The Marian Option: A Book Review
The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis. by Carrie Gress, PhD is a book that I have long wanted to read. It seems that whenever I turned on EWTN or Catholic radio, Dr. Gress was being interviewed about this book. I typically turned on the program after it had already started and only caught bits and pieces of the conversation, but what I heard intrigued me and I wanted to learn more. Generally, the discussion focused on the Blessed Virgin Mary and her impact on our current culture.
In The Marian Option, Dr. Gress asks the question, “How can we save civilization?” She warns us that Christians today are facing “not only persecution, but also the threat of civilizational collapse.”
Gress provides a simple, but profound answer to the solution of the current chaos we are facing in our culture today. She advises each of us to turn to the maternal protection of our Heavenly Mother. In The Marian Option, Gress explains why the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and our mother, must be at the center of any Christian renewal of our culture. She does so by illustrating what a powerful mother we have. She describes numerous miracles and Christian victories that have been accomplished over the centuries around the world through Marian intercession and the protective love our mother, the Queen of Heaven, has for us. Gress relates that Mary has influenced all the issues we currently face in culture today, ranging from communism, Islam, paganism, atheism, and heresy. When we turn to her in prayer, she always comes to our rescue.
In this well-researched book, Gress presents Christian military battles that have been won by praying the Rosary or through other devotions to Our Lady. She also recounts numerous Church-approved Marian apparitions and their back stories as well as miracles that have occurred world-wide. In addition, we learn who Mary is through: such saints as John Paul II, Louis de Montfort, Maximillian Kolbe, Bernadine of Siena, Thomas Aquinas, and St. Albert the Great, the insights of various theologians, Scripture passages, and excerpts from papal encyclicals.
Gress characterizes Mary as a “cultivator of culture” and discusses her influence on art, architecture, literature, music, philosophy, and poetry. In The Marian Option, Gress takes us to an even deeper level of love with our Blessed Mother by demonstrating how she loves us passionately, intimately, and unconditionally. We, in turn, are shown how to relate to her by living holy lives. We are given specific information and practical tips on praying the Rosary, wearing the brown scapular, consecrating ourselves to Mary, and more. The book includes a very helpful appendix filled with unique ideas on interacting with our Blessed Mother.
The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis is an engaging, clear, and comprehensive book on the Mother of God, her relationship with us, her relationship with the Trinity, and her power to change and renew the culture. It is a fascinating book that clarifies the Blessed Virgin’s role as the Queen of Heaven. If you allow it, this book will draw you close to her Immaculate Heart, and even closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Marian Option is a must-read that provides hope, inspiration, and spiritual guidance for both the present and the future.
About The Author
Carrie Gress has a doctorate from the Catholic University of America and is a philosophy professor at Pontifex University. She is the author of several books, including The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis. Carrie is the co-author with George Weigel of City of Saints: A Pilgrims Guide to John Paul II’s Krakow. A homeschooling mother of four, she and her family live in Virginia. Visit her blog at www.carriegress.com.
~ copyright Jean M. Heimann 2017