Saturday 31 March 2018

Mary: Help in Hard Times - Marianne Lorraine Trouvé

Mary: Help in Hard Times
Marianne Lorraine Trouvé
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819849397

eISBN 9781306807135

I was intrigued by this book from the first time I read the cover. For even in the times when I wandered from the Catholic faith, I always felt a closeness and a grounding in my devotion to Mary. And this book was so much more that I had hoped for. The description of the book is:
"Discussing four of the Blessed Virgin's roles, Mary: Help in Hard Times is a combination of history, stories, and prayers in an approachable, practical size. Divided into three distinct sections, the book's first segment discusses four key moments of Mary's life. The second section contains personal stories of Mary's intercession, and the book closes with various Marian devotions and prayers. An added feature is the reflection questions after each section. Bringing strength to those who feel overwhelmed, Mary: Help in Hard Times is a hope-filled companion for everyone."
And the chapters in the book are:

Our Lady of Lourdes and the Immaculate Conception
Mary picks the lowly ones
Mary asked not only for prayer but for penance
Mary brings healing and peace
The Immaculate Conception
For Reflection and Prayer

Mary, the Virgin-Mother Who Brings Us Joy
Mary shows us how to have a happy life
Mary was full of joy
Mary's gift of self
For Reflection and Prayer

Mary Is Our Mother Too
Mary called Juan Diego by name
Mary spoke Juan's language
Mary asked for a church to be built in her honor
Mary Is the Mother of God
Mary Leads Us to Jesus
For Reflection and Prayer

Mary and the Assumption
Why Intercession?
The Assumption
For Reflection and Prayer

Basic Marian Prayers
The Oldest Prayer to Mary
The Hail Mary
The Angelus
The Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven)
Hail, Holy Queen
Various Marian Prayers and Devotions
Loving Mother of the Redeemer
Prayer for the Ministers of the Word
The Rosary
How to Pray the Rosary
The Mysteries of the Rosary
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loreto)
Stabat Mater (Our Lady of Sorrows)
The Scapular Devotion
The Flower of Mount Carmel
The Miraculous Medal
Pray of Dedication to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Symbolism of the Medal
Cardinal Newman's Prayer in Honor of Our Lady
Devotion of the Five First Saturdays
The Three Hail Marys
Devotion to Mary, Untier of Knots
Mary in the Liturgy


From the introduction it states:
"Since then, Catholics and other Christians have held Mary in a unique place of honor. Her journey of faith is a model for our own. Through the Communion of Saints, as members of the one Body of Christ, she still helps us now. It's as if every time we ask her help, the curtain between earth and heaven is drawn back and blessings flow more abundantly, like a vast waterfall of grace."
I found this to be a powerful and moving book. I have always had a devotion to Mary, and in many ways turn to her in ways I never could or would have with my mother. In my darkest hours it was Mary whom I relied on. And this book has helped to deepen my devotion to her. I love that my children go up to the statue of Mary after mass, and after confession, I love that they want to spend time with Mary. I love that they kiss the statue or their hands and touch the statue. After reading The Saints Pray for Us, I loved it so much I bought a copy for each of my children and their school teachers. This is a book I will be buying for each of my children as they get to be a bit older. Next to Scott Hahn's Hail Holy Queen this is my favorite book on Mary to date. 

This book does an amazing job of balancing history, tradition, and faithful devotion. This is a book that anyone with a high school education can easily read and understand. But it is also a book that will open the heart. It draws heavily from the bible, the writings of the popes and from saints. The 'for reflection and prayer' at the end of each section of the book are wonderful. And to be honest I believe the most important paragraphs in the whole book are:

"Mary Leads Us to Jesus 
So what is the point of all this? It shows that everything about Mary leads back to Jesus. In calling her Mother of God, in fact we are affirming the truth that Jesus is both God and man. Whatever the Catholic Church teaches about Mary is rooted in its faith in Jesus Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this very succinctly: "What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ" (no. 487). 
Every teaching about Mary, whether it concerns her virginity, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, or her maternal mediation, is rooted in Jesus Christ and leads us to a deeper knowledge of him. Mother and Son are always found together. So we don't have to worry that if we honor Mary, we will forget about Jesus. Not at all! In fact, the great Marian shrines around the world are places of pilgrimage not just to honor Mary, but also to honor Jesus. Lourdes, for example, is famous for its Eucharistic procession, where Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is honored and invoked."

And that is what this book will help do, It will help root us deeper in Christ Jesus through Mary. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Marianne Lorraine Trouvé:
Mary: Help in Hard Times
A Scriptural Rosary
Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Book
Angels: Help from on High
Novena St Thomas Aquinas: Patron of Students and Catholic Schools
Divine Mercy in My Pocket
Purgatory Purifying Power
My Favorite Prayers & Novena
Praying Mysteries of Light
Praying the Rosary for Priests
Our Lady Undoer of Knots: Novena and Prayers
The Rosary with Pope Francis

Consecrated Life: John Paul II
Saint Thomas Aquinas: Saints By Our Side

Encounter the Saints Series:
Saint Catherine Labouré: And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi: A Light for the World
Saint Thomas Aquinas: Missionary of Truth

Books contributed to:
The Catholic Answer Book of Mary
Honoring Mary with the Holy Father
Pope Francis in the U.S.: Words of Mercy and Hope

Books Edited by Marianne Lorraine Trouvé:
Mary Leads Us to Jesus
Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church: Documents on the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ordinary Grace Daily Reflections:
Ordinary Grace, Weeks 1-17
Ordinary Grace, Weeks 18-34
Easter Grace

Translated by:
Adventures of Saint Paul

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