INSIGHTS
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Ann Frailey

Ann Frailey is a widow and homeschooling mother of eight. She lives in rural Illinois.

Posted 11/22/14 at 1:28 PM | Ann Frailey

Race with the Devil

I met Mr. Pearce at an OSMM Retreat and I enjoyed his talk on Tolkien and Catholicism so much that I decided to buy his book – Race with the Devil. Now I am more impressed with the author than ever. Race with the Devil is an outstandingly honest account of his years as a racist through his conversion years into his current “rational-love” orientated life. There are times when I wonder, much like everyone else, if people can ever really change. Mr. Pearce answers this question unequivocally. The metamorphosis from his youth to his adulthood is transformative not only for the author, but for the reader as well. As a reader, I found myself totally disgusted by his early life, his family, and the culture that he lived in. But before the end of the book, I found myself admitting the humanity of the situation, the honest truth that Mr. Pearce was reflecting in all our darker selves, and the yearnings we all have to be whole, good, and just. Over all, the book was a clarion call: “Awake!” There is more that haunts us than we like to admit and in facing that, we can become transformed toward our better selves.

Posted 11/19/14 at 7:41 AM | Ann Frailey

My Battle against Hitler

The book, My Battle against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich by Dietrich Von Hildebrand, translated and edited by John Henry Crosby with John F. Crosby is one of the most interesting and inspirational works I have ever read. The book was designed with a reader like me in mind – someone who loves history but needs explanations about names and background events. I found myself caught up in the personal story as well as thoroughly mesmerized by the social implications not just for this particular epoch in history but for all of humanity throughout history ― including our world today. This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone interested in a gripping biography as well as a social commentary.

The design of the book, which included a very helpful introduction, caught my attention immediately. I was so interested in fleshing out the behind the scenes pictures that I read every note with care and I was relieved that Mr. Crosby saw fit to identify everyone Von Hildebrand mentioned and clarify what certain events referred to. I never found myself at a loss to understand what was happening. In fact, the whole thing read like a suspense novel. FULL POST

Posted 11/18/14 at 7:47 AM | Ann Frailey

The Grace of Yes

A great new book out! Here’s my review:

The Grace of Yes by Lisa Hendey is an extraordinary book for one great reason – it is invaluably honest. There are many “how to” and “self-help” books dishing out advice about everything from eating well to becoming holy, but this book offers well thought out, honest reflections on very basic human experiences including love, marriage, faith, raising children, and living in a work a-day world, and how to make our lives better in a culture that has forgotten our need for our greatest good―God. The Eight Virtues for Generous Living that Mrs. Hendey outlines helps us to ponder how we live―whether we are living intentionally or just floating along from one distraction to another. I especially enjoyed the prayers offered at the end of each chapter. They were clearly sincere, yearnings from the heart, to know, to love, and to serve God better. The Grace of Yes is a book that will echo in the minds and hearts of its readers long after the last page is finished.

Posted 11/15/14 at 12:51 PM | Ann Frailey

Georgios - Hidden Heritage

Finally it is PUBLISHED! For those who have been following the progress of my work you'll know this has been a challenging year, but Georgios has been a work of love as well as a dedication to my husband , John, who passed away late last year. Georgios is a story about a young man's search for his father, his identity, and his courage in a Roman, Greek, and Celtic world in the year 100 A.D. I pray it brings inspiration to it's readers as John's courage and faith inspired his friends and family.

It is available on Amazon as a paperback now. The e-books will be coming soon. http://amzn.to/1ux0kqi

Georgios was written about a more specific epoch in history than The Deliverance Trilogy. My books deal more with the psychology of the time and the spiritual journey of the characters – which is rather timeless. FULL POST

Posted 11/14/14 at 8:02 AM | Ann Frailey

New Priorities

As a writer I get a lot of inspiration from the act of writing itself, whether it be writing a novel, or writing a blog or a Facebook post. But I have realized lately that I am feeling rather like Bilbo when he described himself as butter scrapped over too much toast…kinda thinned out, if you know what I mean.

Since my husband passed away last last year, and I have eight children ranging in ages from 18- to 6 and I home school the younger seven, I usually have full days no matter what, but lately “full” has come to mean never quite catching up. Right now, I need to focus on some new priorities. My two eldest sons are ready for college considerations though my wallet shrinks at the thought. We need to spend some quality time researching college choices and scholarships and all that fun stuff which makes higher education so interesting. I have known of challenging situations where families have found themselves spending a lot of money on university educations only to discover that their aspiring scholar is in the wrong program or they end up in debt for years to come… or worse…both. FULL POST

Posted 11/12/14 at 7:35 AM | Ann Frailey

The Hobbit or Not?

My husband was a big Tolkien fan and it was really he who insisted that I should write a book connecting the Christian aspects of The Lord of the Rings to people’s every day lives. I’m glad I followed my husband’s advice at the time he gave it, because he is no longer here it offer it. Though The Road Goes Ever On – A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings will never reach the heights of say, Joseph Pearce’s books on the same themes, they do aspire to reach readers who want to look deeper and connect the here and now with the yearnings that touches The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit readers.

Initially I did not want to see The Lord of the Rings movies because I was afraid that they would spoil the book. I was wrong. They enhanced the story for me. I was just as inspired by the movies as I was by the books. But when it came to The Hobbit I was keenly disappointed. It seemed that everything which could be changed was. At the time the first Hobbit movie came out, John was losing his eyesight, so it was difficult for him to really see and enjoy the movie. Still, he wanted to and he really tried. By the time the second movie came along, he was suffering a great deal but the inspiration of the stories meant a lot to him, and he insisted on taking us all out to see the second Hobbit movie even though it had snowed and he was in a lot of pain. Such is the force of a good story. Sadly, it was the last conscious thing John ever did. He went to sleep that night and never woke up. FULL POST

Posted 11/7/14 at 8:31 AM | Ann Frailey

The Extraordinary Ordinary

1) Workmen have been replacing the roof on my house this week and I have found it an extraordinary encounter for two reasons. First, it offers me a sense of security I have not known the last few winters as I watched shingles pile themselves up in the yard. But more importantly, I discovered once again the gentle kindness in virtual strangers. One very windy day, the workmen realized it would be an act of near suicide to attempt to work up high, so they were going to quit early. I agreed with their decision as I had no desire to see men carrying large metal roofing flying about the place. But as they were leaving, I asked them if they knew anyone who could fix my lopsided garage door. Well, it turned out, they did. And they fixed it in a matter of minutes using skills that involved screwdrivers, oil cans, and a little heavy lifting. They actually seemed pleased to help out. Ordinary kindness that meant an extraordinary goodness to me.

2) Georgios I – Hidden Heritage is coming closer to completion and the cover is just about finished. Here is a sneak preview. A Christian fiction story about a young man's search for his father, his identity, and God. There will be a Georgios blog tour hosted by a number of extraordinarily kind Catholic Writers Guild members coming soon… FULL POST

Posted 11/5/14 at 7:52 AM | Ann Frailey

Addictions

Addictions are those habits and behaviors which are not good for us, in part, because they crowd out something much better. Sadly, when addicted we accept a lie for the truth.

Sex makes people feel good. But it is not just the act itself that obsesses our society, it is the whole fantasy of passionate love depicted through movies and television that sets our hearts beating faster. Passionate relationships create a bond that makes people feel they belong and have a purpose. God gave us the ability to know passion for the formation of family and society for the very reason that human relationships are so very hard to sustain over a long period of time. But when we trade the long term commitment of family and children, for the momentary pleasure of disconnected physical highs, we replace the greater good with a lesser good. Sometimes people are not really looking for a human companion – they are actually looking for a “soul mate”. Too often the other person can never fulfill the inner needs of the yearning soul simply because as humans we cannot comprehend the full needs of the other person. In our world today, people are hoping to find the depth of God in a personal relationship that was never meant to replace Him. Render unto César what is Cesar’s and render unto God what is God’s. The same could be said – Expect humanity from a human (even a beloved human) and expect God from God. Sex as an addiction is looking for love in all the wrong places. It is looking for depth in a shallow encounter. Human sexuality is far too sacred and wonderful to be degraded to a mere addiction that is why the misunderstanding of our sexual nature tends to damage us in the long run. FULL POST

Posted 11/3/14 at 7:38 AM | Ann Frailey

Voyeurism

Voyeurism is my term for living life through passive distractions. It is one of the greatest dangers I see facing our young people today. Instead of actually living their lives, some people experience the thrills and excitement of real life adventure through completely artificial means such as computer games, movies, television, music, and other techno toys. These comments are not meant as value judgments but rather observations and questions that are worthy of being noted and asked. One of the greatest aspects of human existence is our ability to reflect and experience introspection. In those powerful acts of free will we are led higher.

There was a time when humanity was obsessed with survival. Real life with all its beautiful and ugly aspects could not be avoided. Today, because of humanity’s success in meeting the basic needs of large populations, comforts have become accepted without question and few worry about survival issues. Those who do worry are often cut off from those who couldn’t care less. Those who do care feel helpless and turn away. Tragically, the beauty and joys of real life are being jettisoned in the extremes. FULL POST

Posted 10/31/14 at 7:57 AM | Ann Frailey

Commercialism

This is the third post on the topic: Isms, Addictions & Culture…

Commercialism, like capitalism, puts profit and acquisition as the highest good. Profit can be defined in terms of wealth, ownership, and power to influence your environment. The obsession here is to define oneself through the acquisition of stuff. There are people who will never be Wall Street overlords or have plush bank accounts, but they spend an inordinate amount of their creative energy thinking and maneuvering to “get stuff” – cars, houses, furniture, jewelry, clothes, toys, gadgets. By their obsessions, “commercial-orientated” people are forced to ignore the reality of the poor in need of basics like food and clean water. Who feels comfortable indulging particular tastes when others are in need of basic calories? Commercialism is another form of slavery where the ownership of goods becomes the main purpose of life – as if goods are the source of happiness. Since most goods are made by people – it is a hidden form of humanism. We can make ourselves happiest seeking our own personal interests first. Ultimately the lived creed is: “Acquiring stuff makes me happy (at least temporarily) and my happiness is everything.” FULL POST

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