“How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find the word that means Maria?” You may recall these lyrics from the timeless classic movie/musical The Sound of Music. Maria Von Trapp’s story as the central character touched many as did the plight of the Von Trapp’s themselves. There is a side of Maria however that goes beyond the story itself. Maria’s deep-rooted faith was a central focus throughout her own life. Now, thanks to Sophia Institute Press, readers can experience that faith on their own and implement some of her ideas as detailed in the book Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family.
A little backstory of this book is appropriate. Originally published in 1955 the book has been out of print for some time and difficult to acquire. Sophia Institute Press obtained the rights to the book and decided to breath new life into it. What they produced was a magnificent hardbound edition in a larger sized format than the original. They retained all aspects of the content within the book but cleaned it up. The book is now one that can be admired for generations to come and is best suited as a coffee table type book that stays out, visible and available for frequent reference.
“Everything from booklets to tomes is being written, in alarmingly increasing numbers, on one topic: the deterioration of the family life and what to do about it. As one looks over those more or less learned treatises, however, one misses one phrase – family feasts – and yet that makes all the difference. Why have homes more and more turned into places where a group of people merely happen to live under one roof, each member going his separate way, sharing nothing with others? The answer is that they lack family feasts.” Bear in mind that Maria Von Trapp wrote those words in 1955!
So what does the book contain? Maria has divided the book into two sections: Celebrating with the Family in Heaven, and Celebrating with the Family on Earth.
In Celebrating with the Family in Heaven, Maria takes a look at various feast throughout the liturgical year. As one might expect she covers Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Paschaltide among others. In a chapter called the Green Meadow, she looks at Corpus Christi, The Feast of the Sacred Heart, The Feast of Christ the King, and The Feasts of Mary.
In the second section, Celebrating with the Family on Earth, Maria looks at ways to celebrate birthdays, baptismal days, first confessions, first communions, confirmation, wedding anniversaries, and more that spiritually impact our earthly lives.
Throughout the book and relative to each season are songs (in sheet music format with lyrics), recipes, crafts, and something I was pleasantly surprised by. Maria Von Trapp is an eloquent writer with a deep knowledge and love of the Catholic faith. It comes shining through on every page and serves as a shining example of how to live your faith out on a daily basis.
Maria states, “With every passing year, I realize more deeply how joyful our religion is, The more one penetrates into what it means to be Catholic, the fuller life becomes.” I encourage you to make Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family a part of your personal library. However, don’t slide it into a bookcase to only be opened occasionally. Leave it out and accessible to make it a part of your life. Your faith journey will benefit significantly from its daily use.
Where to Find
I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Read my entire review archives at The Catholic Book Blogger.