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Meditations on Mary
ISBN 0670888206 / 9780670888207 / 0-670-88820-6
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Meditations on Mary is a beautiful, simple, incandescent book. Essays about the Virgin by Kathleen Norris (excerpts from Amazing Grace and The Cloister Walk), text from the King James Bible (from the Annunciation to the Cross), and fine reproductions of paintings (by artists including Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo) combine to form a mosaic portrait of the mother of Jesus. It's rare to find a gift book appropriate for so many age groups; teenage girls can appreciate this, and grandmothers will love it too. Norris's essays are an especially good choice for this book. Raised Protestant, she now worships with Catholics and therefore writes with a reverence that has overtaken her, to her great surprise. And the surprise appearance of God's presence in life, appropriately enough, happens to be exactly the condition in which Mary found herself when the angel Gabriel first came to give her good news. --Michael Joseph Gross [via]