Litany in Flowers
a Marian devotional for families
By Rebecca Ryskind Teti
Here's a timely idea for the upcoming Marian month of May.
Wayne Ottenbreit's Litany of Flowers is an unusual and unusually charming devotional book.
Taking Our Lady's titles from the Litany of Loreto as his structure, Mr. Ottenbreit turns each title or cluster of titles into the basis for introducing doctrine, traditions and prayers associated with Our Lady for each day of May. These in turn provide inspiration for daily Marian activities or discussions.
Each day's presentation also features a full color photograph of a flower associated with Mary, as well as information about fruits and herbs with Marian connotations -- a list that goes far beyond what I've ever read in connection with Mary gardens.
Families electing to use the book as a devotional can select from a variety of suggested daily activities ranging from the prayerful to the playful and from more to less complicated (or messy!).
Mr. Ottenbreit's suggestions focus on appreciation of family life, noticing the beauty of creation, getting out into the garden and acts of charity -- but there are plenty of simple, light-hearted suggestions, too (such as blowing bubbles to illustrate a point) and all suggestions are both positive and easily adaptable to your actual family life -- other ideas will suggest themselves thanks to his promptings.
This little work probably has equal value for gardeners who might like to know the Marian significance of some of their favorite plants. And for those who simply like to revel in discovering old customs it's a delight as well.
A treasury of prayers, poems, traditions and lore, Litany of Flowers would be a great Mother's Day gift or a belated Easter basket item for your favorite gardener.