“At the centre of the human heart is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and never appeased by any object in this world.” —French philosopher Simone Weil (1909-1943)
“Deepen your knowledge of Jesus. This ends loneliness, overcomes sadness and uncertainty, gives real meaning to life…” —St. Pope John Paul II (1978-2005)
“To come to the knowledge you have not, you must go by a way in which you know not.” ― St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel
“When God is regarded as a secondary matter that can be set aside… on account of more important things, it is precisely these supposedly ‘more important things’ that come to nothing...”― Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth
Letter #160, 2021: Giving Tuesday, November 30
I have a large number of prisoners among my subscribers to Inside the Vatican.
Many prisoners cannot access the internet, and cannot easily pay for religious reading material, so they ask for a “gift subscription” to Inside the Vatican, and we send them an issue for free. To support our work, give here.
We now have dozens of such prisoner-subscribers.
Ron, a prisoner in Oklahoma, is one. He wrote to me: “I believe my subscription to Inside the Vatican has expired. I am writing to request a renewal. Your articles are first-rate in their approach and research. I look forward to each issue — as do all the people I share it with. With so few magazines still in print today, yours is the only one which offers so much information on Pope Francis’s work and life. While many dislike him and his teachings (or so it seems from many readers’ responses) I love Pope Francis and believe he was chosen by the leading of the Holy Spirit. I pray for him daily — as often as I pray for my own family. I hope one of your donors can cover the cost of a continued subscription for me and the men at Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington, Oklahoma.”
Joshua, being held in Arkansas, is another. Joshua wrote to me: “I’m currently an inmate housed at NC (North Central Unit).. I’m also a new Catholic. I have drawn much inspiration and learned much from the older issues of Inside the Vatican. I only have older issues because I’m indigent and currently at a unit with very few Catholics and I would very much like to get a gift subscription if it could be made available. If you can not do so, I truly understand. Thank you in advance for considering my request. The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
Then, just a few days ago, unexpectedly, I received a phone call from a woman who lives in Illinois. Her name is Joan. She is 85 years old, the mother and grandmother of many children, and a long-time subscriber.
“I love your magazine Inside the Vatican,” Joan told me. “I have been a subscriber from the very beginning. It is such a beautiful magazine! So filled with beauty and hope! I have given gift subscriptions to all of my children and grandchildren.” Joan subscribed to the magazine in 1993, the year it was launched, she told me, and she said that, for the past 28 years, she has “saved every issue — I cannot bear to throw even one away!”
Joan then said that she wished to make a gift to me so that I could send the magazine to any prisoners, serving time in US or foreign prisons, who needed a free subscription. Her concern for the prisoners was real and profound.
“I do hope you will be able to send the magazine to these dear prisoners,” Joan said. “Sometimes I seem to hear them cry out from a lonely cell and you think, ‘Oh, if I could just hand them my copy of Inside the Vatican with hopes that they would then share with others and eventually make a difference in many lives.'”
I told Joan we would continue to give free gift subscriptions to all prisoners who request them.
And Joan did send a very generous contribution, so all prisoners who wish to receive a free subscription will now be able to do so, thanks in particular to Joan’s gift.
So, we have a magazine which reaches the elderly, and the young, the house-bound, and prisoners.
A magazine that touches souls.
A magazine that may help to heal or save a soul.
Please consider contributing to support a magazine that has a higher percentage of prisoners among its subscribers than perhaps any other magazine dealing with the news and struggles and hopes of the church of our time.
Become a part of our family, and join us in our work.
And a Happy Advent to you all!
P.S. Supporting prisoners is a work of mercy. We are all prisoners in a certain sense, prisoners of our presuppositions, of our passions, and of our sins. But the redemption brought by Christ can free souls, and that is what the magazine, in its own way, attempts to do. Please join with us in this work!