We Need to Talk: God Speaks to a Modern Girl - by Susan Brinkmann


 Abortion rights, carefree sex, indulgent partying
– all sources of happiness.  Right? 
Author Susan Brinkmann found otherwise. 

Catholic writer Susan Brinkmann currently writes for Women of Grace, an online Catholic resource for women, contributing articles whole-heartedly supporting and aligned with the Catholic Church.  A large chunk of her past, however, was quite distant from teachings of the Church.  For many years, Susan felt Catholic doctrine was outdated, unfair to women, and full of silly inconveniences.  In her new book, We Need to Talk: God Speaks to a Modern Girl, readers can learn how Susan went from a life of if-it-feels-good-do-it, to a life devoted to God and accepting all tenets of the Catholic Faith.
From Catholic Schooling to Embracing the Sexual Revolution
Susan Brinkmann offers a unique generosity in her book by sharing stories now uncomfortable to recall.  She grew up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic schools; but as she merged into adulthood, society merged into acceptance of the “convenience” of the birth control pill creating new found “freedom” for women.  Susan was convinced by the culture of the time and joined the ranks of women adopting these new “liberties.”

Over time, however, with a broken marriage, commitment-lacking relationships, consulting psychics, blithe partying, and a frustrating career failed to bring Susan the happiness that the “freedom” movement of the 1960s and 1970s promised. 
Writing as Therapy and Tentative Steps toward the Church
Susan had one special spot in her life where she could count on finding peace - through writing.  Becoming a novelist was a dream of hers and putting words down on paper was a source of relaxation and happiness. 

Oddly, as Susan approached midlife, she began to find herself inexplicably thinking about the Church, even though she was still opposed to many of its teachings.  One day, she even felt compelled to pull out a Bible.  Thumbing through this Bible, she stumbled upon passages that seemed to talk to her personally.  Verse after verse seemed to connect to situations in her life.  Susan particularly found peace and comfort in the Psalms.  
Little by little, Susan felt God calling her back to the Church:  she felt curiously honored when her niece asked her to become a Confirmation sponsor, thoughts or experiences of her day would be oddly reflected in a Bible verse she would read later on, she began to see the serious problems with artificial birth control, she felt called to go to confession.  Each little step, each whisper from God brought Susan closer to a return to the Church.  As she opened her heart to the Lord more and more, the rest of her life seemed to fall into a better order: halting her use of birth control pills, less partying, fewer empty relationships - Susan’s life took on more peace and contentment.  Intriguingly, during this time of letting God back seep into her life, Susan’s joy of writing also started to take on a more solid shape.

 
Catholic Once Again  
With more time, prayer, Scriptural reading, and mass attendance, Susan ultimately became completely convinced that the Catholic Church was true, and even became a member of the Third Order of Discalced Carmelites!  Her writing became faith-focused and her soul found the peace and freedom that the women’s liberation movement failed to provide.
If you are o.k. with the issues like birth control, free sex, abortion, but simultaneously feel a void in your heart, consider reading Susan’s book.  It might give you some unexpected insights and new things to think about.  If you already embrace the church’s teachings on these points, you might enjoy seeing another person’s story as a way to fortify your own journey of faith.

by Susan Brinkmann, O.C.D.S.

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