What happens when a former Zen Buddhist monk and his feminist wife experience an apparition of the Virgin Mary?
“This book could not have come at a more auspicious time, and the message is mystical perfection, not to mention a courageous one. I adore this book.”—Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit
Before a vision of a mysterious “Lady” invited Clark Strand and Perdita Finn to pray the rosary, they were not only uninterested in becoming Catholic but finished with institutional religion altogether. Their main spiritual concerns were the fate of the planet and the future of their children and grandchildren in an age of ecological collapse. But this Lady barely even referred to the Church and its proscriptions. Instead, she spoke of the miraculous power of the rosary to transform lives and heal the planet, and revealed the secrets she had hidden within the rosary’s prayers and mysteries—secrets of a past age when forests were the only cathedrals and people wove rose garlands for a Mother whose loving presence was as close as the ground beneath their feet. She told Strand and Finn:
The rosary is My body,
and My body is the body of the world.
Your body is one with that body.
What cause could there be for fear?
Weaving together their own remarkable story of how they came to the rosary, their discoveries about the eco-feminist wisdom at the heart of this ancient devotion, and the life-changing revelations of the Lady herself, the authors reveal an ancestral path—available to everyone, religious or not—that returns us to the powerful healing rhythms of the natural world.
Married couple Strand (Waking Up to the Dark) and Finn (The Reluctant Psychic) elucidate a lengthy, often fantastical, account of their journey into a faith driven by feminine, transcendent connection to nature. During a time of great financial stress, Strand felt mysteriously drawn to an old statue of the Virgin Mary at an antique shop and purchased it. Nearly immediately, Finn, who was raised Irish Catholic, was affected by the statue and "by the end of the day, had transformed the mantel above the fireplace into an altar." They then, oddly, have separate visions of a "Lady" who compels them to "pray the rosary." The voice of the lady urges them to reconceive of patriarchal structures (such as those within the Catholic church), and their own research suggests the origins of the rosary, "a sacred circle of flowers," can be traced back more than 5,000 years as a symbol of "eco-feminine" power. For Strand and Finn, "the way of the rose" is what connects each person to the "vast, interconnected body of prayer we call the Earth." Though no concrete steps are offered here, readers looking for an alternative to traditional religion may take to this whimsical story of finding inspiration in unlikely places.