Dr. Edward Sri has provided the reader with a fascinating look into the life of Mary in his latest book Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross. In what could have become a deeply theological volume, Edward has managed to create a highly approachable book that will be useful to the average Catholic reader. He describes it best in the introduction. “This book is the fruit of my personal journey of studying Mary through the Scriptures, from her initial calling in Nazareth to her painful experience at the cross. It is intended to be a highly readable, accessible work that draws on wisdom from the Catholic Tradition, recent popes, and biblical scholars of a variety of perspectives and traditions.” After reading this book I believe Dr. Sri has met that goal.
The book details nine moments or steps in Mary’s journey of faith. For a better understanding of the contents of the book I have listed the nine steps below which are chapter titles. The text in parenthesis is my own descriptions.
Step 1: An Open Heart (Mary’s opening dialogue with Gabriel)
Step 2: A Servant of the Lord (Mary’s Yes)
Step 3: Magnify the Lord (The Magnificat)
Step 4: Keep and Ponder (The Manger Scene)
Step 5: Sharing in the Sword (Simeon’s Prophecy)
Step 6: Walking in the Darkness (The Finding of Jesus in the Temple)
Step 7: She Still Says Yes (The Wedding Feast of Cana)
Step 8: Total Surrender, Total Trust (The Crucifixion)
Step 9: Persevering Faith (Mary’s Final Days on Earth)
What really made this book an enlightening read for me was how well Edward took these events in the New Testament and tied them back to Old Testament prophecy. This is after all what the Bible is all about, prophecies and their fulfillment. The format is well laid out and if given the proper amount of time, you will likely come away from the book seeing some things that perhaps you did not before.
Another aspect of the book I enjoyed were the details Edward sprinkled throughout the book. They definitely got me to ponder Mary in ways I have not before. We as Catholics hold Mary in very high esteem as the Mother of our Lord and Savior. However, when you look at the nine steps in this book it causes you to realize that Mary was essentially no different than us. She was a human being, and despite her position in Church History we can learn a lot from her and her journey. She was chosen for a unique mission by God. A mission she could have easily walked away from but instead, she accepted it. Throughout all the trials of her life Mary continued to maintain her faith in her God. These nine steps and Mary’s approach to each of them is a wonderful model for each one of us to follow.
Take this book and not only read it but sit and contemplate each of the nine steps in Mary’s life. The book serves as a great springboard for Bible study on Mary and will certainly deepen your appreciation of the Catholic Tradition regarding the importance of Mary. As the title states, walk with Mary and learn how to live your faith a little better.
I received a copy of this book for this review from Image Catholic Books.