“Mirror of True Womanhood” Book Discussion Chapter 1

It is finally here! The book discussion of “The Mirror of True Womanhood.” For anyone just reading about this now, you can download the book for free in pdf format here.

Since I would like any new people to be given the chance to start with us, I am going to give everyone time to read Chapter 1.

Here is the “assignment” for Chapter 1.

1.) Read all of Chapter 1. It is about 11 pages long.

2.) Read the following quote and either write down two ways or keep in mind two ways you can start to “brighten and beautify all things” merely by the facial expressions you use with your family. We are the ones to teach our family how to love and to be patient. Often a “snappy” look can bring someone’s joy and peace crashing down around them.

Taken from “Mirror of True Womanhood” by Bernard O’Reilly

3.) Attempt to make an extra effort one time this coming week to make your husband and family feel that extra “light and beauty ” of your love.

4.) You may leave comments throughout the week on your progress, questions, suggestions, or any part of chapter 1 that really made you think. The more people who join in on the comments, the more we can learn from each other and help support each other.

5.) Next Thursday I will sum up Chapter 1 and my own progress before starting Chapter 2!



  1. Adele

    It’s reassuring and encouraging to read about remarkable women such as St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Priscilla, Phebe, and Chloe from the New Testament. They were obviously strong, courageous women able to face danger and death head on with unwavering faith and an unswerving view to the will of God. What is so inspiring is that they were able to do and be those things while maintaining their femininity. They did not feel they had to behave, as so many women who want to ‘get ahead’ do, like men. Unfortunately, so many women feel they have to set aside, or eliminate altogether, their natural inclinations to nurture, support, encourage, even love in order to accomplish anything worthwhile. The women in this chapter managed to keep a soft touch as they labored for the glory of God under what can only be described as dangerous and and seemingly insurmountable conditions. As a homeschooling mom who never had to face the challenges these great women did, I am wholly inspired to be more mindful of using a softer touch in my words, actions, and demeanor. Great lessons! +JMJ+


    • Hello Adele!

      Thank you for commenting! Yes, all the women you mentioned are incredible. So pious and feminine. They were part of a whole other culture that we have never experienced in our modern society. A culture that, for the most part, did not shun God the way our culture today does. It is very sad. It is wonderful to see everyday women who accomplished so much yet put God before all. They put God before every action they took and every word they spoke. Imagine the hurtful, selfish, and belittling things that would not come from our lips if first we said “Blessed Be the Name of God” before we allowed ourselves to say any other words.

      I often think of a quote from a book by Victor Hugo. Now, Victor Hugo was very anti-Catholic, and I don’t advocate him. However, for someone so anti-Catholic, he certainly took little pieces of Catholic truth and sprinkled them in his books. In his book “Toilers of the Sea” he speaks of his female character Deruchette and says that when men saw her she made them feel as follows: “Her presence lights up the home; her approach is like a cheerful warmth; she passes by, and we are content; she stays awhile, and we are happy.”

      I think that sentence sums up the great grace that God has given every woman to make others feel safe, loved, and cherished. The grace to help foster virtue and grace in their loved ones.

  2. Adele

    I agree with what you say about our culture. We have lost our way in every sense starting with the elimination of God from everyday life. And this is to our detriment. This is one of the reasons I homeschool my kids. I want them to know that God is with them, everywhere, at all times and they can turn to Him, thank Him, praise Him and give all the glory to Him. I loved the Victor Hugo quote! And isn’t it interesting how so many Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thinkers and writers, such as Hugo, who so vigorously protest against the Church and deny God end up turning to Him for their bits of wisdom? Thank you so much for hosting this book discussion! I’m really looking forward to Chapter 2. God bless! 🙂 +JMJ+


  3. I stumbled on this via Pinterest! So excited to get reading this week. I am a young mom with 2 kids under 3 and everyone in my house is sick at the moment! I definitely need a reminder of what my role is :).

    • Hello Melissa!

      I am happy you found us! I am sorry to hear about everyone being sick!

      This book is wonderful! This first chapter reminds me of a woman I met years and years ago.

      I don’t remember her name, or even where I was when I met her. I want to say I was in Europe. However, I remember her face and her graceful manner. When you would go up to her, her whole face would light up into the most delightful and welcoming smile. She would take both your hands in hers, lean in a little, look you straight in the eyes and smile at all you had to say. I can’t begin to explain how welcomed and important she made me feel. She would do this with everyone who spoke to her. I have never met another woman with her glowing charity and grace since. I can only pray that one day I can make others feel that warmth of God’s love.

      Don’t forget you can always leave a comment on any part of Chapter 1 that you would like to elaborate on or any questions you may have! I really hope we can gather a little group of women to help support each other in our vocations as wives and mothers.

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