Showing posts from September, 2013

Sister Mary, the Devil, and Me

Well, that didn't take long.  Here I have been biding my time, looking forward to the day when I could start blogging again, planning all sorts of re-entry posts about who I am now, how I have changed over the course of the year, what it feels like to have almost a complete draft of my book done, and BANG!  Here I am writing about being attacked by the devil again.  How apropos.

It happened to Sister Mary of Ágreda, and she is a much, much more gifted writer than I will ever be.  (Mainly because she understood the true nature of her gifts--they came from God, as she well knew; I still have the presumption to imagine that what I write somehow depends on me.)  As she tells it in the introduction to the second part of her masterpiece, The Mystical City of God (Mystica Ciudad de Dios, firstpublished in 1670):
1.  When I was ready to present before the throne of God the insignificant results of my labors in writing the first part of the most holy life of Mary, the Mother of God [which …

Table of Contents

THE VIRGIN MARY AND THE ART OF PRAYERThe Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thought
Invitatory: How to Read this Book, The Virgin Clothed with the Sun[5,000 words]
Chapter 1 The Hours of the Virgin [20,000 words]A Little History of the OfficeSymbolism and Structure of the Hours
Chapter 2Ave Maria [22,000 words]Saluting MaryNaming Mary
Chapter 3Antiphon and Psalm [60,000 words]Mary in the TempleThe LORD and the Lady of the TempleMiriam, the Mother of Jesus the Son of God Most HighMary, the Theotokos, the Living Temple of GodMary in the PsalmsThe Night Office or MatinsFirst nocturn, on Sunday, Monday, and ThursdaySecond nocturn, on Tuesday and FridayThird nocturn, on Wednesday and SaturdayThe Seven Hours of the DayLauds, sung at sunrisePrime, sung at the first hour of the dayTerce, Sext, and None, sung at the third, sixth, and ninth hoursVespers, sung at sunsetCompline, sung at bedtime
Chapter 4Lesson and Response [48,500 words]Richard of St. Laurent and the things in heaven …