What do Catholic author and blogger, Tony Agnesi, and St. Claude de la Colombiere, the 17th century spiritual director and author of Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence, share in common? - a steadfast and unswerving trust in God.
St. Claude used the following words to describe that level of trust:
“It is one of the most firmly established and most consoling of truths that have been revealed to us that (apart from sin) nothing happens to us in life unless God wills it so.”
“Be convinced that in all He allows and in all that happens to you God has no other end in view but your real advantage and your eternal happiness…”
These truths are consoling but oh how so difficult to live!
In his latest book, A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service – Turning Your Misery into Ministry, Tony Agnesi shares stirring examples of individuals (including himself) who stepped out in faith, trusted God’s promptings and allowed themselves to be used as instruments of healing and hope.
Tony doesn’t deal in ambiguities; he provides clear directions and suggestions as to how we can be God’s earthly assistants. Here is an example:
“I have always been impressed,” writes Tony, “with the power in the number one. It only takes one person, one kind word, one thought, or one good deed to change the world… Do you know that you can be that one person for someone? You never forget the person that was there for you when no one else stepped up. You can be the one person they will always remember.”
God gives different gifts to different people. God gave Tony Agnesi the gift to see Him in the people and events he meets and experiences on a daily basis. The power of Tony’s writing and his ministry is that he makes Christ’s Presence among us real, palpable and unmistakable.
We would all be well-served by beginning our day in prayer as Tony does his: “Lord make me an instrument; put someone in front of me today that you can help through me.”
While we are at it, why not follow Rena, who “every day at three…would drop everything she was doing and make a telephone call to someone in need. It might be someone in the hospital, or someone who was at home, sick. It could be someone that had just been diagnosed with an illness, or a person that had lost a spouse, or someone who was going through a divorce or rough patch."
A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service – Turning Your Misery into Ministry is a book you will want to read and re-read. It will challenge you to step out in faith and be a warrior for the salvation of souls.
I must admit it is difficult for me to remain objective about this author. He is a friend and mentor. I admire the authenticity of his life. I was privileged to read and review his earlier book, A Storytellers Guide to a Grace-Filled Life. If you are interested, you can read that review here.
In his letter to the Ephesians (4:7-13), St. Paul tells us that, among others, God gave us …”teachers to equip the holy ones for work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”. Tony Agnesi is such a teacher. Through these stories of simple and sometimes troubled souls, many will come to meet and love the Lord Tony Agnesi seeks to serve.
Be sure to visit Tony regularly. You can get a copy of A Storyteller’s Guide to Joyful Service there as well.