Book Notes: The Kiss of Jesus



While Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s memoir, The Kiss of Jesus, tells the story of great suffering, the reader is left to focus not on the suffering itself but instead on how Donna-Marie was drawn closer and closer to God, even in situations dire enough to cause anyone to lose hope.

Kiss of JesusOften we see celebrities on TV and make assumptions about their lives, as if they must have lived some sort of charmed existence to get to the fame they enjoy. Maybe that does happen for some people. But if you see Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle on EWTN and hear her gentle voice, know that the deep faith that’s written all over her face was refined through suffering, and that her gentle voice belies a great reserve of inner strength.

Subtitled “How Mother Teresa and the Saints Helped Me to Discover the Beauty of the Cross,” this honest memoir views Donna-Marie’s suffering through the lens of faith. She shares the deep influence of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta on her life. This influence helped her to learn of the transformative power of suffering.

“Suffering is the sharing in the Passion of Christ. Suffering is the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close to Jesus on the Cross that He can kiss you.” (Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, quoted on p. 121)

Donna-Marie’s suffering has led her to serve many through her writing, TV appearances, and simple witness. Her life story will inspire you to embrace your own trials and use the virtues they help you to develop in the service of God.

“Holiness is not the luxury of a few,” Mother Teresa would say, “but a simple duty for you and me.” (p. 140)

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Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS


About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom, Secular Franciscan, managing editor for Today's Catholic Teacher magazine and editor at Her three children range in age from high school to young adult, and she enjoys writing, cooking, and reading. Barb is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.

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