Mary Undoer of Knots

Christ came to bring JOY;

Joy to children, joy to parents,

Joy to families and friends,

Joy to the sick and elderly,

Joy to all humanity.

In a true sense, JOY is the keynote message of Christianity,

And the recurring motif of the Gospels.

Go, therefore, and become Messengers of Joy!

~ Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mysteries of the Virgin Mary, Living Our Lady's Graces - by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.

In Father Cameron's own words, his mission in writing the book, Mysteries of the Virgin Mary, Living Our Lady’s Graces, "is to present the real life of the Blessed Virgin Mary as it is commemorated in the Marian liturgical feasts of the Church," pointing out the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, where it states, "the Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." But really, this description only touches the surface. The fullness to which he captures the depth of Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother, and the depth to which my heart is moved by his words, goes beyond any other book on Mary that I have read thus far.

I love St. Louis de Monfort. His love for the Blessed Mother and his True Devotion and 33-Day Preparation for Consecration are classics which should be read by everyone. I personally renew my 33-day consecration annually, and every year, I find myself growing closer to Jesus, through Mary, through the 33-day preparation written by St Louis. I must admit, however, that to this day, after having begun this annual tradition about 5 or 6 years ago, I am still mystified by some of it. Oh, I know that the Holy Spirit reveals these things to us, sometimes over a lifetime and rarely all at once, but I have longed for something that would explain, in depth, the mysteries of Mary, and why she is so important to our faith. Don’t get me wrong---I feel it. But I want to be able to verbalize share it. Father Cameron has done just that.

Father Cameron begins by asking the question, Why Pray to Mary? He gives seven compelling answers, including quote after quote from numerous saints, as to why God gives us graces through Mary. Father Cameron gives an explanation that does not rely on mere pronouncement, but is backed up with insight that can only come from the Holy Spirit Himself. Father writes beautifully and clearly, without debate, and gives the reader a hunger to know our Lady and her Beloved Son all the better.

After taking the time to answer some of the basic questions, Father Cameron devotes the remaining chapters of his book to specific events and titles of our Blessed Mother, offering compelling quotes that literally brought me to my knees. For instance, I have never heard of St Amadeus of Lausanne before, but this quote of his struck me in a special way, given the context in the chapter, and the place I am in my own life right now:

        Mary suffers delay that she may advance, she advances through her perseverance. Perseverance, joined to love and work, creates fullness, brings forth perfection.

Mary suffered separation from her Divine Son when He died for our salvation. The delay of years before she could see Him again must have seemed like an eternity for her maternal and immaculate heart. But we can be assured that her remaining earthly life was of great value to the early Church and to us. In this separation and delay, is great mercy for all the world. Read this book and you will be inspired to love more, and to know the Lord in the fullness of His Mother’s own memory.

I will treasure this book and read it over and over and over again.


P.S.  As many of you know, I enjoy reviewing books for The Catholic Company in exchange for free books.  They have asked me to share with you that Catholic Company is also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.  If you are interested in signing up for the reviewer program, let me know, and I will give you the information.

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