Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grace Cafe: Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering Review

A review from Elena Maria:

"I started reading Grace Café by Donna-Marie Cooper-O'Boyle in Cool Beans Coffee Shop in Bellefonte on one frozen February morning. My husband and I can often be found there on Sundays while CCD classes are in progress. Cool Beans has comfortable arm chairs and a gas fireplace; it is the perfect place to curl up with a cup of coffee and read a wonderful book. It was especially suited for reading Grace Café, which further develops many of the themes put forth in The Domestic Church, but in a more personal and conversational style.

Once again, Donna-Marie shows us the meaning in the meaningless. That is, we have been convinced by the world that everything we women do in order to run a home is meaningless, since we are not bringing in a pay check to do what we do. Here are some lines that I highlighted in my copy of the book:

We live in a society where, sadly, a woman's value is most times measured by the size of her paycheck or lack of one. If a mom decides to devote her time to her family's care without pursuing outside employment, she may be considered to be less significant or inferior....

I have experienced jabs of jealousy and criticism from others at times because I was committed to raising my children full time....Others would say, 'Oh, it's nice you have the luxury to stay at home.'

Yet I believe that it is not a luxury~ it is a choice and a decision to do without some material things and comforts to be there for our little ones; it also requires putting aside our own aspirations for achievement in a particular field or direction. We have brought children into the world or accepted children through adoption, we should care for them assiduously. (pp.24-25)
While Grace Café is an immensely charming book, it takes a searing look at the attacks upon the family and upon women which masquerade as liberation.

A woman is given a role to care for others, specifically because she is a woman, because she is feminine. Femininity is a beautiful thing! Radical feminism is ugly. Woman have to realize that from their femininity will blossom many graces and blessings for society and for their families. Attempting to change a woman into a man does nothing but confuse matters and destroys families in the process....
Since not all women are called to be mothers in the physical sense, Grace Café explores the different ways of "mothering:"

Obviously, not all women are mothers; however, they can be mothers to others in their midst because women are given motherly hearts. I know many women who are not mothers but who are mothers to so many around them. (pp.96-97)

Rich in quotations from Scripture, saints, and pontiffs, Grace Café combines simplicity and profundity in an amazing manner. With Our Lady and St. Joseph as companions, we can find holiness in the fulfillment of the everyday duties of our states of life. Even when Donna-Marie is pointing out the flaws in our society, her tone is always one of hope and encouragement; it is a book which uplifts and energizes, not just in a sentimental way, but in a manner that inspires transformation in behavior as well as in attitude."

(Visit Elena Maria's blog here)


Thank you very much, Elena Maria for such a lovely review!

God bless you and your family!


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