Over the past few months, I have been reminded of the importance of mentors many times. In our success driven world, mentors are usually thought of in a business sense. And that is awesome. It is wonderful to receive counsel from those people who are higher on the so called totem pole while we are young and just starting out. And as those young people grow in knowledge, they will someday be able to mentor in the same ways that they had once been taught. But there is a highly spiritual aspect of seeking out a mentor that is a little less heard of.
See, there is a different way of looking at mentorship that I didn’t realize until I read the book of Proverbs again. Like many things, some of the books of the Bible are a little hard to grasp on the first try. The book of Proverbs is no exception. When I reread this beautiful book, I realized a very strong theme in many of the chapters; a need for counsel through life’s decisions.
Success, in the book of Proverbs, is always preceded by the receiving of counsel. Countless verses mention how plans only come to fruition when they are founded in wisdom. A lack of guidance causes us to fall, as we put too much trust in our own ability to figure things out. It is only through asking for help when we need it that we will truly learn and grow through our experience.
The Church has blessed us with so many groups of amazing people. Let’s think about this for a second. Every church has a pastor and usually an associate. There are religious ed teachers, catechists, and consecrated people who are constantly doing service in the church. If you look even deeper, you will find countless other lay people scattered throughout your church who are always doing good, even when no one realizes it. You could even look at those people who you live with, your parents or older siblings, uncles, aunts, or grandparents, as people to guide you along your path. These are the people who can answer your questions of faith. These are the people who will help you along the road to heaven. And I don’t think you will have to look very far to find someone special to talk to.
By looking at mentorship in this way, our success as Catholic Christians is not completely dependent on our own knowledge or understanding of the faith. Christ has placed dozens of people into our lives who are there to help us along the path of holiness, if we only ask. The apostolic aspect of the church is so evident in this sense, as our priests, religious, and knowledgeable lay people are able to minister to those who need them with the help of His grace.
Our job, however, is to seek out those people who will help us in our walk of faith. This might not be easy, but it is so important. Finding advocates in the faith is crucial to our ability to thrive as followers of Christ. I am confident that God will guide you towards those people who can minister to your heart. You only have to be open!
The power of spiritual counsel is such a beautiful gift. By it, we are growing closer to those people we know who are farther along in their faith than we are. We are learning more about our Lord and His church. And just like the totem pole in the business world, those who are taught can one day teach themselves. We all have parts of our story to tell and share with those who we love, in the hope that their faith will grow along with our own. The ripple effect will just keep going and going:)
With just a little searching, the gift of a good spiritual mentor will become a beautiful grace in your life. Pray for Christ’s guidance as you search out a good spiritual counselor.
Have a blessed weekend!!