Marian devotion.....and when it gets too far?

#1

Here’s the thing, I’m actually pretty new in terms of giving my life up for Christ and living the true Catholic faith (so apologies if i’m asking these extremely basic questions).

What are the limits to Marian devotion? I mean I understand that we should not worship her like a goddess, I also understand that we must respect and venerate her VERY MUCH (as she is the Queen of heaven) but what exactly is the middle ground? Should we just ask for her intercession and prayers? Do we dialogue with her? Do we ask her for graces? It just seems to me that the line that divides worship to God and veneration to Mary doesn’t seem to be that clear. I really want to give her what she is due as she is my Queen and my mother.

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#2

The line that divides worship of the triune God and veneration of Mary should be crystal clear if you simply remember who God is, and who Mary is. God is your creator and judge. God can grant your requests or send you to hell.

Mary is a friend in heaven, a very powerful friend due to her relationship with Jesus. Mary can sometimes obtain favors for you, but she is not your creator or your judge. Think of her as your mother-in-law. Jesus is your Bridegroom. Mary is His loving mother. Mary loves you, too, as if you were her daughter or son-in-law and she wants you to have a good relationship with her Son.

You can ask her for whatever you need, as long as you remember to give thanks to God, because it is God that grants things to you.

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#3

Is there ever such a thing as too strong of a Marian devotion? Look at how devoted to Our Lady many of the Saints have been! Most recently, Pope Saint John Paul II was particularly known for his strong Marian devotion.

Mary is the Holy Mother of God, she is Queen of the Universe, sitteth at the right hand of her Divine Son in Heaven. She brings all of our petitions on a silver platter straight to her Divine Son in a manner we never could. That is one of many reasons why it is important to pray to her. We are her children, she loves us and she always brings our needs to her Divine Son. As she said at the wedding feast at Cana: “They have no wine,” and the rest is history.

She knows our Lord better than anyone else on Earth did. She was His first disciple when she said “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” She loved our Lord in a word, perfectly. Her devotion and love for him is something we should all imitate and strive for. Mary set the example of how we should all love her Divine Son, Jesus Christ.

If you only remember one thing about her, remember this: Mary points the way.

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#4

Blessings,
First, no worship or adoration! Yes,to LOVE & respect & honor her
Second, we pray TO HER, to continue OUR PRAYERS in heaven to her Son. Jesus, continues to the Father. Here, since the Father is Jesus, it’s all the same.
She is available to us as OUR HEAVENLY MOTHER. We can be best buddies.
How deep a relationship is; is related to our Spirits needs. If our Mother on Earth died or is a negligent Mom, some latch on to Mary intently. It can get fuzzy, over time, if we’ve slipped into a worship state,CAUTION!
There are many prayers to Mary. The Rosary is available as a prayer pattern to focus on the life of Christ.It is promised that at judgement, the Rosaries said balance out the scales. She.definitely, speaks up for us.
A cool, full Spiritual life, to me is daily mass w weekly confession. A Bible study every week. If there is a Charismatic prayer group, it is nice. Help out w ministries, when we can. Of course, school, working, family & kids interfere. I did that before marriage when I was going to be a nun.
Always pray to the Father, w praise first, then petition, follow by Thanksgiving for the answer. IN THE NAME OF JESUS, BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT! DAD, SON, SPIRIT. Mom follows. If You don’t like my being cute, God forgive me.
Marian apparitions are interesting. Some valid. Her message is always the same. Her Som loves us & would like us involved w Him more. We have fallen away. Bad things are due to happen.RETURN TO HER SON. Stop sinning.
She only has so much sway w Jesus before our behavior will be so bad, she can’t stop the angel of judgement from coming. This last time, we may be in trouble. From the looks of things happening
The Lord bless & keep you. May He shine Gis countenance upon you & grant you rest.
In Jesus name. Amen

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#5

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#6

This is a good question. You have already partly answered it yourself and as others have said, Mary is a creature of God so we don’t worship or offer her that kind of adoration that belongs to God alone or divine worship which in latin is called latria. Whatever Mary has she has from God and she will be the first to tell us this. There is a kind of veneration we offer the saints of the Church including Mary called dulia in latin but the veneration we offer to Mary is singularly unique and this is named hyperdulia as she is the most exalted and holy of all God’s creatures. Mary as a creature reflects God more than any other creature including the angels.

As St Louis de Montfort writes in True Devotion to Mary, there are several kinds of devotion to Mary such as saying a rosary every day or invoking her name often either in praise of her or for help. But, he says, the most perfect devotion to Mary and the most pleasing to God and Jesus is a voluntary total consecration to Mary in light of her singular role in cooperation with all three persons of the Trinity according to God’s plan in the redemption of the human race, the spiritual regeneration of mankind by grace, and the bestowal of all graces in which Mary cooperates with the Holy Spirit and so she is called the Mediatrix of All Graces and the Mother of Divine Grace.

The total consecration of ourselves to Mary has no limits or reservations or it wouldn’t be a total consecration. To consecrate something means to dedicate something for a sacred purpose such as divine worship when our churches and altars are consecrated by bishops. In consecrating ourselves to Mary, we hand over our entire selves to Mary as her exclusive property and possession to be disposed of according to her will which is the same as God’s will as Mary’s will is wholly united to God’s will and she herself is the total
possession of the Trinity. This consecration involves our total being, soul and body, intellect and will, all our actions, sufferings, external possessions, our entire life here on earth and forever in eternity. According to the saints teaching such as St Louis de Montfort and St Maximilian Kolbe which is founded upon divine revelation, the teaching of the Church and the Fathers of the Church, this total consecration to Mary is God’s/Jesus’ will for us otherwise we shouldn’t do it, for doing God’s will at all times is the essence of following Christ and Christian perfection. St John Paul II also teaches in his encyclical on the rosary I believe it is that perfect devotion to the Blessed Mother and through her to Jesus is this total consecration to her.

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#7

(continued)

Both St Louis de Montfort and St Maximilian Kolbe teach that total consecration to Mary is by God’s will an easy, short, perfect, and secure way of attaining union with our Lord in which union the perfection of a Christian consists. St Louis de Montfort calls total consecration to Mary a secret of sanctity. Jesus came to us most perfectly through Mary and so he taught us by way of example that the most perfect way to Him is through His Blessed Mother who is the most perfect of all God’s creatures. Mary is our Mediatress with Jesus as Jesus is our Mediator with the Father.

Our Blessed Mother is the most exalted and holy of all of God’s creatures. Nobody is going to surpass her in holiness and sanctity. The more we are united to Mary and her spirit the more holy we are going to be. Mary is totally possessed by the Holy Spirit so the more we are united to Mary the more we are going to be united to the Holy Spirit. To share in the spirit of Mary is nothing other than to partake in the Holy Spirit himself.

St Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary and The Secret of Mary are two excellent writings of his that cover devotion to Mary and total consecration to her. Any misconceptions or thoughts I may have had concerning total consecration to Mary and its practical applications to daily living such as ‘Is there a limit to this consecration in some way?’ or "Am I distracting from God in some way?’ were dispelled when I began reading the writings of St Maximilian Kolbe who like St Louis de Montfort lived total consecration to Mary and who offers excellent and unambiguous practical advice. St Maximilian Kolbe is very clear that there is no limit or reservations to this total giving of ourselves through love to Mary nor ought we to worry or be concerned that we are distracting from Jesus or God in any way for this is Jesus’ will for us and we are only going to find in Mary Jesus and God. For the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, became incarnated in her through the power and overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The Trinity dwells in Mary as in a temple as in no other creature of God.

Should we just ask for her intercession and prayers? Do we dialogue with her? Do we ask her for graces?

According to what has been said, yes to all of the above. Mary is our spiritual mother in the order of divine grace as the Church teaches. And just as we have a father and mother from whom we are born into this world and whom raise us, so in our spiritual regeneration to the divine life of grace and growth in holiness, we have a father, namely, God who is the source of grace and by God’s will a mother, namely, Mary, whom Jesus gave us to be our own mother, who cooperates with the Holy Spirit in the dispensing of all his graces. As Eve is the mother of all the living born into this world so Mary , the new Eve, is the mother of all the spiritually reborn in the order of divine grace.

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#8

Different strokes for different folks, and many on this forum will disagree with this for sure, but I believe Jesus is the perfect intercessor and have never felt any need whatsoever to pray through anyone else, as I feel to do so is to imply that Jesus does not respond to prayer and that other spiritual beings are in some way necessary for a relationship with God. I hold no disrespect for Mary but if I pray, I pray to God.

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#9

You are the reason we are here!

I think you have it.

God calls different people to different things. Instead of measuring by what other people might do (or not do), ask Jesus what kind of relationship He wants you to have with His mother, and go with that.

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#10

I’m in the same boat. I’ve come around to the Catholic view that there’s nothing wrong with praying to Mary and the saints, but it still just seems more natural to me to pray directly to God. Though I have been considering taking up a devotion to St Joseph to help follow his example as a father, husband, and provider.

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#11

I look at it like this…

If you were Prince Charles, Prince William, or Prince Harry: how would you talk to the Queen Elizabeth?

Surely, you would love her greatly. And you would most likely be a little informal with her from time to time. But you would still treat her with great reverence and a hint of formality - ESPECIALLY in Public settings.

So I think it’s very similar with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I pray this helps.

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#12

I’ve heard people say the phrase “Jesus through Mary.”

As long as you understand that She isn’t to be worshipped it’s fine. I pray the rosary every day and it has helped me with my relationship with Jesus and with Mary.

We do have a Triune God, so when we build a relationship with Mary which leads to Jesus we are getting closer to the Triune God. She is an incredible asset but each person must decide the best way to become holy and build a relationship with God. Personally I pray mostly to God but not exclusively as I’ve mentioned.

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#13

She is the Mother of God and She is our Mother. It gets too far if we think of asking Her for everything without Father, Son, Holy Spirit FIRST! In other words She can do nothing without the Father, Son , Holy Spirit so we should not ever think of Mary as it being all about Mary and no one else. We can never love Her more than Her Son loves Her. But we also must honor Her, love Her and respect Her because GOD CHOSE HER to bear His Son. I’m not going to put Her above the Holy Trinity but I’m also not going to put Her on the outside of my spiritual life and prayer.

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#14

If you are new to the faith and not certain of various things, then focus on the essentials. You need not have a devotion to Mary. You need not pray a single Rosary. At your point along the spiritual journey, you might consider focusing solely on the mass and the catechism until you desire to comfortably move ahead.

When I was in the wading pool, the deep end always looked frightening.

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#15

(continued)

Official site of the Militia/Knights of the Immaculata founded by St Maximilian Kolbe in USA:
http://missionimmaculata.com/index.php

St Maximilian Kolbe’s commentary on act of consecration to Mary which he composed:
https://saintmaximiliankolbe.com/consecration/

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#16

Do you go to Mass? At Mass the priest calls upon Mary’s intercession during Eucharistic prayers. You also ask Mary and the saints to pray for you during the confiteor.

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#17

I’ve recommended this book several times on CAF lately. One way to think about Marian devotion is to be well informed about WHY she is so important to the Catholic tradition. Brad Pitre’s The Jewish Roots of Mary is a fascinating account of her significance. Even as a life long Catholic with a deep Marian devotion, I learned a lot.
Some people do take devotion “too far,” perhaps, but as long as a Catholic is not worshipping Mary as if she were a God herself, I consider it harmless. “Too far” will always be subjective. Developing a Catholic spirituality takes time, and some people will be more drawn to one saint or one devotion more than others. There’s no right or wrong. But Mary is very powerful, endowed so by God Himself, and we do quite wrong to ignore her completely.

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#18

For me that is the key point of devotion to Mary .

We can be assured that no creature’s will is so fully in line with the will of the Creator than Mary’s .

Mary cannot but lead us to God .

Union with Mary is union with God because there is nothing in her that is not of God .

Embracing Mary leads us in one direction only , to Jesus . She can’t do otherwise .

One might say that Mary has a one track mind , and the source and end of that track is God .

My favourite expression for her is “my loving Mother” .

" Totus tuus ego sum . Omnia mea tua sunt " . (I am all yours . All mine is yours ).

I’m not afraid of saying that because whatever I give to Mary she gives to God . She can’t keep anything for herself . " Magnificat anima mea Dominum ; Et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo, "

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#19

I don’t believe this is the case. I don’t think it is possible to accidentally worship Mary. Which would be the case if the dividing line weren’t clear. I think the problem is we are forgetting that true worship is sacrifice. You either need to offer a Sacrifice (the Eucharist) or offer up yourself (you thoughts and actions and sufferings from your heart) to perform worship. It would have to be an intentional action, a participation from your heart to be worship.

For instance bowing and kneeling isn’t worship it is a posture of devotion and respect. Sure you can worship when you kneel but kneeling in and of itself is not worship.

Read Acts 10 & 14.

In acts 10 we see Cornelius reprimanded by Peter be cause in verse 25 it says he fell down at his feet AND worshiped him. It’s not the bowing down it is specifically the worship here.

Also in Acts 14 we see Paul and Barnabas having the same problem. But it is pretty specific here these men proclaimed them to be Gods in verse 11 and in verse 18 we see they were preparing to offer sacrifices to them.

That line seems pretty clear in scripture. I don’t think it is something you are going to say oops I accidentally worshiped Mary yesterday. Unless you plan on offering up sacrifices to her you are going to have to believe with your heart and soul that she is more important to you than Jesus for it be “over the line”.

Just my 2 cents,

God Bless

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#20

I pray to to Mary, but that’s something recommended, not required. When you pray to God, He will guide you in this matter.

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