Merridith Frediani has a couple of things she would like readers of her first book, “Draw Close to Jesus: A Women’s Guide to Eucharistic Adoration,” to take from it.
“I would want her to have a closer relationship with Christ and spend more time praying, and not just have it be a static relationship, but an active relationship, something that’s growing and moving,” she said. “I’d also like the reader to recognize that Christ is always there waiting for us, even when it’s a bad day or a day when we don’t have anything we want to say. He still wants us to come to him in prayer, and he will accept us with love.”
“Draw Close to Jesus” was published in August by Our Sunday Visitor and checks in at 168 pages. It contains reflections, encouragement, and passages from Sacred Scripture and the Catechism, as well as stories from the saints.
The book is divided into five sections, so it doesn’t have to be read in order: an introduction to Eucharistic adoration for beginners; going deeper in understanding God’s greatness, his mercy and his abundant love; the fruits received from a closer relationship with Jesus; facing obstacles in our prayer life; and the richness of the Catholic Faith.
Seeing her first book published was the culmination of a process that took about two years. Her first idea wasn’t wanted by her editor, but they pivoted and offered her the topic that became “Draw Close to Jesus.” Despite her experiences writing a Family column for the Catholic Herald and maintaining a blog, Frediani did say there were some struggles with wrapping her head around the concept of being a “subject matter expert.”
“There’s a lot of insecurities that come with it,” Frediani said. “At least for me there were. I was convinced it was terrible and it was just a matter of time before they realized I had no business writing a book and they called it off. It just underlines the fact that this book, while it has my name on it, is heavily influenced by the Holy Spirit. I was the one who put the words down but they aren’t necessarily of me.”
Eventually, she grew to love the finished product.
“It really was an act of believing in myself and the process,” she said. “In many ways, I’m surprised by it because so much of it is the Holy Spirit working through me. There are times when I know I wrote it, but I’m still surprised by it. Getting the feedback from my editor and getting the endorsements were really the thing that got me most excited. It was that external (validation). To have people I respect give me that kind of feedback, that’s when I started getting excited.”
One of the people who endorsed the book was Fr. John Burns.
He writes, “Merridith Frediani provides women with the perfect companion for the journey into Eucharistic adoration and a deepened interior life. A roadmap to growth in holiness, ‘Draw Close to Jesus’ is warmly approachable and theologically substantial, woven delightfully with anecdotes and personality. Both challenging and charming, I am certain this book will bless all who pray with it.”
“Draw Close to Jesus” is available on Amazon and the Our Sunday Visitor website (www.osv.com), and Frediani will be selling her book at the Women of Christ conference on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Washington County Fair Park.
“I just want people to pray,” Frediani said. “That’s really what it’s all about. We just need to pray.”