Mary's Journey  

Book Reviews

Mary’s Journey
by Father Louis J. Cameli

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight. PhD

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Usually one doesn’t start at the back of the book but I was intrigued by the prayers at the end especially the Memorare.  I think that the translation that the author, Fr. Cameli, has chosen supports both the gentleness and strength that Mother Mary calls us to.  Other translations use the word ‘despise’ in place of inspired.  First of all, I like being inspired and it is an important part of most people’s lives. Secondly, this is so in keeping with our basic perceptions of Mother Mary. The book entitled “Mary’s Journey” is just that a celebration of how Mother Mary conducted her life.

The author divides the book into three units.  The first unit deals with her life on earth both the blessings and the sufferings. At the Magnificat we see Mary humble but so willing and thankful for God’s belief in her. Her consistent openness to God and what He calls her to do is evident in every single moment of her life as recorded for us in the Bible. As Christ grew in age and grace so did Mary’s understanding of who He was change.  She began to realize what He was called to be and do. As a Mother of three sons, I can identify with the statement from Luke where he says: “she treasured all things in her heart.” From His preaching in the temple to the most simple of all tasks including assisting her cousin Elizabeth, Mary showed caring concern. Unfortunately, I can identify with the cruelty also as a son was beaten so that his eye sockets and jaw were severely broken.  Mary’s son was severely and cruelly beaten and crucified and yet there she was standing beside Him in strength and grace. 

In the second unit, Fr. Cameli offers us the Church’s journey of faith with Mary. Using one’s spiritual imagination, one sees Jesus being the kind and loving Son of a Mother full of grace and strength.  He offers His love to her and she continually accepts. As a pilgrim on our faith journey we turn to Mary for guidance and protection.  We long for that loving acceptance Mary and Jesus had for each other.  Fr. Cameli gives us the Marian doctrines to contemplate in a way that draws us closer to Mary and her Son. She contributed to His humanness and gave example of how to carry this out.  Her uniqueness in carrying out what God wanted of her gives us hope to carry out our own unique plan that God has in store for us.

In the third part of the book, Fr. Cameli offers us the seven feasts and solemnities of Mary.  He describes and explains them in a way that make sense for most Church goers.  He helps us to understand the difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Annunciation while helping us to deepen our relationship with her.  Each of the feasts inspire us as her child to look to her in times of sorrow and temptation and to abide by her words:”Do what He asks you to do.”  Once the believer takes this seriously life seems so Mary and Christ centered. Fr. Cameli leaves us with this hope”… that you, the reader, will return to your own image of Mary, the Mother of God, and find her more alive and present to you than ever before "