Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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New book for mothers uses framework of liturgical year
by Jami LeBrun, Inland Register staff
(From the Nov. 11, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)
Kathleen Finley, teacher, speaker and writer on topics of spirituality for women, married couples, and families, recently released her latest book, The Liturgy of Motherhood: Moments of Grace, written from her home base in Spokane.
The Liturgy of Motherhood is a unique invitation to mothers and parents to pause and reflect on the rhythms, cycles, symbols and rituals that define who they are, both as caregivers and members of the larger community.
Finley uses the liturgical year as her framework, exploring how throughout the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Ordinary Time, mothers live the liturgy in their daily lives. She explores the spirituality of many kinds of mothers and the ways that various aspects of the Christians tradition – from the advent wreath to the Beatitudes, the Paschal mystery of Christ’s death and Resurrection to the daily celebration of the Sacraments – shed their light on the daily and unique holiness of motherhood.
“I wrote the book for a young mom struggling to try and figure out what she was living 20 years ago,” said Finley, “and that mom was me.”
After talking to women and mothers from all walks of life, Finley discovered that she was not the only confused mother; others had questions about their unique spirituality as well. She wove together the experiences and reflections of all sorts of mothers into The Liturgy of Motherhood.
“What I’m saying in this book isn’t new,” said Finley. “Lots of women have experienced it. But the way I’ve woven it all together is new. What I’m hoping is that women can read this, understand it and connect the dots, and then say, ‘yeah, I get it!’”
And though the book is titled The Liturgy of Motherhood, it is not just meant for mothers. Finley says that single women, Religious women, fathers and even the Church can get something out of the book.
“I find that right now our Church can use many of the gifts and the wisdom that women have had to develop in order to do well what they are faced with every day,” said Finley.
Finley stresses that though the book is organized around the liturgical year, it is not necessary to read the book in that order.
“You don’t have to read the Advent section only during Advent,” she said. “That’s just the way I’ve organized it.”
The Liturgy of Motherhood includes passages from Scripture, questions for reflection and suggestions for further resources, and provides a way for mothers to further develop the daily richness of our relationships as a “domestic church” within the Christian tradition.
“The key element is to use the Catholic tradition and prospective as a lens to look at mothers’ experience and be able to ask, ‘What does this have to say about my experience?’” said Finley.
Finley also recently released a book of prayers for new and expectant parents, titled Welcome! The book is an attempt to give parents and parents-to-be the opportunity to stop and savor the ways that God is involved in what they are experiencing, from trying to conceive until the child’s first birthday. It is full of heartfelt prayers that help put into words every possible feeling a parent may experience, from the pain of miscarriage to the joy of adoption to the wonder of baby’s first bath.
The Liturgy of Motherhood is published by Sheed & Ward and Welcome! is published by Ligouri.