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A fast take on ‘Mary’s Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God’ with Judy Klein

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Her book deals openly with the truth that parenting can be a “School of Surrender” that needs Mary’s example

How do you walk with your children during times of fear, struggle and crisis? Do you feel that nothing you do will ever be enough? Where and how do you find peace? Aleteia posed six questions to theologian and writer Judy Landrieu Klein about her latest book, Mary’s Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God.

1) What inspired the book?

Mary’s Way was born out of my own frustration over reading Catholic books about parenting that didn’t seem to address the kind of serious real life problems and suffering I was dealing with as a mother. I wanted to offer an honest, vulnerable story of surrender in the midst of suffering modeled on the life of Mary. I also wanted to debunk a Catholic version of the “prosperity gospel” which suggests that if I do it all right, pray enough prayers and novenas and am holy enough, my life will turn out swimmingly well. When I really meditated on the life of Mary, this clearly wasn’t the case. The holiest woman that ever lived–the sinless Mother of God–watched her Son die a brutal, violent death upon the Cross labeled a blasphemer and a criminal. If Mary did it all “right,” then how did it turn out so “wrong”? She would never pass the test of “blessing” put forth by the “prosperity gospel” today, yet she was the most blessed woman who ever lived. These are some of the questions I wanted to wrestle with in the book.

2) If you could give this book another title, what would it be?

“Parenting with Mary in the School of Surrender”

3a) What person in this book do you most personally identify with?
I identify most with my first child, Kara, whose life called me into motherhood and into the school of surrender.  Her life gave me the great gift of confronting my own poverties and deficits both as a mother and as a person, and her beautiful journey with the Lord has given me the incredible consolation of knowing that God is so much bigger than our foibles, wounds and weaknesses.
 3b) What story or anecdote (or piece of advice) in this book most personally resonated with you? 
The lesson that what Mary teaches us as human beings is how to fully surrender to God.  She doesn’t micro-manage God through her will or through her prayers (the way so many of us try to do), but prays “let it be done to me” in complete trust and surrender to God every step of the way. Such a posture is where true power and holiness lie.

4) Did writing this book teach you anything?

Yes it did! It taught me many lessons that I am still learning, including the central lesson of entrusting our children completely to God and trusting him to take care of them. That’s an ongoing lesson for parents and it’s one I hope to encourage people to take seriously through Mary’s Way.

5) If there is one person you want to reach with this book, who would that be?

I would want to reach the parent who is beating their head against the wall asking God constantly, “What am I doing wrong?” I hope this book will give such a parent the courage to let go and let God, and that it will give them not only peace, but concrete help in letting go through the prayers offered at the end of every chapter.

6) What is the ideal beverage to have in hand while reading your book?

Coffee if I’m reading in the morning and maybe a glass of wine if I’m reading at night. Or perhaps limoncello, because I like to say that when life gives us lemons, God makes limoncello!

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