Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review: Mother Love

I'm sure some of you have noticed that I've been reading and reviewing some older books lately, and by  older I mean books written over 100 years ago.  Even as a kid I always had a thing for older books and would be delighted when I was gifted with a vintage copy of some book that had belonged to an aunt or grandparent.  There's just something about those older books that really speaks to me.  Recently, I have found that prayer books and such that were written in this time period seem to resonate with me far better than some of their more modern counterparts.

I don't recall when I became aware of a prayer book called Mother Love.  It might have been a year or so when I saw it mentioned on another blog along with a brief excerpt.  All I know is the small blurb was enough to send me searching for a copy to add to my wish list.  The problem, however, was it seemed that this book was so obscure that I couldn't find it anywhere, but that didn't stop me from looking for it.  Eventually I found it on on website but was a bit put off by the high shipping for the book so I added it to my wish list and continued to look every now and then to see if anyone else was selling the book.  This fall I was searching on the Angelus Press website for a totally unrelated title and saw that they had done a reprint of Mother Love.  The price was better, the cover [Yes, I'm guilty of sometimes judging the covers of books.] was more attractive and the book suddenly seemed infinitely more accessible to me.  I told my husband about it when they had an awesome Cyber Monday sale that offered a nice discount and free shipping and he ordered it for me as a Christmas gift.  It was one of the gifts I was most excited to get.

Up until Christmas day, I didn't know just what I'd find in Mother Love: A Manual for Christian Mothers outside of what I had read in that one brief excerpt.  I have to say I'm very impressed with this book.  It's a prayer book and an invaluable guide for raising good Catholic children.  While some of the writing may come across as old fashioned to modern mothers, the advice in this book is timeless.  The prayers are simply beautiful.  I have a similar book, called The Christian Mother, which I have reviewed here.  I think both of these books are excellent, but if I had to choose a favorite, Mother Love would get my backing.

The advice in the section of the book entitled the "Little Book of Instructions For Christian Mothers On the Christian Training of Children" is quite helpful.  There is a chapter on preparing a child for confession which I found to be a great help as I prepared my middle child to receive this sacrament last week.  There's an equally good chapter on preparing a child for first Eucharist as well, which I'll be reading and re-reading a lot over the next couple of months as our daughter prepares for this sacrament.  

I should note that this edition of Mother Love has been revised "to reflect the modern legislation in the matter of indulgences."  When reviewing older books, such as this, I think it's worth noting changes of this nature.  I have a few older prayer books where I have at times wondered if the indulgence attached to a particular prayer is what it is currently or what it was in the past.  It's actually one of the things I like best about these older books, since many of the more modern prayer books neglect to say what indulgence is attached to a particular prayer.  Based on other books I've read on indulgences, you have to know there's an indulgence out there in order to obtain it.  So in that regard, I don't understand why this seems to be neglected in many post-Vatican II prayer books.

I highly recommend this book.  It really should be a must-have for every Catholic mother who is serious about raising faithful practicing Catholics.  It's a great gift idea for the mother who seems to have everything.


  1. I've just purchased this book and cannot wait to receive it! Thanks for your review as it spurred me on to buy it. As a Catholic mother and wife myself, is there any specific parts of the book that you really enjoy?

    1. There are a few areas of this book that I find myself always going back to. I like the sections on morning prayers, devotions for confession, and both sections on the way of the cross (I like to bring this book with me to church on Good Friday every year and use the longer form of the way of the cross from this book.). Part II of this book contains many prayers that I use frequently. This book is really one of my favorite prayer books.


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