LH: Christine, congratulations to you and Gus Muller
on the publication of the wonderful second edition of
Speak, Lord, I Am Listening
and thank you for participating in this Catholic Mom Book
Spotlight. Could you please share some information about yourself and your
family, and how your faith journey has led you to write and publish books
for Catholic adults and children?
I am a cradle Catholic, wife of Ken, mother of 3 girls, and grandmother of 1
girl. About 15 years ago, I heard a sermon on "Training your children in the
Lord" and felt compelled to teach CCD. I taught a year program to 10th
graders on the Bible and integrated each class with the praying of one
decade of the Rosary -- at the end of the year I asked the question - Is
there a connection between the 150 Hail Marys and 150 Psalms - there is -
tradition says that the laity who could not read and did not have time to
pray the Psalms like the monks of the Abbeys - would replace counting the
Psalms with counting Pater Nosters or Ave Marias - in any event, I wrote a
Scriptural Rosary based on the 150 Psalms - in order. As I was looking for a
publisher to publish this first Scriptural Rosary - I continued to write
Scriptural Rosaries - and by the time I found a publisher I had completed 7
Scriptural Rosaries. In 1996, Christendom Press published my first book
called From Genesis to Revelation: Seven Scriptural Rosaries. But I
continued to teach, and I continued to write...
In the Jubilee Year, I founded Suffering Servant Scriptorium and
Speak, Lord, I Am Listening was our second book and was published in June, 2001.
Since the Rosary was revised by Pope John Paul II, in October, 2002, by
adding the new Luminous Mysteries,
Speak, Lord, I Am Listening is now
available in 2nd Edition and was released in May, 2004. The message of the
book is to bring the Rosary alive through Sacred Word and Pictures - we can
sometimes get lost/distracted in the vocal prayer/mantra of the Hail Marys;
by combining the mantra with Sacred Scripture we enter into a conversation
with God. He speaks to us, We listen and respond in the words Jesus taught
us - Our Father and the Angelic Salutation - the Hail Mary.
LH: Who is your target audience for this book?
Certainly, our target audience is children - particularly, First Communion
Age - usually 2nd-3rd graders. But our audience is surprising us - adults
use the book, a home school mom who purchased the 1st edition of the book,
said she just had to get the 2nd edition of the book because her 12 year old
son uses it every day -- the pictures and Sacred Scripture provide ample
repeat visits to the book - ample time to discuss and pray the Rosary in the
classroom or family groups.
LH: This wonderful revised Second Edition includes the
Luminous Mysteries - what other enhancements have you included in the new
We have included several pages of Frequently Asked Questions. We have also
included a 4-page Study Guide which provides a table like format for all 20
mysteries, telling you the "who, what, where" of the mysteries. Also,
thought provoking questions are provided to allow you to enter into a
discussion on the mystery of the Rosary - following prayer.
LH: Illustrator Gus Muller's work is such a beautiful
accompaniment to your Scriptural Rosary prayer book. Could you please share
with us a little bit more information about Gus and his contribution to
Speak, Lord, I Am Listening?
The watercolors of this book are clearly inspired. Gus' deep spirituality
shows in his ability to capture the essence of the mysteries - from veiling
Mary in the habit of Blessed Mother Teresa, to providing a sense of the
energy of the mystery of Ascension and Descent of the Holy Spirit, to
capturing the beauty of Mary as Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of
Guadalupe. In a picture book, the words and pictures are collaborative, they
cannot stand alone, they support each other in bringing the Rosary alive.
LH: Christine, this book and many others are published
by your wonderful organization, Suffering Servant Scriptorium. Please tell
our readers about the mission of Suffering Servant and your aspirations for
Our mission is to produce quality Catholic prayer books and Prayer
Recordings. We wish to promote devotion, especially to the Most Holy Rosary,
by bringing this beautiful prayer alive through the use of Sacred Scripture
and quality artwork - all of our books are richly illustrated and span 5
centuries and include artists such as Durer, Dore, and Carolsfeld. We have
two modern artists, Parson, and, of course, the watercolorist, Gus Muller.
LH: Christine, thank you so much for taking the time
to participate in this interview! Are there any closing thoughts you'd wish
to share with our readers?
As we were working on this book, for both Gus and myself, we realized that
this may be the only Rosary book your child may ever read - we wanted to
make the book the best that it could possibly be - so that your child/our
children will never/ever forget the beauty and prayers of the Rosary -
"Train your children in the LORD, so when they grow older they will not