Catholicism in the Western world has moved from a situation where Mary and Marian devotion were simply taken for granted to a new situation where it now demands real effort to turn to Our Lady in any meaningful way. The Rosary used to play a big part in the lives of many Catholics. Now, they are more likely to carry iPods instead of Rosary beads, and to sport a tattoo instead of wearing the Miraculous Medal.
The trouble is not simply that we have stopped thinking about Mary in the way our ancestors did, but that we no longer feel about her in the same way they did either. How can we learn to see Mary in a new way? The author explores the insights of other faiths – Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Islam, and Judaism; and also the insights of the `other’ within the Catholic tradition – the Eastern-rite Catholics who, despite their full communion with Rome, have a distinct approach to Mary based on their unique liturgical and spiritual tradition.
Perhaps the novelty of their viewpoints on Mary can bring us to the joy of surprise about her once again. If we can learn to wonder anew about this woman from Nazareth, maybe we’ll be brought to enjoy the even greater wonder of her son, Jesus.