Looking back, I now realize that He allowed me to concentrate on evangelization and not worry about earning a living doing it. I had a corporate paycheck and was getting much-needed practice in getting more contacts, and learning a lot of PR and marketing. In essence, I was becoming very comfortable speaking and writing about the Catholic Faith without having to worry about earning a living doing it full time.
What inspired your first book?
The concept literally came to me as I was walking my dog around the block, but the initial seeds were planted many years ago.
Do you remember the Gideon Bibles? Well when I was in college, someone gave me one as I walked across campus. And inside the cover were notes on where to find help in Scripture when you were worried, lonely, etc. I liked that, and I kept it and looked at it whenever I was discouraged or depressed. In late 2011, I suddenly got the idea that it would be great do a Catholic version of that Gideon Bible, which would direct readers to verses that would relieve their anxieties.
I often give talks about dealing with anxiety. Some of my more popular ones are: "From Fear to Faith" and "Pray, Hope and Don't Worry." The answer is always a personal relationship with Christ, which involves prayer, following the teachings of His Church, receiving the sacraments, and reading the Bible frequently. Many Catholics are unfamiliar with the Bible, so my intention was that the book would help them to locate key verses when they were anxious. I contacted Liguori and they loved it, and it's since been published as A Worrier's Guide to the Bible: 50 Verses to Ease Anxieties. It's already in its second printing, but I want to reach even more people and let them feel God's peace in their lives.
Tell me about your second book, Listen to Your Blessed Mother: Mary's Words in Scripture.
I made my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary in October 2011, when I was really struggling with accepting my job. I was miserable. I had never really appreciated the Blessed Mother, but then, suddenly, when I completed the Total Consecration, I got complete peace and the ability to accept my job. With Our Lady's help, I was finally able to say, "Lord, if this is where you want me, I'm fine with it." Two months later, I was laid off (for the first time in my life) and officially began working full time for the Lord!
This book was written out of love for my Heavenly Mother and to call attention to her many great qualities. She is the perfect role model for us as Christians.
Unlike other Marian books, I wanted this book to be based solely on Scripture so that any non-Catholic can see what the Bible says about Mary. In addition to Catholics coming to a greater love and understanding of Mary, my hope is that a Protestant might look at the book and see that Mary is important. After all, if she wasn't important, why did God use her to deliver the Savior? Why would Our Lord give her to Saint John (and to all of us) while He was dying on the cross? Why did Jesus perform His first miracle at the request of Mary? She is important and there's a reason that these details are included in the pages of Sacred Scripture.
What is your relationship like, with Mary?
I love her and I'm proud to call her my heavenly mother. I wear a brown scapular and pray the rosary daily. She's guiding me by the hand and taking me where her Son wants me to be. But working for the Lord full time is not easy. I'm the only one working in the house. My wife's homeschooling and the bills still need to get paid. If I get to the point where I'm unable to support my family, I may have to get a job in the commercial world again and that's okay with me. By her example, Mary is teaching me that following God's will means doing what He wants me to do, even if I don't fully understand it. Everything will be okay if I give it to the Blessed Mother. I've got enough money right now to lead the Total Consecration (on radio) again, this year, so I know she's in charge and wants me to trust her.
Who inspires your work?
Mother Angelica! She had a tremendous influence on me throughout my whole reversion process and even more so now. I owe so much to Mother. In a sense our stories are quite similar. She wasn't qualified to start a global TV and radio network, but she trusted. I'm not qualified to be a full time evangelist, author, and radio host, but somehow the Lord has allowed it to happen! By really studying Mother's life story—what had happened to her, how many times her back was against the wall, financially, and how something always happened to solve the problem—I've learned that if God wants me to work for Him full time, He will provide.