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Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers
Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 2005
Reviewed by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
As mothers, it is often hard to find time to pray, yet prayer is so essential to our lives. Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, a mother of five children, understands this and wrote "Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers" as a way to help meet that challenge.
The first thing that strikes you when you meet this book is its size and design. It is small, meant to tuck neatly into a purse or diaper bag, an on-the-go reminder that God comes first and is there to help us in our daily lives. The pages are also beautifully designed with soft background images. One can't help but feel calmer and more centered just appreciating the pages. The true value of this book, however, are the words on the pages. Cooper O'Boyle has combined classic prayers (for example, one will find the Memorare of St. Bernard and the Prayer to St. Michael) with quotes from the Bible and spiritual giants such as St. Thomas Aquinas and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta with her own original prayers and reflections.
In Chapter Nine "Prayerful Days" Cooper O'Boyle writes of the need to make our everyday life a prayer. "Jesus was known to retreat from the crowds often to pray in solitude, usually on a mountain or in a desert, preferably at night. As mothers, most times we don't have the opportunity to sneak away or retreat to solitude. We know that the care of our family is pretty much all-consuming, and while we cannot go off to the mountain or the desert, we can strive to find the mountain and desert moments in our lives, even in the midst of the busyness. Capture these moments and use them prayerfully." Cooper O'Boyle's prayers and reflections are moving and honest. She understands the pressures that mothers are under as well as the joys and sorrows they face. Her words tug at the heart and raise the mind to focus on God.
"Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers" is designed for mothers at all stages of the journey. It would be a wonderful gift for any Catholic mother in need of spiritual uplift.
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of www.spiritualwoman.net. Visit her blog at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com