Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom-A Book Review


I've long admired local Milwaukee author, Marge Fenelon.  Ever since I read her book "When's God Gonna Show Up", I recognized that her writing style, which flows as if she were sharing a story with her closest friend, and her spirituality and deep faith, were something I should strive to emulate.  Through Marge's words I actually feel as though I can someday attain to holiness, that it's truly possible, because her writing focus is on ordinary life events that could happen to anyone.

With her new book, Marge has once again made holiness seem to be something that is attainable for anyone.  In Imitating Mary:  Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom, she has made a connection between the holiness of the Blessed Mother and the lives of modern mothers everywhere so that we, too, can feel hope that by following the example of the Blessed Mother, we can live a virtuous life right here and now.

Marge chose ten virtues-yes, patience, trust, obedience, endurance, courage, strength, hope, faith and joy-and laid them out for us with a scriptural background that makes the story of the Blessed Mother come alive, anecdotes from the author's own life, and some examples of how we, too, can imitate Mary.  Then, she leaves us with some thoughts to ponder from the annals of the Church, some reflection questions and finally some suggestions of how we can follow in our Lady's footsteps.

Through sharing her personal examples of how she has encountered the Ten Marian Virtues in her own life, the author inspires women everywhere to consider how they are already living a life of virtue in their mothering.  While reading this book, I frequently had to stop and wipe away tears as I recalled my own experiences, both painful and joyful, that resonated with the stories in Imitating Mary.  In addition, the author offers prayerful and practical suggestions for improving the holiness of your family members.  In particular, I like her suggestion that we consecrate our children to Mary, as well as this suggestion on making a habit of praying the Magnificat Prayer:

"Mary's Magnificat is an important image for me, especially when I feel that either my family or I have been treated unjustly.  I will pray the Magnificat over and over again until the pain and anger subside, and then I remind myself of all the great things God has done in and through my family and myself, in spite of our lowliness.  Perhaps this helps you, too, during those times when you feel as though someone's trampled all over you or your family.  It's a valuable lesson to teach your children.  Whenever things seem unfair or dismal, pray the Magnificat with them and remind them that God knows all, sees all, and is in control of all.  He knows what's in every person's heart, and he will shame the haughty, diffuse the corrupt, and reward and uplift the righteous.  We only must obey his will and allow him to work in his own time and in his own way." 

I highly recommend Imitating Mary:  Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom.  You will be inspired, uplifted, and encouraged, and hopefully, will be drawn ever more deeply into a desire to practice these virtues within your own life.

From  the publisher, Ave Maria Press: 

Do you know a mother who exemplifies Mary's love and devotion? Nominate an extraordinary mother you know and/or yourself to be entered to win a FREE copy of Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom by Marge Fenelon. Visit this link to enter.  

Visit the following blog tour participants to read what others are saying about Marge Fenelon's Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom published by Ave Maria Press.

Marge Fenelon, award-winning Catholic journalist and Catholic Herald columnist, will be embarking on a blog tour as part of her book launch celebration. Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom delves into ten moments of Mary's life that reveal her as the timeless companion for mothers. Fenelon introduces readers to a Mary who faced challenges familiar to every mother—impatience, frustration, sacrifice, and grief—and demonstrates how, in the face of these ordinary obstacles, Mary’s response was an extraordinary example through the virtues of patience, joy, trust, and faith.

Beginning April 22, follow along as bloggers feature posts about Imitating Mary. Each stop on the tour will include information, impressions, insights, and interviews with Fenelon. Stops on the blog tour schedule currently include:

April 22: Lisa Hendey at Catholic Mom
April 23: Kathy Schiffer at Seasons of Grace
April 24: Anne Bender at Imprisoned in my Bones
April 25: Mary DeTurris Poust at Not Strictly Spiritual
April 26: Roxane Salonen at Peace Garden Mama
April 27: Sarah Reinhard at Snoring Scholar
April 28: Karen Edmisten at Karen Edmisten
April 29: Karen Mahoney at Write 2 The Point
April 30: Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle at Embracing Motherhood


  1. Ohhhh, I can't wait to read it...Thank you for the heartfelt review, dear Anne:) Perfect timing for Mary's month of May!

  2. Yes, I will be reading this book, especially after your wonderful review of it!!! Thank you Anne for your blessed words...