In the Midst of Wolves, by Karen Kelly Boyce

William Shakespeare fans will see “In the Midst of Wolves” a modern extension of his tragedies. After Karen Kelly Boyce leaves you raw with the cruel machinations of Queen Regina, she soothes her readers with her spiritual insights and wisdom. This FIVE STAR novel will grip both adults and young adult readers. It’s made for discussion groups.

If Lady Macbeth would trade her breast “milk for gall,” so would Regina, “Queen” Kagan— the most tragic figure, in Boyce’s latest novel. Young Regina abandoned her humble beginnings for a status, wealth, and power. She used, discarded, and stood on anyone who could advance her fortunes—her family, her friends, and her true love. She exploited her husband, in-laws, children, and grandchildren as pawns in her quest to gobble-up her longtime business rivals.

Besides Regina’s similarity to Lady Macbeth, shades of other Shakespearean tragic figures populate “In the Midst of Wolves.” Romeo and Juliette, Hamlet and Ophelia, Othello, Iago, Desdemona, and Brutus, appear in the generations of Kagan family and household members.  Regina, the classic “nasty,” dominates and deforms the psyche of her children and grandchildren. She, and sometimes they, with their lies, blackmail, bribery, and intimidation spread misery wherever they go.

Romeo and Juliette, Hamlet and Ophelia, who were likely teens during their tragic years, resemble the younger characters in Boyce’s novel. Parental or grand-parental rejection, bullying and social pressure led the unloved children to seek solace in vengeance and sex. Out-maneuvered, they found that revenge furthered Regina’s plans and that sex wasn’t the love they craved, especially when it led to an unexpected pregnancy and added rejection. They endured the sting of condemnation from the self-righteous who lifted not a finger to help, while committing far more grievous sins.

“In the Midst of Wolves” speaks to the adults of today, reminding them of their power to influence the lives of their children and grandchildren. Adult readers witness Regina and her ilk use their wealth and position to bribe, influence, and manipulate the world around them. Regina reaped gains while she “destroyed” her enemies, among them, members of her household. “In the Midst of Wolves,” explored the evils of too much wealth in the hands of those shockingly devoid of compassion.  Adults must set a life-affirming example, especially as the Regina Kagans of the world grow in dominance. The young adult readers will resonate with this tragic tale of the younger Kagans, especially since they experience the same struggles and are prone to the same mistakes.

Since “In the Midst of Wolves” is a YA novel with adult appeal, I could see its wide use in adult and youth discussion groups. Karen Kelly Boyce set the tone for each chapter with a scripture selection, instead of a chapter title. As narrator, she shared meditations rich in wisdom and spiritual life to launch each chapter. This timely, yet classic novel will stand out among recent YA offerings. Boyce dares to buck the trend. She offers her unique and hopeful perspective to modern teens.

 

 

 

Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Catholic Fiction, Catholic Theme, Catholic Writers Guild, Catholic Writing and Publishing, Christian education of youth, Faith, Juvenile fiction, Novel, Pro-life, Young Adult Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

From the President’s Desk – Terrorism Comes Close

Photo courtesy KJ

Photo courtesy KJ

It’s a beautiful autumn day as I write this. Here in Canada, we are still in shock that terrorism has come so close. It played out like a suspense novel. A young reservist, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, was shot and killed by a Muslim extremist. Most of downtown Ottawa was in lock down as the RCMP and military personnel were trying to ascertain whether there were multiple gunmen. When I found out about the shooting, I was immediately concerned for my 22 year old son, who attends college a few blocks from Parliament Hill. I texted him, but there was no response. I found out from another student that the university was in lock down with intermittent internet. I knew he was probably safe, but only breathed a sigh of relief when he texted back four hours later. The lock down was finally lifted at around 5:30 and he was able to go home.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo guarding the War Memorial minutes before he was gunned down (photo Huffington Post)

Corporal Nathan Cirillo guarding the War Memorial minutes before he was gunned down (photo Huffington Post)

Incidents like these remind us of our vulnerability. We are blessed with freedom — and free will. All persons have a choice to do good or to do evil. I just can’t imagine how any religion can justify unprovoked violence on innocent people. But, as a friend reminded me recently, western countries are no stranger to causing unprovoked violence to the most vulnerable of all, the unborn child.

In the unprovoked violence on Wednesday, however, there were many accounts of heroism, from the bystanders performing CPR on Corporal Cirillo to Parliament’s Sergeant at Arms, Kevin Vickers shooting the suspected gunman before he could enter the caucus room where many of the Members of Parliament were meeting.

Please join me in praying for all who were affected and for the souls of those died on Wednesday. May God keep both USA and Canada “strong and free.”

Guild Elections:
Elections are coming! You will be receiving an instruction email soon. The CWG Board for 2014/2015 will be:

Ellen Gable Hrkach – President
Arthur Powers – Vice President
Ann Lewis – Treasurer
Dave Law – Secretary
Nancy Ward – Committee Coordinator

Please vote in our upcoming Guild elections to confirm the above board members.
Voting is a privilege! Although I live in Canada, I still vote in US elections. As a new Canadian, I voted for the first time since in our municipal election. Please let your voice be heard!

Join me in giving a special thank you to Jennifer Fitz (outgoing VP) and Don Mulcare (outgoing Committee Coordinator) for their service!

Membership Dues:
Membership dues will be increasing to $40 per year starting on January 1, 2015. We will be stopping the automatic dues payments as of January 1st and we will be sending PayPal invoices to all members who had previously been on automatic dues payment. Please pay your membership dues in a timely manner. The Guild depends on this money to pay for the day-to-day business expenses of the Guild.

FREE BOOK: My second novel, In Name Only, is FREE through Sunday on Kindle.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns: president (at) catholicwritersguild.com

Blessings,

Ellen Gable Hrkach
President, CWG

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing, CWG Member News, Inspirational | Tagged | 1 Comment

Looking Backward

As humans it is sometimes difficult not be caught up in what was; our history.  Although history has made us what file0002118597334we are, we sometimes fall into the trap of making the “good old days” more perfect that they actually were.  We remember departed friends and relatives as nobler, more generous, more perfect. Rarely do our natures’ take us to those past disasters, sorrowful moments and things that did not work out.  Those seem to get filtered out along with the times when we were not the best version of ourselves. Yet all of that remains in each of us as a remnant of our past.

However we proceed in life we cannot remove our past.  For all of its goodness or badness it remains an integral part of the fabric that makes us who we are. It would do us each well to make peace with our past and learn to take a more generous look at the gifts that our history has given us. This postmodern society tends to pooh-pooh the past for the sake of “what have you done for me lately”?  That’s unfortunate because it could  well be that we are ignoring the very thing that could be a healing force in our lives.

One stunning example of that is the parable of the Vineyard Owner and the Workers (Mt 20:1-16).  You know, the story where different day laborers began working at different times of the day yet the owner paid them equally.  For me the most stunning quote of that story comes at the very end.  The Owner retorts to the complaining laborers that he can do what he pleases with his own money and then asks them this question: “Are you envious because I am generous?” 

          When you look backward in your own life what do you see?  It’s all too tempting to recall the sting of those times when we feel that God has let us down.  That’s a danger to be vigilant of.  It can lead to self-pity and lack of progress when it comes to your spiritual self.   What about the rest of your history?  For example, the laborers who did not work a full day most likely were ready to accept short pay for the day. That was the consequence.  That’s not what happened.  The Owner of the vineyard was a man of integrity who always had the intention of being generous in an equal way to all of his laborers.   The fact that some came late, some did not experience the hottest part of the day, some were not there for the hardest labor   didn’t matter.

If you recall, the laborers who complained the loudest were those who worked the full day.  Did you ever begrudge it when someone you knew received a bonus that they really didn’t deserve?   Thomas Aquinas reminds us that even attitudes about the past can be sinful. His comment on this parable includes this statement: “He is properly ‘evil’ who sorrows over goodness.”  Even after hearing the complaining the Owner’s attitude did not change.

When you look back at times past what’s your attitude? In the most difficult of past circumstances can you spot the generosity of God? Can you go back and view the big picture and all the things that rippled from it?  We need to be reminded that God is outside of time.  Minutes, hours, years don’t exist for him.   God is always in the now.  What that really means is that if you are suffering or regretting things past that all is not lost.  Looking hard for God’s generosity in the circumstance and acknowledging that he was there can be the beginning healing that spirals forward into the rest of our life.  There has not been one microsecond in your life when God was not present.  Look “backward”.  Spot God’s handiwork and move forward like you never thought was possible.  God is the real owner of the vineyard. St. John Vianney taught: “Trials do not reflect a sign of disfavor with God. Rather, the reverse is indicated.  God is offering and invitation even if it hardly seems so.”  That’s the thing about God’s invitations.  They never have expiration dates!

 

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Monday’s Writing Tips – Your Office!

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Last week I went over all the many ways we sabotage ourselves by not taking our writing seriously. This week I would like to share some of the ways you can remedy that. First you have to get rid of all the doubts and fears that you’ve been carrying around in your head. There is something strange about artists. They seem to always need someone else’s adulation and approval. As a nurse, I had to get a degree. In order to be officially recognized as a nurse, I had to pass a test. When I passed that test, I got a license stating that I was a Registered Nurse in the state of New Jersey.

Do you think any of that made me a good nurse? Oh, it gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to care for my patients. It didn’t teach me to care. My license didn’t teach me the instinct to know when something wasn’t right and needed attention. My degree didn’t give me the heart to drag my tired self down the hall to check on a patient just one more time. You can’t teach someone to be a nurse. It is born in them.

Too bad writers can’t get a license to prove to publishers, bookstores, and mainly themselves that they are writers. However, talent is not easily defined. I know many people who have English or Literature degrees who couldn’t write an interesting paragraph if their life depended on it. I know high-school drop-outs and many people to whom English is a second language who floor me with their talent. So what makes one a writer? Like nursing, I believe it is a calling, a gift from God.

However, we doubt our gift. We deny the very spirit that moves us to conger stories and create characters. I only know one thing.   If you don’t think of yourself as a writer, no one else will. If you don’t take your writing seriously, why should anyone else?

So how do you think of yourself as a writer? I want you to take two simple steps this week. First, I want you to tell everyone who asks or anyone you meet that you are a writer. Aren’t you? Announce to that family member who wants to keep you in a well-defined box that you’ve broken out of the box. Let them know you have launched a new career. If you meet someone new and they ask you what you do for a living, tell them that you’re an author. You may be surprised at how interested and accepting people are. Those fears and doubts are in your own mind.

Why am I telling you to do this? Not to convince others, but to convince yourself. There’s something about hearing your own voice say something that makes it accepted truth. Go ahead, plunge forward with courage.

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Secondly, I want you to create an office. In 2012 I watched a documentary on the author Nora Roberts. What caught my attention was her office. She had dedicated a room in her home to her writing. She had a beautiful wrap-a-round wooden desk. She had shelves that contained all her novels and awards. She surrounded herself with reminders of her own success. It made her prolific. She spends six to nine hours a day in that office. Wow! Just like a real job!

It inspired me. I looked around and found a neglected loft space in my home. I had my husband pick up my childhood desk that was languishing in my mother’s attic. It was a dark wood Spanish style, with shelves that sat above it. I framed all the covers of my books and placed them on the shelves with inspiring plaques and any good reviews or awards I received beside them. I put up a bookcase with all my reference books, and  signed copies of my favorite novels and the novels that inspired me. I went to Wal-mart and purchased a comfortable swivel chair and wastebasket. I had my office!

That is your assignment. You are a real writer. If you don’t have an office – create one! Look around.  You deserve your own spot. Surround yourself with your success. Each day it will remind you who you are. If you already have an office, spruce it up. Renew your surroundings and you will renew your spirit.

Karen Kelly Boyce lives on a farm in NJ with her retired husband Michael. She has two grown children and two grandchildren. She is an award-winning novelist and writes a children’s series for Chesterton Press

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing | 8 Comments

CWG Prayer Chain Post: October 19, 2014

The CWG Prayer Chain Post is a weekly post for members to include their special intentions by adding a comment.

Psalms 17: 1-6

Listen, Yahweh, to an upright cause, pay attention to my cry, lend an ear to my prayer, my lips free from deceit.From your presence will issue my vindication, your eyes fixed on what is right. You probe my heart, examine me at night, you test me by fire and find no evil. I have not sinned with my mouth as most people do. I have treasured the word from your lips, my steps never stray from the paths you lay down, from your tracks; so my feet never stumble. I call upon you, God, for you answer me; turn your ear to me, hear what I say.

The power of prayer and the power of people praying

OCTOBER INTENTION PRAYER 

Blessing of the Harvest
Our help is in the name of the Lord. Who has made heaven and earth. The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.
Almighty Lord God, You keep on giving abundance to men in the dew of heaven, and food out of the richness of the soil. We give thanks to Your most gracious majesty for the fruits of the field which we have gathered. We beg of You, in Your mercy, to bless our harvest, which we have received from Your generosity. Preserve it, and keep it from all harm. Grant, too, that all those whose desires You have filled with these good things may be happy in Your protection. May they praise Your mercies forever, and make use of the good things that do not last in such a way that they may not lose those goods that are everlasting, through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Please leave a comment with your intention. If you have problems adding an intention, email it to Mike Hays at coachhays(at)gmail(dot)com and I will add it.  God bless.

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing | 1 Comment

The Joyful Beggar by Louis de Wohl

The Joyful BeggarThe Joyful Beggar by Louis de Wohl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is it with Louis de Wohl’s books? They’re like peanuts or popcorn. You just keep tossing back handfuls because they’re so good and go down so tastily.

I received The Joyful Beggar on a Saturday at noon in the mail. Sunday at noon I was 75% done. It really grabbed me, obviously. I should’ve expected that since I’ve had that reaction to de Wohl’s books before. They are consistently entertaining, historical fiction of saints and the times in which they lived.

I’m aware of the details of St. Francis’s life but have never felt much connection with this saint. I wondered if sinking deeper into his life could help my life as a Christian. That’s another of Louis de Wohl’s talents, by the way. Whether or not you feel a personal affinity for someone, he brings to light aspects of their lives that illuminate your own.

Sharp as a blade, the Pope’s mind put it all together. This beggar was a troubadour, a Minnesanger, as they called them in Germany, a “singer of love,” but for once here was one who was singing in praise of the Love of God.

“I am the poor woman in the desert,” Francis explained merrily. “And I trust my Lord, the King. he will look after my sons.”

A jester and a dancer; a beggar and a troubadour; a preacher, a monk, a teller of parables, and perhaps a saint: there was no end to the man. If Satan could distort the minds of many to preach against the Church in the name of purity, here was one who could preach for the Church in the same name; here was, perhaps, the antidote against the poison in the veins of Europe, the man to give fresh life to a world grown cold. And therefore this man could be, nay, was the one who held up the falling walls of the Church. And that was all Innocent wanted to know.

What I felt after reading this book was Francis’s joy in serving, his release from fear, his complete trust in God. I especially appreciated the way Francis connected Brother Sun and Sister Moon and all the other elements of his famous Canticle of the Sun with Jesus. It was that connection which made nature holy, the connection with our Lord in his Incarnation. Beautiful.

As always, de Wohl shows us the saint’s story through other imagined characters who have their own journeys to God. This is very useful for explaining the history and customs of the times. Quite often there is a contrast which layers meaning and context for the overall power of that particular saint. In this book there were both Clare of Assisi on her own journey to holiness and Roger of Vandria, continually striving to simply regain his ancestral lands. As they grow so do we.

“In that case, why not make a test?” Francis suggested. “Let a great fire be lighted before your tent, and these learned priests of yours and I will enter it. Then God may show which is the true faith.”

Roger gasped. If that was supposed to be a bluff, it was a very dangerous one. There were fanatics enough among Moslem priests, and at least some of them might accept the challenge.

The sultan glanced at his imams and mullahs. they looked a little vague, as if they had not understood the little dervish’s words, and one of them, standing at the back, began to move with great dignity toward the exit of the tent.

“I don’t think my priests are very likely to consent to this test of yours, little dervish,” Al Kamil said, smiling.

He’s got out of it, Roger thought, half relieved, half angry.

“Then I will enter the fire alone,” Francis said quietly, “If you promise for yourself and for your people that you will worship Christ if I come out of the fire unhurt.” After a little pause he added, “If I should be burned to death, it will be due only to my sins. But if God protects me, it is a clear sign of his holy will, and you must all accept Christ.

Now he has killed himself, Roger thought. This is too good a spectacle for the sultan to miss. The man is mad. He is a fanatic. He is magnificent. By all the angels and devils, he is the only crusader in the army. What a pity he is done for. Those priests will take him at his word, even if the sultan doesn’t.

Did I wind up best friends with Francis of Assisi? No. But we can’t be best friends with everyone. I did, however, wind up as more than a casual acquaintance with my own life enriched thanks to the story of the joyful beggar.

NOTE:
This is a review book from Ignatius Press. This opinion is my own, uninfluenced by anything as paltry as a free book. As anyone is well aware who reads this blog regularly.

For a good overview of the novels, take a look at Rose Trabbic’s piece Discovering the Novels of Louis de Wohl. Also well worth reading is Will Duquette’s review of The Citadel of God where he gives a concise commentary on de Wohl as an author, with which I completely agree.

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“Po Sunday” Welcome Katie O’Neil our NEW Assisant Po (etry) Editor

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Editor’s Note
As you can see, reinforcements have arrived.  We now have an assist for Poetry Sunday who has much better taste in poetry than I do as well as a great background.   She has lots of poetry suggestions swirling in her head already.  As you can observe in her screen shot, even the angels have blessed her with a smile from God in a recent trip to Niagra  Falls!

A Gospel of Autumn

 Across these leaves of gold,

Under the Autumn sun,

What solemn gospels are unrolled!

I read them one by one.

 

Behold how small a bud,

Tender, and frail, and brief,

But nourished by the trees sweet blood,

Is brought to perfect leaf!

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Behold, how frail a bough,

Its pliable, slim frame

Quite stiffened with the frost, is now

In leafage, all a-flame!

 

Lo! as the prophet heard

Of old, I clearly hear

From every burning bush God’s word

Outspoken to mine ear.

                      Charles Warren Stoddard

 

   THE ANGELS

They all have tired mouths
And luminous, illimitable souls;
And a longing (as if for sin)
Trembles at times through their dreams.

They all resemble one another,
In God’s garden they are silent
Like many, many intervals
In His mighty melody.

But when they spread their wings
They awaken the winds
That stir as though God
With His far-reaching master hands
Turned the pages of the dark book of Beginning.

                   Rainer Maria Rilke

 Katie attended McGill University in Montreal for a B.A. with honors in History.  She also focused on English literature and the Classics. Her main interests are music history and art history. Currently she assists on several technological and educational projects from private companies and universities. She prefers to be involved with several projects, many cultural. She is published in poetry and Art History.  We are lucky to have her at the CWG Poetry Space. Welcome Katie!

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No Place Like Home

Dorothy Smith surprised and blessed the heck out of my husband and me.  Homeless since her mother died in Hurricane Katrina, Dorothy is without a doubt one of the most “at home” people that Mark and I have ever encountered.

We met Dorothy two weeks ago in New Orleans, the night of our second anniversary.  After enjoying a celebratory meal of authentic Italian food in the French Quarter, we decided to take a stroll along the “Moon Walk,” the scenic walkway atop the levee that runs adjacent to the Mississippi River.  We had just sat down on a bench to watch the ships pass by on the moonlit river when a large rat ran by, perching itself in the grass about ten feet away from us.  When the rat peeked its head out from the green blades to look directly at us, I expressed my consternation that there were rats running around on the Moon Walk.   On that note, Dorothy Smith plopped herself down right beside us.

“He’s just one of God’s creatures, and he needs to eat, just like everyone else,” Dorothy said with a knowing smile on her face that indicated her personal familiarity with the river rodents.   Within minutes, we were engaged in a full-blown conversation with Dorothy, and I had a feeling that we weren’t in Kansas anymore.  Nope.  It was clear we were over the rainbow.

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Dorothy shared that had been a school bus driver for many years, and had lived with her mother until the waters of Katrina “swept Mama away.” Katrina left her Mama dead, and Dorothy, severely traumatized by the tragedy, began to have “delusions.”

“Mama was all I had, and I’ve been on the street ever since,” Dorothy shared openly.  “But I don’t want for nothing, because the blood of Jesus covers me and God takes care of me,” she said with deep conviction.

We asked Dorothy where she sleeps at night, and she told us she stays mostly at “Camp Katrina” on Congress Street, “where Ms. Rose gives us homeless people a bed, a shower and a hot meal.  I need thirty five dollars to stay there for three days,” she said without a hint of suggestion in her voice.

“And you know what? God always sends an angel to give me the money.”

Minutes later, Mark took his wallet out to offer help—only to learn that it had in it exactly the thirty-five dollars that Dorothy needed to secure a bed and food for the next three nights. Dorothy asked if we could give her a ride back to Camp Katrina, and we were happy to comply.  Though I wouldn’t normally allow a stranger into our car, especially in the French Quarter, there was something about Dorothy that spoke of real goodness.  I knew there was nothing to fear.

“Mama raised me in the Church and taught me to love God,” she disclosed as we rode through the dark streets at ten o’clock at night.  “Most days, I sit in St. Louis Cathedral for hours on end praying,” she continued.  “I know God will take care of me,” she said smiling as she exited the car.  “He always does.”

Dorothy thanked us graciously as she stepped onto the street in front of Camp Katrina, returning to the only place on earth she can remotely call home.  But it was obvious that Dorothy knows she has another home—a home that can be counted on to last, come what may.  

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  (John 14:23)

Posted in Catholic Writing and Publishing, Faith, Inspirational | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Need More Space?

monks prayingAs I prayed the Divine Office, I realized I was missing something important. When I pray alone, I tend to forget the call-and-response rhythm of the psalms. A more conscious effort to place the pause within each couplet, instead of between couplets restores the sense that I am praying with others, with the Church. This effort to overcome my tendency to make each psalm a ‘run-on sentence’ led to an ‘Aha!’ moment.

This taking of a deep breath at each asterisk within couplets reminds me to take in the grace I need within the difficult moments, the demanding moments, the purposeful moments of my life. Instead of pausing when finished with a task, resting from an ordeal, or finally past an obstacle, I need to open up and wait upon the Lord ‘in the middle’ – in the midst.

Next time you pray the Office (and the sooner, the better!) try making this tiny change and you’ll find new spaces opening up within your full and busy life.

Posted in Devotionals, Inspirational | 3 Comments

Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious by Pat Gohn

Pat Gohn, cancer survivor, celebrates womanhood by exploring a woman’s dignity, gifts and mission with exciting, personal stories. Discovering the gift of her womanhood brought her into a deeper relationship with God, her husband, family, and, to her surprise, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Her formation in life and the faith revolved around music. Garage band guitar music.  When she gave her heart to Jesus Christ at a retreat, she realized God was inviting her to use her guitar playing and writing gifts for his purposes. In three words: Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious, she helps us discover who we are and what gifts we have that reflect our innate and eternal beauty.

Blessed is a sublime dignity we did not earn. “God configures us to be like Christ, the beloved Son. We are beloved daughters not only like Jesus inidentity, but also in action. We are called to behave like him, too. Like spiritual DNA, grace enables us to forgive, to reconcile, to heal, and ultimately love like Jesus. We. Were. Made. For. This.”

Beautiful means women are uniquely endowed with gifts of receptivity, generosity, sensitivity and maternity. When we trust these gifts, we become beautiful from the inside out. As we exercise our gifts, beauty always emerges.

  • Receptivity means our bodies and souls are designed to receive God and others. God cultivated a spirit of receptivity in Pat through her marriage, motherhood and her struggle to understand and emulate Mary as the handmaid of the Lord. “When I trusted God wholeheartedly, I found joy in my role. It’s almost as if I could pray alongside Mary that, ‘He who is mighty has done great things for me.’ Indeed, he had.”
  • Generosity empowers our receptivity. My favorite chapter was “Making a Gift of Yourself,” where Pat writes, If receptivity is one of our greatest feminine gifts found in the nature of our womanhood, then generosity is the gift that empowers it. Generosity’s actions and dispositions are the way we demonstrate the largesse and lavishness of God’s love in ours.
  • Sensitivity is seeing with our hearts, and not just our eyes, the hidden dignity of others with compassion, affection, care and mercy. “Like those superhero superpowers, some women have become very highly attuned, with a kind of x-ray vision of the hearts around them.”
  • Maternity involves both physical and spiritual motherhood. Mary and the nurturing women in her life spiritually mothered Pat through her pregnancies and years of motherhood. She would later learn that this spiritual motherhood is the deepest and most challenging calling of every woman. Spiritual motherhood “is about becoming a woman of holy influence, being a life-giver to others.”

“Bodaciousness is maternity magnified. Bodacious women are those whose lives have the most purpose and meaning when they give their love away and when their love takes shape in others.” They embody physical and spiritual motherhood, characterized by bodacious fullness, an all-in willingness to lay one’s life down for the sake of another in small and large ways. They do this in sync with the Church.

Pat writes that, with the sexual revolution, contraception and access to abortion desensitizes many women, closing our receptivity, limiting our generosity, blunting our sensitivity and sterilizing our maternity. God’s grace can restore our maternal gift spiritually, if not physically. She concludes. “Our bodacious calling —our maternal mission—is our role in the new evangelization that the Church must take on. The time is now for women to shine their light and love as guardians of life.”

(Review © 2014 Nancy H C Ward)

Posted in Book Review, Catholic Theme, Catholic Writing and Publishing, Inspirational, Pro-life | Comments Off