Monday, May 09, 2022

Joyful Encounters with Mary


Women who want to dig deeper into the meaning of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary will benefit from Maria V. Gallagher’s new book, Joyful Encounters with Mary: A Woman’s Guide to Living the Mysteries of the Rosary. Gallagher’s goal in writing it was to help us see Mary’s hand in our daily struggles and achievements so that we might “experience a powerful relationship with her.” Cultivating a deep relationship with Mary does not serve to take us away from Jesus but rather also deepens and enhances our relationship with him. Mary “can help us to become better servants of God.”

The five Joyful Mysteries are: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Birth of Jesus, The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, and The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Each mystery is covered in four chapters. The first offers a personal reflection by Gallagher which includes stories from her own life. The second is a reflection on the mystery itself, examining the Scripture and considering how Mary might have felt. The third chapter of each mystery encourages readers to grow in virtue based on the fruit of that particular mystery. The fourth chapter introduces readers to a saint who exemplified the virtue of that mystery. Each chapter concludes with reflection questions which are great for personal or group use.

In the conclusion, Gallagher emphasizes:

By contemplating the Joyful Mysteries and how they relate to our lives, we can grow in the joy of Jesus, who is the Bridge to our ultimate happiness. We reflect on the way God weaved a tapestry of hope in the lives of Mary and Jesus, through the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation, and the Finding of the Lord Jesus in the Temple. That hope can bear good fruit in our own lives.

Joyful Encounters with Mary: A Woman’s Guide to Living the Mysteries of the Rosary invites readers into a deeper relationship with Mary and provides the opportunity to reflect more deeply on these mysteries of the Rosary.


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