Welcome to WINE’s Summer Book Club! We are reading and discussing Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration From Our Sisters in Faith by Melanie Rigney. We’re so happy you are joining us! We pray this book club will bless you and give you tangible ways to live the Beatitudes in your daily lives. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments section, throughout our time together.
By Debby Giusti
I daresay that most of us taking part in the WINE Summer Book Club probably consider ourselves ordinary people living basic, everyday lives. Chances are we won’t start any religious communities or travel to far-flung destinations to spread the Gospel, yet all of us are called to be righteous women who live the Gospel message and build up the Kingdom of God.
The Lord invites us to take the walk of faith with Him, but finding our way can be difficult at times. We become confused by the world in which we live. We hear false prophets who cloud the truth, and we lose sight of the “crown of righteousness” Paul talks about in the fourth chapter of his Second Letter to Timothy—the crown that awaits those who have kept their eyes on Christ.
Melanie Rigney, in her book Blessed Are You, provides inspiring examples of saintly women who have answered Christ’s call to holiness. Like Paul, their hunger and thirst for righteousness led them to a more intimate union with the Lord. These women from different countries and stations in life lived the Beatitudes with their love of God and concern for neighbor.
Laura Montoya Y Upegui overcame social and economic obstacles to minister to the indigenous poor and marginalized in Columbia.
Lord, direct my steps. Let me be your hands and feet and heart so I can reach out to those in need.
Hildegard Burjan—a convert who embraced Christ and the sacramental life of the Church—labored for the rights of women and children in the political arena of pre-World War II Austria and later for the poor and homeless under the auspices of the Caritas Socialis Society, which she founded.
Keep me close to you, Lord, and close to your sacraments. Increase my hunger for the Eucharist, and strengthen me through frequent reception of your Body and Blood.
Miriam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan was a woman of prayer who conquered the spirits of darkness and went on to educate and uplift impoverished women in India in the early 1900s.
Punctuate my day with prayer, Lord, so that everything I do—from the mundane to the sublime—may be done for your honor and glory.
In the 16th century, Teresa of Avila reformed the Carmelite order yet was forced to defend her faith before the Spanish Inquisition. Today, she is heralded as a Doctor of the Church.
To defend my faith, I must first know my faith. Increase my love for scripture, Lord, and teach me your truths through Bible studies, sacred readings, and classes that enhance my understanding of your Church.
The saints mentioned in Chapter 4 serve as role models to emulate. All of them were courageous women who responded to Christ’s call to holiness, discipleship, and evangelization. May their example guide us to hunger and thirst for righteousness in this life so we can achieve the crown of victory in the next.
To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:
- What small changes can I make to turn my heart more fully to the Lord?
- In what ways can I spread His message of love and forgiveness in my home, my parish, my community?
- Does my sacramental life need a jump start? Can I find time in my busy schedule for daily Mass and Eucharist?
- Who are the special women in my own life who have answered Christ’s call to holiness? What can I learn from their example, and how can I follow in their footsteps to draw ever closer to the Lord?
YOUR TURN: Below in the comments box, please share your thoughts, inspirations, and reflections on Chapter 4, and/or your responses to any of these questions.
About the Author:
Debby Giusti is a bestselling author of Christian suspense, with more than a half million books in print. Her work has won numerous accolades, including two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Inspirational Suspense and the National Readers’ Choice Award. A lifelong Catholic, Army wife and mother of three, Debby shares the love of Christ, one story at a time. Visit Debby online at DebbyGiusti.com and Facebook.
Next week, we’ll cover Chapter 5: Mercy. For the complete reading schedule and information about our online book club, visit the Read Between the WINEs Summer Book Club page.