I’m beyond thrilled with the response to my book. — God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul. “It’s real insight into living life in the light.” Marion Roach Smith.

God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul

Author:  Chris Manion

Publisher: Redemption Press

Release Date: Feb. 2017

ISBN: 13:978-1-68314-066-5

Tags: memoir, Christian businesswoman, How to hear God’s voice

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proud of my FIVE STARS Readers’ Favorites Rating!


Reviewed by Claudia Coffey for Readers’ Favorite

By all accounts, Chris Manion had the perfect life with caring parents, well-schooled in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as public school experience, great marriage, beautiful children – she had a life many would deem perfect. But for this Type-A achiever, there had to be more. Chris quickly excelled in the direct sales world, but still felt something was missing. In her quest to find the “sacred in the everyday,” Chris sang in the church choir and found “the choir hymns became my active prayers throughout the day….that carried my soul across a bridge toward the greatest commandment to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul is ultimately about sharing the fulfillment of that quest by joining Contemplative Outreach. There the author learned to give God the first half hour of each day by meditating around a “centering prayer” which led to the joyful realization that “the Holy Trinity lives within us.”

In God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul, Chris Manion uses similes and metaphors wonderfully and she reminds us, again and again, to look for Jesus in the everyday. Chris teaches the perfect formula of prayer – Greeting to Praise to Petition to Thanksgiving, and she tells us “if you don’t think God answers your prayers, I dare you to keep a prayer journal,” for you will see that God does want to hear from His children, and will answer our prayers. Chris found great help for her spiritual journey through the writings and mentoring of Sister Mary Margaret “Meg” Funk, who writes “when we awaken to the real presence of Jesus, we participate in that presence by sharing our thoughts with Him. We listen ‘as if’ we hear him, ‘as if’ through our imagination comes a ‘voice.’ At that moment we don’t consider ourselves in a ‘for-real’ conversation. But we are in a ‘for-real’ practice of faith.”

I found several quotes that I will keep in my own journal, including those from Norman Vincent Peale, Thomas Merton, Gabrielle de Bossis and Father Thomas Keating. I loved the reminder from Pierre Teilhard de Charles that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Chris truly follows the maxim from Matthew: “What I say to you in the dark tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers proclaim from the housetops” because once you achieve this marvelous connection, the “Holy Spirit will teach you how to see God’s beauty everywhere.”


Reviewed below by Rev. Robert P. Mitchell, BS Voice & Opera, M.Div.

Designated Pastor, St. Jacobi Lutheran Church, Shohola, PA 
From the wee morning hours before school in the third grade at St. Katherine of Siena School in Philadelphia, PA to contemplative retreats at Sister Pascaline’s Forest of Peace, or the Trappist Monastery at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Congers, GA, Ms. Manion moved from a life of making money to a life of contemplation. Her story pulls us in with an energetic voice and compelling story not many of us could tell. Manion, a devout Catholic, tells of her search for true faith. In many ways, I see myself in her story. Our journeys contrast dramatically, yet we both had a similar distraction: the search for self vs. the search for God. (Ironically, it is always God who searches for us—we just don’t realize it!) Her journey led her into the home merchandising field in which she became very successful, ending at the very top in fact. Yet God’s Patient Pursuit tugs at our heartstrings as well as hers. She writes in a lively, sometimes jaunty style, mixing academic language with carefully researched details using unexpected, frisky words and phrases that are even a bit snarky at times. All this makes for an irresistible read. Don’t miss it!


“This is a wonderful book. A beautiful book.

“Be yourself, be committed, be faithful to God, be loved and give love is the message I received reading this elegant and authentic memoir of a faith-filled woman. Her wisdom shows how it is possible to be very successful and yet vulnerable enough to completely depend on the indwelling Spirit to enliven her soul day by day. Chris says, ‘Life is precious, and what we accomplish through our little successes adds little ripples that affect the rest of us. One ripple touches another, and soon clusters, families, whole communities are moved and touched and encouraged by our little successes.’ Chris’s book is a ripple that encourages us to be ourselves, be committed, be faithful to God, be free, be true, be loved and give love.”

Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler, retired Executive Director of Contemplative Outreach Ltd.


Suz“ A gorgeous memoir of literary sophistication. This lyrical, intelligent, self-effacing writer just blew the roof off my house!!!

I could not put it down. I believe it will change lives.”

Suzanne Kingsbury, editor, book shaman and author of the award-winning, internationally-acclaimed The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me and The Gospel According to Gracey, both published by Scribner, translated widely abroad and optioned for film by Will Akers and Anne Hathaway. www.


author Marion Smith RoachChris Manion has created a handbook, in the form of a memoir,
on how to let the beauty of life be a feast for the soul. Through
trial and triumph, she carefully examines the potential in each moment,
and each time breaks through to something significant, instructive and
graceful. It is a joy to behold. This may not be what we expect from a
corporate superstar, but it is what we get from her generosity of spirit,
the result of which is real insight into living life in the light.
—Marion Roach Smith, author of The Memoir Project,
A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life



“Filled with wisdom, insight, and sound advice… I love her whacky sense of humor. Not everyone will relate to Chris’s perspectives on life, but readers will dennis-hensleybe exposed to a person who is resilient and creative and humorous. She’s original and spunky.”

Dr. Dennis E. “Doc” Hensley, author, professor of writing at Taylor University is a recognized authority on the life and works of Jack London, and author of five dozen books including The Power of Positive Productivity  and Jesus in the 9 to 5: Facing the Challenges of Today’s Business




“Chris Manion’s God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul is a heart and soul page turner, baptized in blood, sweat, and tears. At the same time, she’s funny! As I devoured this big, beautiful memoir, I was challenged, enlightened, transformed. Oh, and did I mention, she’s funny?”

Sarah Fishburn, co-author of In This House, internationally known mixed media narrative artist.



“Manion eloquently writes her compelling story in such a way that it is  hard to put down!

Susan Neal, author of Scripture Yoga: 21 Bible Lessons for Christian Yoga Classes.



author Jerilyn Dufresne
 I was mesmerized by this tale. Manion’s style of writing is exquisite and brings Spirituality alive in a way that is seldom done in “religious” books.  Even though this is her first book, I am confident it won’t be her last. More please
Jerilyn Dufresne, author of the Sam Darling mystery series



Click HERE to learn more about centering prayer, lectio divina, and the welcoming prayer as taught by Fr. Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach.

Click HERE to order Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating

Click HERE  to order God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul

Click HERE to be informed when the audiobook is available for God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul.




Magnolia House Lifestyle Store, Miramar Beach, FL

Hidden Lantern Books, Rosemary Beach, FL

Bayou Books, Niceville, FL

Sundog Books, Seaside, FL

St. Rita Gift Shop, Moll Dr., Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Barnes & Noble, Destin, FL

Coastal Branch Library, Santa Rosa Beach, FL



A Book Above Family Bookstore, Elmhurst, IL

Book Table, Oak Park, IL

The Magic Tree, Oak Park, IL

River Forest Library, River Forest, IL

Naperville Library on Naper Blvd., Naperville, IL



A Novel Experience, Zebulon



Amazon  read the first two chapters FREE.

Barnes & Noble


Redemption Press

Google Play


Upcoming Events

Indie Author Day: Fort Walton Beach Library 10-4, Oct. 14, 2017

Book Signing, Trick or Treat Community Event/Blood Drive: The Spacebox, Niceville, FL  Oct. 28, 2017, 10-3pm

Coffee with Chris, author reading and book discussion, Panera in Destin Commons TBD

Book Signing: Barnes & Noble, Oakbrook, IL TBD

Book Signing: Barnes & Noble, Naperville, IL TBD

Book Discussion and Author Reading: Atlanta, GA Date: TBD

Book Signing: Barbara’s Books, Chicago, IL Date: TBD

Book Discussion and Author Reading: Columbia, South Carolina, Date: TBD

Book Signing, Discussion, and Signing: Austin, TX Date: TBD



Past Events

Book Signing: Sundog Books, Seaside, FL April 5, 2017

Book Signing: Hidden Lantern, Rosemary Beach, FL April 6, 2017

Book Discussion at Private Book Club: Rosemary Beach, FL April 20, 2017

Book Signing: Girls Night Out, Miramar Beach, April 20, 2017

Talk and Book Signing: St. Luke Hospitality House: River Forest, IL  May 9, 2017

Library Presentation: Naperville, IL May 10, 2017

Meet the Author: A Book Above Family Bookstore, Elmhurst, IL May 10, 2017

Book Signing: Barnes & Noble, Destin, FL  May 13, 2017

Talk and Book Signing: St. Rita Catholic Church, Santa Rosa Beach, FL  May 16, 2017

Talk and Book Signing: Walton County Coastal Branch Library, May 17, 2017

Book Signing: Girls Night Out Fundraiser at Grace Lutheran on Commons Dr., Destin, FL  June 14, 2017 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Book  Signing: Meet, Greet and Eat at Cafe Bienville, Niceville, FL Aug. 19, 2017. 10-2 pm

Author Reading and Signing Event: Somerby, Santa Rosa Beach, FL Aug. 30, 2017 10:30 a.m.


Watch for upcoming children’s books:

The Gift of Bread

Fox the Dachshund



Suggested Book Club Discussion Questions


  1. Where or when did the author resist God? Share any insights from your own life.

  2. What happened in Chris’ kitchen as she was baking bread? How is this similar to the disciples on the road to Emmaus meeting Jesus after He was crucified? Have you experienced something like this?

  3. There are times we don’t realize God is calling. Other times, we hear and know, but resist the path God places before us.  What did God sound like to the author when she heard His voice?

  4. What caused the author loneliness and pain? Do you think loneliness is the correct label?

  5. What happened when the author felt the Presence of God in the woods?

  6. Being prayed over at a healing Mass, the author felt the Holy Spirit rush upon her. She fought against it because she was uncomfortable and unsure of the sensation.  Was there a time in your life when you felt God moving you in a certain direction and you resisted it?

  7. The author describes the fear of discipleship as one of her barriers to intimacy with God.  Was that a valid fear? What fear keeps you from God?

  8. What experience did the author have that tested her trust in God? (see Chapter 10)

  9. How did the author pray? Where? When? What challenges do you face as you try to find a balance between daily work and prayer?

  10. Which prayer(s) mentioned in the book was unfamiliar?

  11. What happened when Chris was sixteen that changed her life? Has anything like that happened to you?

  12. What detail about the retreat experiences stood out for you?  Do you feel God calling you away for some reflective time on a retreat? Where would you go if you could?

  13. As you look back over key events in your life, do you recall God using any events to pull you closer to Himself?

  14. Have you experienced Centering Prayer?  Describe any change(s) (spiritual fruits) you may have noticed through the grace of God.

  15. What metaphor(s) was helpful to you?  Can you think of one that would apply to your life right now?

  16. Naming spiritual gifts we have received often brings clarity to them.  Name a gift God has given you and/or a trait, quality, skill for which you are grateful.

  17. Who has been an encourager to you in your faith development and why?

  18. What is your favorite way to pray right now?


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