In the midst of preparing for the bustling holiday season, a very special book arrived on my desk for review. Set Free: The Authentic Catholic Woman’s Guide to Forgiveness is the follow up to Genevieve Kineke’s standout book The Authentic Catholic Woman. While I have not completely finished reading Set Free, I wanted to intentionally share it with you now, in the midst of the Advent season.
Here’s the blueprint for Genevieve’s book:
A woman’s vocation is to love—indeed, this feminine gift is essential to the health and strength of civilization. Yet women cannot love freely unless they can move past the personal wounds that are inevitable in a fallen world. Once women see the grace and freedom inherent in forgiveness, their natural response to injury will give way to the transforming power of God’s grace.
In these compelling stories of forgiveness, from the trivial (forgiving a friend who forgets an appointment) to the traumatic (forgiving childhood physical and sexual abuse), Genevieve weaves biblical truths and real-life stories together in a way that reveals the heart of forgiveness: the freedom that comes from letting go and forgiving.
In Set Free, Genevieve makes a strong case for women to be at the forefront of forgiveness:
The work of forgiveness, then, is integral to our feminine vocation. It will not only transform each of us but also give new life to the Church, through which humanity will be reconciled to its loving Father. Not only will we “aid humanity in not falling,” but we can provide a bridge of healing and restoration for others at this critical juncture.
You may be nodding your head in complete agreement, while at the same time asking silently in your heart, “But how?” The holiday season seems to be a time when hurts fester and often boil over. We women often daydream of the picture postcard perfect holiday and find ourselves emotionally destroyed when sarcastic humor, the silent treatment, or full-borne feuding becomes the reality at our celebrations.
For forgiveness to become a reality, there is work to be done. And the time to begin that work is now. The great news is that with Set Free: The Authentic Catholic Woman’s Guide to Forgiveness Genevieve gives us a plan, real world examples and companionship for what lies ahead. In Chapter 4, entitled “Nuts and Bolts”, we’re given a comprehensive guide to the process and practical applications at play in truly forgiving. I also love the wonderful appendices in Genevieve’s book, which offer practical resources that will be of aid to you in your life.
If age-old divisions are separating you from true spiritual peace, I urge you to read and pray with Genevieve KIneke’s Set Free: The Authentic Catholic Woman’s Guide to Forgiveness. Often, the person we most need to forgive looks back at us from the mirror each morning — if this ails you, you too will find peace with Genevieve’s book. May it be a blessing to you as you begin proactive steps along your path to reconciliation.
Copyright 2012 Lisa M. Hendey