The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth contains many murals created by artists from around the world depicting the mother of Jesus. Witnessing these tributes to Mary, one realizes the multidimensional nature of her significance to believers. In this beautiful paperback, there are 31 icons painted by William Hart McNichols, a Jesuit priest and artist. They represent the many faces of Mary.
At the outset, Megan McKenna (Lent: Reflections and Stories on the Daily Readings) notes that icons are like "soul windows, entrances into the presence of the Holy." Various other commentators on icons namely Thomas Merton, Paul Evdokimov, and Sister M. Helen Weier help us to see that these paintings also look at us and draw us into God's presence.
McKenna's interpretations of these representations of Mary from the Bible, from church history, and from specific places on earth are reverent and edifying. I was especially drawn to the contemplative dimension of the Mother of the Incarnate Word, the anguish of Our Lady of Sorrows, and the passion of Mother of God in Medjugorje. McKenna ends this devotional resource with a "Prayer to Mary" where she says: "Shadow of God, fall over us as once you bent over the face of Mary and sow the seed of holiness, of justice, and of mercy within us. Whisper of love and truth in our waiting hearts. As we have gazed on these faces and forms of light, make us icons of your reflection for all the world to see."