After a six-month hiatus in which I wrote a prayer book for children, taught some classes for a great Catholic company, homeschooled, and launched my book on authentic beauty and aging, it is my pleasure to restart this blog with a joyful announcement and a link to a #GIVEAWAY!
I recently had the honor of endorsing a wonderful new book, a spiritual memoir by a wise and beautiful Catholic woman. Here is my endorsement, followed by an interview with the lovely lady, herself, author and blogger, Jean Heimann:
Jean M. Heimann’s “Learning to Love With the Saints” is wise and full of beauty, a memoir to be savored and brought to prayer. Read it and be blessed, and then share it with someone you love. —Lisa Mladinich
LM: Who or what inspired you to write Learning to Love with the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir?
JEAN: Pope Francis did. He has asked us time and time again to witness to our faith, to proclaim the Good News to others. In his 2015 address to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, he said: “This is what people expect today from the Church: that she be able to walk with them, offering the fellowship of the witness of faith, which creates solidarity with all, especially with the loneliest and most marginalized… Therefore, this is new evangelization: to become conscious of the merciful love of the Father in order that we may become pure instruments of salvation for our brothers.”
LM: What was the most valuable spiritual principle that guided you to healing and mercy?
JEAN: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). That entails not only forgiving others as God forgives us, but also opening our hearts up to His tender love and mercy, and pouring forth that love and mercy unconditionally upon others.
LM: Why do you think the saints are extraordinary teachers and intercessors for us when we have lost our way?
JEAN: The saints were once human and most of them lost their way. They sinned, made mistakes, and then experienced metanoia – that point in their lives when they were converted or entered into a deeper union with Christ.
LM: Who was your memoir written for?
JEAN: I hope to reach all who are searching for someone or something greater than themselves. Through my witness, I hope and pray that those who were once Catholic and left the Church will return. I hope that those who don’t know God, but who yearn for love, hope, and faith will come to experience all that their heart desires by entering into the faith. I pray that all those who seek to obtain a personal, deeper, closer relationship with the Lord will be inspired by my witness and enter into a more intimate union with God.
LM: How has writing this book helped you understand God’s mercy more fully?
JEAN: I have been witnessing for the Lord for many years and thought I had a pretty good understanding of his mercy. However, in this Jubilee year of Mercy, the writing of this book has opened up my heart to consecrating myself to Divine Mercy. It made me realize that I needed to act – to do something more for the Lord. I made my consecration to Divine Mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday of this year.
LM: You write about the abuse you experienced in your first marriage. What advice do you have for women who feel trapped in abusive relationships/marriages?
JEAN: I want them to know that they don’t have to remain in that situation. There are people who want to help them find a way out – whether it be family (as in my case), friends, clergy, or counselors. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to tell others and don’t let your partner intimidate you. Talk to someone. Don’t remain a victim. You are God’s precious child and you are loved and valued by him. He does not want this type of relationship for you.
LM: What specific message of mercy do you want your readers to hear through your story?
JEAN: I want my readers to know that they are loved by God more than they can begin to imagine and that no matter what they have done in the past, there is no sin that God cannot forgive. He is waiting for them just as the father waited for his prodigal son, with a merciful heart and open arms. He wants to shower them abundantly with all the gifts and graces that he has for them. He is waiting for them to come to him. He wants to be consoled, to be loved, because he loves each of us so much.
LM: Thank you, Jean! This is a unique and inspiring memoir, and I highly recommend it to all my readers.
ENTER TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF JEAN’S BOOK, HERE!
To purchase Jean’s book in paperback, click here.
To purchase her book in Kindle format, click here: