Beckman also observes that openness to the Holy Spirit is not only life-sustaining, but is also healing, particularly for broken hearts. "When our hearts are pierced, we are opened up; we face our poverty, step out of our hiddenness, and come before God with a hole in our heart. The Divine Physician attends to the wounded heart with tenderness," she says. Like Mary's heart, "[t]he pierced heart can be a portal of grace if we remain open to divine transformation."
In prayer, Beckman writes, grace can form women "into other Marys."
In her chapter Kathryn Lopez recounts Pope Paul VI's message to women at the close of the Second Vatican Council. The soon-to-be-canonized prelate observed:
The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being achieved in its fullness, the hour in which woman acquires in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is under-going so deep a transformation; women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid mankind in not falling.
When Women Pray is an anthology of prayer in the lives of "women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel." Their examples, as its contributing authors hope, will inspire other Catholic women "to strengthen an army of praying women united for the many spiritual and temporal needs of the human family."
Catholic women in the U.S. are called more than ever to fortify our interior life with prayer as we undertake our important role in restoring trust – our own and others' -- in our Church. Kathleen Beckman's collection is not only a compelling invitation to spiritual growth but also a work that fans the fire to be more greatly united with God in the task ahead.
(Column continues below)
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