Mutual Mentoring:
A New Paradigm Of An Old Tradition

Christ as the Master Mentor

There is one situation where mentoring is not mutual--and that is with Christ, our Master Mentor. This alone could be the topic of a full presentation but I could not end without mentioning this special type of mentoring.

Christ mentors us through the gift of the Spirit, who has been sent as our guide. In the Gospel of John 16:12, we hear Jesus tell us, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."12 It is the Spirit who prepares the human heart for listening, for the ability to be mentored, and "makes the human heart desirous of welcoming the Word."13 We need to sit daily with the Scriptures and to encounter Christ in the sacraments in order for us to become good mentors for others.

The saints who have left us their written words and the example of their lives can also mentor us continually throughout our lives. I know that Teresa of Avila has helped me many a time when I have prayed to her for help and guidance. I often pray to one of our former prioresses, Sister Mary Walter, who was killed in an automobile accident shortly after she finished her term as prioress. Often I ask my sister, Carol, who died of breast cancer at age thirty-six, for her advice. I have her picture facing my desk and anytime that I have a difficult call or am struggling with what to do, I say, "OK, Carol, help me," and she does.

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12NRSV. return

13Prepared by the Theological-Historical Commission for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, The Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, trans. Agostino Bono (New York: Crossroad 1997) 25. return

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