Ignatius Press, the leader in quality Catholic publications has three excellent new resources for your devotions (and scholarship) to Mary. It took a month for me to get through all three of them, and I consider them a set, though you can buy them separately. In any case, if you’re serious about Mary, the Immaculate Heart, and learning about why the Church holds her so high above the other saints, you can’t miss these resources.
This excellent book works as a devotional or a typical read-through. The author, Mother Mary Francis P.C.C. writes with such delicious familiarity, that I knew I was reading the work of someone who had a wealth of experience on the subject and was writing from her heart, where Mary and Jesus were also. The section on the Magnificat prayer and the creative analogies she makes with the magnifying glass of our lives was particularly enjoyable. As far as guides to devotion are concerns, this is the most complete book I have every read. It contains reflections for all the major feasts and solemnities of Mary, as well as poetry centered on the Mother of God. These meditations come from the profound prayer of a holy contemplative nun, which gives a unique unction to her reflections because they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
I then watched the DVD movie titled The Woman (I even watched it with my kids). Though I am no expert, I don’t consider myself a beginner on Mariology, and still, the content in this DVD was fresh and inspiring. In the movie, the dogmas of the Mother of God, Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, and Assumption are explained, along with other traditional beliefs and devotions to Mary. Insightful commentary is provided by Fr. Marcus Holden, Fr. Andrew Pinsent, Sister Mary of the Trinity, Fr. Jeff Steel, and Joanna Bogle, along with a number of young people speaking about their faith and love of Our Blessed Lady. Get this DVD as a companion to Cause of Our Joy.
Another unique and thought provoking look at the mysteries presented in the life of Mary. This books isn’t afraid to handle the tougher teachings on Mary with charity for the common person—the author does a particularly good job to explain how our beliefs in Mary correspond and heighten our faith in Jesus. For the Marian who seeks a more clear understanding of the dogmas with encouragement, I highly recommend this title.