Kate Whittaker Cousino

Joined: Dec. 6, 2011


During Pope John Paul II’s 1984 visit to Canada, I manifested my first bit of personalistic insight at the age of three, when I said to my mother “Do you know why I love that man? It’s because he loves me!” As an adult, I’ve only grown in my love for the person and thought of John Paul II. Other profound and formative influences on my life and thought include Catherine de Hueck Doherty, John Henry Newman, G.M. Hopkins, Frances de Sales, and my mother’s aphorisms.
I am a graduate of Ave Maria College, MI, and lived in the US for nearly a decade before returning to my ‘home and native land’ of Canada with three children in tow. I now combine freelance copy editing and proofreading with full-time parenting and part-time philosophical pondering.

Most recent posts by Kate Whittaker Cousino:     (See all of them)

Telling the truth about ourselves

May. 29 at 4:02pm | Comments: 1 | Most recent comment: May. 29 at 7:18pm

I want to propose a definition for modesty that seems to me to fit all of the best, most common-sense ideas of dress and modesty, while avoiding the traps some fall into which make it such a difficult virtue to talk about. First of all, I want to reject any definition that defines modesty strictly in terms of a negative: "Modesty is avoiding tempting others to lust. Modesty is avoiding drawing attention to your sexual attributes. Modesty is not standing...

“A Tower that will Pierce the Clouds”

Apr. 10 at 9:45am | Comments: 0

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a book called An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. I'm not sure what kind of advice I expected to read from this former commander of the International Space Station, someone who did countless interviews from space (including being interviewed by William Shatner) and whose space-earth duets and extraterrestrial performance of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" received millions of views on YouTube. There...

Marriage and Freedom

Mar. 22 at 10:28pm | Comments: 7 | Most recent comment: Mar. 26 at 3:57am

A few days ago, a young engaged woman, Emma Smith wrote a piece on Catholic exchange called Marriage is Work. The take-away, as it came across to me and, apparently, others, was that failed marriages indicate a failure of the spouses to work, and that the primary advantage of a Catholic marriage is that Catholics do a lot of marriage prep, and that the sacramental nature of marriage gives you a sort of supernatural guarantee that, as long as...

The Poor are Persons

Jan. 19 at 3:17pm | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Jan. 22 at 1:24pm

Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to do any of my own writing lately. However, I ran across this piece today, and felt that it should be shared here, even if with minimal commentary or gloss: A number of years ago, a friend of mine said that if Christ were not in me, it would not be worth his while loving me. What an interesting comment to offer a friend! Of course one could hear this in a number of...

Parenting Persons

Dec. 13 at 9:03am | Comments: 6 | Most recent comment: Dec. 15 at 6:28am

I’ve been a mother for almost 9 years, and I’ve been discussing motherhood and parenting for longer still. When you’re a mother, parenting is both the easiest and most perilous topic to broach. Easy, because parenting can create a common bond between people who otherwise would have nothing in common—and if you’re as inept at small talk as I am, it is always a relief to have a common interest to...

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Re: Further Lessons from Dubay’s Authenticity: Two ways of ‘knowing’

Sep. 20 at 7:36pm | see this comment in context

I suppose it doesn't ruffle my feathers when these differences are described as strengths; mainly it irritates me when they are used to delineate or excuse limitations--whether to disourage or excuse one or the other sex from attempting to attain a thing. 

As an aside, I've had the rather interesting experience of having been described (approvingly, and more than once) as a woman who "reasons like a man." It's an odd compliment to receive because of course I reason as a woman--since I am a woman, I can't really do otherwise. I'm never quite sure whether the speaker means that they don't expect rational analysis from women, or that something about the way I engage in analysis seems particularly masculine. 

Re: Further Lessons from Dubay’s Authenticity: Two ways of ‘knowing’

Sep. 20 at 10:49am | see this comment in context

Every once in a while, I hear someone argue that some particular way of thinking or feeling or emoting or whatever is particularly female, and thus something we should not expect men to be attracted to. 

This always rings false to me, since we really only have male sources for pretty much every major movement, trend, school of thought, philosophical idea, etc. for all but the last two centuries, and male thinkers and writers remained dominant for much of that period as well. Which means that for any particular type of thought or expression named, you will usually be able to think of more male examples than female, making it difficult to really argue the 'maleness' or 'femaleness' of the type of thought or expression.

Re: The unity of objectivity and subjectivity in emotion

Sep. 20 at 10:04am | see this comment in context

I appreciate this:

Sure, one way of seeing something is not the only way of seeing it. Every perspective is partial and limited. But every perspective is also unique and makes a contribution to the whole. It opens another window on reality; it provides another point of access to it. 

Sometimes it seems to me that modern Christianity is terribly confused about emotion--either reducing faith down to an emotional response or state of being (as you occasionally see in Charismatic circles and quite certainly see in Joel Osteen type Christians) or engaged in an active distrust of emotion as something counter-rational that will lead us astray. That the devil can use our emotional responses is taken as a given; that God might as easily use them is somewhat more suspect. 

I like the reminder that emotion is not baseless—it follows upon beliefs and particular relationships between the self and the object of emotion—which suggests that our emotions should actually be increasingly trustworthy guides as we come into right relationship with truth and with others. 

Re: What Midlife Crisis is Really About

Sep. 3 at 8:44pm | see this comment in context

This is beautiful. Thank you.

Re: Becoming Who You Are, Even If You're Not Sure Who That Is

Aug. 28 at 1:40pm | see this comment in context

Sometimes I think that the "who you are" in "become who you are" refers to our acting and being--which are inalienable, really. So it's not really that we can ever be not ourselves, but we are less than fully ourselves when we abdicate responsibility for our actions, when we re-act rather than act, when we choose by failing to choose. 

Which mean, I guess, that I am as fully myself in relationship as I am in a role or function, so long as I am fully present to the choices and persons around me, and fully choose to act out of my own gifts, abilities, and call to virtue. If I use a social construct, relationship, function, or even a 'vocation' as a prop, a layer of insulation against the terrible call to own my own actions and respond rightly to the goods around me, then they can be obstacles to my full development as "who I am." 

I remember when Jen Fulwiler wrote about realizing that the best 'me time' is the kind that reinvigorates--which tends to be active: creation, exercise, service, self-development. These are responses to the goods in ourselves, the world, and others. 

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