Are We As Catholics, Obsessed with Mary?

Do not get me wrong here, I totally and fully believe everything that is written, the fact that she is the mother of god, as well as a saint, etc, etc, etc.

BUT Lately I’m beginning to be tired, Everywhere I go there’s something to do with Mary, I live in europe, everytime something happens the old people are like “Oh Maria” (Oh Mary), I go to church the people pray the rosary, repeating “Mary”,

I pray the rosary very devotedly myself but I’m just saying that I tired of “Mary”, everywhere I go, I walk in a church> There’s a statue of Mary, I go to Confession> I must say hail Marys, People get stressed > The say “Oh Mary”, I look to my left> There is a picture of Mary. What baffles me the most the consecration of Churches is done in the Name of Mary. I was also visiting a monastery for a Few days, and there was a statue of her on every corner.

It’s getting on my nerve, every single person I meet, place I go, mass I attend is just, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, over and over and over.

Can people not Just use other comments, like "oh god, or jesus or St. Michael or whatever? Am I the only one who feels this way?

Please advise,

A gentle French Priest, survivor of the I World War, used to say: “Religion is like salt in the food; neither too much nor too little!”

I used to feel this way but then I realized my attitude was unreasonable. According to the commandments I’m suppose to honor my Father and my Mother. Plus since Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant, to not venerate her -after receiving such insight- would in fact be an insult to God since she magnifys the Lord. In short when I venerate Mary, my Mother, I’m giving glory to my heavenly Father.

Our Blessed Mother is the one through whom our Lord chose to come into the world. It was through her that he received his human nature. So it through her (not from her) that we receive all graces. Our Lord could have chosen another way to come to us, but he chose Mary, the most beautiful and perfect of all his creation. Is it possible to give too much honor and glory to this most magnificient of all God’s creation? She is the perfect model for all humanity. As St. Louis de Montfort said, Christ came to us through Mary, and it is through her that we go to Christ. Mary is the most perfect path to Christ, the more sure.

From St. Louis de Montfort:

“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”

“All true children of God have God for their father and Mary for their mother; anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his father. This is why the reprobate, such as heretics and schismatics, who hate, despise or ignore the Blessed Virgin, do not have God for their father though they arrogantly claim they have, because they do not have Mary for their mother. Indeed if they had her for their mother they would love and honour her as good and true children naturally love and honour the mother who gave them life.”

From Saint Bernard of Clairvaux:

“Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her Son. There can be no doubt that whatever we say in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son.”

From Saint Maximilian Kolbe:

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

Christ is our mediator with the Father, but Mary is our mediator with Christ. She love us far more than any human is capable of loving us, and all she wants is to bring us to her Son. All honor and glory that we give to Mary goes directly to her Son. She gave of herself completely while on earth. I think of the fact that she gave us her divine Son as a sacrifice for our Sins - beautiful and perfect - and we gave back to her a beaten, bloody pulp, hardly recognizable as a human being, whom she held lovingly in her arms. And despite what our sins did to her Son, she still loves us and still wants to bring us to Him.

You will be hard pressed to find any saint who did not have a deep devotion to Mary. I’m very sorry that devotion to Mary is getting on your “nerve.” I most definitely do not feel that way. As I stated in another thread, all those people I know who have remained faithful to the Church their entire lives (and I’m talking about people in their 70’s and 80’s who never strayed), all of those people have a deep devotion to Mary and the Rosary. That cannot be a coincidence.

Don’t forget, May is a month devoted to the Blessed Virgin. May Crowning, Queen of May, Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May). I can never become “tired” of any part of our faith.

I am still learning about Mary and trying to develop an appropriate relationship with her. Admittedly, sometimes when I am praying to her, I wonder if I am not praying to God enough, so I can see where the OP is coming from. However, I asked God to open my mind because I realize that I may not understand everything.

I agree with you, but somehow I wonder if it’s the Church’s fault or the people just going overboard with the devotion. I’ve seen people make comments like saying that the Rosary is the only way to heaven. Really? Sometimes it makes me wonder that those accusations by Protestants are true. I don’t see it in Church teaching though, which is a good thing. But people do step on, and even cross the line, between veneration and worship.

Oh, and this is a Western thing. The East I feel so far is pretty balanced with its devotion to Mary. Despite the fact that she is mentioned more often in the Divine Liturgy than in the Mass.

I can’t speak for everything that has ever been posted on this forum, but I have never seen this. I think you may be confusing it with comments such as the Rosary is one of the surest ways to heaven, because devotion to Mary is one of the surest ways to heaven. As I said, you will be hard pressed to find any saint who did not have a deep devotion to Mary. Devotion to Mary means devotion to Christ. It cannot be separated.

No, I am not mixing it up. That is exactly what the person said. Again, I do not find that in Church teaching, but it is indeed troubling that some lay people do think that way.

Deep devotion is not a bad thing, as long as our faith is well formed. The fact is many have deep devotions but their faith is formed wrongly, they are poorly catechized. In anything, an excess is a bad thing. Even in myself I have seen the devil tempt me with my own love for God, turning something good into something bad. One example of it is extreme self righteousness and also pride of the love.

I can see this turning into a major argument, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

Exactly. As long as it’s in the right spirit I’m not sure it’s possible to be too devoted to Mary.

I’ll mention though that when I was still a new Catholic I didn’t see it that way. I accepted the Marian dogmas and even things like the Rosary, but tried to keep all that in a nice little corner of my faith life. I did not yet understand how Mary could be at or even very near the center of one’s spirituality without it competing with Christ’s being at the center. More and more I’m beginning to intuitively understand how strong Marian devotion really brings us to Christ and keeps Him at the center all the more strongly.

But I don’t think the matter can be forced. If “to the side” Marian devotion is where someone is, that’s ok. In the future they may have that paradigm shift regarding her, but it takes time if that’s not how you were raised.

This should not be an argument. It all comes down to the bottom line…Catechisis. We need to know our faith. All of it. Then we need to live it.

I think we need to honor her more in fact.

Once you realize that by honoring our Blessed Mother, you are actually honoring God in a more perfect way, you will want to honor her more and more each day.

From my experience, yes, some Catholics can and do take devotion to Mary a little too far.

I have been told, by more than one person, that if I do not have a devotion (which I do not) to the Blessed Mother, I will not get to Heaven, that I do not love Jesus, and that by not saying the rosary daily, I am disrespecting her and the Church.

I honor Mary, and am grateful that she said that great big “yes” to God, however I do not find Marian devotions to be an effective way for me to pray.

And that my friends is the whole key to a rich life of faith-

And don’t ever let anyone tell you any different!!

Perhaps this will help, I will paraphrase some advise on this very matter that I heard on a Catholic television show and I found it very meaningful:

If you feel somehow, that Mary is “getting in your way” then put aside your devotion to her and your prayers asking for her intercession. Mary does not want to be an obstacle for you! Mary does not want to force herself on you! Mary does not want you to feel uncomfortable! Mary is happy to step to the sidelines until you feel more comfortable!
Mary has her arms wide open and will wait for you, but devotion to Mary is a beautiful invitation not something forced.

If you need to put her aside from your mind for a while then go ahead and put Mary aside. Many Catholics find that devotion to Mary brings them closer to Christ then they ever thought possible, but since you are having problems and it is creating a spiritual problem for you do not force it, Mary does not want to force herself! The Church certainly encourages a relationship with our Blessed Mother (and so do I personally) but does not require it of any of us.

She loves you very much, go to her when you are ready. Hope this helps.

It is not hard to feel that way when one does not really understand the different underlying reasons for people’s actions. I’ll bet the OP is someone who doesn’t easily get hung up on anything or anyone.
I had problems with devotions to saints and our blessed Mother at one point, but the logic behind it is sentiment and intercession. We love her, so we like to see her image to remind ourselves of her, call her to help us, name our children after her, dedicate things and endeavours to her care because she has been known to work wonders especially for undeserving sinners and near impossible cases. I guess it’s like the Cross-sometimes it seems as though we love the crucifix more than the crucified, but it is only because it spurs us to devotion and prayer. We need to love more and so we have means to remind us of our dedication, of prayer, of sacrifice, of obedience and submission to God’s will.
The rest is habit.

I suggest you take a good look the next time you see an image or picture of our Lady. Look beyond the statue and colour at her eyes and see why even though the pictures are different, she remains the same-in our hearts. Discover Mary, and you may be surprised to love her so much that nothing seems like overstressed devotion. Forget about words, love her in your heart.

I don’t think the OP was arguing, rather trying to make sense of her own frustration with the focus on Mary. Perhaps over-focus is more how it seems to her.

Something I read a while back was helpful to me when I was having some of the same struggle, “Mary always leads one to Christ”. I have found that to be true in my own life and prayers. Indeed, at times now, I find myself being drawn to the Father, through Mary and Jesus. Holy Spirit has to be in there somewhere too!! :slight_smile:

Sometimes I have been skeptical of others seeming over devotion to Mary. I always have to step back and realize I cannot judge another’s journey. We do not and cannot know the stirrings of a soul with respect to external devotions. We need to trust in God’s Providence and love for each of us. I think that is the best definition of Hope I can come up with.

A young seminarian once said to me that when we have trouble with devotion to Mary, look out for the devil. He hates Mary and tries to put people off her. When you feel this way, pray HARDER to Mary. She is the most humble and loving of mothers. She leads us to Jesus. Also bear in mind the number of people who sin against Our Blessed Mother. So, if there is, in your opinion, too much devotion in one church, offer it up to Our Lady in reparation for sins against her Immaculate Heart.

The Rosary is the most powerful of all prayers. I can testify to this. I have had miracles happen in my family through this prayer. Also wearing the brown scapula protects you against sin and the promises attached to it are quite simply wonderful. Our Lady, Most Pure Mother of Christ, forgive us for ever disrespecting you and pray for us.

I’m not sure I totally agree with this. I was baptized Catholic as a baby and was very devout as a child. I had a deep devotion to Mary even then and use to set up a May altar to her. But when I became a teenager, I completely turned against the Church, including, of course, our Blessed Mother. When I came back many decades later, I had to completely re-learn devotion to Mary. My husband and I decided, on a purely intellectucal basis, to say the Rosary. I barely knew the prayers any more. I didn’t know any of the mysteries, and even more, I had no idea what they meant. I was pretty much like a new convert in that I couldn’t understand why devotion to Mary was so important, why the Church put so much emphasis on it.

But the DH and I kept praying the Rosary, even though it meant very little at the time. Gradually, it came to have more and more meaning, and my devotion to Mary grew. I began doing other Marian devotions, and last December, I did the total consecration to Mary. I feel that my devotion to Mary has brought me closer to her Son than I could have been otherwise.

My point is, I started this with no understanding whatsoever, and if I had waited until I was “ready”, I don’t think it would have happened.

I cannot speak to the cultural issues you are encountering in Europe, nor can I speak for “Catholics” as a universal group, I can only speak for myself and what I see…

The answer is that yes some Catholics are “obsessed” with Mary. Other Catholics not so much.

As a Church, there has long been a strong Marion tradition and in some places and at various times the devotion has bee extremely strong…I think that our time is one of those. I say this because of the “recent” (relatively speaking) Marion apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima and also because of the great devotion that our late great pontiff JP II had for Our Lady.

That said… for me personally, while I Love our heavenly mother dearly, I do not carry the great devotion to her that some others do. My prayers are primarily to the Father, just as our Lord taught us.
As “Oneofthewomen”, posted above, I have run into people who are quite willing to tell me that my soul is in danger if I do not have a devotion to Mary…I had one person here on CAF (several years ago) actually accuse me of arrogant pride because I prayed directly to the Father instead of going through Mary…Now THAT’s taking it too far.

Mary’s last words in the Bible are “Do whatever he tells you”… and when it comes to prayer, Jesus told us to pray "Our Father…So I obey my Mother, who I Love, and "do what He (Jesus) tells me to do…


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