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L. A. Muse packs a powerful memoir
between the covers of this smallish book. Fate placed her into perhaps the most
dysfunctional family imaginable where she suffered abuse at the hands of two
alcoholic parents as well as others. She describes life as a seven-year-old
trying to care for her four younger siblings while her mother goes bar-hopping,
the continuous parade of “Uncles” her mother brought home, her abandonment in
the County Orphan Home, and her eventual placement as a foster child with an
emotionally distant family.
Despite these grim circumstances,
A Forest of Doors remains a saga of hope and endurance. Burdened with the remnants
of a horrific childhood and a somewhat shaky start at life on her own, L. A.
Muse overcomes multiple obstacles. Following the invisible hands that guide
her, she ultimately finds a path that leads her through the dark forest and into
a sunny meadow.
It’s been said there are no
coincidences in life. If you didn’t believe it when you started reading, you
will by the time you finish. - E.G. Lewis
For Catholics, Mary of Nazareth
is known by many names. She’s most commonly referred to as the Blessed Virgin
or the Holy Mother, but she’s earned myriad other titles based on her frequent
apparitions — Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, etc.
Despite this apparent familiarity
with Mary, she remains a bit of an enigma for many people. On the Protestant
side of the aisle she’s accepted as a necessary component of God becoming man
and then pretty much forgotten. Meanwhile many Catholics hold her in high
esteem and often pray for her intercession. Yet neither side gives a lot of
thought to Mary’s own personal faith walk.
Edward Sri’s delightful book,
Walking With Mary, A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross, solves this
problem. Most of us know and relate to the Mary at Bethlehem or Golgotha, yet
overlook the young woman who swept floors, cooked meals and carried water.
Sri examines Mary’s life and shows
the way her faith was tested. He chronicles the many times life required her to
step out in faith...and what a scary process it probably was. What emerges is a
portrait of a very human person rather than the iconic figure many of us carry
around in our heads. A human person we can understand more fully and in ways we
never did before.
I highly recommend you embark this
journey with Edward Sri as you guide. You won’t regret it.