Monday, March 24, 2008

Behold Your Mother

Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert, is Heidi Hess-Saxton's second, expanded edition of her previously published book, With Mary in Prayer.

The book opens with three short, lovely essays detailing how Mary came into Heidi's life and how the Blessed Mother has since interceded for her. Following that are 48 brief reflections, each of which includes a Scripture reading, an imagined scene from the "everyday lives" of Mary and Jesus, and a prayer for Mary's intercession. Each prayer begins with one of Mary's many titles, such as "Seat of Wisdom," "Lady of Sorrows," and "Star of the Sea."

It's fitting that Heidi used so many of Mary's alternate names, illustrating that Mary will help and lead us in so many different ways. Mary offers us her wisdom, prays for our comfort, and is the shining star we turn to when we need an example of the perfect disciple.

And we need examples. Heidi knows it isn't always easy to be a mom -- witness the title of her mommy blog, Mommy Monsters, Inc. We've all felt that way, haven't we? When we're tired, frustrated, and worn out -- when we feel like that monster instead of a mommy -- we need some inspiration. Behold Your Mother offers maternal motivation, from the blunt, nitty-gritty to the soft embrace of one who wants to lift us from discouragement.

In one of my favorite prayers in the book, Heidi notes that Mary had the privilege of seeing Jesus use pieces of her ordinary life to teach his disciples about the Father. Heidi invites us to pray that we, too, might see and live out the same thing -- that we might know that our vocation is a holy and heavenly thing:
Seat of Wisdom: You had the mind-boggling task of turning the Word Incarnate into a man. You must have smiled as you heard His parables formed from the stuff of everyday life. Pray for us, that we might see God's love notes for us in the ordinary details of life. Amen.
As a fellow convert (Heidi came into the Catholic Church in '94; I came in the following year) , I can identify with Heidi's initially cautious approach to the Blessed Mother. But, as a Catholic who has also felt the miraculous, maternal love that Mary wants to pour out on all of us, I applaud this book's encouragement to turn to Mary, Mother of God, and Mother of us all.


momto5minnies said...

THANKS for the book recommendation. I'll have to check it out!

Jennifer said...

This sounds delightful. I would love to read about this from a convert's perspective. Trying to explain things to some protestant friends and family always ends in problems.

Leonie said...

Thanks - this looks good, I am another convert who struggled with the whole concept of Our Lady....

Cheryl said...

This is a wonderful book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is seeking to understand more about the Blessed Virgin Mary.