Author and editor Danielle Bean, herself a mother of eight, offers in her book Momnipotent a heartfelt encouragement to all mothers. Momnipotence, she explains, is “the kind of strength and power that belongs uniquely to women. When we deny our call to motherhood and fail to recognize its intrinsic dignity and worth, we deny the very gifts that make us uniquely female.”
Danielle Bean knows that she is expressing an idea profoundly countercultural and addresses the issue head-on. “One of the fundamental tenets of modern popular thought is the rejection of traditional marriage and motherhood as cultural clichés that enslave women and rob them of their identities.” Indeed, this tenet underlies much of current discussion on the status of women and, sadly, it is rarely challenged openly.
But Danielle Bean does just that. She writes, “Betraying authentic femininity and squashing our true nature as women does not sound very empowering to me.” Nor does it to me. She goes on, “Motherhood is seen in some circles today, and those circles seem to be expanding, as demeaning to women because it removes them to such an extent from what is valued as really important, which is to say, the conspicuous achievements in society.” Those who hold such views, of course, deny the very essence of what it means to be a woman. Bean continues, “If we ridicule and belittle the role of motherhood, the very place where women exercise their greatest strengths and find meaning and purpose for their greatest gifts, how can we expect happy and fulfilled individuals to result?
Rich with quotes from Pope Saint John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatum (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) Momnipotence offers an honest look at our uniquely feminine gifts and how they lead us to true happiness in our motherhood, a gift from God. And Bean makes clear that all women are called to be mothers, not only biological mothers. She is including religious sisters, single women, and women unable to have children. All women are called to motherhood in the spiritual sense. To be a woman is to be maternal.
This book is about the gifts and importance of motherhood and about achieving balance in our everyday lives. Each chapter discusses a strength of motherhood and how its misuse can become a weakness. Simple five question quizzes at the end of each chapter help us to see where and how we can become more balanced and thus more conformed to God’s image of motherhood.
An eight week study can also be purchased with Momnipotent, including a DVD set entitled Momnipotent: Finding Peace, Balance, and Joy in Your Vocation as Mother.
With all of the negative propaganda about mothering in our culture today, this book and study will offer real encouragement to women. Motherhood is indeed a great gift from God, and Danielle Bean has helped women to truly appreciate it.