DENVER — Teresa Tomeo, author of the new book God’s Bucket List, says that she knows from her own life how “freeing” it is to put God’s priorities first.
“I always had my own bucket list. I had my own plan. But what I found was that was not necessarily aligned with God’s plan for my life,” she told CNA. “When I discovered God’s plan, it was a much better plan for me.”
God’s Bucket List is published by Image Books. The phrase “the bucket list” became popular after the 2007 movie of the same name about two elderly men dying of cancer who fulfill their dreams before they die.
Tomeo noticed that “everybody was talking about a ‘bucket list,’ but nobody was mentioning God.” Her new book aims to help people make God a priority.
“The bottom line is putting God first. It truly is what the whole book is about, leading people to understand that God has got to be not your co-pilot, but your pilot. They have to start keeping these practices seriously, these beautiful traditions we have in our faith as Catholics,” she said.
Tomeo, a radio-show host and columnist who appears frequently on the EWTN Global Catholic Network [the parent company of the Register], recounts in her book what her life was like before she made God’s priorities her own.
She shared that she and her husband were married in the Church but didn’t practice their faith.
“We were both very career-oriented, both very successful,” Tomeo said. “We had all the trappings of what the world says equals happiness, and yet, at the end of the day, we were empty.”
“Our marriage was falling apart, and I was getting disillusioned with the business I was in for many years,” she said. “I was following my own bucket list instead of God’s, and I ended up miserable and almost divorced.”
The loss of her job as a prominent Detroit TV news anchor made her re-evaluate.
“I was forced to look at myself and to look at what I had done with my life,” she said.
Tomeo learned that following God’s “bucket list” can “bring us closer to God every day, but also help us fulfill that calling and vocation and become intentional disciples,” she said.
Her book offers reflections on passages from the Bible and thoughts about life that she said will help others “discover God’s plan for their lives.” Drawing on her own experience, she recommends others learn to live with stillness, understanding and instruction. “Live in the mess,” she advises in her book’s chapter on suffering. “Live like you’re loved,” she writes.
Tomeo said her book is for everyone, not only Catholics.
“I’m really hoping that this is a crossover book, that it can reach out to someone in your family who has fallen away from the faith or to a friend who maybe hasn’t been to church in years,” she explained.
“Most people say they believe in God. I think people have to start getting serious about this,” she said.
Tomeo added, “Falling in love with God and putting him first” is the most important item on the “bucket list.”