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"Putting our talents at the service of others is not pride; it is virtue. Finding other people who have gifts when our abilities fail is not weakness, but wisdom."
"Own your gifts and use them to make the world a better place," Catholic theologian Joan Mueller writes. In this practical book she provides us with ideas and encouragement to live and act with courage to change the world, even if our actions are sometimes small.
This is a book for all who hear about hungry people living in the park and decide to make sandwiches, who volunteer to teach children to read, who raise money to change systems that provide substandard care to the vulnerable, who can imagine a mothered world. Mueller invites us to discuss and embrace our shared wisdom.
A woman's goal, Mueller tells us, is to wake up every morning and ask, "God, what do you need me to do for you today?" and to listen to God respond, "And what do you need from me today?"
Posted January 2, 2009
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Joan Mueller, a Franciscan Sister of Joy, opens this work with a brief memory of her own family and description of her current ministry to the Sudanese community. Mueller is partial to the symbol of "the wise mother" who serves others with love and wisdom. Her example is a refugee woman carrying a child through a minefield, protecting the child while exercising her ability to avoid the mines. "With every step, her entire effort might blow up, but she continues in the attempt to give life to the child in her arms."<BR/><BR/>Living a Spirituality of Action is written for ordinary women with the courage to "own their gifts and use them to make the world a better place." Their actions make up what Mueller calls "a mothered world" in which women find ways to act tenderly, consider the needs of the vulnerable, and treasure life. She prays to the Holy Spirit "you who mother the earth with integrity, creativity, truth and wisdom" (to) keep us light on our feet and gentle in our hearts."<BR/><BR/>Mueller's book is rich in practical ideas such as eight specific actions that underlie a "spirituality of loving and effective action." They include honest assessment, careful planning, and understanding that failure is part of the process. A discussion of Luke's Gospel on the contrast between Martha and Mary (10:38-42) emphasizes the world¿s need for Marthas and suggests ways to avoid becoming "worried and upset" in the act of providing service.<BR/><BR/>This outstanding volume is part of a new series, Called to Holiness: Spirituality for Catholic Women. The material and presentation shine with the light of intelligent, dedicated women who daily live their faith and share their wisdom in ways that inspire and encourage others. As an example of their generosity, they have established a web site (calledtoholiness.org) with regular postings by the authors and ideas for using the series in groups.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.