Divine Mercy for Momsby Emily Jaminet, Michele Faehnle
Length: Approximately 4 hours. To read (135 pages).
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What exactly is “divine mercy” and how does it apply to daily life as a wife and mother? Two mothers dive deep into the idea of divine mercy from St. Faustina Kowalska and share their stories and practical tools for living out a life full of mercy in words, deeds, and prayers.
Who should read this?
This book is for Christian women who want to learn more about St. Faustina Kowalska’s Divine Mercy devotion. The book is geared toward Catholic mothers, but any Christian wife and any Christian mother will find wonderful tips on how to improve their faith in the midst of marriage and motherhood. This book is also for women who don’t have a lot of time to read, as the book is short and to-the-point. This book also is written to be used by small groups for a book study.
Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet co-wrote the book, with Michele writing chapters 1, 4 and 6 and Emily writing chapters 2, 3 and 5. They wrote the introduction and study guide together. They are friends who have known each other for a long time and have worked together on women’s conferences in Columbus, Ohio.
They also co-chair our Catholic school’s Catholic Identity Committees and give talks on our faith to women’s groups and other organizations. Emily has a daily radio reflection called “A Mother’s Moment,” which streams live on stgabrielradio.com at 2:55 p.m. EST each weekday.
Michele and Emily wrote the book mainly for mothers to show the spiritual and practical side of living out Divine Mercy. The book is written from their personal stories and perspectives. They invite you along on their life journey as they strive to apply lessons learned from St. Faustina in their daily lives.
Mothers are busy with all the daily tasks of running a family. Often, spirituality is pushed to the side. However, it can be a vitally important part of being a good mother. Emily and Michele wrote a short book to show mothers how the lessons of Divine Mercy can help increase their spirituality in their day-to-day lives. Last year (2017) was called the Year of Mercy by the Catholic Church. Many people focused on learning more about St. Faustina. Divine Mercy for Moms actually was published beforehand, so it became a great resource for mothers.
St. Faustina was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. She was Polish and joined a convent when she was 18 years old. She had a vision of Jesus where she was asked to paint a picture of him. She also kept a diary where she wrote about how Jesus spoke to her about mercy. Faustina died of tuberculosis at the age of 33. From her diary, there is a Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer.
This book goes over the history of St. Faustina and then goes into lessons from Divine Mercy for mothers. They cover developing trust in Jesus, showing mercy to neighbors, the corporal works of mercy, the spiritual works of mercy, and Mary’s role in mercy. For each topic, the authors share very personal stories about how they try to live out divine mercy.
For the history of St. Faustina, Michele shares her story about visiting The Shrine of Divine Mercy in Poland. In the chapter about trusting Jesus, Emily goes over how she finds little ways in her day to implement thinking about Divine Mercy through prayers or having the image placed someplace where she sees it often. The rest of the chapters share very practical ways to live out Divine Mercy in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities.
The authors also have a great Web site that has a blog, resources, shop, and support area. They offer some freebies, which include a bookmark, coloring page, journal page, and checklists. There is a resource page that offers links to enhance the book, and these are organized by each chapter in the book. They have also written a second book called The Friendship Project, which encourages women in their friendships with each other.
I found this book to be very profound and inspirational. Since it is only 6 chapters, I read one chapter each Sunday during the season of Lent so that I would take my time to read and ponder the ideas in the book. A dear friend of mine gave me a copy of the book as she had two copies. Neither of us knew too much about St. Faustina or Divine Mercy, but we strive to be good mothers who share our faith with our children.
I will be keeping this book on my bookshelf as a resource and will probably re-read it at least once a year. I also will recommend this to friends who are mothers and need some encouragement.
Both Emily and Michele are very relatable in this book. Their personal struggles and victories are some that almost every mother has faced. The book is an easy read and can be read quickly. The book would also be great for a group study. There are resources for a group study on the book’s web site.
There are questions to ponder at the end of every chapter, which can be great for personal reflection or for a group study. The book also includes some resources at the end, which includes the Divine Mercy prayer, a 30-day Divine Mercy challenge, and a study guide.
The book is geared to Catholic women, so there are some phrases used that may not be familiar to those who are Protestant. I think any Christian would easily understand the main concepts, though. The authors try to focus on motherhood and not just Catholicism. There were a few sections where I wish the authors had written more, but the book is just supposed to be an overview, not an in-depth guide. On their blog, the authors seem very accessible for readers who come across anything in the book that they don’t quite understand.
When mothers are looking for a way to encourage their faith, this book offers a great option. It is full of practical ways to live out a life of Divine Mercy in homes, neighborhoods, and communities. There is not a huge time commitment with this book, which makes it good for reading a few minutes before bed. Women looking for a book for a small group study will enjoy how the book is broken down as well as enjoying the resources available to go along with the book.
The book can be light or it can be deep, depending on how much time a mother has to put into the book and its questions. I would recommend this book to any busy mother, although Catholics probably will get the most out of the book.
“The Divine Mercy devotion is one that is not only worth living, but worth spreading to others – first and foremost, to our own families.” (Page 26)
“Our goal is to do the will of God and be people who show love and mercy to others, and this includes ourselves.” (Page 32)
“Approach your family as you would approach Christ.” (Page 45)
“Many times, chances to practice mercy arise as we witness the sufferings of others, or are reminded of the compassionate heart of Jesus in our own times of distress.” (Page 64)