Blessed be Mary!


#1

I want to dedicate this thread to Mary. Often times as a Protestant, I never understood why Mary was so important in the Catholic faith. Now, as i enter into the Catholic Church, I cannot CELEBRATE her enough!

To the girl who gave her all to Christ,
Her humanity to form His,
Her body to birth His,
Her food to feed Him,
Her years to mother Him,
Her nights to pray with Him,
Her mornings to encourage Him,
Her confusion & tears to pray for Him,
Her agony beneath the cross to stand with Him,
Her arms to embrace Him at His Resurrection,
Her feet to spread her love of Him,
Her very life for His,
Be blessing, honor, and praise FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!

For Converts: What brought you to embrace Mary in a new way?
For Catholics What do you love most about Mary?

** For ALL: I’d love anyone reading this thread to write their favorite song/prayer/scripture/patristic reference related to Mary: Carmelite, Byzantine, anything! **

As apologists, it is so hard for us to see Mary as a mere matter of “scientific debate…” maybe for once on the Apologetics forum, let’s dedicate this thread to EXUDING our joy over the Mother of our Lord.


#2

Coming from an evangelical perspective, (Calvary Chapel) I have previously been hesitant to even say anything about Mary. I didn’t even know that the Hail Mary was scriptural!

Many Catholic’s don’t understand how difficult it is to overcome the fear of God being jealous because we start to love Mary. I remember saying my first Hail Mary after coming back into the Church the hesitancy of not wanting to offend God. I had already understood her role in my mind but not in my heart.

Now I honor her more and more and take her as my mother in my imitation of Christ and his beloved disciple. By giving my love to her just like my parents I am loving His creation. I can call her blessed among women. The Blessed Virgin Mary becomes a part of my heart each day. My love for Jesus is even more personalized as I unite myself in His family.

I thank God for humbling Himself to be born of Mary, I thank Mary for saying yes to God.

So blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
(there is my favorite Luke 1:42 )

Thank you for your love of Jesus.

Scylla


#3

Oh man! As a Knight of the Immaculata and a “re-vert” who attributes his conversion to the influence of the Blessed Virgin, I love this!

Favorite Marian prayer? The Memorare:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored they help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

My story:

About 5 years ago I hit a real crisis and decided to turn back to the Lord. I found that Jesus meant every word of the parable of the prodigal son. I began to read the Bible again and got a New American Bible which is about like the NIV except this one has all the books (which I liked even though at the time I was still a Protestant). This particular edition was fairly big, with a bright green paperback cover that said “The Catholic Bible” in big orange letters. I went diddy-bopping into a meeting one day with that in hand and wasn’t in there a hot minute when some guy jumped my case.

“Are you Catholic?’ he asked me. “Well…yeah”, says I, (since technically I was). “You Catholics worship Mary.” “Say what?” I responded. “You Catholics worship Mary. You pray to her.” “Look, I know I been outta the church for a long time, and we do pray to her but we DON”T worship her and no Catholic that knows his ear from his elbow would ever even SAY such a crazy thing. We worship God alone. End of story, Dude.”

He persisted so severely that I finally told him that I’d get some books, check it out and get back to him with what I found out, and that if he was right then I would never enter a Catholic Church ever again.

I found a great book by a priest named Father Oscar Lukefahr of Catholic Home Study Service (The Catholic Home Study Service) and read it carefully and prayerfully. I was happy to find that not only were the Catholics right and that they do not worship anyone but Almighty God, but that their doctrines about Mary are soundly based upon the Bible and that the early Christians believed the very same things. Even the three pillars of the Reformation (Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli) believed the same things about Mary that Catholics do today. In the end I went back to church and met another Catholic guy, who like myself was returning to the faith as well. We studied and talked and found ourselves having to dig up real answers for people we knew who didn’t like the Catholic Church.

I continued to study Catholic teaching and discovered that a great deal of what I had been taught about the Bible and Christianity was wrong. I found that non-Catholics ignore and “read around” Bible passages that support Catholic teaching and that they completely ignore the history of Christianity prior to the 1500s. Now I know what I believe and why and I will never change, though I promise every non-Catholic that I dialog with that if they can prove that the Catholics are wrong that I’ll be in their church with them every Sunday from now on. No one even comes close…

Now I participate at Mass as often as I can, pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet almost every day, abstain from meat on most Fridays (just out of devotion to God), and of course read and study my Bible, as well as other Catholic writings. I am Catholic because I know and believe with all my heart and soul that the Catholic Church IS the New Testament church and I believe that the Eucharist is everything that the church teaches it is, the same as the early church did…all the way back to the last supper and the 6th chapter of the Gospel of St. John. I believe it’s really the body and blood of our risen Lord because St. Paul said that if you take communion while living in sin that you become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, and that wouldn’t be possible if His body and blood weren’t really present in the form of bread and wine…just like the last supper. It is the most powerful miracle in all of Christianity, and I love it.

My Christian life is stronger than ever before, my prayer life is powerful, and I have great answers to my prayers like never before. I have always been a soul winner and that has not changed at all. God has used me to win some people that I sure couldn’t have won on my own. Some were very anti-Catholic and now are very MUCH Catholic and very happy and forthright about their faith. It’s really very humbling…I feel like a raggedy (unworthy) Styrofoam cup at a feast, filled with the very finest wine.
M.I. National Center

The peace of Christ be with you all!


#4

Wow!! Thank you Jesus! I am so happy for you that you know her as a loving Mother now.
There is just so much to say about her, that I could never do it here, it would take up way too much space. I fell in love with her as a little child, she led me right to Jesus. Two of my favorite songs about her are the Ave Maria and Gentle woman(,quiet light,Morning star, So strong and bright,gentle Mother,Peaceful dove, teach us wisdom,Teach us love.You were chosen by the Father,You were chosen for the Son,You were chosen from all women,And for woman, shining one.Blessed are you among women.Blest in turn all women too.Blessed they with peaceful spirits.Blessed they with gentle hearts.
I think the Sorrowful Mysteries broke my heart, but the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary healed it. When I think of how HER heart must have ached, how she offered her Son to God on Calvary, as she stood there with Him at the foot of the Cross, how she prays for all of us still, it just literally takes my breath away that someone could love us that much, (so much like her Son.) No wonder Jesus gave her to us as our Mother.
St. Louis de Montfort loved her so much too, and after having his books read to me as a child, I think that I will never be able to fully express all the love that I feel coming from her to us all, and all the love that I have for her. Who else but our Blessed Mother could love us the way she does after all our sins did to her Son??
Who else but the Blessed Mother could love us the way Jesus does??I thank God for her.


#5

[quote=Church Militant]…I began to read the Bible again and got a New American Bible which is about like the NIV except this one has all the books…
[/quote]

There’s another VERY important difference - the NAB doesn’t reword ancient manuscripts to suit the theological bias of the authors, as the NIV does. See this thread for an amazing example of this obvious bias in the NIV (and a perfect example of why NO ONE, Catholic OR protestant, should use this translation).


#6

One of my favourite pictures of her:

http://www.stpatricksmtl.ca/MPH.GIF ##


#7

she is my Mother :love: :love: :love:


#8

Great thread! We spend so much time defending Our Beautiful Mother Mary that we hardly ever get to publicly celebrate her!

Mary, my Mother, I love you! Help me to love you more. Thank you for leading me back to Our Lord Jesus Christ every time I’ve strayed. Thank you for saying YES! to God with such humility and trust! You truly are blessed among all creation. The Almighty chose you to be the bearer of His Only Son-- how blessed you are! Mary, Beautiful Mother, forgive us for the times we treat you as a tool-- as a mere incubator. Forgive us for the times we say things about you that we wouldn’t dare say about our own earthly mothers! How much more we should love you, the Mother of Our Lord, than our earthly mothers! We tell our earthly mothers how much we love them all the time. We send them cards and gifts on Mother’s day. Yet we refrain from giving you the same honor for fear of "idol worship’! Nonsense!

Mother Mary, my Mother, you are beautiful and I love you! Thank you for being such an AMAZING mom!


#9

**Rejoice, you through whom joy shall shine forth. **
**Rejoice, you through whom the curse will vanish.
Rejoice, the Restoration of fallen Adam. **
**Rejoice, the Redemption of the tears of Eve.
Rejoice, O Height beyond human logic. **
**Rejoice, O depth invisible even to the eyes of Angels.
Rejoice, for you are the King’s throne. **
**Rejoice, you bear Him, Who bears the universe.
Rejoice, O Star revealing the Sun. **
**Rejoice, O Womb of divine Incarnation.
Rejoice, you through whom creation is renewed. **
Rejoice, you through whom the Creator is born a Babe.

(from “The Akathist to The Mother Of God”)


#10

My favorite prayer would probably be the Memorare:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored they help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

My story:

I chose Mary for my patron saint (rather she chose me.) When I came through RCIA we were not to take a patron name - but a couple of years later I decided to take a patron…I didn’t know if I could choose Mary or not, but I had always felt comforted by her in a special way. Many people told me (out of the blue usually) that Mary was watching over me…interesting I thought. Then one morning I picked up my Patron Saints book and flipped it open - to my surprise the first papge I turned to was a section on Mary being a patron saint - a sign I thought - so I said a prayer and humbly asked her to be my patron saint…then I went directly to my Liturgy of the Hours and flipped it open to my red ribbon marker, and guess what, it was Mary’s birthday that day! - another sign for sure!

I consecrated myself to the Blessed Virgin (ala St. Louis de Montfort) on the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8th 2004), and I am also a properly enrolled brown scapular wearer, and a member of the Association of Mary: Queen of All Hearts.

Semper Deo gracias et Mariae! :slight_smile:


#11

I would love to see artwork or drawings of what our Blessed Mother really looked like. Does anyone have any good sites on this?

I love Mary above all women on this Earth. She is my mom, she prays for me and helps me along the rocky path, she loves me and wishes me the best. She does everything my Earthly mom does but more.


#12

[quote=Fox]I would love to see artwork or drawings of what our Blessed Mother really looked like. Does anyone have any good sites on this?
[/quote]

The Eastern tradition (however suspect) is that St. Luke painted (wrote) the first icon of Mary, and that all Orthodox icons of her are descended from this original icon. They do have an icon of St. Luke writing the icon: (sv-luka.org/ikone/ikone370c.htm) Again, you couldn’t demonstrate that such is the case, skepticism would caution you.

Then again, so would the many variant traditions in the West (including artistic representions, or miraculous apparitions). Our Lady of Guadelupe (for example) looks a bit dfferent from other apparitions/icons of Mary. It might be extremely dfficult to come to an authentic representation of Mary’s face because global painting traditions/artstic styles differ so much.

My favorte Eastern icon of Mary: “The Protection of the Theotokos”

… Mary enfolding all Christians under the blanket of her intercessions.


#13

Explore Joel Haubenreich
Our Lady of Guadalupe led me to the Church!

Whenever I tell non-Catholic friends about the beauty and wonder of the Catholic Church, Our Lady is always in my minds eye.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, intercede for the Church, protect the Holy Father, help all who invoke you in their necessities. Since you are the ever Vrigin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the grace of a firm and a sure hope amid the bitterness of life, as well as an ardent love ant eh precious gift of final perseverance.

I love you!


#14

[quote=adventistnomore]I want to dedicate this thread to Mary. Often times as a Protestant, I never understood why Mary was so important in the Catholic faith. Now, as i enter into the Catholic Church, I cannot CELEBRATE her enough!

To the girl who gave her all to Christ,
Her humanity to form His,
Her body to birth His,
Her food to feed Him,
Her years to mother Him,
Her nights to pray with Him,
Her mornings to encourage Him,
Her confusion & tears to pray for Him,
Her agony beneath the cross to stand with Him,
Her arms to embrace Him at His Resurrection,
Her feet to spread her love of Him,
Her very life for His,
Be blessing, honor, and praise FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!

For Converts: What brought you to embrace Mary in a new way?
For Catholics What do you love most about Mary?

**For ALL: I’d love anyone reading this thread to write their favorite song/prayer/scripture/patristic reference related to Mary: Carmelite, Byzantine, anything! **

As apologists, it is so hard for us to see Mary as a mere matter of “scientific debate…” maybe for once on the Apologetics forum, let’s dedicate this thread to EXUDING our joy over the Mother of our Lord.
[/quote]

This thread really touches my heart. Thank you for posting such a thoughtful subject.

I like to pray the rosary 5 days a week. And my favorite prayer to her is just the simple "Hail Mary full of grace … ".

I can say that she has answered my prayers - often. Why this is I don’t know.

We have her picturres and her statues all over the house. Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe.

Blessed is Mary, amongst women, for all generations, the New Ark of the Covenant.


#15

I have a particular devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Hope. Years ago, after my divorce and when I had just returned to the Roman Catholic Church, I did a novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I was actually praying for one thing that I wanted, but I ended each prayer with “God’s will be done.”

Well, needless to say, God’s will was done, I didn’t get what I wanted, but I got something much better; my wife. And what a gift from God she is.

In addition, my oldest son is an example of God’s answered prayer through the intercession of our Blessed Mother. He was saved from the destruction of drugs and is a fine young man now because of God’s mercy.

I love our Mother. Never was it known that anyone who fled to her protetion or sought her intercession was left unaided!

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## One of my favourite pictures of her:

http://www.stpatricksmtl.ca/MPH.GIF ##

[/quote]


#16

That was beautiful! I love our Blessed Mother. I have asked Jesus to help me love her the way that he does. I wish I could somehow show you this picture in my house we have of Our Lady. It is a picture of her holding and kissing baby Jesus and the picture is called “Kissing the Face of God”. The picture is so nice, but the title is what really makes it special!


#17

Oh yes, and here is one of my favorite verses (The Ignatius Holy Bible)-- Luke Chap. 2:46-48-
"…My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed".


#18

“This is the gate of the Lord, the just shall enter by it. I will give thanks to you for you have heard my plea and have become my Savior.” -Ps 118: 20-21

How can Mary be otherwise than full of grace? She has been made the Ladder to Paradise, the Gate of Heaven, and the most true Mediatrix between God and human beings. -St. Lawrence Justinian

O Mary, you are the Gate of Heaven. Help me to live as a true child of yours, so that upon my death I may deserve to enter heaven through you.


#19

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/Pics/Our_Lady_Carmel.jpg


#20

I love the Memorare and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

This is a story that cannot be just a coincidence.

Growing up as a child I lived close to two parishes. I made my first communion and was confirmed at Sacred Heart Parish. However, as a teen I belonged to a youth sodality for boys at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. My mother and my grandmother had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother, but they always taught me that Jesus was the one we should worship. Later on in life, after I had a bad relationship and being outside the Church, I came back and with a friend of mine we would to go talk to some youth at different parishes, but we noticed that it seemed all the time wherever we went there was a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe usually behind us.

There is a place in my city that has a small grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes but above and behind it, there is a picture made out of small tiles of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I would go there many times at all hours of the day or night, sometimes even past midnight, and talk to Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother. To make a long story short, after I met my wife, we would go there often to pray before Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was right there where I proposed to my wife. At that time we were participating in a prayer group in another parish just outside of the city that was also named after Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was not my or my wife’s parish. After looking for a parish that had a nice hall so that we could get married in the church and then just walk over to the hall, we found that the hall at OLG outside the city was available. My wife’s cousin happened to be a priest and was pastor at OLG inside the city, but he would help out at the other OLG parish. So, we got married at OLG parish outside the city. When we were on our honeymoon, we decided to go to Ixtapa in the Pacific coast of Mexico. We had a stop in Mexico City and we missed our connection so we had a layover of about 6 hours and we had a chance to go to mass and communion at OLG Basilica in Mexico City. Well, after several months, my wife got pregnant and we were expecting a child sometime in the middle of January. My wife called me from work one Friday that she was not feeling too good and she went to the doctor’s office and I met her there. They told her she was in labor. After a few hours I realized what day it was. It was December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and my son was born on her feast day. My wife cousin who performed the marriage ceremony was being transferred to Atlanta so I called him and told him that my wife and I wanted him to see our son before he left. He asked me if we wanted out son to be baptized and of course I agreed. My son was baptized at OLG parish in the inner city. We didn’t plan any of this ahead of time. It just happened.

[font=Comic Sans MS]Were all of these a coincidence? I don’t think so. Our Lady of Guadalupe was in the picture all the time. [/font]


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