If you’re looking to get to know Mary better or are simply searching for a new way to pray to her, look no further. “My soul magnifies the Lord…” (Luke 1:46) and it can be said that the new book Behold Your Mother magnifies the life of Mary. In this devotion to the Blessed Mother, author Heidi Hess Saxton first shares personal reflections and anecdotes of how she developed a more meaningful and intimate relationship with Mary after converting to Catholicism. The latter part of the book includes a collection of powerful meditations that reflect Mary’s natural, divine and spiritual motherhood.
As a cradle Catholic who always had a string of Rosary beads nearby, I’ve faithfully embraced Mary and prayed to her often. Since becoming a mom, my petitions to Mary have become even more frequent. Who better to share my children’s and my own joys and sufferings than with the Blessed Mother, the woman who gave birth to Jesus and later stood at the foot of the cross, weeping?
Like my own mom, whom I regularly call up when I’m discouraged (“I’m exhausted.” “I lost my patience…again.” “Madeline is refusing to nap…again.”) or particularly excited about something that happened along my mothering journey (“The baby’s waving now!” “Madeline learned to write the letter ‘M’! Yippee!” “We acted goofy all day. Madeline gave me tons of hugs and Rae gave me lots of wet kisses. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.”), I can always call upon Mary and she is there ready to listen and prepared to pray for her son on my behalf. Thanks to Heidi’s new book, I now have a collection of Marian meditations and prayers on hand to give me “new material” for days when I need my Mother.
Each of the 48 meditations begins with Scripture and ends with a short prayer. But my favorite part of the meditations is what comes in the middle: lyrical, narrative passages that offer a glimpse into the life of Mary and those who were close to her, including people like Juan Diego to whom she revealed herself. Here, in Heidi’s beautifully-written verse, we can imagine the sometimes gritty and absolutely human details of Mary’s days – the love she felt as she nursed her baby as “He nestled close, wisps of hair glued with sweat, /his eyes closed in concentration,” her exhaustion, her fear, and the way she kissed “[Jesus’] bruised face./ Her Baby, but God’s Lamb.” Through her perceptive and descriptive writing, Heidi paints a vivid, faithful and authentic picture of our Holy Mother and the many roles she played and still plays in all of our lives while offering us an opportunity to deepen our relationship with the Mother of God.
Order Behold Your Mother here. Place your order before March 15th and you won’t pay shipping! It’s also available on Amazon. (The book would make a lovely Easter or Mother’s Day gift.) Also, be sure to check out Heidi’s blog dedicated to Our Lady.