US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Finding My Voice: A Young Woman's Perspective

By Megan Sweas | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Finding My Voice By Beth Knobbe (St. Anthony Messenger, 2009)

Are the young adult years simply an extended adolescence? When do we become real adults?

Beth Knobbe describes this period of life and its spiritual challenges in her first book, a part of the series Called to Holiness: Spirituality for Catholic Women. "While young adults are often perceived as ‘delaying' adulthood, this is certainly not their intention," Knobbe writes. "Young people are not waiting on tomorrow to fulfill their dreams, they are living very full and productive lives." As both a chaplain at Northwestern University's Catholic center and a young adult herself, Knobbe speaks credibly about this period of life, and her book is a good resource for both young adults and those who work with them.

This period is a time of self-discovery and questioning in a fast-paced, consumer-driven, pluralistic culture, Knobbe says in her first chapter. Her appraisal of young adults and their culture can help "real adults" better understand their younger counterparts. In the next five chapters, however, she speaks directly to her peers about how to navigate this reality.

On sexuality, for instance, Knobbe acknowledges that many young adults don't find church teaching helpful, and she goes on to offer an approach that focuses on relationships and forgiveness. But Knobbe knows that relationships aren't just romantic, and she devotes a full chapter to friendship, an often neglected topic in spirituality.

With chapters on prayer, vocation, and working for justice as well, Finding My Voice is a thorough overview of young adult spirituality. She could have gone deeper on each topic, but her concise writing makes the book approachable and her positive perspective makes it appealing.

"In a particular way as young adults, our lives are unfinished," Knobbe writes in the chapter on vocation. "We are always incomplete, yet every situation has the potential for calling forth goodness in us."