Bearing much fruit through God's grace
HUNTINGTON, Indiana, June 21, 2017 – Sherry A. Weddell, influential writer, speaker, and cofounder of the Catherine of Siena Institute, continues her ground-breaking series on intentional discipleship with Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World (Our Sunday Visitor, 2017).
Fruitful Discipleship brings accessible theology and best practices together and shows readers how to take the words of John’s Gospel — “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples” (Jn 15:8) — to heart and to action. Weddell points to the work of the Holy Spirit in calling and gifting all as missionary disciples witnessing to Christ, building the Church, and transforming the world through service, leadership, and evangelization.
With knowledge gained from helping over 100,000 Catholics around the world, Weddell guides readers to understand the importance of discerning and exercising the charisms – gifts that we receive at baptism – and sheds light on the implications of those gifts for the inner life of the Church and its mission to the world. The exercise of a Christian’s charisms is one powerful way that the fruit of our discipleship will change the lives of many. Weddell identifies twenty-three charisms in seven general categories: pastoral, communication, organizational, lifestyle, healing, understanding, and creative gifts, and emphasizes the careful discernment that must take place before effective exercise of a charism.
Along with the deep exploration of charisms, Fruitful Discipleship shares true stories from parishes — and even entire cities — that have seen vital renewal from the fruit borne out of intentional Christian discipleship that is owned, supported, and sustained. These examples provide encouragement to readers to answer God’s call, bear fruit in their own lives, and go out to the world to spread the good news of the Gospel and glorify God.