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Catholicism in the Western world has gone from a situation where Mary and Marian devotion were simply taken for granted to a new circumstance where it now requires a real effort to turn to Our Lady in a significant way. The Rosary once played an important role in the lives of many Catholics. Today, they are more inclined to wear an iPod instead of a rosary, and to sport a tattoo instead of wearing the miraculous medal. The issue is not only that we have ceased to think of Mary as our ancestors did, but also that we no longer feel the same way about her. How can we learn to see Mary in a new way?
The author explores the perspectives of other religions - Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Islam, and Judaism - as well as the prospects of the "other" within the Catholic tradition - Eastern Rite Catholics who, despite their full communion with Rome, have a distinct approach to Mary based on their unique liturgical and spiritual tradition. Perhaps the novelty of their views of Mary can lead us to the joy of surprise about her once again. If we can learn to marvel again at this woman of Nazareth, perhaps we will be drawn to appreciate the even greater wonder of her son, Jesus.
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