Don’t know much about Mary? Maybe you have a great devotion to Mary, but you still have a lot of questions? The Church has been quite clear in her teachings and dogma in which the teach the faithful the importance of Mary and her role as Mother of God. These teachings and tradition have spanned the churches 2000-year history and can be hard to piece together for the average person. In his latest book Behold Your Mother – A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines, Tim Staples clearly presents these dogmas in a comprehensive yet understandable manner.
This work is deeply rooted in historical fact and does two things. First, it serves as an exceptional primer on Mary. After completing this book, readers will no longer be wondering what the Church teaches regarding Mary. The pages of this book are packed full of material sourced from the Bible, the Church Fathers, and Church documents. Another addition I found handy were the tons of footnotes which lead one to go on a quest for the source documents.
Secondly, Tim Staples arms readers with the knowledge necessary to defend the Churches teaching on Mary. One of the greatest areas of questioning that Catholics receive is about the subject of Mary. In fact, many converts to the faith state that the various doctrines of Mary are their greatest hurdle when “crossing the Tiber”. Even during his own conversion process, Tim struggled with this, “In my mind at best, the Marian dogmas really didn’t matter. At worst, they led poor souls away from salvation in Jesus Christ.” Why is this? Simply put, lack of understanding if the true teachings of the Church.
We ask Catholics understand that we are not worshipping Mary or putting her in front of Jesus Christ as many Protestants will argue. In fact, we are honoring Jesus by honoring his Mother. Mary is an instrument of our faith leading us closer to her son. Through her life, she teaches us about the divinity of her son. Mary stands at the doorway of the Church saying, “Come in and see the full richness of and glory of my Son Jesus Christ”. How can we say no to that?
Why is Mary so important? Because Jesus understood and the Catholic Church teaches, that her role in the life of the Church is not an optional addition. It is a centric part of the story of Jesus and the salvation of the world. As the say goes: No Mary, No Jesus; Know Mary, Know Jesus. When we truly behold the Mother of God we see her divine Son. Mary was hand chosen by God to carry out the very special mission of bringing His Son to the world. This is why Mary is so important, and this is why we should have a deeper understanding of her by studying the dogmas of the Church.
Tim Staples has provided readers a fantastic look into what Mary is all about. Behold Your Mother serves as an excellent read for reaching that goal. Not only does it educate the reader but it also provides one with the tools necessary to defend the Catholic understanding of Mary. The Appendixes of the book are invaluable, particularly Answering Four False Charges about Patristic Mariology. Do yourself a favor and get this book. You won’t regret it, and you will walk away with a renewed and complete understanding of Mary’s role in the life of the Church and your own.