I anxiously awaited the release of Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's new book "Rooted in Love : Our Calling as Catholic Women" As a Catholic woman that was raised in a time when it was confusing to be a girl, I still sometimes have trouble deciding what my role is in this chaotic world where the lines between men and women are blurred to say the least. I first realized *my* struggles with knowing who I was to the world vs who I was called to be by God when I started staying home with our children. There was little support from other women, men, and certainly not in the world. It was then that I realized that the feminist view doesn't really support the "choice" to be who God calls us to be. It only supports the idea that women can and should do everything men do. At that point I started scouring the bookstores and later the internet trying to redefine within myself what my role as a Catholic woman was. It was such a gift to discover the fabulous books by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle. Many of her books are about Catholic Motherhood (which is very needed in our culture) but this book is about what our calling is as Catholic Women. A couple of years back I had the privilege of taking an ENDOW course. It was very enlightening to me and opened my eyes to the different roles that women play in society. Until then, embarrassingly enough, I often felt at odds with other women. I was often defensive about my role as a Catholic mother and wife and frequently felt "less than" because of the choices Jesse and I had made for our family. It was in that class that I finally learned that God has given us all so many different gifts because if we were all the same then where's the fun in that? I was finally able to let go of the fact that I just can't knit and I'm not particularly crafty. But I have other talents that other women may not have. No one "has it all" and through the writings of Blessed John Paul II, I was able to find peace where I am. I haven't been able to take another ENDOW course so I was very pleased to find Donna-Marie's new book laid out in a format that was similar to the soul searching I was able to do at ENDOW. Each chapter is packed with personal stories, scripture, quotes from the Saints and so much more. The end of every chapter has reflection questions. You could easily do use this book on your own for personal growth and reflection or in a group of women.
The book is broken up into five parts. The first part reflects on discovering ourselves in Christ. The second part is called "Christ is My Strength" and the third "Christ is My Life". The last two parts are called "Meeting Christ in Others" and "Christ is My Joy".
There are so many parts of this book that I appreciate. One big one is the part about finding Christ amidst the struggles. It can sometimes be so easy to BLAME God for our struggles and not so easy to ask Him to help us through the struggles (note I did not say for Him to take the struggles away. We will all have struggles and learning to "suffer well" is a valuable skill). The section on struggling touches on things like redemptive suffering and dealing with (unnecessary) guilt (what woman doesn't carry a heap of guilt around with her??). It was a blessing to read the words that Donna-Marie uses in addition the scripture quoted within that section.
As women we are called to be loving, kind, and nurturing. It's how we are built. As Catholic Women we are called to be the light of Christ in other people's lives. Rooted in Love reminds us to unplug, stop listening to the world, and to look to the One Who made us for the direction that we should go in life. This book would make an excellent read during this Advent Season and a fabulous stocking stuffer too (or gift for a friend or a good choice for a women's book club.....oh just read it already!!).
I believe this book can help to bring peace to a woman's life, family, and soul. It's easy to relate to, funny, thought provoking and can make you cry a bit too. What else could you ask for?
You can find it on Amazon, at the Ave Maria Press website, Barnes and Noble, or at your local Catholic bookstore.
You can find Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's full bio HERE
You can see Amy's review here: http://www.ekblad9.blogspot.com/2012/12/rooted-in-love-my-turn-on-ave-marie.html