Item description for The Authentic Catholic Woman by Genevieve S. Kineke & Christopher West...
Overview What does it mean to be a woman today? Is there a one-size-fits-all answer? How can a woman be truly Catholic and truly feminine, hard-working and creative, and yet be at peace within? How does she nurture life at home, at school, on the job or in the culture? In this profound yet practical guide, Genevieve Kineke invites women to consider the Church, the Bride of Christ, as the model for authentic Catholic womanhood. "The mission of women is inscribed in the mystery of the Church," Pope John Paul II said. The author explores facets of this mystery - the Church as mother, bride, spouse and teacher, as sacramental, as font of wisdom, source of culture, and life-giving sanctuary - and reveals how women mirror the Church in their core identity. Faithful to this authentic identity, women will play a critical role in rebuilding a civilization of love and life.
Publishers Description What does it mean to be a woman today? Is there a one-size-fits-all answer? How can a woman be truly Catholic and truly feminine, hard-working and creative, and yet be at peace within? How does she nurture life at home, at school, on the job or in the culture? In this profound yet practical guide, Genevieve Kineke invites women to consider the Church, the Bride of Christ, as the model for authentic Catholic womanhood. "The mission of women is inscribed in the mystery of the Church," Pope John Paul II said. The author explores facets of this mystery--the Church as mother, bride, spouse and teacher, as sacramental, as font of wisdom, source of culture, and life-giving sanctuary--and reveals how women mirror the Church in their core identity. Faithful to this authentic identity, women will play a critical role in rebuilding a civilization of love and life.
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Studio: Servant Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.98" Width: 7.24" Height: 0.49" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2006
Publisher ST ANTHONY MESSENGER PRESS
ISBN 0867167688 ISBN13 9780867167689
Availability 3 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 25, 2017 07:50.
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More About Genevieve S. Kineke & Christopher West
GENEVIEVE KINEKE is a convert to the faith who has written extensively about the vocation of woman. She founded "Canticle" magazine as a forum dedicated to that topic. Genevieve and her husband, Charley, are the parents of five children.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Authentic Catholic Woman?
Woman as bride Mar 5, 2007
"And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people: and God himself with them shall be their God." Apocalypse 21: 2-3
Having been bombarded with feminist literature in college, I have since made a point of avoiding books dealing with "women's issues," other than those that deal with pregnancy and childbirth. I often thought that someday I would write a book about Catholic womanhood, based on Scripture, church teachings and the writings of the saints. Genevieve Kineke's "The Authentic Catholic Woman" (Servant Books, 2006) is the book I would have wanted to have written myself. It is inspiring and current, but timeless, bringing the reader to the place where Heaven meets earth. A practical approach mingles with eschatology, making the church teaching applicable to the everyday lives of women.
It is a fallen world, and yet we are each called to reach our fullest potential. Genevieve's book is a pondering of authentic femininity, of the ways in which women are called to model the Church as brides and mothers. Many books about women start from the point of view of radical feminism, judging women by the achievements they have made in professions which traditionally have belonged to men.
One of the most appealing aspects of the work is that Genevieve approaches the role of women from the high ground of Church doctrine, as well as from the realities of daily existence. It is taken for granted that even women with demanding careers are still the ones who oversee the running of the house, the care of the children, and arrange for the needs of elderly parents. Some women are more burdened than ever before. As the author points out:
"The final danger for women is to create for themselves unrealistic images of piety that no mortal can imitate....Many wrongly assume that authentic femininity means a blissful marriage, abundant pious (and well-mannered) children, a husband to rival Saint Joseph, an orderly home, a variety of community and parish activities, an even temperament, ample time for spiritual and corporal works of mercy, cheerful generosity toward extended family (also pious of course) and a prayer life patterned on that of any number of saints and mystics. This sort of conjecture can indeed be a woman's worst enemy." (p.6)
Much of this mirrors some of my own experience of Catholic womanhood. We should all be striving for holiness, but many Catholic women take on too much. They are hard on themselves and on others. Ladies' church clubs and home-schooling groups are too often pervaded by a nit-picking, critical spirit about one another's homes, husbands and children. I have seen such attitudes (and the gossip which flows as a consequence) destroy relationships which could otherwise have been a source of moral and spiritual support for Catholic women alone in a pagan world.
We ladies need to start being sisters to each other and not in constant competition. That is why it is excellent that Genevieve recommends devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. A true devotion to Mary fills the heart with joy and trust, helping the soul to move beyond all pettiness.
"Mary is the first fruit and most perfect image of the Church. Truly, she is the pilgrim who walks before us, the perfect follower of Christ and the model of faith we should all revere. But more specifically she is the archetype of bride and mother who teaches all women how to live authentic femininity. From her acceptance of God's plan at the Annunciation to her Assumption, she exemplified receptivity to the Father in a way that was life-giving and grace-filled for and all who know her." (pp. 67-68)
In the central part of the book, the author carefully builds a case as to how Catholic women are called to embody each of the sacraments, showing how every Christian woman is a living microcosm of the Church, the Bride of Christ. All are called to be mothers, on either the spiritual or physical level, or both. "Rather than being a job wedged among other responsibilities, motherhood is a vocation--and a powerful calling at that, since it speaks to the essence of a woman's being." (p 58)
Therefore, motherhood demands the "total gift of self" (p.58) We stand with Mary at the foot of the cross, in patience and humility. "This view of feminine love is a relief during times of trial, when we place the burden of concern at the foot of the cross where it belongs. Such is the vocation of mother; such is the Church that waits to embrace us all." (p 85)
The Church as Bride and Mother is manifested in Sacred Scripture (pp. 87-103), and continues to shine forth to the world, as a builder and bearer of culture. (p.105) Indeed, "faith cannot endure without culture.... [the early] Christians built culture around their faith in order to nourish it." (p.107) Each Catholic dwelling, each home, is a "sacred space" and "should reflect the order inherent in God's creation." (p.108)
The home should be a place of beauty and peace, with art that lifts the heart to God, while avoiding clutter. Genevieve discusses how it is the special role of women to "enhance their living spaces" (p.109) through tasteful decorating; to create the ambiance of welcome, of safety, of fun, so that the house becomes a place where love can grow. This has less to do with money and more to do with prudence and thrift. What makes many homes unattractive is the overabundance of material possessions. (p.109) Simplicity is a form of beauty and sometimes less is more.
Family rituals and celebrations which reflect those of the Church add meaning and dignity to the everyday routines. "Children cling to ritual and are comforted by it," as every parent and teacher should be aware. (p.111) The most important role for wives and mothers is to raise the children in their care to be good Christians.
Etiquette is an important part of this, for children need boundaries in order to thrive and build safe relationships. "The ultimate goal of etiquette is to enhance the dignity of the person. Etiquette can be a tremendous vehicle for ordering the culture along the proper lines. It certainly has the capacity for being abused or misunderstood when it becomes reduced to `manners' and `protocol,' or when it becomes detached from charity." It should not be used to alienate others, but to embrace them. (p.114)
Modest and appropriate attire is also an integral part of building a sense of worth in our children. (p.115) It is crucial for adolescents to be guided in avoiding garments which over-sexualize, and can indeed build strength of character when our teenagers are encouraged not to go along with the crowd. (p116)
It is for women, in imitation of Mary, to build a culture of joy. None of our labors will bear fruit overnight. "God's timing cannot and should not be rushed, and Mary reminds us to think about the future with trust." (p.118) Culture is a "means to an end" (p.119) not an end in itself. Perhaps this is why the culture of our western civilization has so deteriorated, because over the years, especially after the secularization of the French Revolution, culture became an end in itself, rather than a means of giving glory to God.
"The Authentic Catholic Woman" offers a great deal of hope to women and their families. While exploring the pitfalls and challenges of modern life, the psychological damage caused by broken homes, Genevieve also emphasizes "the depths of joy that attend motherhood and its glories," as well as the "risks of loving." (p.123)
I think that many young women are told of the burdens and inconveniences that accompany having children, but they are not told of the great happiness that children bring, a happiness for which women of past generations longed and prayed. Love and sacrifice go hand-in-hand. To forgo the struggles of love, marriage and children, or the oblation of consecrated virginity, in favor of unfettered sex and total freedom, is to choose emptiness.
By modeling the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church, by overcoming fear and trusting in God, and by imitating the Blessed Virgin Mary, women can reclaim the world for Christ.
"Every woman can do her part to restore the image of the bride. Women together can embrace motherhood in all its forms: nourishing, teaching, building bridges, healing, confirming the beauty in souls, forgiving, building Christian culture in a myriad of ways and radiating purity. Thus they give flesh to Holy Mother Church for the world to see." (p.150)
Sometimes, that means seemingly insignificant tasks, like taking clothes to the thrift shop, or sitting up all night with a sick child, or listening an to an old person repeat themselves. Such situations, which the world does not esteem, require a great deal of love and patience.
It is in those little ways, however, that we rebuild the kingdom of God, and prepare the way for Christ in souls. Men as well as women would do well to reflect on the deeper mysteries as presented in Genevieve's book, and seek the sublimity which too often is buried beneath the frantic quest for pleasure and wealth.
A Catholic take on the Woman Question Feb 2, 2007
What's a woman to do? Where can she find stability and dignity in the world today? If you're a mom what do you want to point your children toward? And what is going to give you a good relationship with your husband? Enter Genevieve Kineke, Catholic wife, mother of 5, and author of The Authentic Catholic Woman. Plato investigated the just man by drawing up plans for the perfect society and saying the just man would be like the perfect society. Mrs. Kineke follows much the same procedure, but as a Catholic convert she has available a well-developed theory of the perfect society, the Church, and the further advantage that Catholic tradition explicitly represents the Church as Bride and Mother, and thus a natural model for women.
So for the author the authentic Catholic woman, and thus the true woman (since she accepts authentic Catholicism as true), is an image of the Church. She picks up that ball and runs with it, or whatever the feminine equivalent of that operation may be. She actually does so quite successfully. The comparison of the Church with a woman is not just a conceit, but an analogy that has been found fruitful and illuminating throughout Christian history and before that among the Jews, with the Song of Songs and the personification of Jerusalem as a woman leading the way.
So she's got a lot to draw on. She uses her materials to treat the ordinary tasks women take on, from scrubbing floors to feeding children to making nice with difficult people, as a type of the actions of the Church, and so raises them to a dignity denied by the hedonistic rationalism dominant today. Going beyond that she points to a grand role for woman as woman in the scheme of things: woman as sustainer, reconciler, teacher, source of culture and civilizational rebirth.
She goes through the issues in some detail, with good sense as well as piety. Most men are somewhat alarmed by inspirational books with pink flowers on the cover written by women for women. They expect something soppy. She rises above that and has written a book that actually seems quite thoughtful and practical. Whether it actually works for women they'll have to decide themselves. She's perfectly aware of the pitfalls of feminine attempts at selfless love--the fears, the hidden motives, the lapses, the likelihood of burnout, ingratitude and resentment--but argues that identifying what one does with something much larger and more authoritative changes the situation so that actions becomes less a personal assertion and so are less troubled by such issues.
In general, I'd describe her as an intelligent and practically-grounded JP II Catholic. She cites the late Pope's theology of the body a great deal, and doesn't much draw much on pre-Vatican II materials except the Bible and a couple of saints like Edith Stein. It's worth noting that she has no objection to male authority--if what women do has great intrinsic dignity it becomes less of a threat--and thereby deviates somewhat from the emphasis of most Church pronouncements in recent years.
The book's a good effort. People don't create themselves, so there has to be something that tells women (like men) what they are. It would be nice if that thing justified and gave dignity to the things women do, like looking after babies, that don't tie in to the life of economic production and consumption. Mrs. Kineke's discussion does so in a way that makes sense at least for Catholics. (Whether Catholicism makes sense is of course another discussion. I think it does.) It's hard to think of anything that would work better. A theory of Woman should have enough specificity to offer guidance but enough depth and diversity to avoid oppressiveness and remain applicable to women in very different situations. Reasoning by analogy to something large, public, long-lasting, diverse and nonetheless authoritative seems a better way to go than most. And by good fortune something like that is available to the author: the Church.
Many people of course won't approve for one reason or another. To liberals who find the whole project sexist and obscurantist I'd say to come back when they come up with a way of life that people will actually find rewarding in the long run. To captious anti-Vatican II trads, I'd say that she may cite Lumen Gentium and George Weigel, but it's what you do with your materials that counts, and I think she does very well indeed.
A book for all women Sep 8, 2006
Excellent! I loved this book. In brilliant detail, it describes how "woman's work" mirrors the work of the Church. Femininity makes sense in ways you may never have considered -- "authentic womanhood" is shown to be not only worthwhile, but vital and holy. Must-reading for Catholic women ... on second thought, for all women (and men.) Genevieve Kineke shows us a vision of *true* feminism, achieved through life in Christ.
Church as Model for Women Jul 11, 2006
Kineke's primary goal in writing this book is to help women understand their femininity and how it is manifest in everyday life. She enumerates three temptations related to discovering what it means to be a woman: (1) idealizing the past, (2) dismissing the past, and (3) creating unrealistic images of piety. Methods for combating these temptations include ongoing formation to establish an adult understanding of our faith; an openness to life and the dignity of the person; and personal relationship with the Blessed Mother. Kineke outlines a number of ways for women to view their role in creation realistically. She explains the model of spousal love in relation to the sacraments of matrimony and holy orders. The vocation of bride, she writes, is equal to that of groom in all dimensions, but not to be confused with it. The bridegroom protects, makes fruitful, and completes his bride and provides a haven where she can prosper safely and comfortably. "He gives that she might receive and her receptivity gives life back to him and affirms his manhood."
In addition, Kineke connects the role of women with the Church's role of mother, teacher, and builder of culture. Finally, she looks at the challenges to authentic femininity in marriage, motherhood, and the consecrated life and suggests that sincere Christian forgiveness, as Jesus taught, is the antidote for pain, injustice, injury, and conflict.
This book provides numerous opportunities for reflection for individuals and groups of women or couples. It would also be a useful resource for leaders of marriage preparation programs.
Authentic Femininity images the Church Jul 11, 2006
If you're looking for a cutsie "Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul" or a "Spirit of Vatican II" type book for women, this is not it. Genevieve Kineke is looking for an answer to the question "What does it mean to be a woman?" that transcends time, place, or state in life. She sees an answer in the image of the Church as a Woman - Mother, Teacher, and Bride, and gets theologically deep. She looks at the Sacraments - Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, and Reconcilliation, and explores how a woman's daily life mirrors those Sacraments. She also discusses how the vocation of women is linked to that of men (Holy Orders, Matrimony, and Consecrated Life)- and this may bristle many "21st Century" women who have been raised with a feminist mindset. She discusses the Church as Mother and Teacher, giving examples of women like Maria Montessori and Edith Stein. To illustrate the Church as Bride, she gives examples from the Old Testament. Finally, she presents the Church as builder of Culture, without which "faith cannot endure". Through all of this, she weaves the example of our mother Mary. In exploring this paradigm, Genevieve shows how women are invited to a unique, intimate relationship with Christ, and how the "genius of woman" can have a tremendous impact on the world. By her own admission, Genevieve's book only scratches the surface of this topic. But it is an excellent start, and complements John Paul II's Theology of the Body very well. This book is structured and written well, and comes with a bibliography. It is defnintely worth a second read.