cover image The Prayer of Mary: Living the Surrendered Life

The Prayer of Mary: Living the Surrendered Life

Keith Fournier, with Lela Gilbert. . Thomas Nelson, $13.99 (185pp) ISBN 978-0-7852-1173-0

Mary, the mother of Christ, has often been a flashpoint for disagreements between Catholics and Protestants, and Fournier, a Catholic deacon, wades into the fray by proposing her as a model for all Christians. Wisely avoiding such divisive Catholic beliefs as Mary's immaculate conception and assumption into heaven, he focuses instead on the character and spirituality of the woman who bore Christ in her own body. Pointing out that Mary's recorded words are few, Fournier suggests Christians can learn from her silence, but he also notes the significance of the words she did speak. He structures the book around her fiat (Latin for "let it be done"), spoken when an angel told her she was to be the mother of Christ, and her hymn of divine praise known as "The Magnificat." Finally, Fournier looks at Mary's responses to such key events as the wedding at Cana, the crucifixion of her son and Pentecost. He draws throughout on passages from the Bible and early church fathers as well as several touching poems by Gilbert, a writer and editor. Though written primarily for Protestants, all Christians should find Fournier's reflections interesting and helpful. (Aug. 11)