Mondays with MaryIt’s only been in my hot little hands a few days, but I already know that Mondays with Mary: A Celebration of Marian Feasts Throughout the Year, the new book by Meredith Henning, is going to be a resource I use and reference and share for years to come.

Henning structured the book around the Litany of Loreto (which, incidentally, also inspired many of the titles I’ve been writing about this year at Today’s Catholic Woman).  That means you get all the “important” feasts, even the ones you might have forgotten on your own.  As an official Mary geek, I am grateful for the organization and having a resource that not only has the dates, but also shares history and…get this!…a selection of crafts and a recipe.

But wait, there’s more!  In addition to 32 titles and celebrations of Mary, complete with history and crafts and recipes, there are appendices that make my heart soar.  No, I’m not referring to the book list (though that’s a wonderful thing, including books for both parents and children), and I’m not referring to the ideas for the month of May (though that, too, is a lovely thing), and I’m not even referring to the appendix with the links (though I’m drooling on my keyboard, I assure you!).

No, what I’m talking about is the final appendix, the one with the words to the Marian hymns.

I didn’t grow up singing these songs, and I often find myself fumbling through the hymnal when everyone else seems to be singing from memory.  I love having them at my fingertips now, and though my kids may learn to sing them with a slightly, ahem, altered melody than what was intended, at least they will know the words!

As I prepare to embark on my homeschooling adventure, I can think of few other resources that I would more like to have at my fingertips than this lovely collection of Marian gems.

I’d want this book, though.  I think it would be a great resource to have in a parish library  and a fabulous way to incorporate Mary into religious education classes.  I can see how some of my friends could use this book to spend an evening (or a couple of evenings) a week on a Marian theme.

In the preface, Henning says the book “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.”

What a beautiful image to open the book!  I love the idea of tossing open the window for my girls to learn to love Mary as I do.  And you know what?  I think Mary’s probably reaching through that window to toss all of us in the air!