In this profound book on the mystery of Mary, Adrienne von Speyr reflects on the life, attitude, and prayer of the Mother of God. She shows how Mary's assent to God's will—her Fiat: "Let it be done to me according to thy word"—is what defines and sanctifies every aspect of her life. She gives new insights into Mary's holiness, suffering, prayer, and role of spiritual motherhood for all mankind.
Handmaid of the Lord is not a biography detailing the daily life of the Mother of Jesus, filled with the sights and the sounds found in the holy imagination of a saintly visionary. Rather, it responds to our desire to know Mary in a penetrating and personal way, opening us to the mystery of her inner life, which can be revealed only by the Word himself and pondered in the heart, just as Our Lady herself did.
Humility, obedience, availability, joy, suffering, and transparency before God are some of the key spiritual attributes of Our Lady found in this timeless work. As with her other books, von Speyr helps us to savor and to appreciate each word of Sacred Scripture as self-revelation from the Father through the heart of the Church, the Bride of the Son, in a loving exchange of the Spirit. In this way, the Word may be absorbed into the very core of our being, as it was for Mary, the Mother of God.
"This work offers a doorway into the heart of one of Christianity's greatest mysteries - the mystery of Mary-and there is no better spiritual guide through that door than Adrienne von Speyr. She is a grand spiritual master of the practice of Lectio Divina and a beneficiary of its fruits. Handmaid of the Lord is Lectio Divina par excellence. It reveals the sheer beauty of Marian contemplation like no masterpiece of temporal art or music ever could; hence its status as a spiritual classic.
As I pondered a facet of Mary with Adrienne, I found that I understood more and more about myself and what it is to be a child of God.. I experienced encounters with grace that seemed so real to my mind and soul, that I felt as though I was actually receiving a showering from the very hands of Our Lady of Grace. I continue to visit this spiritual masterwork as if returning home, as it were, to visit my Mother."— Kris McGregor, Founder, Discerning Hearts, From the Foreword
Adrienne von Speyr (1902–1967) was a Swiss medical doctor, a convert to Catholicism, a mystic, and an author of more than sixty books on spirituality and theology. She collaborated closely with theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, her confessor for twenty-seven years, and together they founded the Community of Saint John. Her numerous books, published by Ignatius Press, are a major contribution to the wisdom of the Church. Among her most important works are Book of All Saints, Confession, The World of Prayer, Handmaid of the Lord, and The Passion from Within.