Meredith had a desire to share and spread the Marian devotion she has fostered in her own sweet family with families everywhere, that is our good fortune. Meredith's approach has been done in a very unique and special way.
Most of us know of the Litany of Our Lady, it has been in the church for centuries, a beautiful prayer of speaking the titles of Mary, a wonderful way of expressing our love for her. It actually makes me think of this line from poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." That is precisely what we are doing when we recite this sublime litany of love for our mother. Saints have been reciting this daily for centuries and we should too, as often as we can. Meredith has incorporated the titles of Mary from the Litany into the various Marian feasts throughout the year.
What a perfect idea.
This helps children explore and understand the meaning of each title in the litany and also gives families another great reason to learn about and celebrate many lovely Marian feasts ~ the well known ones and some not so well known, so I can guarantee you will learn more about Mary in the reading of it!
In fact there was a very special revelation in it for me. My oldest child was born on the 19th of November, the Saturday before the 3rd Sunday of November in that year and I now know that it is the feast of Mother of Divine Providence. I am so grateful to now know this, her image is..beautiful, the Child Jesus lying in her lap, gazing up lovingly at His Blessed Mother.
Mother of Divine Providence
The layout of the book is very appealing and straightforward, just what my poor brain needs! Meredith has dedicated a few pages to each litany verse and the Marian feast day that she has thoughtfully matched to it.
Within those pages she starts with a quote and then explains the Litany title and Marian feast day and why she has brought the two together. This introduction leads onto 'teatime chat' a section giving practical suggestions and helps in presenting this to our children, in order to generate a good, meaningful discussion with them..just how can we live out the virtues Our Lady possessed in that title and feast? Meredith draws upon scripture, tradition, church history and the saints' example mixed with her own intuitive ideas and thoughts in these two sections.
Teatime chat is followed by 'Devotional activities' and here Meredith has showcased the best of what she has shared over the years at Sweetness and Light, one of the reasons her 'sweet' corner of blogsphere is so popular with so many mothers . Devotional activities incorporate great craft activities, with a sprinkling of photos and hand drawn pictures. There are also prayers, hymns, and spiritual exercises, encouraging mothers and children to really live out their faith in service to others with Mary as their gentle guide.
Lastly there is 'teatime recipe ideas.' Good food and feasts always go hand in hand, creating enjoyable moments. Sharing together delicious, often symbolic meals creates and binds together those 'love ties' in the hearts of little ones, for what would a birthday be, in the fond memories of children without a birthday cake? Meredith has shared recipes she has used within her own family that look simply delightful!
At the back of the book there are appendixes that support the many things shared throughout the book.
Meredith in her introduction sums up why I believe this book will be a gem in the lives of many mothers and their children in the years to come:
"Mondays with Mary represents a glimpse into the life and heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary for our children. We as their parents are the windows to her world; we just need to open it for them. Let us go to Jesus through Mary!"
For my family the delight I have experienced in the reading of Mondays with Mary, begins for them in the practical use of it from this day on.
My sincerest thanks to you Meredith, for this beautiful, big book dedicated to the Mother of us all.