Sunday, January 8, 2012

Finding Saints to be Mentors

Mentor and mentoring are words we hear often. Taken from Greek mythology, the words refer to Odysseus' old friend Mentor, who was to be the guardian and tutor of Odysseus' son while his father was away. Used now, the words commonly refer either to the person who counsels a less-experienced  person or to a situation that provides a young seeker of knowledge the opportunity to learn from an older and wiser person.
The editor of  Catholic Publishing recounts, in the Catholic Times, her efforts in finding a mentor. Her father was her first mentor; his death, when she was in first-year high school, came as a great shock and left her struggling about the meaning of life.  Though living her faith life as a Christian, she was filled with doubt; it was as if God no longer existed. She had no place to turn to ask for help.
In her years of schooling, she respected many of her teachers but was not able to find anyone who could serve as her mentor.  Seminary professors were also possible mentors; she respected them as well, but  they were too busy with the seminarians to have time, she thought, for her and her problems. And she also didn't want to bother others with her problems, and soon started to walk around with her head down as if looking for a coin, which prompted others to give her a nickname alluding to this habit.
Where she is now in life, she says, requires someone as a mentor, but she lacks the capability, energy and charity necessary to find one, although the need is all the more present.
However, everything recently changed when she came upon the book, "My Mentor and My Saint." A book her publishing  company has translated from the English.  Written by the Jesuit writer James Martin and titled in English as My Life With the Saints, the book introduced her to her mentors. In the book, the  Jesuit listed a number of saints, those canonized and those who have lived saintly lives.  The Jesuit has used these saints as mentors in his life, friends who  have influenced him.  The  columnist has finally found her mentors she will be living with during this new year.

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