Periodic Reminder about my CD

Sometimes, what God chooses to inspire people with when you’re doing His work is not what you expect. Back in 2009, I self-published a CD/audiobook through Amazon’s CreateSpace Service called (available in CD format for $12 from that link or for MP3 download at $5.99 from this link).

It’s a collection of 30 prayers and devotions over 44 tracks (each of the 15 Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden gets its own track). The only really long track is the Chaplet of St. Michael (17 minutes). The goal was to create a set of short prayers that can be integrated into one’s day, either in the car or while doing chores, etc. C. S. Lewis said of his fiction that he wrote the books he’d always wanted to read, and that’s the case here. My wife and I have a lot of Rosary CD’s, religious talks on CDs and DVDs, and at this point many MP3s we’ve downloaded from EWTN’s audio archive. Since I first published this audiobook, I got a SmartPhone and downloaded the Android App from the great folks at . On long trips, a whole Rosary can be counter-productive to staying awake in the car. On a short trip, a 20-minute Rosary or Divine Mercy chaplet will usually get interrupted before one arrives at one’s destination, and on CD or MP3, it will restart when we start the car again. Therefore, I wanted something with short prayers that I could theoretically mix with a music playlist, or that would make it easy to pray while doing the dishes, taking a bath, etc.
It’s tough drumming up attention for a self-published work like this, but still I sell a few copies a month and have garnered a few nice reviews on Amazon that show people are getting out of it what I’d hoped, as well as a lot of individual feedback from friends and acquaintances who have found it very helpful in their own prayer lives, including several nuns.
One of the highlights many people have talked of, from our pediatrician to the aforementioned nuns to Amazon reviewers, is the voice of my eldest daughter, then 7, on the Litany of the Saints, and alternating with her mother and me on the Lord’s Prayer’s and Angelic Salutations in the longer devotions. She’s always been something of a Night Owl, like her dad, and, when I was doing the recordings, she came downstairs and said she could sleep. So I said I’d been hoping for her to help me on these recordings, and asked her to say a few prayers with me. By the end of the Litany of the Saints (after a few takes, and after she’d recorded the Pater Noster’s and Ave’s), she was tired, and a few of her responses reflect her fatigue and frustration, which my listeners have said is very fitting and reflective.
When yet another person makes that comment, it always reminds me of Mother Angelica’s pre-1998 story about the woman who came up to her after a talk in Florida and said, “I loved your talk. You changed my life!” Mother said, “I’m glad I inspired you! What was it I said that moved you so much?” The lady replied, “I didn’t hear a word you said.” Mother was like, “OK, Lord, I’ll bite,” and replied, “How did I inspire you if you didn’t hear anything I said?” The lady answered, “You see, I have to wear a brace. And all my friends tell me that it’s because I don’t have enough faith, and if I had enough faith, the Lord would heal me. So I saw you come out on the stage, wearing your braces, and I knew you were a holy woman, and you have to wear braces, so that showed me my friends are wrong. After that, I was so moved, I didn’t hear a word.” Of course, it always made me worry about what that woman thought after Mother was healed in 1998. . . .
Speaking of healing, and the trade-offs that often accompany it (i.e., Mother’s stroke 2 years later), As my wife posted here in April, and I have alluded to both before and after, I had surgery on my descending aorta on March 27 of this year, at Roper St. Francis in Charleston. The timing of my surgery turned out to be highly Providential, if not “miraculous,” and that’s a story I’m working on writing up for a more formal venue. I ended up spending 3 months in the hospital, though I was able to post a few times in June, while still there.
One of the complications of the surgery was paralysis of my left vocal cord. The alternate term “voice box” is probably a bit more accurate to how it works: it’s really more like a valve in our throats, which closes and opens to help us swallow, produce sound and breathe. My right side still opens and closes properly, but my left does not. Therefore, other than some recorded lessons I did as a college English instructor, many of which are not of the best quality, this CD has greater personal significance for me, as a now-former college instructor who had always dreamt of getting on the “lecture circuit” and/or being a professional singer. Barring a miracle, I’ll be confined to writing from now on, as well as to promoting this one recording.
Nevertheless, as Mother Angelica would also say, if just one person gets to Heaven because of my work, it’s worth it. I’m here to serve. I just hope if you’re reading this I’ve inspired you to purchase a copy or two for yourself or for a gift.

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