We’re back with a great Book Club discussion today! If you haven’t heard, we’re reading and chatting about Mentors for the New Evangelization this fall. Today, we have a summary of chapters 3 – 6. We’d love to hear what you’re thinking about this inspiring book in the comments section below. (If you want to catch up, Discussion 1 is linked here.)
The reflection in Chapter 3 (Saint Marie of the Incarnation) talked about coming into contact with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. How did St. Marie or St. Laval do this effectively with those they shared the gospel with?
At our discussion, we chatted about the inspiring life of St. Marie. Her life seemed to radiate with the understanding that one’s spiritual life is foundational to being a good catechist. If we are to put people into touch, intimacy and union with Jesus Christ (CT, 5), we must first immerse ourselves in that relationship.
What characteristics defined St. Laval and St. Marguerite Bourgeoys on a human level?
I (Lindsay) was so inspired by their business sense, that was balanced with their spiritual lives and understanding of their mission. In particular, I want to be more like St. Laval in this description: “Bishop de Laval was all at the same time a clever administrator, a missionary with a burning heart, a proud and humble man, and a heroic and discreet mystic” (41). His life was a clear reflection of knowing that one can be sanctified through his work. (St. Marguerite’s life was a great testament to this same thing: “The intensity of her religious experience mark her as a mystic; at the same time, the events of her life reveal a practical woman endowed with great common sense and considerable administrative ability.” (47).
How did the prayerful spirit of St. Rose-Philippine Duchesne inspire your work in the vineyard?
The quote in the reflection of chapter 5 really summed up our thoughts well: “Pope John Paul II taught that it is only in prayer that we can realize that it is not our own teaching that we are imparting but that of Christ’s.” We all desired to deepen the conviction that our own lives of prayer are the foundation of our work. Also, we chatted about how we need to help our children and families seek out silence in their lives; without it, they will not be able to discover a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and be spiritually free.
Any other thoughts or reflections?
John, one of our Diocesan seminarians, shared an analogy with the group about the geometry class he teaches. He shared that the students who seem to put in the effort (and struggle) to learn the material for themselves are the ones whose hearts the message resounds in when it is taught in the classroom. We continued to have stimulating conversation around how we motivate our young people to take the study of the faith seriously, on a personal level, and how we encourage the parents to journey with us on this path. Thanks for the great thoughts, John!
Our next book club will be taking place on Monday, November 10th from 1:30 – 3:00pm at the Bishop O’Connor Center. You are more than welcome to join us in person for the discussion! We’ll chat about Chapters 7 and 8. No RSVP is necessary.