A new book gathers reflections from Pope Benedict on the Virgin Mary to encourage children in devotion to the Blessed Mother.
The 48-page book titled “Mary, The Mother of Jesus,” was published in Italian by La Piccola Casa Editrice and begins with an introduction by the new Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola.
“The first face we all see as soon as we are born is that of our mother,” Cardinal Scola writes.“Little by little we begin to recognize her face and respond to her smile, learning with trust to distinguish it from other faces in our lives. And the same thing happened to Jesus.”
In his introduction, previewed by Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano on Nov. 21, Cardinal Scola highlighted the Pope’s reflection on the Byzantine tradition of depicting Mary's tenderness.
Pope Benedict speaks of one Byzantine image in particular which “shows the child Jesus with his face cheek-to-cheek with his Mother’s,” Cardinal Scola said.
The cardinal described the Pope's observation in the book that Mary “experienced our same joys and sorrows, our difficult moments, our same fatigue and enthusiasm…but always trusting in and entrusting herself to God.”
“And this is the difference and what makes life dignified and beautiful, as Pope Benedict says in another part of this book: 'Only if God is great is man also great. With Mary we should begin to understand that this is so.'”
Cardinal Scola noted that the Pope explains how Mary “teaches us not to be discouraged about things that don’t work out or that affect us, or about our mistakes, if we have the humility to admit them and to ask for forgiveness.”
His introduction ends with a suggestion to children on how to trust in Mary: “Kneel down before your beds each night and pray a Hail Mary. I did this and it helped me a lot.”
The book in Italian can be found at: http://www.itacalibri.it/it/catalogo/benedetto-xvi/maria.html?IDFolder=144&IDOggetto=39506&LN=IT