ROOTED IN LOVE
Our Calling as Catholic Women
Ave Maria Press, 2012
224 pages, $14.95
By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
To order: avemariapress.com
God created woman to be exquisitely complex and wonderfully made.
In Rooted in Love, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle presents us with a clearer understanding of just who the Catholic woman is.
In her unique brand of feminine spirituality, nurtured by Blessed Mother Teresa and Venerable Father John Hardon, Cooper O’Boyle gently guides the reader spiritually through chapters on discovering who they are in Christ, how Christ works in their lives, how they can find Christ in others and living the joy of Christ.
Following each chapter are questions for reflection to help the woman who is reading explore the multiple dimensions of her personhood: her mind, heart, soul and body.
I have been a longtime fan of Cooper O’Boyle’s books, but Rooted in Love exceeded my expectations. This book engages readers in a conversational way, which makes you feel as if you are chatting with a close friend over coffee or tea, sitting in front of the fireplace in your living room. There is a warmth and naturalness that comes across in the writing, which draws the reader into the story.
Rooted in Love beautifully unravels the truths of the Catholic faith as they relate to the whole woman and shows her how to use them to her own advantage and for the benefit of those she encounters in her life: family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and even total strangers.
The book is lovingly sprinkled with quotes from some prominent saints, Scripture and excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal documents. Everything is explained clearly and thoroughly, applying it all in practical, down-to-earth ways you can use in your life.
Although I enjoyed the entire book, my favorite part was Chapter 7, “In My Struggles,” which uses Cooper O’Boyle’s own examples and advice to help readers deal with their trials and tribulations; this chapter fills hurting hearts with hope.
Rooted in Love was written primarily for women, but I believe that men could profit from reading this book, too. I think it would help them to understand a woman and her spirituality better.
That’s exactly the point of this book.
At the conclusion, Cooper O’Boyle recaps women’s mission from God: “Be sure to celebrate your feminine genius and true calling as a Catholic woman. Be sure to celebrate your feminine holiness in all that you do, being a Christian model for all. Live your life brimming with faith, hope and love, which will indeed help to guide and light the way for others. And let’s remember St. Clare of Assisi’s simple instructions, ‘Love God; serve God: Everything is in that.’”
Jean M. Heimann blogs at CatholicFire.blogspot.com.