Q. You’ve written other books about Mary. How is Walking with Mary different?
I’ve been blessed to teach on Catholic beliefs and practices about Mary and do much research on the Biblical texts that shed light on Mary’s role in God’s plan of salvation. But this book explores more what Scripture may tell us about Mary’s own personal, spiritual journey…her own interior life. The book considers, for example, what was it like for Mary to hear from the angel that she was full of grace, that the Lord was with her and that she was to become the mother of Israel’s great king—what would those words from the angel have meant for her as a first century Jewish woman? Or what would Mary have been going through in the dramatic events surrounding her son’s birth? And what did it mean that she “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”?
I invite readers to enter into the Biblical narratives and enter into Mary’s experience in those texts, considering what the Scriptures may tell us about Mary’s walk with God. Though there are not a lot of New Testament passages in which Mary appears, those texts are packed with meaning and can serve as windows into what God was asking of Mary at various moments throughout her life and into how Mary’s response at each step can serve as a model for us in our relationship with the Lord.
In this book, I hope to help readers know Mary and her spiritual journey better.
Many of us may know that Mary, as the mother of Jesus, was an important person in the Bible. And Catholics especially may know Mary as the Immaculate Conception, the Ever-Virgin Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven and Earth. But do we know the humanness of Mary? Mary was a woman with whom we can all relate. She went through various trials, dangers and sufferings, like we do. She faced moments of discernment, like we do. She experienced times of uncertainty and darkness—times when she did not understand. Though she was endowed with unique graces and privileges, Mary still had to “walk by faith and not by sight.”
Mary had to make a profound spiritual journey, in which she took ever greater steps of faith, trust and surrender to God’s plan. She stands out as a model of faith in the Scriptures, and I aim to take readers through the various steps of faith Mary made from her initial calling at the Annunciation to her standing at the foot of her Son’s cross.
Q. Who is the target audience?
When writing it, I envisioned anyone who wants to take a closer look at the person of Mary, to know her better and to understand the beautiful journey of faith the Lord invited her to take throughout her life. This book is meant to be a highly accessible book –easy to read, engaging and filled with practical insight for our lives. I hope any Christian who wants to walk in Mary’s footsteps as a faithful disciple of the Lord will benefit from this book.
Q. At the beginning of the book you ask the reader to put themselves in Mary’s shoes. Was this difficult for you as a man in the 21st century?
Entering into the experience of the heroes of the Bible or the saints throughout history is something we all should do. The stories of the saints—whether they be men or women saints—tell us all something about our own humanity, our own challenges and struggles in life and our own walk with the Lord. I think I have been able to enter into the experiences of women saints such as St. Catherine of Siena, St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and learn much from them. And the same is true with Mary.
Q. Besides reading the Bible, particularly the Gospels of John and Luke, what other research did you do to prepare for writing this book?
I have been doing research on the Biblical passages related to Mary for many years going all the way back to my doctoral studies. Biblical scholarship in recent decades has offered many great insights on these passages, and many of these insights can help shed light on Mary. In the book I draw from Biblical scholars of a variety of perspectives and faith traditions. I refer to saints, scholars and texts from the Catholic tradition, but I also have learned much from many non-Catholics whose exegesis on Marian passages or reflections on Mary can make a significant contribution to our understanding of the mother of Jesus.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Sri, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, firstname.lastname@example.org, 719-268-1936.