This is the final stop of the 8-beatitude blog tour for Melanie Rigney’s latest book, Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from our sisters in faith!
This book is available today for you to browse or purchase through this link: Blessed Are You!
Franciscan Media summarizes the book this way…
Melanie Rigney uses stories of the saints, our sisters in faith, to help readers grow in their spiritual lives. Some of these saints are familiar—Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Bernadette of Lourdes, Elizabeth Ann Seton—while others are not so well known—Maria Karlowska, Claudine Thevenet, Josephine Bakhita, Margaret Flesch. They come from different places and different times, creating an intimate portrait of the universal Church. Yet the lives of each of these women illustrate the qualities of the Beatitudes—what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “the heart of Jesus’s preaching” (1716)—in a down-to-earth and human way. Through the lives of these exemplary women saints and the qualities they espouse—meekness, mourning, poverty of spirit, justice, mercy, purity of heart, peace, righteousness—women will find ways to live more fully the Gospel values of Christian life.
Melanie Rigney invited me to write the foreword for this book and I gratefully accepted. Her book is a fantastic mix of lessons from the beatitudes of Jesus and the inspirational lives of saints who live them.
Beatitudes = Being like Jesus.
This book is a call for all of us to live the beatitudes – to know them and love them.
Here’s a little bit from the foreword I wrote:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares: “the Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity.”
To live the Beatitudes is to be like Jesus, to reflect his countenance, and to be his charity in the world. Picture Jesus’ face, and his example, in each of the Beatitudes as you read them in Blessed are You. The real blessing will come when you can picture your own face, and your faithful example, following Jesus! It’s challenging, yet rewarding. What Melanie Rigney has done in this book is demonstrate the powerful countenance of Jesus that comes through the faces of faith-filled women, chapter by chapter, beatitude by beatitude. So take notes on the women who inspire you. More than famous list of proverbs, the Beatitudes are paradoxical promises – hope in the midst of tribulation — and a response to the holy desire for happiness that God has placed within our hearts. Memorize them and make them your own.
Today, on this final leg of the blog tour, we focus on the beatitude meekness.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
When I was growing up I was a bit rambunctious. I frequently had parents and neighbors asking, “why are you so loud?” I had not yet realized the gentility needed for the deep and booming voice God had given me. You could say that it took a while before meekness was on my youthful radar. In time I learned that meekness is one of the qualities that Jesus describes as a key to happiness in Christian life, and indeed, meekness properly asserted brings rewards from God.
Melanie Rigney writes… “In today’s world, meek gets a bad rap. We link it to words like submissive and deferential, words that might make for a deeper relationship with God in theory but that make us uncomfortable to say, let alone consider using as guideposts in our relationships with others here on earth. We want to be strong, empowered, confident, successful, popular—not meek, for goodness sake!
The thing is, we become all of those things when we embrace meekness and humility.”
Rigney’s book shows that meekness is what Jesus (who was all powerful, being God himself) ultimately demonstrated when he humbled himself in the Garden of Gethsemani at the beginning his passion. He was humble to God’s sovereign will for his human life. Meekness was also a quality of Mary — she humbly yet confidently submitted her request to Jesus at Cana when the wine ran out. Jesus went on to perform his first of many miracles at his mother’s request.
Meekness, though it rhymes with weakness, is anything but. Meekness waits on God. Meekness trusts God implicitly. Meekness lets God lead.
One aspect that I love about Blessed Are You is its liberal use of quotes from the saints. Among those mentioned in this chapter are two of my favorites saints — Gianna Beretta Molla and Thérèse of Lisieux. I’ve included their prayerful quotes for our edification.
“O Jesus, I promise to submit myself to all that you permit to happen to me. Only make me know your will.”
St. Gianna Beretta Molla
“… Dear Lord, Thou knowest my weakness. Each morning I resolve to be humble, and in the evening I recognize that I have often been guilty of pride. The sight of these faults tempts me to discouragement; yet I know that discouragement is itself but a form of pride. I wish, therefore, O my God, to build all my trust upon Thee. As Thou canst do all things, deign to implant in my soul this virtue which I desire, and to obtain it from Thy Infinite Mercy, I will often say to Thee: ‘Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.’”
St Thérèse of Lisieux
Find out more about Melanie Rigney
Catch the earlier dates of the Blessed Are You blog tour — click the links below:
- August 17- Peace- Being Catholic…Really
- August 18- Poverty of Spirit- Joy Alive
- August 19- Justice- Reconciled To You
- August 20- Mourning- Catholic Drinkie
- August 24- Righteousness- CatholicMom.com
- August 25- Purity of heart- Catholic Book Blogger
- August 26- Mercy- Spiritual Woman
Find a conversation with Melanie and myself about The Sisterhood of the Saints, a previous book, on Among Women.
Find Melanie’s posts at Your Daily Tripod.
Go to MelanieRigney.com.