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Last year, a precious friend, Farah, gifted me a lovely book, one that I had expressed great interest in: The Way of Mary: Maryam, Beloved of God, a compilation of theological reflections and poetry from Camille Helminski, a Western Sufi teacher. I decided to hold onto it for Advent 2022 as by the time I received it, Advent 2021 had already begun and I had already made my preparations.

I was thrilled to receive the book and even more thrilled to realize that if I started it now, in the first week of Advent, and read a section each week, it would take me right up until the week before Lent began. What an adventure!

Helminski divides the book into twelve passages, stations, or maqams, calling them “twelve stars of blessing” and linking each to a moment in Mary’s life.

The entries that follow are my reflections on what I read. What a gift to sit with Maryam for the weeks leading up to Jesus’s great journey, remembering all she did to make Jesus who he was.

I hope you enjoy it too!


“O Mother of the Community,

your robe is blue with stars,

because you shield us

under the heavens

filled with light from your heart,

that Heart that knows us,

each and everyone,

in our deepest beauty

and the strength of your love.”