“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.” (Ray Bradbury, WD)
I have been writing for what seems like forever and a day. It is from my early years of grade school that I have a collection of poetry and short stories ranging from imaginary tales of animals which included pencil drawings to a creative, colorful picture book about the biblical creation story. They were simple and based on my observations of the natural world around me.
As a freshman in high school I began writing poetry about my life experiences, and the words illustrated the challenges of being a teenager who rejected the cultural norms and immoral behaviors of majority of the other high school students who walked the very same halls as me. It was also in secondary school that my love of the Catholic faith blossomed and I could not get enough of it. The poetic pieces I wrote began to have more of a faith-filled theme. Although, I attended a public school my English teachers always supported me immensely in my writing even when I wrote pieces that were more religious in theme, and they always offered a word of encouragement. I will always be thankful for my high school English teachers.
I remember looking forward to Fridays each week where our parish teen group would get together and we would do faith-sharing, and volunteer activities to help the vulnerable in our neighborhood who were most in need. I always looked forward to Sundays where I would see my Catholic friends, and even when we would see each other on the staircase or in the hallways at our non-parochial school we would still smile to one another because we had that Catholic connection. Reflecting back I know that my writing during that time expressed those beautiful experiences. Throughout my young adult life during tough and often difficult times it is because of my Catholic faith that I continue to write in a way that expresses the most intimate love story of my heart; the divine romance with Christ.
When I started discerning my vocation as a college student I wrote a number of pieces of poetry, and the words could never seem to come out fast enough onto the page. The Holy Spirit has truly been an inspiration in my life, and He has given me the strength and courage to speak the words of my heart in sincerity and truth. I have been asked a number of times, "Christina, why don't you get your writing published?" I would always respond with a little smile, but the thought of humility kept popping into my mind. How can someone become a published writer and still have humility?
Now that I have been a free-lance writer for some time I have learned that it requires much humility because time and time again a writing piece does get rejected; often many more times then it is chosen for publication. A writer needs to be able to take rejection well and accept corrections and constructive criticism. Also, it is necessary to read the work of others; those who are more gifted and talented in their writing ability, and to learn from them. I cannot tell you how much inspiration I have received simply by reading the published works of others. There have been a significant number of times that simply by reflecting on a poem led me to receive the inspiration that I needed to put the pen to the paper, and allow the words to gently flow out from my soul.
Finally, having had my second book published I am incredibly humbled that I have received so much support from family, friends, and even my followers on social media. We need to encourage one another to follow our hearts and to let the Holy Spirit guide us.
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)
The book, Belonging to Christ: Catholic Poetry, a collection of poetry that shares the Catholic faith and experiences of a millennial woman in the twenty-first century as she journeys on the walk in holy cadence towards the beautiful gates of heaven can be purchased on Amazon here.