Doreen Virtue | Hay House | 7 May 2012 | 224 pages | Kindle
Doreen Virtue is the author of more than 50 books covering a variety of New Age themes, including, Oracle Cards, Angel Therapy, Indigo Children, and Ascended Masters. A qualified psychotherapist. For many years she specialised in healing eating disorders. Her early books covered topics within the fields of psychology and self-help, before she changed the focus of her work and writing to healing through spirituality and new thought therapies. Virtue writes solely for Hay House; a specialist new thought and self-help publishing house. She also leads spirituality orientated workshops and classes, and is the host of a regular phone-in show on Hay House Radio.
Mary, Queen of Angels, is intended to be a non-denominational book. It opens by highlighting the importance of Mary, not just to Christianity, but also within the Orthodox traditions, and the fact that she is not only discussed in Islamic literature. She is also the only female to be mentioned in the Qur’an. As the mother of Our Lord, she is venerated within the Roman Catholic tradition, she has two months of prayer dedicated to her (May and October), and her Assumption into Heaven, is marked by a holy day of obligation on 15 August.
The purpose of this book is to deepen the reader’s understanding of Mary in our everyday lives. Regardless of our denomination, and in the process, to strengthen our relationship with her. Or, for those who have yet to know her, an introduction to potentially one of their greatest allies/supports. Virtue has previously written two similar books relating to the archangels, Raphael and Michael.
Each of the twelve chapters that make up this book, focus on the many ways Our Lady has made herself known to people, and answered their calls/prayers for her help/intercession. This book is not an analysis of the stories she shares, but a collection of experiences that she has gathered together with the hope that the reader will be inspired by them. Ultimately, it is up to the reader whether they choose to accept what this book has to offer, and a certain degree of faith/openness does play a large factor in this.
The best way to describe this book is heartwarming. Be prepared to experience a variety of emotions as you read one story after another. Many of which describe personal hardships and terrible tragedies that have been endured by the people who submitted them, and cannot help touching you. What stands out most is their own deep convictions that at no point were they alone. Even though they may have experienced great pain and suffering. In some cases, losses that may have have rocked their beliefs, but didn’t. Knowing that through all this they were never alone, actually helped to make their faith in the Blessed Virgin much stronger. Each story speaks volumes not just about deeply held beliefs (some of the stories come from individuals with differing faiths), but also a deep trust in the fact that she would come to their aid. Regardless of whether or not it altered the situation they were going through, the important thing was her presence, love and guidance.
At this point I really should declare an interest, and it was the main reason I chose to read and review this book. Curiosity. Having been brought up in, and still practicing the Roman Catholic faith. I’m always interested to hear how others perceive various aspects of the things I’ve grown up believing, and perhaps taken for granted. For me, Doreen writes with great sensitivity and understanding. She doesn’t judge or criticise, and that’s makes this book all the more spiritual. It’s a book that will or should make you thankful for the many blessings we have in our own lives, and perhaps wonder about certain things that may may have happened at times when we’ve experienced our own troubles and sadnesses. It does have a very Catholic feel to me, but I suspect that’s probably due to the fact that I’ve grown up hearing similar stories, and it affirms my belief that anyone who asks for help won’t be denied.
The book concludes with a number of prayer dedicated to Mary. Some taken from the Catholic tradition and are instantly recognisable. Whatever your belief system, the power of prayer/meditation, can be extremely grounding and brings a great sense of peace and wellbeing. At 224 pages it’s a relatively short read but definitely a worthwhile one.