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Book considers joys and trials of Mary’s faith journey

The cover of professor Edward Sri's new book on Mary in the Scriptures.Imagine the night of the Nativity: Mary gives birth to the baby Jesus among hay inside an austere stable. She wraps her newborn in swaddling clothes and places him in a feeding trough for animals.

“How does Mary respond to the poverty, humility and rejection surrounding her son’s birth?  She doesn’t complain,” said professor Edward Sri of the Augustine Institute in Greenwood Village. “Luke’s Gospel tells us she kept all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). It tells us that Mary desires to understand what God is trying to teach her through these trials.”

In his new book, “Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross” (Image Books, 2013), Sri takes readers through the nine acts of faith Mary made in her life and what lessons faithful can draw from her.

Mary’s response to the birth of Christ can be an example to everyone, he said.

“When things don’t work out in our lives, or we feel we are not treated well or face certain trials, many of us panic or get discouraged. But we should imitate Mary and ask: What is God trying to teach me in this moment?” he said. “Maybe it’s greater trust, humility, patience or compassion. But there is always something God is trying to bring into our lives in those difficult moments. That’s why we should be like Mary and keep those things and ponder them in our hearts.”

Sri is a nationally-known speaker on Scripture and author of many books including “A Biblical Walk through the Mass,” “The New Rosary in Scripture” and “The Bible Compass.” He is also a founding leader of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) with Curtis Martin.

An encounter as a college student with a Protestant at Indiana University sent Sri on a quest to study the Scriptures and understand the Church’s teaching on Mary.

“This book is the fruit of my personal journey of studying Mary through the Scriptures, from her initial calling in Nazareth to her painful experience at the cross,” Sri wrote. “I hope any Christian who wants to walk in Mary’s footsteps as a faithful disciple of the Lord will benefit from this book.”

He’s taught and researched biblical passages relating to Mary throughout his career but recently saw how Scripture can shed light on her personal faith journey. His book is intended to help readers know the “humanness” of Mary.

“Mary certainly was endowed with unique graces and privileges, but she was also a person to whom we can all relate. She experienced many joys and blessings in this life, but she also faced moments of trial and suffering, moments of discernment, and moments of darkness,” Sri said. “Mary still had to walk by faith and not by sight.”

Sri takes readers through key New Testament passages on Mary, including in Luke, John and Revelation, and draws lessons from her response to the dramatic events of Christ’s life.

“She also was a human being—a woman who made a journey of faith through various trials and uncertainties and endured her share of suffering. Even with her unique graces and vocation, Mary remains a woman we can relate to and from whom we have much to learn,” he said.

 

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