Path of Mary – Book Review
By Mother Mary Potter
Supreme confidence in our All-good God together with His most loving Blessed Mother, true peace, and profound serenity are the main things I recall experiencing the first time I read this book. I decided this was one that should be reread every year because it is deeply consoling, very motivating and encouraging. It is so small that I sometimes carry it in my purse to tap into a little bit, here and there, when out and about. Albeit quite tiny, the contents are so powerful, that you will be surprised that so much can be said so briefly! Even after making the Total Consecration to Our Lady, with annual renewals (with the 33-day preparation) over twenty years ago, it provided fresh insights to this devotion not found elsewhere. “This small booklet first published in 1876, is similar to but a different perspective than True Devotion to Mary. It explains that all graces come to us through Mary. So we go to Mary, a simple pathway and the easy way to find sanctity.”
The Imprimatur was granted in June 24, 1878 by His Lordship Edward, Bishop of Nottingham, with the accompanying letter: “Having read several times with much pleasure and satisfaction the little work entitled ‘The Path of Mary,’ we heartily recommend it to the Faithful of our Diocese. It appears to us to be a faithful and devout exposition of the ‘True Devotion to the Holy Virgin’ of the Venerable Grignon de Montfort, a devotion which has received the sanction of the Church, and which is full of spiritual graces.”
The renowned Father Faber, introducing this work, quotes Saint Louis, as follows: “He that can find another point of view from which our dear Lady seems greater than before has got a new means of sanctification; for he has acquired a new power of loving God.” And that’s exactly what this booklet provides!
Then an anonymous Secular “Priest of Mary” states in his apropos introduction:
“Every faithful Catholic cherishes devotion to the Blessed Virgin. The Church… presents Mary to her children as a God-given anchor of hope.”
“This little volume – ‘The Path of Mary’ – is not a book of mere pious practices in honor of the Blessed Virgin, it is rather a little treatise, bearing a sublime message.”
“Much depends on the motive which prompts one to read a book of this kind. Particularly when it lays claim to more than the common run of devotional treatises. For the theological accuracy of ‘The Path of Mary’ we make no apology. We are far more anxious that souls read it from the motive expressed in the Epistle of the Mass for the Vigil of the Assumption: ‘Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits… They that eat me shall not hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst.’ Such souls, anxious to strengthen and deepen their faith, hope and love for Mary, will read this little book with a prayerful heart, and, like many others, they will find it full of sweet unction, profound spiritual instruction, and wonderfully practical.”
Canon Charles Falcini states, “Without exaggeration, one may assert that by means of this humble little book souls are drawn to God, by bringing into full relief, the special mission of Spiritual Motherhood, assigned to the Blessed Virgin, in the great work of the Redemption, a mission, filled with ineffable sweetness, and therefore likely to inspire the most unlimited confidence in its efficacy. The sublime saying of our Saviour, that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven we must become as little children, finds a new application, in the complete abandonment of the Christian soul to Mary, by means of a new and marvellous sacrifice, for it is a sacrifice entirely devoid of all sharpness and difficulty.”
Truly, this won’t disappoint as it lives up to all of the above claims. I heartily urge those who haven’t read this yet, to do so at the soonest opportunity. Every Child of Mary will love and cherish this supplement to their devotional collection.
We all can imitate and share in our Blessed Mother’s interior life of beautiful simplicity and tranquillity. Let this religious mother, who dedicated her life to Holy Mary, show us how. She closes with, “Again, you should desire and yearn to possess heaven, since God Himself desires you should thus desire it. ‘Deus sitit sitiri,’ ‘God thirsts to be thirsted for.’ Enter, then into the way of salvation, ‘the Path of Mary,’ that you may possess the end for which you were created, God,”
NB: The back cover states that, “The author is Venerable Mary Potter (1847-1913), the foundress of the Little Company of Mary Sisters in 1877. This book will be a wonderful gift during May, the month of Mary.”
Though I totally concur with the gift suggestion for this month (and anytime), according to information online, it seems that she is not actually a Venerable because anti-pope JPII is said to have conferred that title on her. Thus, she would currently rightly be called simply: Mother Mary Potter.
*This review is dedicated to our Queen and our Mother during her special month; may she bring some good from it.*