After I graduated from college, I ached for community. During my time at university, I was active in Bible studies and small group settings. These fed my soul. Once I departed that greenhouse experience and entered the adult world, I felt a little lost.
In the midst of transitioning into adulthood, applying for and adjusting to new jobs, and making major vocational decisions, I desperately missed my community groups that were rooted in the Faith. I dabbled here and there in book clubs and girls’ nights with other faithful, Catholic women. But I yearned for—I needed—to stretch my roots even deeper into the Word of God. At a time when I was walking paths that would direct the course of the rest of my life, I needed Scripture, the Truth of the Church, and good women to walk alongside me.
When I opened the newest young adult Bible study for women from Walking with Purpose (a favorite here at Blessed is She), I knew that this is what I needed then…and what I need now.
Opening Your Heart…
During times of decision-making, our identities need to be firmly rooted in Christ. When we’re uncertain or impatient, the Word of God remains unchanging and ever-new. If our heads are filled with voices shouting various opinions and hot-takes, we need the unshakeable voice of the Catholic Church. In times of crisis and suffering, we need the wisdom of the Saints.
And that’s what this new series, Opening Your Heart, makes available to us.
In my very-early twenties, when I longed for depth of study and friendship, I needed this. Now, nearly a decade later, I long for the same things. Perhaps in an even greater way, our present realities are made easier to bear with the foundation of Truth and holy community.
Maybe these last several months have left you lonely and exhausted. Perhaps you’re eyes are tired from looking down at a screen—move them up toward the Light. Maybe you’re mind is weary from making decisions you never thought you’d have to make—renew your mind by meditating on Scripture. Maybe your will feels weak—strengthen it through the teachings of the Church and the encouragement of the Saints.
…with Christ and with Community
One thing I’m struck most by this study is its approach to sharing in community. It can be challenging to let a new group of women into your heart. It’s vulnerable to share about your relationship with Christ—whether it’s thriving or dwindling. We’ve all been a part of a small group in which a few discussion questions are asked and we all sit…silent…smiling…staring at each other. It’s tough to open our hearts to one another.
The beautiful thing about this study is that the questions are geared toward understanding the Scripture and what the Church says about it (more on the structure below!). So, when done in a group setting, these questions are wonderful conversation starters because they have concrete answers. But what you’ll find is that having the vocabulary of concrete answers often paves the way to more questions, shared experiences, additional explanations, and authentic conversation. I’m very excited about this aspect.
Not only does the content of this study help us open our hearts more with each other, that opening is at the service of the greater embrace—intimacy with Christ. Praying through this study has led me to encounter after encounter with the Godhead, the One Who loves and saves me.
A Catholic Young Adult Bible Study for Women
I think you will find great inspiration in the Opening Your Heart series. You could easily do this study with a small group. And “small group” can mean anything from your best friend, to your regular parish small group, to a group of women in your neighborhood, to virtual meeting with your #BISsisterhood around the country. This study lends itself to a variety of approaches and group settings.
However, you can also do this study on your own. In fact, that’s how I prayed through it. It has been immensely impactful and has fanned the flame of my prayer life.
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Flexible to Fit Your Life + Soul
The Opening Your Heart series is divided into three parts (and three separate books). Each part can stand alone, or you can complete them one after the other.
From the introduction:
Each six-week Bible study integrates Scripture with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church to point us to principles that help us manage life’s pace and pressure while living with calm and steadiness.
Each week is divided into five “days” in which we read and meditate upon Scripture. These also included a teaching passage written by Lisa Brenninkmeyer, a powerhouse disciple of Jesus Christ and your new imaginary big sister.
Finally, there is an answer key in the back. This provides extra clarification and a deep-dive on Church teaching.
So what topics does this series cover? Let’s look at the three individual parts.
Beloved // What Difference Does it Make?
This part helps us know Who God is in His essence, and in His relationship to us.
Lessons about God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit move us closer to the Heart of God and reveal our identities in Him. Reflections on prayer and grace help us see why relationship with Him makes all the difference in our lives.
Unshaken // Solid Ground Upon Which to Stand
As we look at the ever-real spiritual battle taking place around and within us, we turn to the mercies of God that strengthen us. The Eucharist, Confession, Our Lady, Sacred Scripture, and the Church are studied in a way that reaches beyond mere apologetics. Get ready for your spiritual dugout to deepen.
Steadfast // Put On Your Armor and Pick Up Your Weapons
Part three brings it all home by claiming our identities. It leads us in naming, facing, and conquering our fears so that we can be truly transformed. We’ll learn how to receive forgiveness and how to suffer with purpose. Finally, we’re sent off with practical help and encouragement for reading God’s Word and making it a part of your daily prayer.
A Series for Now
Now is the time to soak in God’s Word. Now is the time to root ourselves more firmly in the teachings of the Church. And now is the time to form deeper connections with the Body of Christ—the Saints in Heaven and our sisters here with us.
In this spirit of sisterhood, Walking with Purpose is offering our BIS community free shipping* for the month of August on any of their six Bible studies for young women. We are so grateful for their generosity.
We can’t wait to hear how the Opening Your Heart series helps you do just that.
Have you read a Bible study from Walking with Purpose before? Which of your friends would want to pray with through the Opening Your Heart series?
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*shipping is free to addresses in the United States and Canada
This blog post is sponsored by Walking with Purpose.