Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Book Review: The Heart of Motherhood by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Motherhood is such an important vocation that one should only shudder at the realization that a child has been bestowed upon their care. Donna has 5 children and had been blessed with knowing one of the Church’s most celebrated mothers, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. With all her experiences and time in her vocation she is making it come to life through her words in the books she writes for us. This is the third of her books that I have been gifted with reading and once again she has put me to task and given me a treasure trove of blessings for the journey.

The Heart of Motherhood, is divided up into 10 chapters all of which expound upon the important of our presence in the family, society, and the world. From prayer to discipline, to contemplation on the saints to bringing our children to Church, Donna speaks to us with a sincere heart. She does not shun the responsibility of telling mothers that their place is at home with their children, which I too believe in my heart, but she says it with a smile and love for the children in our care. The family is the most important unit in the world, we must be there to nurture and keep our families healthy. At the end of each chapter, Donna shares a prayer, like this one:

Lord, Help me See
Dear Lord, help me to see the extraordinary graces that abound in a role that is sometimes thought of as ordinary. Please reinforce the dedication in my heart to raise my children with extreme love – love that knows no limits, love that is priceless. Help me to remember that there is immeasurable power in a mother’s love and a mother’s prayer for her children. Thank you, dear Lord, for this awesome gift! Amen.

She mentions in the opening of the third chapter, “Mary, the Sublime Model” how, “It would be very helpful if priests and religious were to acknowledge the great importance of a mother’s role in our society and do all that they can to encourage and commend mothers.” Yes, we need the support of our parish leaders, we need their prayers immensely. Prayer is a vital part of our vocation as mothers and Donna never lets a page go by without the mention that we should be praying daily if not momentarily throughout the day with our children in mind.

Throughout her book, Donna shares with us lessons from Blessed Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, the saints, St. Edith Stein, Therese Lisieux and others. She talks about how we much live the Beatitudes and strive to understand the messages in them for life. We can only begin to know the magnitude of our presence in our family’s lives long after our job is done, but if we teach our children to pray, the importance of having a relationship with Jesus and Blessed Mother Mary, read and study the lessons of the Bible, and serve the Church, all the while developing a prayer life of our own, we will do well in God’s eyes, serving Him in the most purest way.

My recommendation for this book is this: Run, don’t walk to wherever you can find this book and read it.


Soul Pockets said...

Thanks for the review. This book will be next on my list.

Jane (a.k.a. patjrsmom) said...

Great review. We start this book in a few weeks for the women's bible study I lead at our parish.

God Bless!

Sarah Reinhard said...

I love that book too! :)