Bookshelf

in Mary

Mary and Me

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In her book, "Mary and Me," Ginny Kubitz Moyer asks the question, “How does Mary, the Mother of God, speak to the modern woman?” The book offers a compelling look at the breadth of Mary’s influence on women today.

Here is an excerpt:

“Several women I talked to tried to imagine what Mary must have felt at the Annunciation both during and after this surprise encounter.

Donna, a fifty-six year old elementary teacher said: 'I wonder if Mary had a few moments of wonder after Gabriel's visit. How am I going to explain this to Joseph and my parents?'

As an unmarried pregnant women, she was opening herself to harsh gossip and ridicule, even death under the Mosaic Law. Agreeing to say yes so quickly makes it all the more radical.

Andrea, a thirty-three year old marriage and family therapy intern said: 'What she did is hard to fathom at my age, let alone being a teenager! It shows us how we, today, can act on faith, even if we cannot understand what is being asked of us.'

It’s clear from my interviews that even though the Annunciation took place two thousand years ago, today’s woman can imagine it as vividly as if it happened yesterday. Whether they feel admiration for Mary’s courage or awe at her swift 'yes,' many modern women can’t help but become personally engaged in her experience.

In a way, that’s not surprising, for the Annunciation is far more than just one girl’s story: it’s an encounter that has the power to speak to all women everywhere. Through Mary’s response, we’re reminded that some truly amazing things can happen when we let faith overcome our fear.”

Posted by Dan Herda
Tags: women, mary

Stories of the Saints: Bold and Inspiring Tales of Adventure, Grace, and Courage

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Stories of the Saints: Bold and Inspiring Tales of Adventure, Grace, and Courage by Carey Wallace and illustrated by Nick Thornburrow is a unique saint book that brings to life many Catholic saints that young readers will be familiar with, as well as others that will be introduced to them for the first time, through dramatized yet realistic retellings of their life stories. 

Proceeding chronologically from Polycarp to Mother Teresa, each saint’s humanity and faith become tangible in a very real way in the space of just a few pages.  Coupled with the dramatic and mythological illustrations of Thornburrow, this book is different from most every other book on the lives of saints. Boys and girls alike will find new heroes or a new understanding of favorite saints, as well as find themselves captivated by the beautiful illustrations. 

While some parents may be uncomfortable with the honesty that Wallace treats the hardships the saints have endured, from early Christians’ martyrdom to the plague, I found it to be refreshing and a great conversation starter with my children on the trials and tribulations of the Christian life, especially those prior to modern times.

This is an excellent book to breathe life into the saints for children so they are able to vividly imagine the heroic faith of those good Catholics whom the Church has canonized. 

Letters to a Young Catholic

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Thankfully, the title of the book "Letters to a Young Catholic" by George Weigel didn't persuade me from picking it up. It is a great and easy read. It is a good book to read and then share.

Some materials that I read are what I call “bedroom reading.” These are books that can be read in short bursts and do not call on us to fire up all our mental capacities, these books are intended for the heart.

With that in mind, George Weigel is a scholar on many fronts. He is the recipient of eighteen honorary doctorates in fields including divinity, philosophy, law, and social science. He is best known for his biography on Saint John Paul II.

I had the opportunity to hear him speak a couple several years ago. You would think with this intellect he would be dry and analytical… but you would be wrong. He is one of the most passionate supporters of the joys of Catholicism.

"Letters to a Young Catholic" offers an interesting approach. Instead of offering theological arguments, or experience of the saints, the author takes us to the places that offered him transformative experiences. In this format, we are taken around the world, starting and finishing in Professor Weigel’s home town of Baltimore.

Through these journeys and the stories of people, the book wonderfully reveals truths of the Catholic church and how God reveals himself through humanity. This book embodies our faith and seals it in the world. As you read each “letter,” you will hear yourself saying, “that’s right…that’s how I feel.” George Weigel has the gift of expressing the core of our love for God. The title is "Letters to a Young Catholic" and it is meant to inspire those searching, but aren’t we all?

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