by Bertrand Buby, SM
This book is a thoroughgoing development of the topic by a Marianist priest and well-known scripture scholar. He reveals the background out of which Father Chaminade developed his Marian teaching and devotion to the Bible, including the French School of Spirituality and his reading of the Fathers of the Church. Father Buby tells us that while Father Chaminade was not a Mariologist, his love for and devotion to Mary prompted him to use the whole of the Bible to teach about Mary in a practical, wisdom-like manner. He observes that Father Chaminade gave us a Marianist heritage that is close to Vatican II’s synthesis of Mary in chapter 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church (Lumen gentium, §§ 52-68), thus affirming just how far Father Chaminade had tapped into the roots that later flourished in the 1960s. The book is thoroughly researched, using Marianist sources and contains numerous direct quotations from Father Chaminade. A bonus is a page-long prayer by the author that begins each of the ten chapters to help the reader focus on the spiritual content.
Father Buby’s genius is his ability to use his talent and education as a scripture scholar to lay the foundation of his books on solid research. Yet, his work is never lofty or up in the clouds cut loose from his pastoral, practical, work of using scripture to inspire the reader to greater devotion to Jesus and Mary and to greater response to the demands of discipleship.
He [Father Chaminade] has a variety of modes for commenting—instructional, devotional, pondering over a text, citing another spiritual treatise, or development of a short sketch of Mary’s life as it is known from the Scriptures, apocryphy, and traditional legends which spring from Mary of Agreda or from some of the festive celebrations of the Virgin. His own style is warm, even affectionate; almost always positive; and sometimes parenetic or exhortative for his followers in all branches of the Marianist Family.
I have long been aware of Father Chaminade’s great love and attention given to the Annunciation (Lk 1:26-38). He refers to this pericope some 43 times. His second favorite text is that of Mary’s hymn, the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-56), which he cites 19 times in his Marians writings and reflections. I also came to realize that the Marian virtues stem from Luke’s writing, and all the joyful mysteries flow from the lines of the Infancy Narrative. I like to tease people by saying if Luke had not written his Gospel, there never would have been a Society of Mary!
Table of Contents
1 The Background of Father Chaminade’s Spirituality
2 Father Chaminade and Marian Typology: His Use of the Hebrew Scriptures
3 Shadows of Mary in the Pauline Writings and Father Chaminade's Interpretation
4 Mark: The Silhouette of Mary in Chaminade's Writings
5 The Gospel of Matthew and Chaminade’s Interpretation
6 Chaminade’s Portrait of Mary from the Gospel of Luke
7 John’s Gospel in the Writings of Father Chaminade
8 Chaminade’s Use of the Apocalypse
9 Chaminade’s Use of Nativity Apocrypha about Mary
10 Saint Joseph, Spouse of Mary and Patron of the Universal Church