- Paperback: 80 pages
- Publisher: Bezalel Books (February 20, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0980048303
- ISBN-13: 978-0980048308
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Behold Your Mother Paperback – February 20, 2008
Top Customer Reviews
Each of the 48 meditations begins with Scripture and ends with a short prayer. But my favorite part of the meditations is what comes in the middle: lyrical, narrative passages that offer a glimpse into the life of Mary and those who were close to her, including people like Juan Diego to whom she revealed herself. Here, in Heidi's beautifully-written verse, we can imagine the sometimes gritty and absolutely human details of Mary's days - the love she felt as she nursed her baby as "He nestled close, wisps of hair glued with sweat, /his eyes closed in concentration," her exhaustion, her fear, and the way she kissed "[Jesus'] bruised face./ Her Baby, but God's Lamb." Through her perceptive and descriptive writing, Heidi paints a vivid, faithful and authentic picture of our Holy Mother and the many roles she played and still plays in all of our lives while offering us an opportunity to deepen our relationship with the Mother of God.
Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert might sound like it's a stuffy book. Perhaps you will stop reading now, before I shatter the preconception you may have just from reading the title.
Yes, it's a book about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Yes, Heidi Hess Saxton is a Catholic convert. No, it's not stuffy.
I couldn't put it down, though that seems to contradict the fact that I couldn't read it all in one sitting either. I was caught completely off guard by the style of the book. I don't know what I was expecting - it's not a very thick book, 70 pages - but I wasn't prepared for the impact this little collection would have on me.
The book is divided into two parts. In the first, Heidi shares three short stories from her own life about Mary. They're not of the rolling-your-eyes-this-lady's-off-her-rocker variety; instead, they're candid tales that were probably written only after Heidi had done a bit of shaking her head and trying to attribute them to something other than Mary's intercession. (My mother-in-law has a fair share of guardian angel stories of this ilk.)
In the second - and my favorite - part, Heidi has put together 48 reflections on the life of Mary. They were as surprising in their point-of-view as they were fresh in their styling. There were a few that made me tear up, and there are more than a couple of dog-eared pages that I'll be turning back to again and again.
It's the kind of book that I buy for all of my close friends and family, whether they're Catholic or not. That's partly for selfish reasons - I don't think I can part with this book to lend it out, because it's really that good. (The list of books I don't lend out is very small, just so you know. It probably includes two books, come to think of it.)
I challenge you, for a second, to let go of your preconceptions about Mary, Mother of God. Even if you have a devotion to her. Start out with a blank slate, and pick up this book. You may find that you come away changed. You may find that you come away smiling, with tears in your eyes. You may find yourself looking around you with new eyes.
While it would make a great Mother's Day gift, or birthday gift, or it's-Tuesday-I-love-you gift, don't wait to share this book with your favorite person. As a mother, I think automatically of other women and mothers to share it with, but last night, at our parish's May Crowning, I looked at Padre standing in the shadow of the be-flowered statue of Mary, and I realized that HE needs a copy of this book. Then I thought of my own father, and my husband, and my brother-in-law.
There's a timelessness to this book, and I look forward to sharing it with my daughters someday, and my nieces, and perhaps even my grandchildren. May, the month of Mary, is a terrific time to read it, though I can't think of a BAD time to read it.
Am I fawning?
But only if you promise to go check it out for yourself. Then let me know what YOU think of it!
As an adoptive mother, Saxton feels very connected with Mary's role as our adopted mother. Jesus gave Mary to all of us as our mother while he was on the cross. Some respond to this motherhood quite naturally. Many of us, especially those raised as cradle Catholics, can't imagine not thinking of Mary as our spiritual mother. Others, such as Saxton, need to be invited into that relationship. In the first part of "Behold Your Mother," she shares how she came to know and love Mary. Saxton compares it to when she was first caring for her foster children. As painful as it was, she had to wait for them to come to her before they could forge a bond. Saxton states that Mary "waited for me to express my need . . . such as someone to sit with me in Church when I was feeling lonely, or safety for my children and me in a time of perceptible danger . . . and then found a way to fill it."
The second part of "Behold Your Mother" offers reflections on the life of Mary. Each reflection offers a quote from scripture or other sources that offers a glimpse of Mary. There is then a reflection and a prayer. Many of Saxton's reflections are truly beautiful, offering great insight into the life and heart of Mary, such as this reflection on the birth of Jesus:
The wind moaned, the straw prickled.
You closed your eyes to shut out the dirty animals
and the pacing husband,
and you dreamed of home.
Did you wish for your mother?
Before you could always count on her,
but you are mother now.
Saxton also explores the humanity of Mary:
I am exhausted! This child of Yours has not slept
for three nights running . . . and my breasts are tender
pomegranates . . . and, I could weep from sheer frustration.
"Behold Your Mother" was written for those just coming to know Mary, but it is a wonderful source of reflection for those of us who already love Mary and turn to her as our mother. It is a brief book, but it is full of meaning and value. It is a reminder of the importance of Mary in God's plan for salvation, as well as her role in our lives. Jesus followed the commandment to "Honor thy mother and father." He wants us to honor our adopted mother. Through honoring Mary and forging a relationship with her, she brings us to her divine son.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
relationship with the Blessed Mother.