Mary in the Mystery of the Covenant
Ignace de la Potterle, SJ.
translated by Bertrand Buby, S.M.
New Yorh Alba House, 1992.

This work of Fr. de la Potterie is a philological, historico-critical exegesis of biblical texts relevant to the Virgin Mary and her mission in salvation history. His investigation leads to a study of the fundamental mystery of all of Scripture: the mystery of the covenant between God and people. Mary is seen in the light of the covenant as the personification of the "People of God," the "Daughter of Zion," the "Figure of the Synagogue," the "Spouse of God," the "Image of the Church."

In the epilogue, the author writes that "Mary is the very structure of Covenant, seen from humanity, whom Mary represents." Mary becomes the image, the figure representing the total people of God in its relation with God. The translation, by Fr. Bert Buby, is always clear and reader-friendly.

--Thomas A. Thompson, S.M.

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Totus Tuus: John Paul II's Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment
Arthur Burton Calkins
Libertyville, IL: Academy of the Immaculate, 1992.

At one time, the word consecration was used freely as a way of expressing total dedication to the Virgin Mary. In recent years, because of a greater theological and ecumenical sensitivity, the term consecration is not used with reference to Mary so freely as in the past. Entrustment appears to be the term preferred by Pope John Paul II, who has made repeated references to this distinct form of dedication to Mary in his addresses and on his pastoral visits.

Fr. Arthur Calkins presents a thorough and comprehensive study of the meaning of both consecration and entrustment in the works of John Paul II. The work analyzes numerous references in the writings of the pope, and it also indicates the nuances of the Polish words for entrustment, as well as the circumstances in Poland which served as preparation for "the program of consecration and entrustment to Mary."

Along with the analysis of the papal writings, there is a fine survey of the historical development of Marian consecration, as illustrated in the works of Ildephonse of Toledo, Fulbert of Chartres, the sodalities, Pierre Berulle, Louis Grignion de Montfort, William Joseph Chaminade, and Maximilian Kolbe. In addition, there is good analysis of the theological and Christological implications of the term. The bibliography, which lists both the references of John Paul II and the extant literature on the topic, is complete and contains many suggestions for further study.

This work appears as the first in a new series of "Studies and Texts" from the Academy of the Immaculate (Libertyville, IL). The Academy is dedicated to implementing St. Maximilian Kolbe's program of theological renewal under the auspices of Mary Immaculate, which will lead to a "global vision of Catholic life under a new form." A significant introduction to the work was written by Cardinal Paul A. Mayer, O.S.B.

--Thomas A. Thompson, S.M.

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Celebrations for the Millennium
1997: Christ; 1998: "Come, Holy Spirit"; 1999: God the Father.
Totowa, New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1997-99

These three volumes are offered by the Central Organizing Committee for the Great Jubliee of the Year 2000. For each of the years, materials for liturgy and prayer services to underline the themes of the preparation period for the millennium, as outlined in On the Coming Third Millennium. The structure of the each book is similar: formularies for Masses (many newly composed); texts for the General Intercession; prayers before the Blessed Sacrament; texts for prayer vigils and the celebration of the Word; penitential celebrations; litanies; Marian devotions. Some of the material can be found elsewhere (e.g., the Sacramentary, the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary); but much of the material, especially for the prayer services and devotions, is newly composed or taken from sources not readily available.

One feature is several new litanies, which make possible a slow rhythmic interaction of expressions of praise and petition, and can be used as part of a service or processional chant. The invocations of the litanies provide many suggestions for prayer, catechesis, and illustration. In the 1997 volume, there are three new litanies referring to Christ. The 1999 volume contains three litanies for the Blessed Virgin Mary. In addition to the Litany of Loreto, there is the "Litany of Mary, Queen," (which appeared in the "Order of Crowning an Image of Blessed Virgin Mary" [English translation, 1987]). The third, "Litany of Our Lady of Hope," provides variety in structure, with contemporary titles, illustrating Mary as disciple and model of the Church; it speaks of Mary's identification with the oppressed and marginalized, and describes her presence as "prayerful, welcoming, shining, active."

The 1999 volume provides examples of Reconciliation Services based on different themes: Lord, Our Father; the Father of Mercies; the Fountain of Love. Suggestions for "examination of conscience" are given, one based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and the other on the Beatitudes.

The Marian section, a small part of the total work, provides material not previously accessible to most catechists and liturgy planners. Texts for the revered hymn of the Eastern Church, the Akathist, are provided (four major sections) together with an opening invocation, Scripture readings, intercessions, and "workable" suggestions for their use. The texts could be used during Advent or as a prayer service on the solemnities of Mary, Mother of God and of the Annunciation.

The 1998 volume has an innovative Rosary service based on the mysteries of "the Holy Spirit," i.e., the Holy Spirit's presence at the Annunciation, Visitation, the Cross, Pentecost, and in the Hearts of the Christians. The format consists of announcemnt of the mystery, Our Father, ten Hail Marys (the first part only, but with the possibility of including a phrase referring to the mystery under consideration), with the second part of the Hail Mary recited only at the end of the Hail Marys. Twenty-six years ago, the American bishops' Behold Your Mother urged adaptation and experimentation with the rosary-type of prayer. However, since no examples from any authoritative source were provided, experimentation with the rosary was frequently misunderstood and resisted.

The use of the resources are not "time-dated," that is, limited to the years for which they were originally intended; they will enrich liturgies and prayer services well into the next millennium. The postconciliar period has given great attention to the liturgical texts, but provided very little guidance for the development of prayer services. These books provide many texts but also patterns, which can be adapted, for vigils, reconciliation services, Marian programs. These books should be in every sacristy and in the offices of religious educators and liturgical planners.

--Thomas A. Thompson, S.M.

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