Vincent was a life-long learner.
Vincent didn’t just happen. Vincent spent his lifetime waking up to the demands of the Gospel and the needs of those who were poor.
I am reminded of the monk Bede Griffiths, a life-long learner, who said in the 81st year of his life that he learned more in the previous year than in the prior 80 years.
J. Patrick Murphy writes:
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 the specifics of what Vincent learned from these world-class mentors.
Instead, I wonder how they happened to become his mentors. There is a saying, “When the student is ready the mentor will appear.” (This saying is apparently falsely attributed to Buddha.) Regardless of who said it speaks of life-long learning.
Recognizing my mentors
This raised the question for me, “Am I ready to be mentored?” Or am I too comfortable in my present stage of growth?
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 apparently, 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.
Who are the people I know who are on the right track spiritually? Do I seek them out in conversation? What can I learn from them. Do I reflect on why and how they are on the right track?
It might be very worthwhile spending a few moments thinking about the people you admire and what you can learn from them.
Being a mentor
This also raises questions for me about being a mentor.
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?
Some lessons worth repeating: Mentors make a difference. Get a good one. Be a good one.
- Who are the people I know who are on the right track spiritually?
- Do I seek them out in conversation?
- What can I learn from them? Do I reflect on why and how they are on the right track?