Resting in His Love
A book on coming closer to Christ in daily life
By Jason Godin
Associate Editor, Fathers for Good
Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” – appears a lot easier said than done these days. More people are finding their work week reaching into the weekend, where the sound of chirping birds no longer leads us to look up leisurely at the tree tops but anxiously down, to our smartphones, for messages marked urgent. And any thoughts about resting or setting aside specific time for faith seems to bring a burden all its own.
Susan Conroy, popular EWTN television host who has worked with Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, sees it differently. In her latest book Coming to Christ: Resting in His Love (Our Sunday Visitor), Conroy points to five extraordinary encounters of faith that intersect with ordinary daily living and, in the process, allow us to relax with the Lord. Together with full color images of the mountainous Maine coastland, her childhood home, she explains how Mass, adoration, prayer, confession and the joy that comes from sharing the good news of the Gospel turn our gaze towards our heavenly homeland as they also return our thoughts to our origin.
Recently Fathers for Good corresponded via email with Conroy about her book.
Fathers for Good: How has Blessed Mother Teresa helped you personally come closer to Christ?
Susan Conroy: Being with Mother Teresa and helping her to serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta dramatically changed the entire course of my life. I traveled to India as a 21-year-old college student with the dream of helping this “living saint” to care for the sick, unwanted babies in the orphanages and the destitute and dying in the Home for the Dying. The entire experience was completely Christ-centered, and it was one of the most spiritually nourishing experiences of my life.
My days and nights were filled with receiving, serving and adoring Jesus – drawing nearer to him in every way. We would receive and embrace him first in Holy Communion and then in the outcast, unwanted, destitute and dying. I discovered in Calcutta how very much I needed Jesus in order to do what we were doing. Upon returning home to America after this powerfully spiritually nourishing experience with Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, I have been attending daily Mass – coming to Christ every day to embrace him and then carry him with me into the world.
FFG: Maine’s highest peak – Mount Katahdin – features prominently in the book’s pictures. How has it helped you to come closer to Christ?
Conroy: I think it is powerfully meaningful that the summit of Mount Katahdin is said to be the first place in the United States of America where the sunlight touches each day – and then spreads across our entire land. Our Lord Jesus is the Light of the world, and he is in us, especially as we keep the faith and receive him in Holy Communion. That light is not meant to be hidden and kept to ourselves. It is meant to be shared.
How rich Maine’s highest peak is in spiritual lessons for us! The more we ponder her glory and majesty, the more we reflect upon our spiritual journey with Christ – ascending each day, with each Holy Communion, closer to Our Father in Heaven – the more we will understand our glorious purpose and unspeakable privilege as children of God.
FFG: Of all the ways that you examine in your book, which one do you propose as the most critical for fathers to follow through on today as leaders of their families?
Conroy: My father was the spiritual leader of our family. I am one of ten children. He always led us as close to Christ as we could possibly go, and he himself knelt by our side. That is powerful. To see a father pray like that, and stay close to the sacraments like that, makes the greatest and most indelible impressions on a child.
Because of his nearness to Christ and the sacraments, he was filled with wisdom. We all went to him for advice and we could count on the solidity and wisdom of his counsel. It was always filled with love and care for us. By word and example, he taught me everything I know about coming to Christ. This means that the first gift of life that Dad gave to me was not a fatal one. By teaching us the faith, he gave us an everlasting gift of life.
Visit Our Sunday Visitor for more information about Coming to Christ.