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)

“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 4:17pm | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Jan. 22 at 2:24pm

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 10:03am | Comments: 6 | Most recent comment: Dec. 15 at 7:28am

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...

“Our own deepest secret”

Oct. 31 at 8:22am | Comments: 3 | Most recent comment: Nov. 1 at 2:39am

Something I will be pondering. I especially love the last line, though really the entire quote is wonderful.  In a true community, each of us is able to keep our own deepest secret which must not be handed over to others nor even shared. Each of us should be able to deepen our own personal conscience and mystical life. It is precisely here that the weakness and strength of the community lie. There is weakness because the ways of...

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Re: Marriage and Freedom

Mar. 23 at 1:51pm | see this comment in context

When you're open about a topic like this—share a personal experience, or just (like Simcha) demonstrate awareness and empathy for a particular kind of suffering and situation—the candor and openness you reap in private is beautiful and heartbreaking. 

Re: Marriage and Freedom

Mar. 23 at 12:42pm | see this comment in context

Katie, this is the first I've heard of that particular prayer of St. Philip Neri, and I love it! I think fear and trembling is exactly the attitude we need to have about our own weakness and need for God, and that mercy is rooted in a deep awareness of our own capacity for sin.

What it reminds me of is something a little different--the utopianism of the liberal project of the twentieth century, when the presumption was that 'education' could cure all ills. Surely, if people *know* better, they will *do* better, right? And while to whom much is given, much is expected, our sins and failures are probably as often due to lack of vigilance as to ignorance. 

Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery

Mar. 21 at 2:55pm | see this comment in context

In the course of my work, I was required to read excerpts from a rather obnoxious book intended for a vanity press. It was a divorced man's treatise on the "truth about women," intended "for men's eyes only" and it was about as horribly misogynistic as you can imagne. But what struck me most about it was the observation that you make, Marie--that sin against others is so often a case of "you must conform to my wishes." This man's constant refrain consisted of versions of "It's not that hard. Just do as you're told," and "If everyone just did what they are supposed to, we could all be happy." No acknowledgment at all of individual freedom or mutual respect.

On that same note, a friend once sent me an excerpt from the 12 step 'blue book' which basically said that the underlying characteristic of most addicts is the deep seated desire to play the 'director' of life's dramas...and continual angst and resentment that others won't learn their lines. 

Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery

Mar. 21 at 12:17pm | see this comment in context

Ah. I see where you're coming from.

If you think of it, "we are all dysfunctional in comparison to Christ" is a pretty poor response from any Christian, since we are charged with putting on Christ as our life's work. Yeesh. 

Re: A memoir of spiritual abuse and recovery

Mar. 21 at 9:46am | see this comment in context

"In some cases dysfunction creeps in; in others it's built in."

This is the argument against the "reform" of the Legion: that the very form and character of the order was deeply skewed by the founder's dysfunction, and that nothing built on such a foundation--built, in essence, as cover for a monster--can be "reformed." After all, what authentic or healthy form did it ever have, to be returned to? 

I find that I agree with Marie that there are matters of degree in these things. It is difficult sometimes to spot whether a family, for example, is a family with dysfunctional traits or a dysfunctional family. 

I've read Elizabeth Esther's blog from time to time for years, because I find it all so alien to me, and yet so relevant. Many people I care about have been deeply hurt or shaped by dynamics like those she describes, and my own upbringing was so different that I've struggled to really understand that experience and what it takes to overcome it. 


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