Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Hail Holy Queen, by Scott Hahn

Scott Hahn, Haily Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God, 2001 Darton, Longman and Todd, London

Good choice of title! I love the Salve Regina prayer. It has become very dear to me and I say it not only after the rosary, but after morning and evening prayer as well.

I bought this book some time after I decided I wanted to cross the Tiber. It looked like a useful book for developing an informed Marian faith. Some Evangelical converts to Rome struggle with Marian devotiion. Scott Hahn's wife Kimberly was unwilling to say the Hail Mary for a while, even after converting. That was not my experience. As a Protestant fundamentalist, I had swallowed all that nonsense about Mary being a Babylonian goddess, but deep down I felt a guilty attraction to Marian devotion. When I started attending Catholic mass, I said the Hail Mary with passion and gusto.

In this book, Scott Hahn demonstrates that Catholic teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary is not a set of man-made traditions but has foundations in the Bible. He makes extensive use of Scriptural references and quotations to show the Biblical origin of Mariology. No doubt obstinate Protestant critics will not be convinced by his arguments, but those open to the correction of Catholic teaching and tradition will be encouraged and enlightened to see the Scriptural roots of these doctrines. In the final chapter the author tells a lovely story about an incident after his conversion in which he was challenged to defend the doctrine of the Assumption.

Scott Hahn includes an appendix on the subject of the rosary. He offers much encouragement to persist in this theologically rich devotional practice. He recommends the use of Scriptural readings as a means of enhancing one's engagement with the rosary meditations.

This book is a vital resource for those new to Catholicism, but will probably be of benefit to cradle Catholics too.

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