Mary's Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God is both a testament to perseverance and a guide to surrender. Judy Klein shares her own heartbreaks as a mother, tracing her journey as a parent and a Catholic. But this book is more than a memoir: it's a call to a very specific kind of prayer by mothers for their own children.
Judy Klein is careful not to make empty prosperity-gospel-style promises about what will happen if you pray for your child. While acknowledging that miracles can happen, Klein notes that when our prayers of petition seemingly go unanswered,
...God invites us to learn the power of prayerful surrender. It's a prayer that can bring real peace, and it often brings us to deeper conversion and inner transformation. It sometimes takes many hard lessons and countless wrestling matches with God to learn to surrender, and it's something we must practice as we go. But surrendering prayer is worth leaning into and learning well because, in the end, learning to yield to God and say yes to him in whatever life brings changes us. (p. 3)
The beauty of Mary's Way is that, more than anything else, it's about the heart of the mother as she learns to give up control. We all want to control how things will turn out for our children, and despite tiger-mom and helicopter-mom strategies, we can't guarantee optimal results by our own prayer, word or action. Instead, Klein urges readers to follow Mary's example of faith.
Mary's most exquisite blessing was not that she was given a "pass" on suffering but that she was permitted to participate in the Cross in a most profound and intimate manner. She found the greatest blessing precisely by uniting her deepest agony--watching her son die upon the Cross--to her Son's own sacrificial offering, cooperating freely with salvific grace in bringing about the redemption of souls. We are invited to do the same whenever the Cross presents itself in our lives, turning our pain into a source of sanctification for ourselves and for others. (p. 8)
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Judy Klein guides mothers toward surrender by sharing her own story, offering questions to ponder, and including prayers at the end of each chapter that speak to the heart of what mothers face as they learn to follow Mary's example.
In this book, readers will learn of the beauty of endurance, how embracing the Cross can grace us with strength we cannot imagine, and how true friends support each other through trials.
You do not need to be a parent in the throes of suffering to benefit from this book. But if you are, or know someone who is, this book will be balm for the suffering soul.
Mary's Way is a CatholicMom.com book published by Ave Maria Press.
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Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewcz, OFS
About the Author
Barb Szyszkiewicz, editor at CatholicMom.com, is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information at Cook and Count. Barb is the author of The Handy Little Guide to Prayer and The Handy Little Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, available from Our Sunday Visitor.