Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review: A Catholic Woman's Book of Prayers

I've been slowly reading through Donna Marie Cooper-O'Boyle's latest book, A Catholic Woman's Book of Prayers, and will say it is a gem on many levels.

The introduction revealed something Archbishop Fulton Sheen said about women that previously, I did not know.

Which stands up better in a crisis -- a man or a woman? The best way to arrive at a conclusion is to go to the greatest crisis the world ever faced, namely, the Crucifixion of our Divine Lord. When we come to this great drama of Calvary, there is one fact that stands out very clearly: men failed... On the other hand, there is not a single instance of a woman's failing Jesus.

Archbishop Sheen was referring to a very specific time in history because we all know there have been many women since that point who yes, have failed Jesus. But during our Lord's most trying time, the women were there.

It gave me great encouragement to read those words. The rest of the book is comprised of prayers for single women and married women, briefly covering how each is a vocation. The chapters of the book are divided into such topics as: The Joys of Womanhood, Challenges Women Face, The Mission of Women, and Mary, A Model for Women.

The Mission of Women is one that I think is needed more than ever by the Church and our culture. Sometimes a mother may not realize how influential her mission is as she cares for her children on a daily basis. Yet what could be more important than raising children to be faithful and obedient to God? When such children grow to become adults. the lessons and discipline of a mother reaps great rewards as that son and daughter go out into the world and influence others.

The prayer called, My Distinct Mission:

Within all the innumerable things I do as a woman,
right down to the core of it all
lies the call to my distinct mission from God.
I pray that I may fulfill it lovingly throughout each day
while praying actively, through my hands, in service,
and contemplatively, on my knees,
to please God
and help my neighbor find his way to heaven.

There are so many hurting and confused people in our midst. As women, we have a special grace to speak words of kindness to them. This to me, is one of the most beautiful things about being a a woman. God has allowed us to be vessels by which He pours His love into so that we can then pour it into the world. There are songs and poems written about "a woman's touch." I believe it is God's call to every woman to discover that her unique "touch" is and then minister that in her own life.

The book is small, and can easily be slipped into a purse or even a pocket. The thick, semi-glossy pages are decorated with flowers and the text is a combination of prayers, beautiful quotes from such saints as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Ambrose. It is a perfect gift for any woman in your life and will bring great encouragement to her.

To learn more, go to Donna Marie's website, where you can order the book. Ladies, keep praying. Our world needs it!


Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Thank you very much for your kind review, Mary Rose! May God bless you and yours!


noreen said...

Hi Mary Rose, your book review sounds very interesting and I especially enjoyed the Archbishop Fulton Sheen comment about women. I'm not a feminist but I think God gave us women a special calling to minister to our husbands, children, family, friends, neighbors...etc. I agree that harried moms forget their vocation as mother... they are to raise their children to know, love and serve Our Lord.

Beautiful post!