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Posted July 17, 2013

Book: On a Mission: Lessons from St. Francis De Sales
Author: Patrick Madrid
Servant Books. Cincinnati, OH. 2013. Pp. 138

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In this book, Patrick Madrid uses the example of St. Francis de Sales to illustrate the zeal, spiritual principles, and attitude of one who sets out to live and share the Faith. Just as Christ sent his apostles into the world to make disciples of all nations, we too are called to this same mission. But where do we start? How can we accomplish this in today's culture? Madrid's time-tested methodology combined with the model of St. Francis de Sales's kindness and unassuming virtue will help you to:

Explain your faith more intelligently

Defend it more charitably

Share it more effectively

On a Mission details the sanctifying process of cooperating with God's grace as he lovingly forms an apostolic heart for others within each of us.

An Excerpt from the Book

The Tyranny of Relativism

This unwillingness to step in and help, to give oneself to others as Christ gives himself, is actually a sign of selfishness. It is antithetical to what it means to be a Christian and even more so, an apostle whom Christ sends into the world with his message of love and forgiveness. Pope Francis spoke about this shortly after his election to the papacy in his first address to the Holy See's diplomatic corps:

There is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the "tyranny of relativism," which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples. And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.

The heart of an apostle has a desire to resist and overcome the creeping relativism we are all tempted to conform to --- the one that tells us, "What you think is important is important, and what you deem to be worthy of your time and attention is worthy of them." But, as the pope reminds us, you are not the ultimate determiner of what you should be doing with your life. You are not your own "criterion," as the Holy Father reminds us. Christ is. And he has already spoken on this question of how he wants you to orient your life when he says first, "Follow me. When asked where he is going, Christ replies with the simple invitation, "Come and see."

You can be sure that, if you answer Christ's call and follow him, you will end up in unexpected territory. He will lead you to people, and will lead people to you, whom you would never expect to encounter.

Table of Contents:

1. What an Apostle looks like

2. Picture yourself on the Titanic

3. The tribe has spoken?

4. Do you believe in miracles?

5. Never assume

6. Are you available?

7. "Is that your final answer?"

8. "And that's the way it is"