About the Book
When you grow up Catholic, Mary is everywhere. For many years, I accepted her presence in my faith without ever giving her much conscious thought. As an adult, though, I've been on a journey to understand her more fully. Over the past few years, I've had various conversations with Catholic women of my acquaintance who loved Mary, as well as with women who felt distant from her. Their reactions always fascinated me. As I was gardening one day, it occurred to me that I should interview Catholic women and ask them to share their feelings about Mary. That idea turned into a two-part article on BustedHalo.com ... and, later, became Mary and Me. The book is centered on the stories and reflections of forty-six women, from their twenties to their nineties. They are laywomen and religious sisters, cradle Catholics and converts; they are single, married, and widowed, teachers and lawyers and musicians, mothers and grandmothers. The stories are as diverse as the women who shared them. A young mother explains how Mary helps give her the patience to deal with her two active toddlers. A teacher describes her powerful lifelong love of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the comfort that she offered during her battle with uterine cancer. A religious sister reflects on the message of the Visitation, and connects it to her work counseling women who are recovering drug addicts. A young attorney explains how she always saw Mary as a passive, two-dimensional figure, until a trip to the Holy Land made her realize that Mary must have been a woman of formidable physical - and mental - strength.
From the Epilogue
There's no one single image of Mary that speaks to women today, and in this lies her power. She's the woman with a thousand faces and a thousand titles, transcending the boundaries of culture and age. She also walks with us on our individual journeys, engaging with us in any number of different ways as our circumstances shift and change. If I've learned anything from the stories in this book, I've learned that you never can know exactly when or how Mary will come to meet you. You never can predict when or how she'll show up, smiling with gentle recognition, taking up residence in your heart.