November 22, 2014 by LeVoyageur
The Miracles of Mary: Everyday Encounters of Beauty and Grace by Bridget Curran
Although my nightstand is typically piled high with reading material, it is generally because it is used as a place to store the books I want to read in the near future. I am not one of those people who spend a great deal of time reading in bed. By the time I get there, it’s late, I’m already sleepy and it’s time for shut-eye.
So the reading I do in bed tends to be of a sort that can be consumed in short bursts and still be engaging. Magazine articles are good, as are very short stories or a favorite book that brings joy in re-reading, etc. Another type is something I encountered many years ago when going through a period of stress: inspirational reading.
It is this type of book that I recently purchased and enjoyed reading over several weeks. The Miracles of Mary by Bridget Curran is a compendium of over thirty “Mary” stories — accounts of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin over the course of many centuries throughout the world.
Curran recounts the details of each apparition and reveals an appreciation of the stories as a phenomenon, while allowing them to largely speak for themselves. Part of the strength of her work in fact is allowing the players of each holy drama to give expression to their own experiences. We hear the voices of young and old, the credulous and doubters alike.
At a maximum of just over ten pages, the stories are a way to end the day on a calm and reflective note. If you are not a devotee of Mary, you will find a kind of folk history of Marian apparitions from around the world. Having grown up in the Catholic Church, and with devotion to Mary encouraged by my grandmother (a member of the Legion of Mary) the work resonated with me on several levels. I recommend this for those seeking a spiritual read, without being bogged down in deep issues of theology or catechism.