend it.  But before I get too far ahead of myself, here is our interview.

Connie, What is your background? Were you always Catholic?

Yes, I was raised Catholic, but I almost left the Church for Protestantism when I was in college.  I grew up in a Catholic Charismatic household, which had both positive and negative aspects. One of the most positive was that I learned to love the Bible, something I'm passing onto my kids. One of the negative effects was I was very influenced by Protestant theology and came to believe in Sola Scriptura. In my book, I tell about a traumatic experience I had with some non-Catholic Christians that sent me running back to the Catholic Church.

Tells us more about your book. What is it about? Who is it for?

Trusting God with St. Therese tells how Therese of Lisieux trusted God through tragedy, scruples, spiritual darkness, and physical suffering. I pair episodic stories from her life with memories of my own quest to trust. Using Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and insights from psychology, I lead readers to surrender their lives completely to Jesus.  Almost everyone can benefit from growing in trust, but I specifically wrote it for Catholics who want to grow in holiness but find their fears, doubts, and weaknesses are holding them back.

That sounds really interesting. How did you come up with the idea?

I have struggled to trust God all my life.  Shortly after I started blogging, at the end of 2012, I was reading The Way of Trust and Love by Fr. Jacques Philippe. A passage he quoted from one of St. Therese's letters struck me. I had been going nowhere in my spiritual life for a long time, even though I made lots of resolutions and said lots of prayers for help. This passage showed me what the trouble was.

Are you going to share the passage with us?

Sure. Therese was writing to Fr. Belliere, a missionary priest she was encouraging and praying for. Basically she said that when we sin, we should be like a repentant little child who asks his father for a kiss in place of punishment. God will not be able to resist such a request if it's made in childlike trust. He will pour blessings upon us and increase our trust so that in the end we are closer to Him than before we sinned.

I can certainly see why that struck you!  So you started working on trust then?

Yes, I wrote a blog post about that passage. Then as the new year drew closer, I decided to focus on trusting God for all of 2013. I wrote about different challenges to trust I was facing, and how God was helping me overcome them. By June I realized this would be a great topic for a book, so I began to flesh out those posts, eventually adding a lot of stories from my childhood and beyond.

There are probably more books about St. Therese than just about any other saint. Why should people read yours?

I show readers that Therese faced many of the same struggles we all face. I show them how my struggles in the twenty-first century are similar to hers.  I lead them to reflect on the roadblocks to trust in several specific areas of their lives. I invite them deeply into my quest to trust God, so they can learn from my successes and failures. Every chapter ends with practical suggestions they can implement right away.  Many books about St. Therese stay more on an inspirational level. They tell readers about her life, but don't show them how to go about becoming more like Therese in her surrender to God. They might talk about the importance of trusting God, but without demonstrating what that looks like for someone living in our day and culture. I needed something more specific. I think it will benefit my readers too.

I love your approach.  The practicality of it has already proven beneficial to me, personally.  Where can readers get a copy?

Right now, Trusting God with St. Therese is only available through Amazon.com or directly from me. It should be available at more online retailers soon, and I hope eventually to see it in Catholic bookstores.  The Kindle edition is $3.99 and the paperback is $13.70.

And I just found it at Barnes and Noble as well!  Thanks so much for sharing with us, Connie.  May God bless you, your family, and your marketing efforts.

This interview has been the first stop on Connie's Blog Tour.  To visit other blogs along the way, check out the schedule at Contemplative Homeschool.  

Pictures on this post provided by Connie Rossini

14 comments:

  1. Connie, one more question. Now that the book is available through Barnes and Noble, would we be able to find or order it at our own local bookstores as well?

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  2. Nancy, thanks for the question. I actually commented here this morning, but I must not have hit "publish" or something. I thought my comment was just going to moderation. Thanks for hosting this. I so appreciate it. Yes, you can usually order anything through your local Barnes and Noble that they carry online.So if people prefer that to using the website, that's an option too. And I don't think you should have to pay shipping in that case.

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    1. There is no sign of your comment anywhere, Connie; I even checked the spam folder. Hope we haven't lost anyone else :) !

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  3. I love the idea that St. Therese gives us about the kiss of forgiveness as a child asks her father for a kiss rather than punishment. It shows those afraid of Reconciliation that God, their loving Father, is there waiting for them with a kiss.

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    1. It's the attitude of the words, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned." I learned that as a child, but never really thought about its meaning.

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    2. Connie, I never thought of that meaning either. Wow!

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  4. A very interesting interview. Now I want to read the book! Thanks Nancy and Connie.

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    1. You're welcome, Sue. I'd love to hear what you think when you're done.

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  5. I left a long comment.et me know if it went to moderation or is lost.

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    1. Cheryl, the only comments that have come in from you are the ones now on this screen. Thank your for your persistence! I have no idea what is happening with comments, but apparently a problem has arisen - with this post at least. I apologize to anyone who has had trouble. And in case anyone wonders why comments are moderated - there is a really GOOD reason none of us want a few of them popping onscreen! I'll just leave it at that. Thankfully the worst of those go automatically to the spam folder. Which I have checked this time to be sure no real ones from this post were diverted, but it was empty.

      Oh - and I don't know if this blog's captchas are doing this, but when I leave comments on other blogs lately I sometimes get ADS as the captchas! For some kind of "photo" thing. ?? I did not sign up for nor approve anything like that, if it's happening here.

      I'm sorry there has been a problem!

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  6. This is my 3rd attempt to comment. The first comment was best, though! Thank you, Nancy, for the interview. Thank you, Connie, for following the lead of the Holy Spirit to write (and publish) a book of tremendous value for all. After all, who doesn't need to trust Jesus more (everyday)?

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    1. As Nancy said, sorry for your trouble and thanks for your persistence. And for your kind and encouraging words.

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  7. I left a comment on Connie's blog. I am enjoying reading the kindle edition. Nancy I loved this interview and wandered over to amazon and got the kindle edition. Thank you both!

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    1. It has been an honor to present this post!

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