In a kind of prequel to this series on “Life Lessons from Vincent” an earlier post asked “What can I learn from Vincent if I look at my life through the lens of his experiences?” As we draw near to the end of this series let’s ask a fundamental question “Am I open to be mentored?”
J Patrick Murphy wrote in his booklet, Mr. Vincent:
Vincent used mentors and he chose world-class advisors, Fr. Pierre de Berulle, St. Francis De Sales. Vincent became a mentor of others and brought out the best in them: Jean Jacques Olier, St. Jane De Chantal, and St. Louise de Marillac.
Lesson: Mentors make a difference. Get a good one. Be a good one.
J. Patrick Murphy is on to something. I have rarely thought of Vincent in terms of his mentors. Not only did Vincent have mentors but he was blessed with some of the best. Here is not the place to dwell on these world-class mentors in Vincent’s life.
Instead, I wonder how he found his mentors.
There is a saying that when the student is ready the mentor will appear. (Apparently falsely attributed to Buddha.)
Apparently, Vincent was ready. So how did they appear? My hunch is they appeared because Vincent was a seeker, restlessly looking for something more.
Initially, he thought that “something more” was a secure position whereby he could take care of himself and his parents. But something more gnawed at him.
I suspect they appeared because he responded to people he sensed were on the “right track.” He sought them out, engaged them in dialog.
This raised the question for me “Am I ready to be mentored?” Or am I too comfortable in my present stage of growth?
Fast forward to my life and whether I am open to be mentored.
- Who are the people I know who are on the right track spiritually?
- Do I reflect on why and how they are on the right track?
- Do I seek them out in conversation?
- What can I learn from them?
With these questions in mind, it might be very worthwhile spending a few moments thinking about the people you admire and what you can learn from them.
But Patrick Murphy also highlights that Vincent brought out the best in others: certainly, St. Louise de Marillac. There were also others such as Jean Jacques Olier, St. Jane De Chantal, not to mention those early men who choose to walk with him.
So this too raises questions for me. A mentor is someone who walks with others and listens to the longings of their hearts.
How often do I take the time listen to the longing of others and walk with them on their personal journey?
Lesson worth repeating: Mentors make a difference. GET a good mentor. BE a good mentor.