Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Today's Reflection

From Catholic Mom's Cafe for June 25th:


True love causes pain. Jesus, in order to give us the proof of his love, died on the cross. A mother, in order to give birth to her baby, has to suffer. If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifices.~Blessed Mother Teresa


Again and again, Blessed Mother Teresa lets us in on that secret of love--the suffering part. Moms are well aware of the toil, tears, and sweat that go into their homemaking; but we must not forget to count the joys and satisfactions amid the difficulties. Ask God for the grace of his joy today.


Lord Jesus, grant me your graces. Mother Mary, open my heart to love. Act of Love, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.


Love and sacrifice intertwined brings solace and spiritual growth to my family.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Immediately encouraged and hopeful

Catholic Mom's Cafe, Five Minute Retreats for Every Day of the Year
by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 269 pages
Nihil Obstat: Msgr. Michael Heintz, Ph.D. Rhoades
Review by Maria Rioux

When I read the title of this book, I was immediately encouraged and hopeful. Much has been written about developing one's prayer life, but so much of what has been written simply does not work for busy moms. We're forever feeling torn between the duties of our vocation, the needs of our husband and children, the demands of the day and our desire to grow closer to God. But we need not feel torn because there is no real problem here. If we seek to do whatever God wills for us in the present moment, that _is_ a prayer. Who would imagine that a Father who loves His children as much as God loves each of us would only make it possible to grow closer to Him by neglecting the very vocation He called us to?

Even so, God does give us time in the day to spend with Him directly as opposed to through serving others with love. This book will help you use that time well. It will help make whatever time God allows for prayer this day to be fruitful both spiritually and practically. When there is not much spare time in any given day, one has to make the best use of every minute and being prepared gives the greatest hope. This book is a terrific help.

How? First of all, it is simply organized: a mini-retreat every day of the year. By mini-retreat I mean something that can be considered profitably in a short time which will be referred to and reconsidered throughout the day. The focus of these retreats is the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. Each month is dedicated to one of the three, allowing us to revisit and refocus on each, four times, before the year is complete. These virtues are pivotal, foundational...everything else flows from them and the cardinal virtues.

Each mini-retreat has four parts: ponder, offer, pray and savor.

The ponder portion is brief, just a quote of a few lines. These quotes are taken from a variety of sources: Scripture, Documents of the Church, authors, and famous and exemplary persons. Each point to something somehow connected to the particular virtue we hope to further develop. For example, "To love is to will the good of another." St. Thomas Aquinas. There's a lot to think on there. What determines what the good of another is? Many people would say it is what makes you happy, but unless they have their eye on eternal happiness and are working towards that, they could be working on becoming eternally miserable. Real love sometimes requires tough love.

The offer section is generally rooted in Donna-Marie's personal experience, but often enough recount a happening in the life of a saint or holy person worthy of imitation. This section, as is characteristic of each mini-retreat as a whole, is powerful but pithy, just a short paragraph or two. It's connected to the opening quote, and offered as an idea, a way to apply the particular virtue of faith, hope or charity to our lives in a concrete way.

I like the prayer section because, while it includes formal prayers like the Act of Faith, Hope and Love, the Hail Mary and the Our Father, it begins with a simple, personal prayer which you could adjust however you like to fit your own circumstances and temperament. To be authentic, our relationship with God must be a personal one, and getting into the habit of bringing our needs, hopes, and gratitude to Him in a conversational manner is a good thing. Formal prayers are also good, especially because they are more carefully thought out and so rich in meaning and theological connections. In case one is not familiar with various formal prayers, ones that are especially suited to mothers and family life, there is a section at the very beginning of the book listing them. Included is: the Morning Offering, Acts of Faith, Act of Hope, and Act of Love, as well as a short version of these by St. Therese, Memorare, Prayer to St. Michael, St. Therese's Prayer, Angel of God, St. Therese of Avila's Meditation, Prayer for Spiritual Communion, and Prayer to the Holy Family.

Lastly is the savor section, which is just a thought expressed in a line or two and intended to be reflected upon in the mind and heart, and used as a reminder...something to help us maintain our focus throughout the day.

This book is beautifully designed to allow busy mothers to grow closer to God in and through their vocation, and to do so by focusing the day on growing in faith, hope and love. These mini-retreats can fit anywhere in the day, though morning would be ideal because then one can reflect, savor and act on the promptings of the Holy Spirit throughout the day. It will help mothers do what Frances of Rome reminded us to do: "It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping." (Butler's Lives of the Saints).
[review as seen on Amazon]

Thank you very much, Maria Rioux. Your thoughtful words are deeply appreciated.

God bless you and yours!

Are we His eyes, hands and feet?

Recently, I presented talks, a workshop, and a Q & A at a Catholic women's retreat day. I reminded the women of some poignant and very essential words from Saint Teresa of Avila that we should wholeheartedly apply to our lives.

She said:

Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks with compassion into the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.

God bless you and yours!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Catholic guy's perspective!

Kevin Lowry of "A Grateful Convert" just blogged about my book. I think it's cool to get a Catholic guy's perspective. Here's what he said:

I admit it: I was a little reluctant about this book review. 

The problem is, I’m not a mom. What can I possibly say about a book that targets mothers? It’s not like I have any experience with the subject matter. I’m a guy. So my experience is 100% vicarious. Actual experience, 0%. 

When I received the review copy in the mail, I didn’t even open in for a couple days. It just felt daunting, like playing basketball wearing ice skates. But there was Donna-Marie’s smiling face on the cover. It’s impossible not to like her. Besides, she was so cool to me last year, when Faith at Work was released and I was just a newbie, know-nothing author. She sent me such encouraging notes, blogged about my book, and even mailed me a couple miraculous medals. So what’s a guy to do? 

I started reading the book, and everything changed. Immediately, I was absorbed. Yes, it’s a book from a mother’s perspective, and about motherhood. But there’s so much more to it! In short order, I realized that this book is just as applicable to men. 


It’s a little hard to describe, but for you married guys, have you ever walked into the bedroom after your wife puts on your favorite perfume? It’s sort of similar – this book is distinctly feminine in a way that men will find alluring – and I suspect women will find encouraging. 

Of course, I love retreats. They’re a spectacular way to slow down and gain a little perspective when the pace of daily life gains too much momentum. At the same time, at least in my own case, I feel the need for more one retreat per year. That’s why this book makes so much sense – there’s encouragement for every single day. The practical approach of quotes, reflections and prayers are perfect for daily use. 

Have you ever read scripture and it just happens to be perfectly applicable to your current situation? I suspect you’ll often run into the same thing with this book. After all, we can never completely penetrate the depths of faith, hope and love, right?

If you’re not familiar with Donna-Marie, do yourself a favor and check out the blog dedicated to Catholic Mom’s Cafe (the book and the television series): http://catholicmomscafe.blogspot.com/ or follow its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CatholicMomsCafe?ref=hl Autographed copies of the book are available at www.donnacooperoboyle.com, Our Sunday Visitor, or the usual channels. Please consider purchasing a copy, you will be very glad you did! - See more at: http://gratefulconvert.com/catholic-moms-cafe/#sthash.B3ug7aZ1.dpuf

Check Kevin's post out here too: http://gratefulconvert.com/catholic-moms-cafe/

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A new "vision"

I recently received an email from a woman who attended a key note speech I gave at Prince of Peace parish in Olathe, Kansas. With her permission I am sharing part of her message, along with a beautiful reflection she wrote.

Here's part of her email message to me:

Hello Donna-Marie!
  My name is Corey Grace and I recently met you in Kansas.:)  My husband, Ryan, and I were able to come to listen to your talk at Prince of Peace church in Olathe.  I just wanted to thank-you for coming and for sharing your wisdom and love of our Lord.  My husband and I both left feeling inspired, closer to God and to each other.  I am a stay-at-home mom of 5 children.  Noah-9, Ava-7, Hannah-5, Eleanor-3, and Henry-1.  Some days I forget what I gift I have been given by being chosen to be their mother.  You helped me remember that.  Thank-you.

Here's Corey's beautiful reflection: 

I washed our windows today.  They were LONG overdue and boy are they sparkling!  What a treat to look outside without smudges and handprints blocking my vision!:)  Right now, the house is quiet.  The children are reading and napping.  Ahhh... I know that I will get to enjoy my flawless windows for another hour...TOPS.:)  But, I am going to do just that!  Enjoy my new perspective until the children are up and about.  The grass looks greener.  The sky bluer.  It seems I can just reach out and touch the flowers blooming in our flower bed.  My sparkling clean windows have me thinking about my faith.  Sometimes, all it takes is a change of perspective to change our attitudes.  Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle spoke about this, too.  She told a story about driving in traffic.  As she was driving along in her car, a man whizzed by and gave her "the finger".  She said, "You know what that guy got from me?  He got a decade of the rosary!  Oh, yes!  I prayed for my brother in Christ."  What an awesome perspective!  It's a perspective of love and selflessness.  It's a perspective of humility and grace.  It's a bright and sparkly perspective, just like my windows.  Sometimes my perspective is the opposite of that.  If my perspective is "off", I will look out my clean and shiny windows and see the dust on the blinds that hang in front of them.  Or, I will see the weeds more clearly in our garden.  Today, keep a sparkly and self-less perspective.  Chose to see the beauty.  Chose to see those whom we struggle with the most as a brother or sister in Christ.  Pray for them.  Give them a decade of the rosary or a Hail Mary for their rudeness or inconsiderate behaviors.  After all, isn't that what God does for us.  He sees us with a perspective that is clear and beautiful.  He see us in our beauty.  There is no question about it, God's windows MUST be sparkly and smudge free!:)

Thank you for allowing me to share your lovely reflection, Corey. May we all strive to "clean our windows" for a new perspective as we pray to come closer to God while guiding our family all the way. 

God bless you and your beautiful family, Corey!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My recent interview on EWTN's Bookmark show

 Discussing two of my recent books: Catholic Mom's Cafe and Rooted in Love:Our Calling as Catholic Women.

 God bless!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wonderful prayer support!

I don't usually share from my personal letters, but I thought I should share this time because it is about blessings that are meant for others - not just me...I'm sharing a part of a personal letter written to me by my dear friend Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke (Prefect, Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura) in which he said, "...Be assured that I have been remembering in my prayers the intention of the new television series entitled, 'Catholic Mom's Cafe,' which you began in April on EWTN..."

We are so blessed to have his prayers.

God bless you all!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Coming up this week end on EWTN's Bookmark show!

From the EWTN's "Wings" newsletter:


"EWTN Bookmark" is double booked---literally! Host Doug Keck has his hands full with two of Author and Mother Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's books. For the first course Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle serves up five-minute devotionals from "Catholic Mom's Café" to-go for busy moms on-the-run! Later, she speaks from her own life experience and how a sturdy foundation in the Catholic Faith kept her "Rooted in Love" during tough times.


June 16, 2013, Sunday
Donna-Marie's EWTN’s Bookmark appearance with Doug Keck
9:30 AM & 11:30 PM EST

June 17, 2013, Monday
Donna-Marie's EWTN’s Bookmark appearance with Doug Keck
5:00 AM EST

June 17, 2013, Monday
Donna-Marie's EWTN’s Bookmark appearance with Doug Keck
5:30 PM EST


Monday, June 3, 2013

Recent interview on "Catholic Vitamin"

You can win a copy of my book Catholic Mom's Cafe here. A recent interview on "Catholic Vitamin" in which I share about Catholic Mom's Cafe, Catholic mothering, and more: http://catholicvitamins.com/catholic-vitamin-o-offering/

God bless you and yours!