A Gentle Guide Through Grief and Loss

For those of any age who have suffered loss, here is a journey of brilliant color to bring you peace.

Beloved author and artist Roger Hutchison has created a picture book to guide readers through different emotions and reactions related to grieving. The gentle text and illustrations of this lushly colored picture book explore feelings of shock, tears, anger, and hope, using the powerful language and experience of color. My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes. is a welcome companion to people of all ages as they journey through loss and grief.

Following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Roger had the privilege of painting with children and adults who were touched by this tragic event. The experience affected him at a cellular level and convinced him of a vocation to serve those who grieve using his writing and art.

Preview the book

Read a recent guest blog post by Roger Hutchison about grief: 

It has been said that we are currently in a place of perpetual trauma.

I feel it.

I feel it from my head to my heart to my toes.

I feel it in the interactions I have with those around me.

There is a weariness in my human brothers and sisters.

A palpable grief in the way their bodies move.

Shoulders and hearts burdened by so much pain and sadness.

A daily reader of simple and direct Advent reflections

Your Light Gives Us Hope: 24 Daily Practices for Advent
Anselm Grun, OSB

Drawing on his experience as a spiritual director, he offers practices for personal devotion or for family prayer for each day of Advent, approaching the festive season consciously, making it a blessed time for ourselves and our families. 

From the translator’s Foreword:

Fr. Anselm Grün needs little introduction in Germany. He is well-known as a best-selling author of books on Christian faith and spirituality, which together have sold more than 14 million copies, and regularly gives talks and workshops across the country as well as appearing frequently on television. He does all this while living out his vow of “stability of place” at the Benedictine abbey of Münsterschwarzach, not far from the city of Würzburg in Lower Franconia. There, he joins his brothers in what St. Benedict described in his Rule as “a school for the Lord’s service,” which in this case is a large community of monks with a strong local ministry and a global vision of mission.

Within this community, which he joined as a nineteen-year-old in the early 1960s, Fr. Grün joins his brothers in the commitment to “work and pray,” as the motto of the Benedictine order puts it. For more than thirty years, he held the important position St. Benedict called the “cellarer,” the monk charged with managing the provisions of the monastery and thus responsible, as the Rule puts it, “for everything”—a kind of CFO for the abbey’s business operations. In this role, he had oversight of a workforce employing more than three hundred people in some twenty departments, hardly what we think of when we imagine a monk observing the rule of silence.

Yet while his work as cellarer surely grounded him in the often stressful realities of modern business, the wisdom he brings in his writings has more to do with St. Benedict’s daring conviction that “the divine presence is everywhere”—in our work and in our prayer, in the monastery as in “the world.” Readers will come to recognize the impact of this belief throughout the pages that follow.

All this suggests why, in reading Fr. Grün, one does not encounter the voice of a reclusive monk. His God is not hiding somewhere in the monastery, out of reach of ordinary folks. On the contrary, and in keeping with the Advent tidings, he discovers God in the scriptural promises that point to the One who comes among us, the incarnate Lord in Jesus of Nazareth. At the heart of this season, we come face-to-face—quite literally—with the God who takes up human life and lives as one with us. This is the Messiah announced in Advent as Emmanuel, the God-with-us who was born in a simple manger in Bethlehem. And it is this God who seeks to be present “everywhere” among us in our lives today.

This day-by-day devotional guide to Advent appeared in the original German edition in 2015 and quickly became a well-loved companion for thousands of readers: Roman Catholic and Protestant, doubters and seekers. They found here what they have come to expect from Fr. Grün’s wide-ranging writings: namely, nourishment for their spiritual hunger and illumination for their path in life. It is a privilege to bring this devotional gem to English readers.

What you will find in these pages, meant to be read and pondered day by day during the weeks leading up to Christmas, is a message shaped by a dialogue between theology and psychology, faith and spirituality, divine revelation and human experience. Throughout the short chapters here, Fr. Grün meets us in our longing for wholeness, the desire that marks Advent as the “overture” to the larger symphony of the church’s year. These daily readings offer a centering path through these often hectic weeks, reminding us, as the opening words of the Rule put it, to learn to “listen . . . with the ears of [our] heart.”

 Mark S. Burrows Bochum, Germany

The Angry Christian

 At a time when anger runs at a high pitch in our society, Bert Ghezzi offers biblically based advice on how to use it wisely. Invite him to speak to your church or group.

Phrases such as “culture of anger” have come to describe much of our world today. Bert Ghezzi corrects the mistaken view that anger is always bad and sinful. Bert says it is a normalpart of our human nature. Anger is good if we engage it to help us do the right thing and if we don’t let it escalate out of hand. But it spawns evil if it gets out of control or if we use it for selfish, wrong-headed purposes. Bert explains that under the power of the Holy Spirit, we can transform our anger into occasions of grace. We can replace it with behaviors like patience, endurance, and determination to do the right thing. So anger used well can help us overcome obstacles that block our twofold mission of becoming saints and advancing and applying the Gospel.

Bert’s unique approach to this issue is much needed today. Endorsers of the book include Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia; Dr. Ray Guarendi,and Fr. Dwight Longenecker who writes, “In this practical and pastoral little book, Bert Ghezzi walks us through a guidebook on anger, showing how anger is God’s blessing not his curse. When the energy of anger is directed properly, God’s power to heal and transform ourselves and our world is unleashed.” — Bert is available to speak to groups or churches. If you are interested, please contact the author directly at bertghezzi@gmail.com

Sr. Antonia Cleverly
Director of Marketing