Sunday, 26 March 2017

Manual of Marian Devotion

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Manual of Marian Devotion, 2016 TAN Books

One of the things I love about Catholicism is the diversity within it. While the Catholic Church places oligations upon us and requires us to believe specific dogmas, she leaves Catholics at liberty to express their faith in different ways and to adopt various spiritual and devotional practices. Some Catholics frequently make prayerful and meditative use of Scripture through the Lectio Divina, while other Catholics have a spirituality centered on Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. Still other Catholics seek the mystical insights of contemplative prayer. My own spirituality is very much focused on devotion to Mary. That is why I was keen to buy this book. It is part of a series, with the companion volumes a Manual of Spiritual Warfare and a Manual of Eucharistic Devotion.

This attractively leather-bound book is very much in two parts. The first part provides an introduction to the Marian doctrines and the development of Mariology through the saints and Doctors of the Church, as well as details of some Marian apparitions. The second part is a collection of resources, comprising Marian prayers, hymns and a compendium of Marian texts in the liturgy. The selection of hymns was very nice, but it was very short. It would have been nice if it had included Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above. The prayers are all in modern language, including the Hail Mary, which contrasts with some of the other prayer books published by TAN. I am a little bothered by the assertion that the Church does not accept that the contents of the Proto-Gospel of James are historical. The Church celebrates the parents of Mary, St. Joachim and St. Anne, so she clearly accepts there are some historical elements in the Proto-Gospel.

This is a great resource to develop and enrich one's devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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