I don't love our Blessed Mother enough


#1

i’ve been having an absolutely incredible experience on this website so far, and i just want to thank everyone on here from the bottom of my heart for all of your amazing love, acceptance and support. thank you so much for accepting me and accepting the darkness of my past, and for being so encouraging and responding to all of my questions. because of the responses i’ve received, i am no longer struggling with the idea of Purgatory, but have completely reached a place of hope and acceptance. there is something else, though, that i’m struggling with …

coming from a dark past and then from an evangelical nondenominational background, i’ve been struggling recently with devotion to Mary. i want to love her, and i want to be able to give her the honor she deserves, but it’s harder for me than it should be. i’m wondering if it’s something in myself that is stopping me, or if there could be any outside force that is blocking me from being able to feel the way i should. whatever the cause, it really bothers me that i don’t love our Blessed Mother enough. i am extremely passionate for Jesus and i love Him with all my heart, but i also want to love Mary as i know i should. i do love her, but i don’t feel that i love her enough. the idea of being Catholic is still new for me, because although i’ve received all my Sacraments, including Baptism as an infant, i strayed onto a dark path very early in life and then wound up on a path away from the complete Truth, and now it’s hard for me to say honestly in the Consecration to the Heart of Mary that “we love you immensely,” when it’s still so hard for me to love her. i feel like a horrible person, and i feel like there’s something wrong with me because i don’t love our Blessed Mother as i should. i definitely plan, starting tonight, to say the Rosary every night with all my heart, and i’ve been praying a lot of morning and evening prayers and looking up devotions to Mary. maybe it will take time, and i’m probably being too hard on myself—one of my biggest weaknesses. i just feel guilty because i know i don’t love her enough, and i know i have to, because as our Mother, she deserves our complete love and devotion. i’m just so used to praying only to Jesus that my prayers to her are awkward, and i don’t even know much about her.

would anyone be able to point me in the direction of any helpful devotions and other resources, and help me in any other way? i trust completely that all of you amazing people on this holy community will help me. thank you so much for everything, and know that i am keeping you all in my constant thoughts and deepest prayers. God bless you all, and please take care.

love,
in the peace and love of Christ,
alison xx


#2

Hi, Alison! It’s great to watch your Catholic faith re-blossoming!

A few thoughts on Mary:
[LIST]
*]The Rosary is a great way to start. I’m glad you’re planning to do that. Remember, though, that the important part of the Rosary is not the repetition of the Hail Marys, but to meditate on the life of Jesus through the eyes of Mary (the Mysteries of the Rosary), using the Hail Marys as “background music.”
*]Jesus gave Mary to us as our mother as He was dying on the Cross. Saint John represents all of us: “Woman, behold your son.” “Behold your mother.” (John 19:26-27) And we are commanded to “Honor your father and mother.” So Jesus definitely wants us to honor Mary!
*]God is never jealous of our devotion to Mary. She never keeps any of our praise to herself; she turns it all over to God, as she did in the Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior …” (Luke 1:46 ff) So never fear loving her too much!
*]Like any good mother, she loves “best” at any moment those of her children who are hurting the most. That should be great comfort to sinners like me (and perhaps you?).
*]She always points and leads us to her Son. Jesus and Mary are inseparable. Stay close to Mary, and you’ll automatically get closer to Jesus.
*]When you honor Mary, you are fulfilling Scripture: “All generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48)
*]Jesus is our King. That makes Mary the queen mother, a very important role in Jewish history. If you wanted something from the king, you would go to his mother, who would intercede on your behalf. That’s exactly what Mary does for us.
[/LIST]
Don’t fret over it, though; you’re just getting to know her, and it will take time. She will understand!


#3

Welcome home, Alison. We’ve experienced the same thing when we made the journey from the Evangelical tradition. I would urge you not to beat yourself up about this. I think there are multiple issues likely at play here. First, Christians (well, everyone for that matter) often have a slightly distorted view of the nature of love, I believe. (In fact there was a poster a while ago who asked a very probing question concerning how can he love Christ more than anyone else–when he’s never met Christ.) It’s like in marriage. Not every day can be the Honeymoon. In other words, love is more than (passive) feelings, true love is more real or active than feelings alone. Second, it takes time for us former Protestants to get at ease with Mary. It’s like any relationship; it just takes time. In my case, I think a recent family medical situation drew me a little closer to her–but everyone is different, and there is no need to beat yourself up about this. Third, and this may sound kind of sappy, but do you remember the earlier example about loving Christ? Well, I think we know Christ and Mary better than we give ourselves credit. The true good we see in others, after all, is a reflection of the light from their holy faces. If we love what is good and pure (Micah 6:8), we already are on our way.

I’d suggest you consider reading C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves and Scott Hahn’s Hail, Holy Queen. Dr. Hahn does a very good job expressing the important place Mary holds in the Church. Meanwhile, give your heart time to follow your mind as you unwrap the gift of the Catholic Church this Holy Season.


#4

First, don’t worry! Just make sure you love her Son.

Second, pray to Him to give you the feeling of devotion and affection for His mother that He wants you to have.

Third, pray the Rosary (one of the main things that she has asked people to do in many of her apparitions, along with prayer to Him and penance).

For your mind, read about her - there are all sorts of books written about her.


#5

Alison, I used to have the same problem you’re struggling with now, I come from evangelical Protestantism and for the longest time I found it so hard to love Mary like the Catholic Church teaches. In fact my situation was even worse because I even felt a hatred for her :frowning: I honestly don’t know why… maybe in my case it was even something from the devil, but it doesn’t sound like that’s it for you. I think you just a bit more time. Don’t feel horrible… there’s always something in us that needs improvement, that’s alright, it’s wonderful that you love Jesus and I’m sure Mary is so pleased that you love her Son :slight_smile:

What really helped me was asking God to help me love Mary. I actually begged for this because as I said I felt a very strong dislike for her. And something changed in me, eventually I started loving her and even telling her so… that’s definitely something that God has to put in our hearts, not something we have naturally.

One other thing that helped me is just seeing her as my Mother… who loves me, and wants me to love God, and who is a great example of how to be perfectly obedient and humble and pure. The whole point of devotion to Mary is that we can ask her to teach us how to love God better, and she will… there is no competition between her and Jesus, she is not equal to Him and she worships Him and wants us to worship Him alone. But we can ask her to come with us to Jesus and to help us to grow spiritually by her prayers :slight_smile: Mary’s prayers are really powerful.

Don’t be so hard on yourself hugs
I’m sure that it means a lot already that you want to love our Lady. In fact, our intention is what matters even more than feelings. And it sounds like you do love her already! :slight_smile: Definitely keep on praying to Jesus as much as you always did, and as for Mary try to see her as our Mother and someone who is very close to God - in fact closer than anyone ever was…

I want to post something I wrote about my experience with Mary, I’ll do so in my next post :slight_smile:

God bless you!


#6

Thank you so much for posting this - I have also been struggling with finding my devotion to Mary.

I am going through something profoundly dificult right now - something that I think that Mary could aid me with, but I feel like I don’t even know her!

Blessings to you Alison - I will say a prayer for you.


#7

Here is my story about Mary :slight_smile: and - honestly from what you wrote, it really sounds like you love her already sis! :slight_smile: so don’t be so hard on yourself… well I hope this encourages you ~

"When I was a Protestant I always used to say “I don’t need Mary”. Well now I see that we all need each other. Of course, if we have God, we have everything! That is very true. But He gave to us His Mother and people to help us along in our journey, Christian brothers and sisters and Saints and priests and the Pope. I think now that what I said before came partly from pride, I didn’t want to admit that I need Mary in any way, but…now I see that I do. If it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t have Christ, cause there would be no Incarnation. But…it goes so much deeper than that!! Without Mary, I wouldn’t know Jesus the way I do. She also helped lead me to the Church.

when I was first looking into Catholicism, I knew that this would be an obstacle I’d have to overcome. At times - and I’m ashamed to say this - I actually felt a hatred for Our Lady. Not for the Catholic view of her per se but just Mary herself. I remember as a kid reading a book that my family’s Orthodox priest gave us, and it had a chapter about Mary’s obedience and love for God…and I didn’t really understand much about God back then, but I remember really liking her and thinking that it would be great to be more like her. But for some reason later on, when i started thinking that Catholics and Orthodox worship her…I started to have negative feelings towards Mary. So when I began my journey into the Church…I surrendered this to God and asked Him to help me love her, and to show me the truth about her. Well eventually I started believing in the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, and I found myself defending her titles - such as Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, etc. I was very puzzled by some of them at first but God slowly helped me understand. He was very patient with me through all this.

So I guess God definitely answered my prayer :slight_smile:

Sometime around February…I went to a store and bought a rosary. My initial reason for getting it was to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet. But for some reason I also bought a booklet about the Rosary and how to pray it. I remember feeling very excited about all this LOL but I didn’t want anyone to know. I was the non denom Protestant who went to a non denom church and sometimes even ‘shared’ my faith with Catholics!! So I kept my rosary a secret from everyone, all my friends, and even my family. I always kept it in my coat pocket, and it was my great secret LOL.

One day, I decided to try praying the Rosary. I was so nervous cause I didn’t want to offend God. But after about a minute, this amazing peace came over me and ever since then I’ve had no doubts about it. I got the distinct impression that both Jesus and Mary were listening to me together, and there was no competition between them. I didn’t know how I was going to pray such a LONG prayer but I enjoyed it. The next time I prayed it, I got a fuller understanding of meditating on the Mysteries. And somehow, they really went together with the Hail Mary’s. I can’t really explain it… but it’s like I was praising God for Mary and for “the blessed fruit of [her] womb, Jesus”, as I was lead by her into a greater understanding of the events of the Bible. When I prayed the sorrowful Mysteries, I thought of how it was like for Mary to see her Son in so much pain… for some reason, it all started becoming more real to me. Not just words in the Bible but actual events that happened.

And finally, God answered my prayer to love Mary more. All the negative feelings towards her vanished. She was now my spiritual Mother too. And for some reason, I began to really love her. I remember just praying and telling her that I love her, in really simple words, and I actually meant that! And I don’t know why or how this happened. lol! well praise God! When people say things against Mary it’s humbling to remember that I was once like them, but it’s also sad…it’s like the devil put those lies into the world and even into the Church because he knows how powerful Mary is. (of course, not by her own power, but by her being full of grace from God )

(to be continued…)


#8

(continuation)

While I was researching about the Church, I came across something interesting - that apparently every time we say a Rosary devoutly, it’s kind of like we’re making Mary a crown of roses. Each ‘Hail Mary’ is a rose. And that’s sort of the way I look at it…each time I say the prayer, it’s like I’m giving Mary a beautiful rose and saying - dear Mary, I love you and please pray for me to Jesus.

In the past when I thought of Heaven, Mary was never in the picture. I didn’t care too much about meeting her. But now I think it would be so awesome, I’d be very glad to meet her one day and she’s not only my sister in Christ but she’s the Mother of God and deserves respect and veneration. More than anything, what I learned about Mary is that she leads us closer to Christ. I think a GREAT thing to ask her is to help understand Jesus better. She would definitely answer this, because she so wants us to love her Son and she glorifies Him in all she does. And because she loves Him like no other person has loved Him…she can teach us a lot about the First Commandment. And she loves what He loves, which is us. And wants to see us saved.

She is SO happy when we love Jesus!! that is her desire, that ALL would love Him and bring Him glory. She brings Him glory herself by her worship and all her work and intercession. She is the one person in this world who always lived entirely for Him, ever since her birth.

Also I think that it’s a great idea to ask Mary to help us become more humble, loving, obedient…like her. She obtains these graces for us by her intercession to God. Actually, I used to be repeatedly tempted with a terrible sin for many years - and nothing I did helped…I prayed for God to help me but still fell again and again. But then I asked Mary to help me overcome the sin and ever since then I haven’t been tempted in this way!!! I believe that she prayed for me to God and her prayers are more powerful than mine so it was answered. Yes God hears EVERYBODY but as it says, “the prayer of a righteous man avails much”. Actually, this is incredibly HUMBLING to realize that there is someone who is ‘above’ you spiritually. Someone who’s prayers will ALWAYS be more effective than yours. Someone who will no matter what, have more glory in heaven than you. It builds humility to admit this truth and to embrace it. And then to actually rejoice in that, to rejoice in Mary’s glory and not be envious of it. (same with the Saints)

A while ago I read about a Catholic devotion called the Miraculous Medal…it’s based on a vision that St Catherine Laboure had of Mary. There are many promises attached to it. At first I didn’t believe it and worried that it’s superstitious, but as God helped me understand sacramentals - that they’re not like magic, but are merely occasions of His grace - I began to really believe in this. And eventually I started really wanting a Miraculous Medal of my own, but I knew I’d never be able to afford one. I spent a week looking around and couldn’t find anything. Then, one evening, I told Mary “Mother I believe this Miraculous Medal is from you, and I really believe in it… but I can’t afford it, and so if it’s God’s will for me to have one, could you please provide me with one somehow?” - and the next day, a friend offered me a medal, and she didn’t even know that I was looking for it! :slight_smile: so now I have a pretty little Miraculous Medal from Mary and I just got it blessed by my priest.

So…that’s my story about Mary, and I hope to learn to love her more and more in my life, and to pray the Rosary often. I also want to read some books by St. Louis de Montfort, like ‘true devotion to Mary’ (I think that’s what it’s called). I think the more ‘Marian’ we become, the closer we come to Christ! If we hate Mary, like I did before, in my opinion that is an insult to Jesus her Son."


#9

She never keeps any of our praise to herself; she turns it all over to God, as she did in the Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior …” (Luke 1:46 ff)

great point!!! :wink:


#10

I just had this other thought…

just as each person’s relationship with Jesus is very unique, so is each person’s relationship with His Mother. The things that worked for me might not work for you, and that’s alright… find something that helps you. Read about Mary, pray to God to show you more about her, pray the Rosary… and with time, it’ll make more sense :slight_smile: definitely prayer works the best…IMO…

and really don’t beat yourself up, God loves you so much and so does our Mother, and I’m sure they’re so pleased with all your efforts!

God bless


#11

hugs I believe that Mary prayed for me before I ever knew her. Just as God loved me before I knew or loved Him. Whatever you’re struggling with, definitely pray to God and ask Mary to pray for you too, and she’ll intercede, even if you don’t have a very defined devotion to her yet. It’s alright! :slight_smile: that’s how we get to know Mary, we ask her to pray for us.

God bless


#12

Everyone’s said so much already- I would just like to add that when I started praying morning and evening prayers out of the Little Office of the BVM (can find it on amazon), which really highlights Mary’s privileges and how she leads us to God, I really started to love her and turn to her more. It’s simple and prayerful, so that’s my recommendation.


#13

Alison… this might also help. If you want to please Our dear Lord… one of the surest ways to do that (if not THE surest) is to honor and love His Mother (Who, btw… is also our Mother! :slight_smile: ).

One of our parish priests once began his homily, by asking us… “Was Jesus a good Jewish Boy?”. All of us, a little perplexed… answered… “Uh, yes”. Father went on to ask… “And does a good Jewish Boy love and honor His Mother?”. Ok, now we KNEW where Father was GOING with this! :wink: And we replied with a resounding “YES!” :smiley:

So simple, really… huh? If we love Mary, we love Jesus! (and visa versa). God bless.


#14

From St. Louis Mary de Montfort’s The Love of Eternal Wisdom

  1. Can we love someone we do not even know? Can we love deeply someone we know only vaguely? Why is Jesus, the adorable, eternal and incarnate Wisdom loved so little if not because he is either too little known or not known at all? Hardly anyone studies the supreme science of Jesus, as did St. Paul (Eph. 3:19) And yet this is the most noble, the most consoling, the most useful and the most vital of all the sciences and subjects in heaven and on earth. ewtn.com/library/Montfort/lew.htm#One

Perhaps this applies to Mary too. Maybe we cannot love our Blessed Mother enough if we don’t know her very deeply. Perhaps doing these help to remedy this.

  1. Maybe we can ask Jesus and Mary to reveal themselves to us through prayer such as the Most Holy Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm
  2. Maybe we can read and learn as much about her as humanly possible :smiley:

This reading gives more details on Sorrows of our Most Wonderful Mother: e.g. detail on such as the flight out of Egypt or her experience at the Crucifixion, written by St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Catholic Church. Very intense, passionate!!
On the Dolors of Mary http://writer.zoho.com/public/immaculate/Seven-dolors

This reading helped me to understand more about the WONDERS Mary as well as the Hail Holy Queen prayer :stuck_out_tongue: also by St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori
**The Glories of Mary, ** http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/glories.htm

:cool: Amusing, insightful article by Archbishop Fulton Sheen on the marriage of Mary and Joseph, world’s happiest marriage :thumbsup: catholictradition.org/Mary/happiest-marriage.htm

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin can be prayerfully studied and was followed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II and St. Maximilian Maria.:
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin montfort.org.uk/Writings/TrueDev.html
Preparation for 33 day consecration to the Blessed Virgin
saintlouisdemontfort.com/consecration.cfm
**Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II
** http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm

P.S. St. Maximilian Maria villages focusing on Rosary, pro-life cause, and community are spreading throughout the United States and Canada. :thumbsup: Maybe a youth chapter is near you; as chapters exist for youth (teens 13-17) and young adults (18 - 35) . miyouth.org/

Powerful also: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.

Papal documents are also excellent :thumbsup: Sometimes to finish a work over time I make a commitment to read one page a day, or perhaps one section a week, depending on the work in question :blush: Marialis Cultus (Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of His Holiness, February 2, 1974 by His Holiness Pope Paul VI
ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6MARIAL.HTM
Cathechis on Mother of God by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, about 70 pieces total: averagejoecatholic.blogspot.com/2008/12/theotokos-catechesis-on-mary-by-pope.html

Approved Marian apparitions are wonderful to me. :slight_smile: Maybe like getting to talk to the Head T.A. or Professor herself or himself in addition to reading lecture notes.

Youtube of the message of the Zeitun, Egypt apparition: youtube.com/watch?v=S_X8l9OcEDI&mode=related&search= EVERYTIME I LISTEN TO THIS, IT HAS BEEN POWERFUL THUS FAR
New York times article on the Rwandan apparitions: query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9400E4D81738F93BA35757C0A96F958260
Next year they are making a movie on the Fatima, Portugal apparitions to be shown next year the13thday.com/
Our Lady of Guadalupe converted maybe 9 million people in 9 years, but maybe I don’t know what I am talking about

May the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary grace us with the gifts that we most desperately need!! May the LOVE and MERCY of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be proclaimed around the world, now and forevermore, everywhere!!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#15

St. Louis Mary de Montfort wrote, The Secret of the Rosary, explains origin and name, prayers, mysteries, marvelous effects, proper dispositions, ways to combat distractions and pray the Rosary effectively, and Confraternities (so you can have the benefit of other people’s Rosaries as well) of the Most Holy Rosary, includes a lot of detail on the Rosary in spiritual warfare.

Someone wrote of this book, *“Possibly the finest book ever written about the Rosary; appeals to all ages. Shows the great spiritual power of the Rosary, which is appreciated by few.” * **Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html

If one says the Most Holy Rosary frequently, one might join the Rosary Confraternity. Rosary Confraternity Enrollment rosary-center.org/nconform.htm (Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical on the Confraternity, *“Whenever a person fulfills his obligation of reciting the Rosary according to the rule of the Confraternity, he includes in his intentions all its members and they render him the same service many times over.” * Each member includes deceased fellow members as well; and thus he knows that in turn he will be included in the prayers of hundreds of thousands both now and hereafter.

**Chaplet of Seven Sorrows: ** marysprayersrosaries.com/sevensorrows.asp

More beautiful Marian prayers:
Angelus themostholyrosary.com/appendix6.htm
**Avis Marias Stella ** themostholyrosary.com/appendix9.htm

One might learn about the saints devoted to Our Lady, the ways that she helps them tends to inspire me too :stuck_out_tongue:
A new book Mother Teresa: In the Shadow of Our Lady, and her co-founder of the Missionaries of Charity said that in Mother Teresa’s “dark night”, Mary was the light. **“Mary’s Light in Mother Teresa’s Dark Night” zenit.org/article-22398?l=english
St. Therese of Liseux was highly devoted to Our Blessed Mother, as was St. Dominic. Maybe devotion to Our Blessed Mother is especially wonderful for women as there are 3 female doctors of the Church. Of all the orders they could be members of, they are particularly members of the most Marian ones. The Carmelite Order holds St. Therese of Liseux and St. Teresa of Avila, under no known human founder, under the protection of Mary and Elijah. Maybe it most imitates the Marian life by focusing on contemplative prayer and the hidden life. Along with His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Sr. Lucy of Fatima (Mel Gibson was SO AMAZING, to the best of my horribly imperfect knowledge he flew to her convent after finishing the Passion of Christ to show it to her :eek: :thumbsup: :eek: ), and Saint Edith Stein, a Jewish convert who died during the Holocaust and petitioned the Pope to do more for the Jews. The Dominican Order holds St. Catherine of Siena (not a nun - lay woman from a third order), and the Dominicans were pretty much established to spread the Rosary :thumbsup: after a vision of Mary to St. Dominic

Works by the famous saints of the Carmelite Order (not necessarily on Mary):
Autobiography of St. Therese of Liseux: The Story of a Soul gutenberg.org/etext/16772

St. John of the Cross
Ascent of Mount Carmel: ccel.org/ccel/john_cross/ascent.ii.vii.html
Dark Night of the Soul: ccel.org/ccel/john_cross/dark_night.html
**Spiritual Canticle: ** karmel.at/ics/john/cn.html

St. Teresa of Avila (founder)
**Interior Castle: ** catholicfirst.com/thefaith/catholicclassics/stteresa/castle/interiorcastle.cfm
**The Life of St. Teresa of Avila: ** catholicfirst.com/TheFaith/CatholicClassics/StTeresa/life/teresaofavila.cfm
**The Way of Perfection ** catholicfirst.com/TheFaith/CatholicClassics/StTeresa/way/wayofperfection.cfm

Might not want to miss out on these either:
Online Adoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament louisville-catholic.net/WebCameras/AdorationChapel/tabid/825/Default.aspx - the Eucharist is the GOLD of our faith. I like this as one of my home pages to hang with Christ
Litany of Humility ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/humility.htm - God UPLIFTS the humble, as Mary said in the Magnificat :thumbsup:

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. ***


#16

Maybe another thing is reflecting on how Christ-like, or intimate with Christ men and women became after extreme devotion to Mary also might help.

A follower (with a most apostolic bent) of True Devotion to Mary
Polish Saint Maximilian Maria studied philosophy, theology, mathematics, and physics as a college student, before earning a doctorate in philosophy and a doctorate in theology in Rome, while suffering from tuberculosis. He became a priest, changed his name to Maria from Kolbe to venerate the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sheltered 2,000 Jews in his friary during the Holocaust, and when taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp offered to die in place of another man since that man had family and he did not as an abstinent friar. During his time in the cell, he led the men in songs and prayer. Finally, after three weeks of dehydration and starvation, he was injected with carbolic acid and died. He is reported on the Jewish Virtual Library as Righteous Among the Nations. It shows that no matter how dire the situation God can continue to strengthen us. jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Kolbe.html.He founded Slaves of the Immaculata,
www.consecration.com. More information: acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2005/09/st-maximilian-kolbe.html

I can’t remember now where I read it :o but I think he is more amazing than he seems at first glance. First he shelters Jews and is taken to Auschwitz for it. Then he is kind and nice and giving in the concentration camp and they punish him for it. He keeps on being nice anyways. Then he gives up his life for another prisoner. Then while he is being starved and dehydrated he keeps on encouraging everyone else with songs and prayer. Out of many men (15/18/???), only three are left in the starvation and dehydration (so he still doesn’t die!) before they kill him with carbolic acid and put him in a gas oven. Hopefully, I am getting these details correct. Please anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Father Joseph Langford, cofounder with Mother Teresa of her community of priests said, “Our Lady would help her to not only believe in the night, but to love the night – to transform the mystery of the cross, both within her and around her, into seeds of ressurection.” Mary’s light in Mother Teresa’s Dark Night zenit.org/article-22398?I=english

Something that might be very interesting about the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Divine Mercy devotions are that they are devotions that give deep, intimate, and passionate insight on the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but both of the women who received these devotions were extremely devoted to Mary prior. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. St. Mary Faustina.

Excerpt from Vie par elle-meme by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, to whom was revealed the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “The Blessed Virgin has always taken great care of me. I had recourse to her in all my necessities and she has preserved me from great dangers. I did not dare address myself to her divine son, but only to her, and I often presented her with the little crown of the rosary, which I said on my bare knees, or genuflecting and kissing the ground at every Ave Maria.” episcopalacademy.org/drum/trea/TREA5-06/Wrighttrea06a.pdf To the best of my horribly imperfect knowledge, she like St. Therese of Liseux devoted their lives to Christ after being healed by Mary of childhood illnesses.

St. Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul Notebook #1, #32 Another time I heard these words, Go to the Superior and ask her to allow you to make a daily hour of adoration for nine days. During this adoration try to unite yourself in prayer with My Mother. Pray with all your heart in union with Mary, and try also during this time to make the Way of the Cross. I received the permission, though not for a full hour, but for whatever time was left me after I had carried out my duties. saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS1.shtml She also started off by the direct leading of God in a Marian convent, the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.

Honestly, my devotion to Mary started when Rosary and Daily Mass and repetitions of versions of Hail Mary, Saint Mary got a person I know (me :o ) out of a demonic attack quite a few times. Brought me to a St. Teresa of Avila like experience of spiritual union and am probably now happy as have ever been though I still have my down days.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#17

By a former Pentecostal Minister turned Catholic on the Mother of the Word, Hail Holy Queen by Dr. Scott Hahn amazon.com/gp/reader/0385501684/ref=sib_fs_top?ie=UTF8&p=S00Y&checkSum=YIa7LHf1cIVS1Kl8CLZkOI%2FbH89nmUKlMIG5hy8U3pI%3D#reader-link

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#18

I don’t have any theological advice but I can tell you how I came to love the blessed mother so much.

I was brought up Catholic, with a mother who was quite devout and had a particular devotion to Mary. My parents had been to Medjugore and my mom would constantly harp on Mary’s involvement in the world today. We used to say family rosaries fairly often and my mom was sure to point out every feast day that had to do with Mary, which is in the Catholic liturgical year is quite alot.

For some reason I don’t know why, I had quite an aversion to it all. Not Catholicism so much, but Mary. It became more than an aversion, I became resentful of Mary and the emphasis placed on her. I couldn’t understand what the big deal was and why people placed so much emphasis on her.

Fast forward to college I started falling away from my faith. Got pretty heavy into partying and about as far from my Catholic roots as I could get. I took alot of philosophy classes, which were of great interest to me but really made me question my faith. I still went to mass out of habit but my heart wasn’t in it, I didn’t even know if I believed in God anymore. I ended up going to NYC a semester for an internship, a dream job. Everything seemed to be going great by the world’s standards, my dream job since I was 11 was on the horizon. But inside I was quite empty, it was a very painful time. One day my girlfriend came up to visit and we went to look around St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I remember distinctly looking at the art and thinking, these artists didn’t even want to make this church beautiful, it was just a job paid for by the dominant power the Catholic Church. We continued walking around and then suddenly I was on the verge of tears. What happened to me I can’t put words to. I felt a sort of divine love, and intense peace. I liken it to the feeling you have as a child when your mother holds you, except multiplied to infinity, exceeding any feeling you knew possible. I looked up and I was in front of a picture of our lady of Guadalupe. In that moment I came to know Mary on a personal level and my life has changed completely. My dreams are no longer the same, my only goal is to serve God and bring others closer to him. If someone had told me they had this experience before my reversion I wouldn’t have believed them, but I can tell you it was the most real experience of my life.

There is even more to this story and if you’d like to here it you can pm me.

I am currently trying to do a total consecration to Mary, and I highly recommend reading True Devotion to Mary by St. Montfort. It has a lot of enlightening points and I believe is of some divine origin.

Be consoled in knowing even if you struggle with Mary, she still loves you like a mother loves her child and recognizes your attempts. Looking back if I didn’t struggle the way I did with my faith I would not be as convicted as I am now. God has a plan for you and for all of us, just trust in and give thanks. I will pray for you.


closed #19

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