Sunday, May 2, 2010

Interview with the author of Sabbath Presence & Meal Stories

Brief Bio: Kathleen (Casey) Ferguson is a cradle Catholic who went on Encounter with Christ in college and made her Cursillo in 1998 at Mary Mother of the Church Abbey in Richmond, VA. She has since served on a number of Cursillo teams and also completed the Spiritual Direction Institute (SDI) program with Monsignor Chester Michael. She has written two spiritual books: Meal Stories and Sabbath Presence. She has two adult children and belongs to St. Gabriel parish where she participates in group reunion, is on the Feast Team, and serves as a Eucharistic Minister.  She works as a Speech Language Pathologist in Richmond, VA.

Note: I conducted the below interview, and it originally appeared in The Rooster Review August 2006.

How did you come to write Sabbath Presence?
I was part of a Jubilee Committee, and Sabbath was the first of the Jubilee values. It was simple, clear cut, important, but the invitation to observe Sabbath was not well-received in the parish.

What writing process do you use?
I mostly used Lectio Divina which has four parts: read, recite, respond, rest. I read Scripture, meditated on it, had a conversation with God, and then did twenty minutes of centering prayer at the end. I used different types of Lectio Divina and my prayer journal to write both books. My first one was Meal Stories. I wrote both books because God instructed me “pray, read Scripture, and write your experience.” So I wrote to be obedient. A series of coincidences brought about the publication of the first one. I thought that was all God had in mind for me to do. The publisher called to ask if I was writing another one, and I said, “No, I’m a therapist, not a writer.” When asked if I was currently working on anything, I said I was preparing a retreat on Sabbath and that it could in no way be expanded into a book.

What was your experience writing this book?
It has been an awakening of dissatisfaction and holy longing. It was much more disturbing to write this one than Meal Stories. I finished it almost because I couldn’t do it anymore.

What spiritual books would you recommend?
The Gift of Being Yourself by David G. Benner
True Self/False Self by Richard Rohr
Why Not Be a Mystic? by Frank X. Tuoti
Street Spirituality by Robert J. Wicks
New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
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