Thanks for your interest in writing for Shalom Tidings!
Shalom Tidings seeks articles that portray stories of powerful conversions and profound God encounters. We are also looking for inspirational pieces on how to overcome fear, insecurity, loneliness and depression that many are struggling with these days and also a few practical tips to grow in your faith. You could write providing valuable insight on how to find more meaning and purpose in life.
Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about submitting an article to Shalom Tidings.
What should I write about?
To get a sense of the type of work we publish, check out our website.
As you can see, our articles cover all areas of spiritual life and how to handle difficult situations through prayer and devotion. You could write about a God experience that touched your life, a testimony of healing and deliverance, a conversion story, or even an everyday experience of God in your life.
Should I pitch you my idea before writing the article?
Sure! Pitch your idea by emailing our editor at [email protected]
(Note that we can’t guarantee publication until we review a completed submission. We’re happy to evaluate your pitch before you get to writing!)
When will I hear back from you after I send my pitch?
Please allow up to three weeks for our editor to respond to your pitch.
How long should my articles be?
Aim for 500 – 800 words. From time to time, we’ll publish longer pieces, and if that’s the case, we’ll let you know.
Should I write a headline?
That’d be great! We reserve the right to tweak it for SEO, style or just to make it more attention-grabbing.
Fun fact: We actually write approximately 5-10 headlines before choosing one for an article. If you want to suggest one or two potential headlines, that makes our job easier!
Will you edit my article?
Yes, we’ll edit for content and clarity, doing our best to preserve your voice. You’ll be able to see if there are significant edits and we’ll often work with you should these be required.
Have any tips for ensuring my piece is a fit for Shalom Tidings?
– Please write in the “we” voice as much as possible.
– Support your advice with personal experience or stories.
– Including sub-headings is much appreciated. (We love to use H2 and H3!)
– Only one space between sentences, please!
– Definitely avoid an ‘advice only’ column style writing.
– Considering our lay audience, delving into deep theology is not ideal.
How should I submit my article?
1. Submit your article as a Word document through the ‘Contact’ page.
2. Email it to our editor as a Word document to [email protected]
Should I include a photograph that can be used with the article?
If you have one, yes, please. Make sure they are high resolution. We reserve the right to use another image if the one provided by you does not work.
Should I include a headshot?
Yes, that would be great! We may not use it in the magazine but, we will use it on the website.
Can I include a bio?
Absolutely! There are a few items we need from you to build your author profile.
– Add your name, email, website and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) handles to the top of your article. If you don’t have one, just your e-mail ID works too.
– Include a 2-3 sentence bio at the top of your article. We’d love for you to mention how long you’ve been writing professionally and name-drop a couple of places you’ve written for so we can create a short bio and showcase your expertise and experience wherever possible.
Are you definitely going to publish my piece?
We reserve the right to not publish your article if our Editorial Council decides it’s not a strong fit for Shalom Tidings. You are then free to publish it elsewhere.
Can I repost my submission on my blog?
No. If we run your article on Shalom Tidings, we retain the rights to that content. We don’t allow republishing on your own blog or any other website. (Did you know reposting content can hurt SEO traffic results for everyone involved? We try to keep it tidy around here.)
You are more than welcome to share your article from shalomtidings.org once it is published.
Do you pay?
No; all of our writers are zealous evangelizers who wish to share Christ’s love and peace with the world.
What should I do after I submit my article?
Our editor will get in touch with you and let you know of the progress. If and when we publish it, we hope you’ll be active in the comments, responding to readers’ questions or thoughts. We also hope you’ll share your article on social media!
We look forward to your contribution!
Ready to pitch your idea or submit your article?
Before you submit your piece, please run through this checklist. Did you…
– Add your name, email, website and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) handle to the top of your article?
– Include your 2-3 sentence bio at the top of your article?
– Attach your file?
If so, you’re ready to submit!
For more information and any other queries, please drop us an email at [email protected] with the subject line ‘Article Submission.’
En route with the three Magi and be amazed! The Epiphany is a feast of light. We hear from the prophet Isaiah, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1). We look to the actions of the Magi to guide our journey to the Lord Jesus, who is revealed as the light and salvation of the world. If we want to encounter Jesus too, we should pay attention to what the Magi did. What did they do? Three actions: they looked up to see the star; they realized what it meant and left their homes and activities to set out towards the light; and, they brought valuable gifts to worship Him. Look Up This is where the journey begins. Have you ever wondered why the Magi alone saw the star, and realized its significance? Perhaps few people were looking up to the heavens, because their gaze was focused on the ground with their own immediate concerns. I wonder how many of us look up to the sky? How many of us are like the Psalmist who says, “My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak...” (Psalms 130:6), or are we more like, “Hey, it’s enough that I have good health, a solid bank account and stock portfolio, access to a 5G network, and a little entertainment, especially on Sunday in which I can watch wall-to-wall football games!” Do we know how to long for God, to expect the freshness that he brings to life, or do we let ourselves be swept along by the frenetic pace of our lives? The Magi understood that to truly be alive, we need lofty goals—we need to dream big!—and we need to keep looking up. Get Going The second thing the Magi did, which is essential to finding Jesus, is to get up and begin the journey. When we stand before Jesus, we have a disconcerting either-or choice: is he Emmanuel, God among us, or is He not? If He is, then we have an obligation to give Him our total, uncompromised commitment so that our lives revolve around Him. Following His star is a decision to move towards Him and to advance steadfastly on the way He laid out for us. Although our journey is often two steps forward, one step backwards, the key is to keep our gaze on Jesus, pick ourselves up with His aid when we fall flat, and keep moving forward. However, we cannot do that without getting off our couches, detaching ourselves from our comfort and security, and setting out instead of standing still. Jesus makes demands: He says that we are either for Him or against Him. In the spiritual path, there are only two directions: we’re either moving towards God or away from Him. If we want to move towards Jesus, we have to overcome our fear of taking risks, our self-satisfaction, and our laziness. Put simply, we have to take risks, to let go of our self-referential lifestyle if we are going to find the Child. But, those risks are worth it because when we find the Child, we’ll discover His tenderness and love and rediscover our true identity. Bring Gifts At the end of their long journey, the Magi do as God does: they bestow gifts. God’s ultimate gift is His divine life, which He invites us to share for eternity. They offer what is most valuable for them: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts represent what St. John Paul II calls The Law of the Gift: we abide in an authentic relationship with God when we live how God operates with self-giving love. The best gift you can give to Jesus is your very life! Give freely, without reservations—don’t hold back, keeping something for yourself. Give without expecting anything in return—including the reward of Heaven! This is the truest sign that you have found Jesus in your life. For he says: “The gift you have received, give freely as a gift” (Matthew 10:8): to do good towards others without counting the cost, even when unasked, even when you get nothing in return, even when it is unpleasant. That is what God wants of you because that’s how God relates to us! Look at how God comes to us: as a Child—He became small for our sake. As we celebrate the Epiphany, let us look at our hands: are they empty of self-giving or are we offering the free gift of ourselves without expecting anything in return. And, let us ask Jesus: “Lord, send forth your Spirit that I may be renewed; that I may rediscover the joy of giving.”
Last week, I had the great good fortune to sit down for a Zoom interview with Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Pageau, and John Vervaeke. As I’m sure you know, Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, is one of the most influential figures in the culture today. Pageau is an artist and iconographer working in the Orthodox Christian tradition, and Vervaeke is a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto. All three of these gentlemen have a powerful presence on social media. The topic of our conversation was a theme that preoccupies all four of us—namely, the crisis of meaning in our culture, especially among the young. To kick things off, Peterson asked each of us to give our definition of meaning and, more specifically, of religious meaning. When my time came, I offered this: to live a meaningful life is to be in purposive relationship to value, and to live a religiously meaningful life is to be in purposive relationship to the summum bonum, or the supreme value. Following the prompts of Dietrich von Hildebrand, I argued that certain values—epistemic, moral, and aesthetic—appear in the world, and they draw us out of ourselves, calling us to honor them and to integrate them into our lives. So, mathematical and philosophical truths beguile the mind and set it on a journey of discovery; moral truths, on display in the saints and heroes of the tradition, stir the will into imitative action; and artistic beauty—a Cézanne still-life, a Beethoven sonata, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass—stops us in our tracks and compels us to wonder and, in turn, to create. To order one’s life in such a way that one consistently seeks such values is to have a properly meaningful life. Now, I continued, the perceptive soul intuits that there is a transcendent source of these values: a supreme or unconditioned goodness, truth, and beauty. The fully meaningful life is one that is dedicated, finally, to that reality. Thus, Plato said that the culminating point of the philosophical enterprise is discovering, beyond all particular goods, the “form of the good”; Aristotle said that the highest life consists in contemplating the prime mover; and the Bible speaks of loving the Lord our God with our whole soul, our whole mind, our whole strength. Jordan Peterson, echoing Thomas Aquinas, put it as follows: Every particular act of the will is predicated upon some value, some concrete good. But that value nests in a higher value or set of values, which in turn nests in a still higher one. We come, he said, eventually, to some supreme good that determines and orders all of the subordinate goods that we seek. Though we articulated the theme in different ways and according to our various areas of expertise, all four of us said that the “wisdom tradition,” which classically presented and defended these truths, has been largely occluded in the culture today, and this occlusion has contributed mightily to the crisis of meaning. Much has contributed to this problem, but we put emphasis especially on two causes: scientism and the postmodern suspicion of the very language of value. Scientism, the reduction of all legitimate knowledge to the scientific form of knowledge, effectively renders claims of value unserious, merely subjective, expressive of feeling but not of objective truth. Combined with this reductionism is the conviction, baked into the brains of so many young people today, that claims truth and value are simply disguised attempts to prop up the power of those who are making them or to sustain a corrupt institutional superstructure. Accordingly, these assertions have to be demythologized, dismantled, and deconstructed. And along with this cultural assault on the realm of values, we have witnessed the failure of many of the great institutions of the culture, including and especially the religious institutions, to present this realm in a convincing and compelling manner. Far too often, contemporary religion has turned into superficial political advocacy or a pandering echo of the prejudices of the environing culture. So, what do we need for a meaningful life? From my perspective, I said, we need great Catholic scholars, who understand our intellectual tradition thoroughly and who believe in it, are not ashamed of it—and who are ready to enter into respectful but critical conversation with secularity. We need great Catholic artists, who reverence Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Mozart, Hopkins, and Chesterton, and who are also on point to produce fresh works of art, imbued with the Catholic sensibility. And we need, above all, great Catholic saints, who show concretely what it looks like to live one’s life in purposive relation to the summum bonum. We can and should blame the culture of modernity for producing the desert of meaninglessness in which so many today wander, but we keepers of the religious flame ought to take responsibility too, acknowledging our failures and resolving to pick up our game. For people today will not enter into relationship with values and with the supreme value unless they can find mentors and masters to show them how. --------------------------- © ARTICLE originally appeared at wordonfire.org. Reprinted with permission.
Here’s a simple technique to stay focused on God’s plan for your life A few years ago, at a New Year’s Day Mass celebrating the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the priest encouraged us to ask the Blessed Mother for a “word” for the coming year. Maybe this would be a special grace that she wanted to give us, or a re-focusing word for our mission in life, or a virtue that she wanted to help us grow in. The choice of the word was up to her—our role was to pray and receive that word, and then let her unpack its meaning for us throughout the coming year. The priest paused and gave us all some time to pray. I asked Our Lady for the ‘word’ she had for me and the word “humility” came clearly to mind. As that year unfolded, I learned a lot from Mary about humility, and I know she helped me to grow in this virtue that she lived so beautifully in her life. The following year, the word I received was “contentment.” In the subsequent months, Mary helped me learn what St. Paul talks about in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content.” Asking the Blessed Mother for this annual theme word has proved a fruitful practice for me in my spiritual life. So at the start of each New Year, I pray and ask Our Lady to give me her special “word” for the year ahead. For this past year of 2021, my word has been “intercession.” In retrospect, I can see how appropriate this theme was for me as I am in a season of being the primary caregiver for my elderly mother. My life now revolves around caring for her, which is a privilege and honor, but it has also required me to shrink my outside involvement with people and ministries that I used to be a part of. Sometimes it can feel isolating and lonely. As my mom ages, we go to more doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, wellness checkups, etc. and her emotional needs require delicate handling and reassurances. At the end of the day, I don’t have much reserve or inner bandwidth left. But in quiet moments during car rides, or in examination rooms waiting on the doctors, I can intercede for people. I let the Lord bring to mind those He wants me to pray for — friends, family members, ministry leaders in our non-profit organization, the people we serve, etc. I pray for each person as they float through my thoughts. I feel the Lord’s tender love for them, His desire to bless and heal and help them. It comforts my heart to tap into the wellsprings of love and mercy that the Good Shepherd has for His sheep. And somehow, I feel more connected to people as I cooperate with Mary in this mission that she brought into focus by giving me my “word” for this year. Instead of feeling isolated or on the fringe, a deep sense of our inner connectedness in the Body of Christ fills my heart. As we near the close of this year and the beginning of 2022, I encourage you to adopt this practice that the priest recommended. Take some time in quiet prayer and ask Our Lady to give you her “word” for you for this New Year. Receive it, and then ask her to help you understand what she means by it, how it will help you better live out God’s plan for your life, and how you can bless other people by embracing it. You may find that this simple prayer and practice will bring deep fruitfulness to your spiritual life, just as I have.
I looked up and hugged her, pressing my face into her apron that smelled like apple pies; quickly I ran off to show my brother the treasure that Nonna found for me The house was old and belonged to my great grandparents. It was a small solidly built house where they raised many children. It’s rickety parts and musty smells often betrayed the facade of the freshly painted wood siding. It was a home with a history of family memories, stories and heirlooms. When guests came to call, the graying splintered wooden back door would release wafts of heavenly aromas from freshly baked apple pies cooling on the kitchen table. It’s a home that makes me reflect fondly on my grandmother. It’s funny how recalling one simple memory can lead to another memory and then another until a whole story floods my mind. Instantly, I’m taken back to another place and time that was part of the foundation of my life. I grew up in a historical area of Kentucky, in a simpler place and time. It was a time when the mundane routines of the day were treasured as if they were family traditions. Sunday was a day of church, rest and family. We owned functional things and wore simple clothing which were either fixed or mended when they were worn out. Family and friends were relied on when we couldn’t fend for ourselves, but charity was not accepted unless it could be repaid at the first possible opportunity. Caring for another’s children was not charity, it was a necessity of life and the closest relatives were asked before friends or neighbors. Mom and Dad regarded their parental responsibilities as their primary duties. They sacrificed to provide for us and rarely had time for themselves. However, every so often, they planned a special evening out and they looked forward to time together. My grandmother, whom we called Nonna, now lived in that old house, made those heavenly pies and cheerfully cared for my siblings and me while my parents were out together. Mom’s heels clicked along the cobblestone walkway that led to Nonna’s backdoor, Daddy smelled of a freshly starched shirt and the break in our family routine filled the air with a sense of excitement on the evening when Mom and Dad went out together. Just as the old gray wooden door opened and my grandmother greeted us in her faded worn apron, I felt I’d stepped back into another time. A brief catch up conversation with Nonna was followed by a strict warning to behave ourselves and a kiss that left a waft of her cologne on our clothes and lipstick on our cheeks. When the door closed behind them, we were left to play in the adjoining room with a bag of toys we brought from home. While Nonna tidied up the kitchen and tended to an elderly sister who lived with her, we contently colored in the new coloring books bought for this evening. It wasn’t long before the sense of excitement wore off and the toys no longer held much interest. There wasn’t a television to entertain us and the antiquated parlor radio played only old static country music. The aged furnishings, fixtures, sounds and smells of the house occupied my attention for a little bit. Then, as if on cue, I heard Nonna’s house slippers shuffling along the creaking wooden floors. She stopped in the doorway to see if we were okay or needed anything. The growing idleness of the evening made me call out, “Nonna, find me something”. “What do you mean? She asked. “Mom said when she was a little girl, she would ask your sister to find her “something” when she was bored. Then your sister would find her a treasure”, I replied matter of factly. Nonna looked away to ponder my words. Without much ado she turned back and gestured, “follow me”. I scurried along behind her into a dark, cold, musty bedroom that contained some old furniture, including a beautiful, antique, wooden wardrobe. She flipped on a light and glass knob handles on its doors glistened. I’d never been in this part of her house, nor had I ever been with Nonna all by myself. I had no idea what to expect. I tried to contain my excitement, wondering what treasures could be waiting behind those doors, which seemed to beckon us to open them. This unplanned moment, filled with firsts, was almost too much for a seven year old little girl to absorb, and I didn’t want to ruin this special memory with my grandmother. Nonna reached for a glass knob, the door creaked when opened and revealed a stack of small wooden drawers. She reached into a drawer, pulled out a gently used brown leather coin purse, handed it to me and told me to open it. My little hands, nervous with anticipation, shook as I snapped it open. Tucked down into the corner of the leather was a small white pearl bead rosary with a silver crucifix. I just looked at it. Then she asked if it was a good treasure. I’d seen my Mom’s rosary, but didn’t have my own or know how to use it. However, for some reason, I thought it was the best treasure ever! I looked up, hugged her legs, pressed my face against the apron that smelled like Nonna and apple pies, then happily thanked her before I ran off to show my brother the treasure Nonna found for me. The following year I was enrolled in a Catholic elementary school where I learned more about Jesus and His Mother Mary. I received my First Holy Communion and learned to pray the Rosary. The seeds of love for Jesus and Mary took root as I continued to pray the Rosary. In time that little white pearl rosary became too small for my hands and I acquired a simple wooden rosary. I always carry the wooden one in my pocket and it too has become a treasure to me. Through the years, spending time in prayer developed a love for the Blessed Mother and her rosary. These days, before I begin my rosary prayers, I quietly ask the Blessed Mother to “find me something”. Every story exemplifies a virtue to be gained. So, I often ask her to explain the details and stories contained in the daily mysteries in order to develop those virtues in my life. She never fails to open the doors to her Son, Jesus, so that I can grow closer to Him. After meditating on what she graciously reveals, I’ve discovered that’s where the “treasures” are found. Fast forward. Today, I’m about the age of Nonna when she gave me that little white pearl rosary. When I recall the day she “found me something”, I wonder, as she paused to ponder my request, did she know the ramifications of the treasure she gave me or if she knew she was opening more than an old wardrobe door for me? In that leather coin purse, she opened a whole world of spiritual treasures. I wonder if she’d already discovered the treasure of the rosary for herself and wanted to pass it on to me. I wonder if she knew her words were prophetic when she told me to open the case myself and discover the treasure within. Nonna has long passed on to be with Jesus. I still have that brown leather coin purse with the little pearl rosary inside. From time to time I take it out and think of her. I can still hear her ask me, “Is this a good treasure?” I still happily answer her, “Yes Nonna, it is the best treasure ever!”
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