“Prayer begins by listening. God speaks in the silence of your hearts and we speak from the fullness of our hearts. I listen, God speaks. I speak, God listens. This listening, speaking is prayer.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta, as quoted at the beginning of Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s new book, Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa


Whew! Life has been busy. I’ve barely had time to breathe most days of late. Our family has been through some big transitions in a short amount of time and I seem to be saying “hello” to myself in passing.

Let’s just say I’m welcoming Lent this year like no other. I’m feeling it imperative to pause and recall the important things in life. I yearn for the perspective that only God can provide.

Even now in this pre-Lenten time, God is near, always encouraging me, giving me little bits of love and light to keep me moving along. And this week, His gift of love came in the mail through this brand-new book written by my friend Donna-Marie.

This won’t be a review because I’ve only peeked so far. This is a book to be experienced each day of lent, and includes prayers, reflections and activities for families. I know it’s going to be an important companion to me and I’m really looking forward to savoring the wisdom contained within.

The dedication already has me pulled in:

“Lovingly for my children: Justin, Chaldea, Jessica, Joseph and Mary-Catherine.”

Donna-Marie and I met about a decade ago, through email. A friend of mine passed on an article she’d written for CatholicMom.com, and I noted at the end that she had five children and had written a book. I’d just become an author, too, and was excited to connect with another Catholic mother of five who’d moved through the book-writing journey. Her response was immediately warm and inviting, and I invited her to be part of a Catholic writers’ email list to which I belong.

Donna and I are still waiting for a real-life meeting, but we’ve talked on the phone several times and keep in touch electronically during the ups and downs of life, praying for one another and offering encouragement.

I’m a blessed woman for knowing Donna-Marie, and now, for the chance to hang out with her this Lent. And wherever Donna-Marie goes, Mother Teresa is nearby, which makes it even better. The simple, profound wisdom of Blessed Teresa is always refreshing, and in this book, her words are imparted through the heart of a modern-day mom-friend whose life crossed for a decade with this saintly woman.

I hope you’ll find a copy and come along with me. And if you do, please stop back and share your insights. And I’ll share in turn.

You can find the book on Donna-Marie’s blog here, or through Amazon. (It’s $2.50 either place; a pretty good deal for a wisdom-packed read.)

Thanks for letting me gush a little about my friend’s book. I haven’t made it a practice to tout works that don’t have some personal connection to me, so know that my “preview” is genuine.

God bless you as you turn toward this special season of prayer, almsgiving and fasting!

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Copyright 2012 Roxane Salonen