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Mary in the Mystery
The Woman in Whom Divinity and Humanity Rhyme

Thomas J. Norris (about)

Poetic and profound depiction of Mary as utterly faithful and uniquely fruitful -- a true Mother.

Paperback; 102 pages; 2012

ISBN: 978-1-56548-431-3

About this Book

In the Catholic and Orthodox traditions, Mary is a key to our grasp of the Christian mystery. She is the Mother of God, as an early Council of the Church (Ephesus 431) stressed. As such she is a key to understanding the Christian Faith. In fact, she shows the beauty of that faith in its completeness, proportion and radiance. Mary is ‘the Mother of beautiful Love.’

Anyone who wants to better understand the Mother of Jesus, who is interested in Mary’s place in literature and art, or who is looking for a new perspective on Mary’s role in ecumenical dialogue should have this book. Father Norris beautifully depicts Mary’s womb as the place where, united in her Son, the divine nature and the human nature rhyme.

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Some Related Comments:

“In poetry, the word rhyme refers to an echo or resemblance between two or more lines of the poem, particularly in the end of the lines – some way in which they sound alike whilst being different. The two natures of Christ, divine and human, are of course radically different. But in the Hypostatic Union the two natures converge on the same ‘end,’ the same ‘Word.’ This is divine poetry. The divine nature comes from heaven, and the human nature comes from Mary, like two kinds of music one above the other; they are ‘united without commingling,’ merging in one sound, one voice, one Gospel, one revelation.”

Stratford Caldecott
from the Forward


“This richly textured reflection on the place of Mary in the mystery of salvation is a beautiful and rewarding example of lectio divina. Prayerfully, perceptively and poetically, Fr Thomas Norris unfolds the scriptural teaching on God's purpose and enables us to see Mary afresh and love her anew as a woman of the Word, utterly faithful and uniquely fruitful, not only an example to believers but mother also. The interweaving throughout of scriptural exposition with theology and the Church's doctrine impressively conveys the essential bond between the latter and God's word, and also the integral place of Mariology in the fabric of Christian belief.”

Rev. Msgr. Paul McPartlan, S.T.L., D.Phil.
Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism,
The Catholic University of America


[This] sort of book appears only rarely: a serious contribution to Marian theology, stripped of popular fancy, that highlights the uniquely beautiful logic of Mary’s place in Christian doctrine … Norris analyses diverse biblical, conciliar, literary, and philosophical texts whilst returning continually to a keystone of Christian history, [the councils of Ephesus and Nicea and their doctrinal teachings on Mary].

Tracy Martin
Theological Book Review


Mary is a symbol of human perfection for the Catholic Church. This reflection on her life by Father Thomas J. Norris presents us with reasons why the mother of Jesus plays such a large role in art, literature, and the founding of the Church.

St. Anthony Messenger


Read ‘The Church’s Marian Profile and the Reception of Vatican II’s Ecclesiology’ – Fr. Thomas Norris’ contribution to The Ecclesiology of Communion Fifty Years after Vatican II symposium held in conjunction with the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (2012)

What others are saying about this book:
Stratford Caldecott’s blog: The Christian Mysteries
South Texas Catholic: Father Norris, Mary in the Mystery: The Woman in Whom Divinity and Humanity Rhyme


Author Info

Thomas Norris, a priest of the Diocese of Ossory (Ireland), is professor emeritus of systematic theology at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. A member of the International Theological Commission, he has authored eleven books, among them The Trinity: Life of God, Hope for Humanity; A Fractured Relationship: Faith and the Crisis of Culture; Cardinal Newman for Today and numerous articles.

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