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Posted October 1, 2005

Book: Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and her Re-emergence in the Modern Church
Author: Charlene Spretnak
Palgrave Macmillan, NY, pp. 280

Excerpt from Endorsements:

“In Missing Mary, Charlene Spretnak details the opposition to Our Lady during and after the Second Vatican Council, how liturgists, catechists, religious educators, ecumenists and feminist theologians have tried to diminish Mary’s role in Catholic life . . .She argues that they almost succeeded, but now there are signs of a ‘return to Mary.’” Fr. Andrew Greeley

“Missing Mary is a classic! Charlene Spretnak offers authentic insight into the mystery that is Mary. The book is elegant, playful, and real. It’s history and theology. It’s mystic, scientific, and above all, it’s cosmological. Fr. Thomas Berry, Author of The Great Work

Excerpt from the book:

In March 1987 Pope John Paul II composed a more strongly Marian interpretation of Vatican II’s decisions than was his predecessor’s Marialis cultus. In order to launch the Marian Year, he issued Redemptorius Mater (The Mother of the Redeemer). It is a lengthy explication (seventy-nine pages in booklet form) divided into three sections: Mary in the Mystery of Christ, The Mother of God at the Center of the Pilgrim Church, and Maternal Mediation. The entire text is larded with biblical citations and sprinkled with reminders that it is in line with Vatican II, but beyond that, it is infused with a warm and tender devotion to Mary. The third section, in particular, reflects a lifetime of communion with Our Lady of Czestochowa and other forms of the Blessed Mother. In this text, the pope honors – not merely tolerates – the rich source of Marian spirituality that lies within “the historical experience of individuals and the various Christian communities present among the different peoples and nations of the world.” Not surprisingly, he includes an admiring reference to St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, an early eighteenth-century missionary in western France who created an exuberant explication of the rosary and Marian devotion. The Secret of the Rosary, based on his observation about the biblical account of the Incarnation: Jesus had to entrust himself to Mary, and we are to imitate Jesus. Therefore, concluded St. Louis de Monfort, the Blessed Virgin is a strategic and central element in the divine plan for our salvation.

. . . The current pope has been on the Marian path since his adolescence, when he served as president of the large Marian society in his hometown. As a young Polish priest, Karol Wojtyla consecrated himself to the Blessed Mother, considering her the spiritual guest in his soul, as the apostle John had done. When he was made an archbishop, Fr. Wojtyla inserted into his coat-of-arms an unmistakable Marian symbol, a large “M,” which he carried into his papal seal years later. Similarly, his papal motto continues his earlier declaration of his spiritual consecration to Mary: Totus tuus (My Entire Self is Yours).

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Being Marian

1. The Virgin and the dynamo: a rematch

2. The quiet rebellion against the suppression of Mary

3. Premodern Mary meets postmodern cosmology

4. Where Mary still reigns

5. Why the Church deposed the Queen of Heaven

6. Mary’s biblical and syncretic roots

7. Her mystical body of grace

Epilogue: Being Mary