Q: Where can I find books to show which traits Mary has that can be connected to all
A: You are looking for books and
periodicals. The best of all periodicals is Scripture which - without
many words - shows some interesting features about Mary:
1) The nativity scene (swaddling clothes) shows the nurturing, caring
aspect of her role as mother -- at the very foundations of the
child's positive attitude toward life, others and itself.
2) Mary's visit to Elizabeth stresses joy found in the gift of new
life and the need to share this gift with others. The assurance of
receiving and giving, joy and generosity, are important attitudes.
3) Presentation in the temple: the mother, the couple bringing Jesus
into the temple, indicate the mother's role in religious education.
She is frequently the first to bring the child to God and to bring
God to the child.
4) Several Marian events point to hardships, worry,
misunderstandings and suffering. They are part of Mother Mary's life:
the life of a refugee (flight to Egypt), the anticipation of trial
and suffering (Simeon's prophecy), loss of the child (temple),
exposure to criticism on behalf of her son's doings, loyalty and
shame at the foot of the cross.
5) The hidden years of Nazareth during which Jesus grew in age and
wisdom are the most active for Mary: the time of growth as fruit of
education. Mary with her husband, Joseph, has an active part in the
formation of Jesus' personality. He is in many regards the mirror of
his mother. No doubt that many of his personal traits, human virtues
and spiritual attitudes are a consequence of his education.
6) Mary's aptitude to ponder: She is a woman of wisdom and strength
which are rooted in her ability to meditate, discern and seek for
the deeper meaning of things (God in her life and that of Jesus,
7) She had to let go when Jesus entered his ministry, and when he
marked a certain distance between his call and the respect he owed
his parents. Conversely, Mary did not let go when she saw people in
need (Cana). Her motherly instinct tells her when to speak up and
8) Mary had the truly motherly ability to bring people together, to
create an atmosphere, to make a home and make people comfortable. At
Pentecost she is the mother of the "domestic church," not leaast
because her own family had been a little church.
Undoubtedly there are more aspects where Mary and mothers connect. In
Behold Your Mother (Pastoral letter of US Bishops, 1973, articles
129-142) Mary's role with regard to the family is developed. Her
ultimate role of mother is to give the Son of Man to humanity and to
lead us to God. Not to forget as Pope John Paul II pointed out,
Mary's life-filled presence: to be here, present and available, is
one of the noblest roles of a mothers.
Here is a book that combines the mysteries of the rosary with various stages in the life of woman. It is by Ronda Clervin (e.a.), Woman to Woman, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988. Recently, Trinity Mission (Spring 1997) deals with mothers) and mother Mary (pp. 4-12).