“The Struggle is Real for Catholic Fiction Authors” – T.M. Gaouette Featured on Carolyn Astfalk’s My Scribblers Heart Blog


Hey friends, check out my guest post featured on CarolynAstfalk.com

As the author of Catholic fiction for teens and young adults, I find myself in a constant battle of the wills. There’s this desire to delight the reader with an entertaining and relatable story, while still remaining focused on pleasing God and sharing His Word. Some may not think this much of a challenge, but when you reflect on the world we live in, as well as what passes for entertainment these days, hardly a fraction of it would be considered godly. In fact, entertainment is so focused on stories that do everything but promote God’s word, or worse, indulge in ideas that are contrary to God’s word.

When it comes to teen fiction, it’s all about rebelling against everything that used to be considered good, promoting dark and destructive themes, and introducing attractive characters with sinister desires. I could throw out a list of examples, but that wouldn’t be fair, or even necessary, quite frankly. I’m confident you know what novels, past and present, I’m referring to.

That’s life, some people will rationalize. That’s the world we live in. Well, yes, it is. But is it the world we should be living in? Is it the world that God wants us to live in? Is it a world we should be promoting? Is it one we should be celebrating?

Scripture tells us that we should be careful about what we put before our eyes. In 2 Corinthians 7, St. Paul reminds us, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.” To cleanse ourselves means to ensure that nothing unholy fill our minds or our lives. That’s not easy for us to do when we’re constantly bombarded with unclean and unholy images all day long. There’s only so much we can control, but we can certainly limit the unholy and instill within us God’s glory in so many other ways, including the books that we choose to read.

So, does that mean that Catholics should only read novels about good people doing good things in a world where real life messy doesn’t occur? Well, of course not. That wouldn’t be realistic. And besides, Catholic authors are real people living in the real world. Regardless of how much some of us wish to isolate ourselves from this current post-Christian society, we feel deeply about our role in this world. We are aware of the real world issues that teens are dealing with, whether they’re emotional or physical. We understand temptation, loss, insecurity, loneliness, lust, heartbreak, crushes, drugs, premarital sex, depression, suicide and so many other dark aspects of the world that are confusing and consuming for teens and young adults. But we take the dark and we add light.

Writing is a vocation for us. It’s a ministry. Personally, I believe that the Lord sprinkled the gift of writing upon my head and now I must use it to glorify His name. I am to take the world as it is and place God into the center of it where He belongs. I’m to create real lives the way they should be lived in the hopes that teens are inspired and instill the virtues and values into their own lives. Continue reading…

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Catholicmom.com: Sharing Christ’s Way in a Sexualized Culture, One Novel at a Time

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is Featured on CatholicMom.com

Are You Aware of This Sad and Naked Truth?

 

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Matthew West’s “Last Christmas” Should Be Remembered Every Year

matthew-west-last-christmas
It’s not that I enjoy crying, but this is such an amazing Christmas song and story, and I wanted to share it with anyone who hasn’t heard or seen it yet. Besides, Matthew West is a great Christian artist and definitely worthy of promoting!

I hope you enjoy it.

Matthew West makes every song count. Each has a story behind it that’s inspiring and filled with faith!

“Last Christmas” is a sad story. It’s not a new story, but it’s one about how a community came together to make a dream come true. It’s a story about compassion and love. And it’s a story about faith. Something that’s so needed in such a desperate time.

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Christmas Special on “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch”

Carrie Underwood Sings “How Great Thou Art” With Vince Gill. Amazing!!!

Michael Jackson’s Pro-life Song, “Song Groove (Abortion Papers)”

Image Credit: YouTube

Can Innocence, Purity, and God Prevail in a Highly Sexualized Era?

Sexy is in. Sex is prevalent. It’s in school, on the television, in the movie theaters, in books. Hot, half-naked boys and girls are everywhere, flaunting and flirting and getting it on.

Romance is attractive and sex is inevitable. At least, it seems that way to me. Look at teen fashion, and celebrities who wear practically nothing in an attempt to stay in the spotlight or grow within their industry.

Our innocent little girl celebs are resorting to sexualizing themselves so they don’t disappear behind the next young aspiring starlet that Disney picks up.

So how in the world can purity and innocence prevail in a highly sexual world where we’ve reached the point of no return?

Society has become so edgy and risqué, that nothings been left to the imagination. The physical body has been put on display for the world to ogle at. And morality is almost non-existent. Am I generalizing? Unjustly resorting to cynicism? Maybe…just a little. But one look at shows like Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, and Toddlers in Tiaras, and you can see what young teens are watching and assuming as real life.

And we are losing God along the way.

When it comes to fiction, teen girls want to read about finding passion in the arms of a young, handsome boy. That’s cool. Not basking and growing in the amazing love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who wants to read about teens who look beyond sex, when they can read about girls begging vampires for it, or college grads contracting themselves into bondage with sexual abusers? That’s more exciting, enticing, tempting.

Where’s the excitement in reading about Christian teens who don’t care about sex?  Teens who put sex where it belongs -in their future marriage- and deal with real issues that matter, like becoming better, kinder, stronger, hard working, honest people. Who wants to read about that? Who?

You?

Whether you do or not, I will continue to write about it, because God has placed that desire in my heart. It’s not the trend, it’s not sexy, but it gives me joy. For those of you who are interested, I pray you enjoy the stories I write to glorify Him.

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Bless my words, Lord. So that I always glorify You in everything that I write.