During university (the first time around), I came to deeply appreciate the prayers and support of my girlfriends. I was blessed to develop a close group of friends in my first year, and even though several of them didn’t share my faith, I knew that all of them were there for me whenever I needed them. They taught me about friendship and acceptance and they still bless me today.
When I joined the Catholic Church after graduation, I came to realize that I had another circle of women surrounding and supporting me: the saints. As Pat Gohn says in her forward to Blessed Are You, “the women of heaven, who once trod the earth we walk today, have a worthy sisterhood to pass on to us.”
It can be tough being a mom and wife, especially in today’s world. Living a life of faith in this world is tough. Over and over again, I find inspiration in the women of the Church who’ve lived through similar struggles and times and passed along their faith and advice to me.
Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith is an introduction to many of these women. Melanie Rigney shows how the women of the Church, from the Blessed Virgin Mary herself to modern saints like Chiara Badano and Mother Theresa, lived out the Beatitudes. From their lives, she draws lessons and inspiration to encourage us today.
How often have the word or deeds of a good friend been the face of Jesus to me? Many times. … The saints are friends waiting to meet us—sisters who want us to know Jesus, and to experience a transforming love through a living, committed, faith. ~ Pat Gohn, foreword
When I first met the saints, I thought of them as perfect women, examples to put up on a pedestal. As I’ve learned more about them, however, I’ve come to see that’s not so. As Rigney says, “They weren’t perfect, folks, and they would have been the first to tell you about their struggles with the loss of loved ones, their health, their dignity. The faith and confidence they had in the Lord make them bigger than those little boxes” we try to put them in.
In each of the eight chapters, Rigney tells the story of four incredible women whose lives illustrate that Beatitude. With impeccable research and page-turning story telling skills, Rigney draws us into each woman’s life—and what she can teach us today. Some of these saints are familiar to me already, and others I’m looking forward to learning about for the first time.
Melanie Rigney is the author of Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration and a contributor to Living Faith, a Catholic devotional. She has spoken at various events and is a member of several writer’s groups. Melanie lives in Virginia. Find out more about Melanie and her books by dropping by her website.
Wanna read Blessed Are You? Melanie is giving away a copy of both Blessed Are You and Sisterhood of Saints for my #BloggersFete party! Drop by the post to enter to win.
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