Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
Friends, writing a book takes grit. Let me explain. While reviewing a short book called The Five Habits of Prayerful People: A No-Excuses Guide to Strengthening Your Relationship with God by Michael K. St. Pierre, I was struck by the discipline and persistence needed to carry through such a challenging enterprise. I had plans to skim the chapter headings and perhaps read a few of the paragraphs at the conclusion of each chapter. However, this is such a charming and engaging read that I found myself reading the whole book thoroughly.
Why? Because it is practical and valuable as a tool for praying and growing closer to the Lord in regular prayer. A beginner in the spiritual life could benefit immensely from this primer, but old prayer warriors like myself can also discover fresh insights into organizing one’s daily prayer routine and living out of the joy of encounter with the Living God.
Also, St. Pierre brings a wealth of resources and authors to enrich his commentaries. For example, Saint John XXIII: “Do not walk through time without leaving worthy evidence of your passage.” And Pope Benedict XVI: “Holiness does not consist in never having erred or sinned. Holiness increases the capacity for conversion, for repentance, for willingness to start again and, especially, for reconciliation and forgiveness.” That’s just a random sample.
He also relies upon two of the real heroes of contemporary team building in communities and in the corporate world, Patrick Lencioni and Angela Duckworth. Patrick has a gem of a book called The Five Dysfunctions of a Team that I have used to very good effect with our ministry teams in Holy Cross Family Ministries. Also, The Ideal Team Player is a perfect guide to building an executive leadership team. Our ministry teams know that we only hire new team players who are “humble, hungry, and smart.”
Angels Duckworth is the charming expert in grit. Her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, lays out the ways in which passionate pursuit of a worthy goal over the long-term is what leads to genius and excellence.
St. Pierre applies the insights from such exciting, contemporary sources to enrich the spiritual life of the reader, listener. I love this small book and am delighted to recommend it, even though it is not yet in its final form for publication. This is going to be a hit with people seeking to deepen their relationship with God by ‘humbly welcoming the Word that has been planted in each of us and is able to save our souls.’ I think Angela Duckworth, were she to read this book, would say Michael St. Pierre’s writing has grit.
Visit our Book Notes archive.
Copyright 2018 Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C.