The Authentic Catholic Woman (by Genevieve Kineke)
[I received a copy of this book for review.]
I first became aware of this book (and the author) from Danielle Bean's blogsite. After reading her review, and seeing what Mrs. Kineke writes on her Feminine-Genius site, I knew this book would be an excellent read.
I was not disappointed.
We know that in a marriage, the husband and wife are to represent, in a very real way, Jesus Christ and His Church. But what does that mean, exactly, to image the Church? How are we called to live that out in our lives on a daily basis? The author takes us through the sacraments, as well as the Church's role of bride, mother, and virgin to show how all women -- in whatever vocation the Lord has given them -- are called to image the Church to the world.
In just one beautiful example, Mrs. Kineke discusses the sacrament of the Eucharist:
"As Christ gives Himself to us, we give of our very selves as we feed others. This can begin in the womb for those who are given the gift of motherhood, at the breast for those who so choose to feed their infants, at the dinner table, the picnic table, the soup kitchen, spoonful by spoonful in a nursing home and in every other setting where those who hunger are nourished.
"So, in our typically feminine way, women receive from God the ability to feed themselves and others, and they see Him in the faces of those they nourish. This is not to ignore the reality of the drudgery, the common ingratitude of those receiving the gifts and the physical and emotional strains such provisions require. What we have to focus on is the sacramental richness hidden behind the veil of ordinary life, which gives meaning and value to these acts of love."
As a homeschooling mother, I was especially interested in the chapter on the Church as Teacher. Just as the Church provides her children with various sacramentals and other "tangible symbols" -- holy water, incense, beads, stained glass, statues, etc -- to impart spiritual truths, so we as homeschooling mothers seek concrete ways to teach our children through "hands on" experiences, rather than relying solely on textbooks to provide the education our children need. We are further called to teach the truth clearly, and to pass on the Faith to the next generation.
This is a well thought-out, well-presented, and well-written book. My copy is filled with passages I've underlined, and I plan to go back through this again to take notes.
I highly recommend this book for any woman seeking to better understand her vocation.