30 Apr

Oprah Winfrey announced on her TV show that Marianne Williamson was lecturing on a Spiritual Journey through Oprah’s XM radio. Marianne invited anyone who had had a transformation from pain to peace in their lives to send their essay through Oprah.com. I went on the Oprah website and submitted my letter. This was my first letter I wrote directly from my heart.

To my surprise and delight, my letter was selected from among the thousands and then beautifully read on the show by Marianne. It was a broadcast dedicated to the positive transformation that took place in my life. Marianne gave me the highest compliment and encouragement anyone could hope for. She said how much she loved my story, and how everyone’s life can be transformed by putting these principles into practice. Most importantly, Marianne’s insight gave me hope and courage to write my book, Imprinted Wisdom. She remains one of my greatest teachers to this day.

Marianne Williamson also gave me the confidence because she felt my message was that important and powerful to broadcast in length on the radio. So I had to learn more about writing because I believed I had an important message to share. I soon joined and became a member of the wonderful Red Room Writer’s Society and started my first blog. Soon after I started writing a book, and became a contributor to the Huffington Post, and more recently to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global. I now want to share with all those angels on earth who encouraged me to let them know that they were the ones who pushed me forward.

Here’s what Marianne Williamson said about my essay: “Oh, Wow! I love that essay that I just read because Catherine Nagle went from a life of pain to a life of peace. Her life transformed, and so will yours, and so will mine! So will all of our lives transform from those places where they’re not quite where they could be, to be everything that they might be….”

–Marianne Williamson, reading Catherine Nagle’s letter “Spiritual Journey” on Oprah and Friends Satellite XM Radio on June 4, 2008:

The following is my entire letter:

At the age of twenty-six, I faced a traumatic month that forever changed my life. First I lost my husband to cancer after a year-long battle. We had already lost our home, which we had to sell to pay for his trip to Mexico in search of a cure. If I didn’t feel completely alone at that point, imagine my devastation when my beloved mother died in her sleep only a month later. All I knew was that the two people I held dearest were suddenly gone. I was homeless, with a five-year-old daughter depending on me to take care of us.

During that awful time, I struggled and prayed. At last, after living for a time with various friends and family members, I was able to afford our own apartment and things were starting to look up. I had faith that God would make it work, and I carried my Bible with me everywhere I went. And although I was physically healthy, I was broken in spirit, so much so that I was afraid I wouldn’t survive. In fact, I prayed that I’d live long enough to see my daughter grow up.

Five years later, I had remarried, having met a wonderful man who was an airplane pilot. But he his business led him to travel out of town frequently. Despite being frustrated about with my husband’s absences, I refused to uproot my daughter again by breaking up the marriage. Instead, I stayed busy working, taking care of my daughter, and reading the Bible, along with every other spiritual book I could get my hands on, and this gave me some peace.

Things came to a head one unforgettable night, when my husband was out of town and my daughter wasn’t home. I lay in bed, crying out in my heart to God, “What am I doing wrong? What am I not seeing? I’ve been trying to live by the rules, the Commandments.” And that’s when I heard a voice inside saying to me, “You are doing this yourself!”

I was shocked by this realization, but I knew without a doubt that it was true: I was bringing my sorrow with me everywhere I went. And if my life was going to get better, that was the first thing I had to change. It wasn’t easy to undo forty years of listening to the wrong messages in my mind, but in time it became easier. Somehow, as if guided by unseen hands, I was led to every book I needed to read. Somehow, what I’d heard that fateful night became clear in these books, and I found the solution to my life-long mystery. And it helped me to change my life.
From that day on, and for the twenty years since, my life has continued to blossom‒once I learned to leave my sorrow behind. Today I have an amazing twelve-year-old son; a beautiful, well-balanced adult daughter; a super son-in-law; and two wonderful grandchildren; and my fantastic husband, who turned out to be my soulmate.

Fortunately, I’d learned a valuable secret on my journey, and that is this: To be happy in this life, you must ‘give’ whatever it is you want for yourself to everyone else. ‘Give’ them in the spirit of love and compassion, ‘give’ in the spirit of health and wealth, and ’give’ in the spirit of joy‒ without exception. Pass no judgments and always give thanks to God for everything in your life. Do this and you will get back whatever you give to others, all in God’s perfect order.

Having practiced this way of life for so many years, today my spirit is full of love and joy. And in that same spirit, I want to gratefully share how the power of prayer, reading, and reflection, can transform each of our lives . . . if we only we put them into action.


About the Author

Written by 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, works of Marianne Williamson, and conferences, including the National Theology of the Body Congress. She is also an Ambassador of the Society of Emotional Intelligence. The mother of two children and now a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. She is the Author of Imprinted Wisdom, Absence and Presence, Amelia, and a contributor to Anne Born’s These Winter Months: The Late Orphan Project Anthology.

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