I love May for a LOT of reasons, not least of which because it’s a month of usually lovely weather.
This May finds me reading two books that are helping me appreciate the loveliness of two of my favorite people: Jesus and Mary.
One is a book you’d expect to use for prayer, and the other is a book that was almost intimidating in its topic and length.
Celebrating Mary: A Collection of Praises and Prayers
“We pray that this little book will stir up your love and devotion to Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, and Mother to each of us as well,” the editors write in the introduction, and I think they’ve done their work well.
There are 100 different quotes, prayers, and reflections from the saints, tradition, and well-know authors of ages past. Each one is on its own page (or two-page spread for a few) and is a nugget that will make you pause.
Truly a treasure, I’d recommend you buy at least two: one for yourself and one for a gift.
Jesus: A Pilgrimage
I started reading this because we’ll be doing a book club discussion at CatholicMom.com and I wanted to be ahead of the game a bit (always helpful if you’re going to be writing about something, right?). I had seen that it hit the New York Times bestseller list, but I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting what I got.
This is not a preachy, stuffy book about some guy from 2000 years ago. This is a story, woven together by someone who excels at telling stories, sharing insights, and taking journeys. Ultimately, this book is shaping into an ongoing discussion I’m having with Jesus, as Fr. James Martin takes me by the arm and guides me through the places Jesus was. As he introduces me, for example, to Bethlehem, I’m finding myself looking at the Gospels in a whole new way.
I’ve laughed out loud and found, shockingly, that maybe I do indeed have a small seedling of a desire to go to the Holy Land someday.
It’s rare that I’ll write about a book (outside of my weekly reading post) before I’m finished. This book, however, has already shown me another facet of an old friend. I sat in Adoration earlier this week reading part of it and glancing up every now and then. There he was. Right there.
And right there, between the pages.
I know books are expensive, and I know I read more than five other people. But this book: this book is remarkable in a number of ways.