Msgr. Thomas Mc Gettrick’s newly published booklet “Do You Love Me? Another Chat With Jesus,” is a conversational book between Jesus and the author and a ‘how to’ guide on loving Jesus.
His first booklet, “I Love You, A Chat With Jesus,” explains how much Jesus loves us and the second booklet was written to explain what we must do to love Jesus.
Msgr. Mc Gettrick, now pastor at St. Andrew by the Sea in Corpus Christi and Vicar for Retired Priests for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, has been a priest for more than 56 years in parishes throughout the United States and Mexico.
Both of his booklets were inspired by and are based on New Testament teachings, as well as the writings of the early Church Fathers, 20 centuries of Church teaching and writings of the saints. After he wrote the first booklet he was amazed at how many people said that the booklet, although wonderful because it tells us how much Jesus loves us, does not tell us how we are to love Jesus. That’s why he wrote the second book, Msgr. Mc Gettrick said. It is an imaginary conversation of Jesus explaining what we must do to love Him.
“Jesus explains His mission, His teaching, His message with great clarity and great simplicity. I have often thought that the greatest thing that we could do as a Church and I could do as a priest, is help convey that message of Jesus with that same clarity and simplicity,” Msgr. Mc Gettrick said.
Although simple, Jesus’ message is not easy. There were times in his own life when Msgr. Mc Gettrick questioned his love for God.
“I think there were times when I wondered if I truly loved God. Trying to do and accept God’s will requires faith and trust; and faith and trust are developed through a life of prayer and then ultimately, through prayer, a commitment to do God’s will,” Msgr. Mc Gettrick said.
“The Church is always concerned about being theologically correct. That’s fine. That’s the role of the Church to clarify the teachings of Jesus and try to explain the will of God. These booklets are not a scholarly, theological representation of who God is. I don’t think I have the ability to do that,” Msgr. Mc Gettrick said.
He has sent a complimentary copy of both books to every priest in the diocese and hopes that when the priests read the booklets they will feel that it is something that can help them nourish the people in their parishes.
More than 30,000 copies of the first booklet have been sold and distributed. The first booklet has been translated into Spanish and the second one is in the process of being translated.
“I got a letter from as far away as New Zealand and one man wrote me from England that he keeps it beside his bed and reads it every day,” Msgr. Mc Gettrick said.
“When I retire I might write a third Chat with Jesus.”
Msgr. Mc Gettrick’s books are available from the South Texas Catholic, gift shops and bookstores in the diocese and at the Minor Basilica of San Juan del Valle.