I am an avid reader of most everything spiritual in my search for a clearer message for the broken-hearted, including my own. One of the first books that changed my life is A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. I was thrilled when Oprah Winfrey introduced Marianne’s incredible book on national television in 1992. Following that introduction and the book synopsis, I immediately recognized the red letters as being like scripture but presented in a modern-day philosophy. I thought that, at last, after all those years of studying scripture, there was clarity for me. I listened and watched intently that important broadcast of The Oprah Show that was seen around the world, showing that beautiful, most promising young woman’s carefully explained discoveries about miracles. What influenced me most was learning that every encounter is a holy encounter. The book explains how to return to love and practice forgiveness and compassion. Seeing this broadcast was very special for me, and A Return to Love went on to become a New York Times Bestseller that’s sold in excess of three million copies.
Through my journey that followed, I wrote a book that explains my spiritual success stories. Marianne Williamson’s books were a prominent source of inspiration and support for my life. I believe it’s only right to share them with others because as her words helped me to believe in myself and I hope that will happen for others, too. But I would be remiss not to mention that I have come through a deeply broken heart through reflections on those beautiful red letters and other Bible stories of Jesus’s time on earth. Marianne’s book didn’t conflict with them, but actually helped me understand scripture even clearer.
Reading and learning have never stopped for me and have led me to so many other wonderful books (too many to name) that still inspire me. What they all have in common is that they point to those Biblical red letters of personal experiences and encounters of brokenness that are written in traditional religions that we can always depend on. I am a Christian and continue to read inspirational books to keep me healthy in mind, body, and spirit. My books have never let me down! My latest book, Absence and Presence: Be Careful Which One You Choose, describes the inspiration I drew from many illustrious writers’ works in my journey of reading. They not only helped to keep me balanced and pleasantly entertained, but also inspired my own writing and filled my days with grace.
Grace is the gift we receive by giving our gifts away. And this daily practice of giving multiplies our gifts right before our eyes! I hope my book might hold at least one story, scripture, quote, excerpt, or suggested book that’ll open your eyes to all that has been given to you in the same way that so many people, authors, and books have helped me to see whatever truth I needed to uncover. I hope that this gratitude will remind me of my daily obligation to give once more.
About Absence and Presence
Each essay in this collection is related to the hardest choices we all must make in life in dealing with time management, money, family, parents, children, friends, careers, education, marriage, love, divorce, grief, well-being, and wisdom. These pieces are based on my own life experiences over the last 40 years and are filled with stories of hope and the consequences of our choices. We must be careful before we act on our feelings. We’re not always as smart as we think we are.
About Catherine Nagle: Catherine grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old-school Italian parents. Catherine's artist father's works graced churches and public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures, the works of Marianne Williamson, and through conferences, including the National Theology of the Body Congress.
She is an Ambassador of the Society of Emotional Intelligence and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Huffpost, and Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global. The mother of two children, and now a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the author of Imprinted Wisdom and Absence and Presence and a contributor to Anne Born’s These Winter Months: The Late Orphan Project Anthology.