The season of Lent is soon upon us so now i a good time to consider what resources you will utilize on your Lenten journey. There are a number of worthy books out there that would make a fine companion and today I’d like to spotlight a more recent one. Father Edward Looney has a superb devotional for Lent entitled A Lenten Journey with Mother Mary.
The book starts the Lenten season by spending a few days taking a look at who Mary is. Most importantly, Father Looney looks at WHY we should consider Mary as our companion during Lent. We must consider that Mary prays for us. That’s right, Mary is as much our Mother and she was Jesus Christ’s. Because of this, Mary has the same tender care for us that she did her Son. This makes Mary an obvious partner on our 40 day journey.
The book moves through the following weeks of Lent focusing on different aspects of our spiritual lives. “Over the next several weeks, we will journey with the Blessed Virgin Mary and ponder the messages she spoke to children and adults throughout the years.” In week one readers will go through an examination of conscience. A fitting start to he season of Lent. As we know Lent is a penitential season and the best way of knowing what we need to work on is to look back over our lives and consider where we may have gotten off the path.
Week two has us praying for others. Father Looney provides some pertinent advice on why we should pray for other and how we can go about doing it without getting overwhelmed. During week three Father Looney continues taking readers down the path of being prayer warriors. He looks at how to pray for souls in purgatory and for Bishops and priests. Some time is spent also covering how to prayer for our own healing from past trials. Week four cover exactly how we should pray. Mary is used as the model of prayer and how we can follow her example. Week five covers healing and how both physical and emotional healing.
This brings us to Holy Week and an exceptionally powerful part of the book. Each day we walk with Mary as she follows her son to the cross. This section alone is incredibly moving and much fruit will be gathered from it. Father Looney also includes a section taking readers through the Easter Octave up to and including Divine Mercy Sunday.
I can think of no better companion for Lent than our Mother Mary. As I journeyed through this book my mind often turned back to her own experience as her Son journeyed to the cross. Broken but not defeated what was Mary thinking? How deep was her anguish? Despite all that Mary remains with us today to guide and nurture us as only a mother can. Her love and care for each of us jumps off the pages of Father Looney’s book. Make a commitment to grow in your faith this Lent. Take Mother Mary by the hand and follow where she leads.