I read A Mary Christmas during this past Advent season as part of preparing my heart for Christmas. I can’t think of a better person than Christ’s own mother to have as a guide during the Christmas season and beyond. It helps me to be reminded that much of what happened was completely unexpected, unexplained, and certainly unplanned by Mary and her betrothed, Joseph, though both trusted the Lord and did as He told them.
I know how much of a struggle it can be to listen for and say yes to the Lord, especially when you don’t know what that consent will entail (and oftentimes even when you do know, in part what it will require of you). I’ve also witnessed the blessings and joy that have gone far beyond anything I could have ever thought of or even considered to pray for on my own.
In this short, poignant book, Kathleen M. Carroll focuses on “the Seven Joys of Mary: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity of Our Lord, the Adoration of the Magi, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the Appearance of the Risen Christ to His Mother, and the Assumption and Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven. “
Sometimes it’s easier for me to imagine the depths of Mary’s sorrow than it is to grasp the fullness of the joy she experienced in her life by letting God work freely in and through her in mind, body, and spirit. We miss out on the powerful blessings and ultimate triumphs if we contemplate Mary only when her heart was “pierced seven times” without spending time also meditating on the unfathomable joy that was infused into her life in time and eternity.
Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of God, teach us your joy. Amen.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on A Mary Christmas. The Catholic Company has great gift ideas for all seasons of the liturgical year.