A review of Mother of God Similar to Fire

November 9, 2010

This book is a series of icons painted by Catholic priest William Hart Mc­Nichols, accompanied by prayers written by acclaimed translator and self-described "Jewish Sufi Buddhist who loves Christ" Mirabai Starr. Their collaboration deserves lingering attention, even by Protestants dubious about appearances of Mary. Every other page contains one of the "1,000 forms" of Mary from cultures all over the world. Many of the icons show Mary as similar to fire. Mary speaks from mountains, plains and deserts—in suffering and in hope. In one icon Mary stands in the presence of the angel Gabriel with a Hebrew text in her hand. Starr writes: "May I learn to exalt in the ordinary moments of my life, / and embrace God everywhere, / in everything, / always.