Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Book Review: My Confirmation Book by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, released March 2013, Paraclete Press, 70 pages. Available from Paraclete Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Major books stores and Catholic and Christian book stores.

Reviewed by JEAN M. HEIMANN, wife and mother, M.A. in Theology, freelance writer, retired psychologist, and oblate with the Community of St. John.

Pope John Paul II in his weekly catechesis stated:

The grace conferred by the Sacrament of Confirmation is more specifically a gift of strength. This gift corresponds to the need for greater zeal in facing the 'spiritual battle' of faith and charity in order to resist temptation and give the witness of Christian word and deed to the world with courage, fervor and perseverance. This zeal is conferred by the Holy Spirit. (L'osservatore Romano, 8 Apr 92. Summa Theol. III, q.72, a.5)

The Holy Father went on to say, "Since the Middle Ages, theology — which developed in a context of generous commitment to 'spiritual combat' for Christ — has not hesitated to highlight the strength given by Confirmation to Christians who are called 'soldiers for God'."

In today’s society, our youth face a myriad of temptations and need to be armed for the battle they face in the present day as well as in the future. As John Paul II describes above, they also need to be able to witness during this era of New Evangelization. This New Evangelization, which began during the reign of John Paul II (the Advent period), is now coming to life and reaching its full potential in our present time. Our youth need to be well-prepared as both defenders of the faith as well as witnesses of the faith. I can think of no book that does this better than Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s My Confirmation Book.

In this beautiful book, Donna-Marie describes the sacrament of Confirmation and the precious gifts that are bestowed upon the Confirmand in the sacrament. Writing in her usual gentle and intimate style, speaking directly to reader, she opens their eyes to the valuable graces they receive in the sacrament. She states the purpose of each gift, provides excellent examples, and asks insightful questions, which reinforce moral decision making skills. This small volume is packed with inspiration, encouragement, and reflections to ponder for 4th graders and up. I highly recommend it for youth and for catechists.

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