Friday 24 May 2019

Our Lady, Undoer of Knots - Marge Steinhage Fenelon - A Living Novena

Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: 
A Living Novena
Marge Steinhage Fenelon
Ave Maria Press

ISBN 9781594716300
eISBN 9781594716317

This is the third book by Marge Fenelon, about Mary, that I have read this year. This book was recommended to me a few years ago by a friend. In actuality, I purchased the eBook over 4 years before getting around to reading it. It sat in my ‘to be read pile’ for a long time. Every once in a while; while browsing my Kindle app I would come across it and bump it to the top but never got around to starting it. That is my loss. But after recently reading two other books by marge in the last few months I finally got around to reading this volume. All three books I have read by Fenelon have involved a Novena. But this one is very different than the other two. In both my previous reads the Novena was about half of the book. This one the novena is the majority of the book. But it is not just a novena of 9 days of prayer. This one follows Marge as she follows Pope Francis on a tour of the holy lands. Each day is a different location, with different focus. I believe we all have knots in or lives, some from stuff that was done to us, some from decisions we have made, some as a consequence of rejection or rebellion. As such we could all benefit from reading this book, and praying with Mary, and her title of undoer of knots.

In the forward Diana von Glahn states:

“But our good God never leaves us without divine assistance. In response to the original knot of sin tied by Eve in the Garden long ago, he has lovingly given us the great Undoer of Knots, his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

She then goes on to outline the book for us:

“Each day tackles a different knot—injustice, separation, confusion, hopelessness, grief and loss, discord, betrayal, envy and pride, and affliction—both as they relate to the situation in the land where Jesus lived as well as in our own lives.”

The sections in this volume are:
Foreword by Diana von Glahn 
Day One: Bethany Beyond the Jordan—The Knot of Injustice 
Day Two: Wall of Bethlehem—The Knot of Separation 
Day Three: Grotto of the Nativity—The Knot of Confusion 
Day Four: Mount of Olives—The Knot of Hopelessness 
Day Five: Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre —The Knots of Grief and Loss 
Day Six: Western Wall —The Knot of Discord 
Day Seven: Yad Vashem, Mount of Remembrance —The Knot of Betrayal 
Day Eight: Temple Mount—The Knots of Envy and Pride 
Day Nine: The Cenacle—The Knot of Affliction 
Appendix 1: On the Origin of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots 
Appendix 2: How to Pray the Rosary 

There were times where this book was not an easy read. Because, at least for me, many of the knots in my life are of my own making. And realizing they are there and asking for help to work on them in a deep process. Fenelon states:

“That’s why we need to turn our knot of injustice over to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots—before it entangles us in sin and ruin. We might prefer to cling to the knot, seeking vengeance or believing we deserve restitution.

And yet, God knows better. 

He knows whether we need restitution, and he knows best how to handle the people who have treated us unjustly. We don’t need to seek revenge; we need to surrender the knot of injustice to Our Lady. She will know exactly how to undo it, if only we give it to her freely.”

At the end of each of the days of the novena there is a ‘Stepping Out’ section, this is a sample from day 3:

Stepping Out in Faith 

Take some time to think about the questions below. Then answer them as honestly as you can so that your heart can continue to grow more and more peaceful. 

What kind of confusion do you face in your life right now? 
How did it come about? 
What factors contributed to it? 
What would it take for the confusion to be resolved? 
What has prohibited you so far from seeking a resolution? 
Practically speaking, what part might you play in a resolution? 

Make a concrete resolution to take one step toward peace in your heart today.

This book was another excellent read from the pen of Marge Fenelon. She concludes the book with these words:

“More than anything, I hope that Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena leads you on a spiritual journey that will deepen your faith, increase your love for our Blessed Mother, and commence the undoing of the knots in your life. Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!”

And that is what I found the book has done for me! And What I am sure it will do for you if you read it with an open mind and heart. My only quandary is is which of Marge’s book to read next.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Marge Steinhage Fenelon:
Our Lady, Undoer of Knots
My Queen, My Mother
Imitating Mary
Forgiving Mother
When’s God Gonna Call Me Back?
When’s God Gonna Show Up?
Reveille for the Soul
Strengthening Your Family: A Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home
10 Promises of Jesus: Stories and Scripture Reflections about Suffering and Joy

Behold Your Mother Marian Stations of the Cross 

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