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Posted October 21, 2014

Book: Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom
Author: Marge Fenelon
Ave Maria Press. Notre Dame, IN. 2014. Pp. 176

Excerpt from the Jacket:

In an age of much mothering advice but few admirable role models, award-winning Catholic journalist Marge Fenelon delves into ten scenes --- and corresponding virtues --- in Mary's life that reveal her as the ultimate example and companion for the modern mom.

An Excerpt from the Book:

It's interesting that the Holy Family willingly followed the law even though they were perfectly exempt from it. This has served as a striking example for me, especially during times when I find myself struggling with authority. It's hard enough for me to accept rightful authority; when I'm faced with unjust authority I throw a fit.

Rightful authority

Rightful authority includes natural law, civic law, and ecclesial law. Of course, we can't forget parental law! It's good to evaluate your own attitude toward these laws and then to examine what message you give your children by your behavior. If you didn't want to be a good Catholic mom, you wouldn't be reading this book. Yet some of us consider ourselves faithful Catholics and still have difficulty following ecclesial authority. We know we should go to Sunday Mass, but sometimes it's hard to give up that one, quiet morning when we might be able to sleep in, especially after a chaotic week. What would it hurt, right? It hurts a lot; it hurts our souls, and potentially the souls of our families, since it deprives us of the graces offered us at holy Mass. It's the same with the sacrament of Reconciliation. It can be hard to get there, especially if it's at an inconvenient time. But, we need those graces; we need the forgiveness of God and the absolution of our sins --- and so do our families. The Church wants us to receive the sacraments frequently for our sakes, not hers.

The way you approach ecclesial authority will probably be the same way your children will approach it when they reach adulthood. If they see you joyfully and courageously rise on Sunday mornings; if they see you looking forward to attending Mass (squeezing in daily Mass would be an extra bonus!); if they sense in you a sincere need for the Eucharist; then the likelihood is that they will, too. If your children observe in you an attitude of penitence and desire for God's mercy; if they see you making a space in your calendar for Reconciliation; then likely they will, too. Following ecclesial authority is just one way in which you can show your children how to obey rightful authority as the Holy Family did.

Table of Contents:

1. Mary's Fiat: imitating Mary's yes
2. The unwed mother: imitating Mary's patience
3. The handmaiden Mother: imitating Mary's trust
4. The messenger Mother: imitating Mary's obedience
5. The young mother: Mary's endurance
6. The committed Mother: imitating Mary's courage
7. The fleeing Mother: imitating Mary's strength
8. The attentive Mother: imitating Mary's hope
9. The grieving Mother-Child: imitating Mary's faith
10. The disciple Mother: imitating Mary's joy
Conclusion: Letting Mary mother us