Cover Image: Forgiving Mother

Forgiving Mother

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I really wanted to love this book - the subject matter was compelling and as a devoted Catholic, I am always looking for ways to strengthen my faith and grow as a devoted daughter of Mary. This book, however, was a bit different than I anticipated. It is really targeted toward women who struggle with their relationships with their own mothers. I have a wonderful relationship with my mother and didn't feel that I could relate to the book. While it would be a great fit for the right person, this book is most beneficial to women who can see Mary as a surrogate for their own mother and find healing and hope in Christ's mother where their own mother may have failed.
Was this review helpful?
A beautifully written book of novenas and devotion to our mother, Mary.
Was this review helpful?
Born of a mother-daughter relationship that goes way beyond “it’s complicated,” Marge Steinhage Fenelon’s Forgiving Mother: A Marian Novena of Healing and Peace (new from Servant Books) speaks to the heart of those who carry the burden of wounds from the past.
Was this review helpful?
Sometimes "healing" is physical, sometimes spiritual, sometimes both. And often the sources of our hurt are deep in our past. In this moving, autobiographical, and deeply moving book Fenelon uses her own path to healing through the Virgin to show us how she can heal us and become our mother.

Each chapter begins with the  author telling us her own story and how the Virgin helped her. She then expands these ideas to look more generally at the role of Mary and Christ in our lives.

It concludes with a novena to Mary that can be prayed by itself or in conjunction with reading the book.
Was this review helpful?
This was exactly the right time to come upon this book. The scripture, the personal story and the novena all combine to make a beautiful narrative of healing that is available to all of us who need it.
The use of mindfulness combined with a focus on God is a great way to transcend your bad memories and overcome them – and something I’d like to put into practice.
Was this review helpful?
When it comes to books about Mary, the Mother of God, I'm in. I was intrigued by the cover, first of all. It's settling and soothing. White being the color for purity, the marble white statue takes on a feeling of comfort; a place to rest. Describing my impression of the book cover and the following narrative between the pages, I discovered a spiritual journey of healing and wholeness, a return to the way motherhood was intended.

For years people have talked about the connection between a woman's self-worth and her relationship to God stemming from her earthly father. We all know that Dads have a huge influence on their daughters, for good, bad and indifferent. If a daughter is supported by her father, loved by him, she has more chance of being secure and successful in her relationships and accomplishments. If her father was the opposite, she often spends the remainder of her life suffering from wounds and many times, she never gets over it. 

That being said, nobody talks about the influence of a mother on a daughter's self-esteem and 
determination of whether she'll have a healthy relationship with God or not.
I first began exploring the idea a few years ago and thought of women I know and pondered their relationships with their mothers and also their daughters. I wondered about the good ones. I was frustrated by the not so good relationships I observed.

Finally, a book that discusses a relationship with a less than ideal mother! Finally a book that doesn't ignore Mother Mary as a strong support to how we feel about ourselves and our earthly mothers! 

As the author delves into her own painful relationship with her mother, she is candid and is openly vulnerable with the reader. As a reader, I followed Fenelon's experience with her mother and it drew up memories I had with my own. I liked that she explained how stunted she felt and how she recognized it, and embarked on a path of forgiveness, and therefore wholeness. 

During the chapter called "Mary, Help Me Look Back", Fenelon insists that we grapple with hard feelings and memories to even begin to think about going forward in a blessed way of a peaceful life. I loved these two sentences Fenelon fuses into the story, using Mary, Our Mother to invoke healing and blessing: "Mary is here as well, She's like the Apostles who beckoned the blind man to come forward so that Jesus could cure him. She's beckoning to you now, and is eager to walk with toward her son so that you can be healed."
It got me thinking about the women around Jesus and what roles He trusted them with to bring about on 'earth as it is in heaven' type reality. In the Catholic Church, we have had for years a kept secret that being a mother is the most powerful thing in the world. it's about time we uncover that truth and apply it to the complex society in which we live. Our relationships need it, crave it. I enjoyed her rhythmic way of writing and realized just how far I've come with the relationship with God, my mother, and now mother to my children.

I saw how total consecration to Mary has helped me and healed me. I think if I were ignorant of Mary, who knows how long it would take for me to work things out. I'm grateful to my mother, Our Blessed Mother, and my daughters for allowing Mary to massage the balm into our frightened stony hearts, so that they can become hearts of flesh. It takes a long time, but good relationships do. 

 I'm appreciative of Marge Fenelon for cracking the code. It's about time!
Was this review helpful?