Mary and her Spiritual Realities(?)

I was raised Catholic, and I’ve recently been trying to dig deeper into my Catholic faith, into its history, teachings, Scriptural basis, etc. It’s been rewarding in a lot of ways, but I have questions concerning Mary.

I’ve listened to Scott Hahn, Jimmy Akin, and a lot of others talk about Mary – her perpetual virginity, assumption into heaven, being the Queen of Heaven, etc. So much of it has won me over intellectually,
but I’m still not there spiritually…
I grew up around a lot of actively Protestant friends and classmates and I’ve always had reservations about Mary.

How do I talk to Mary? I mean properly?

**Do I have to trust in her, like I have to trust in Jesus? **

If I ask her to advocate for me, can I expect it to be done?

Do I have to accept her as my mother, like I have to accept God as my Father and Jesus as my Savior (or maybe I’m looking at this wrongly-- maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way – maybe they’re all those things automatically whether I “accept” them or not.)

HOW DO I MAKE SURE I’M NOT WORSHIPING HER?

ONE MORE THING: If any of you have had really profound experiences from asking Mary for her intercession, could you please share with me? :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Thanks, Mix

Do you have friends?
how do you talk to them?
Frankly, confidentially, with sincerity?
Are you worshipping them?
No.

Prayer is not as hard as people make it out to be.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day. They were a Catholic, and were helping someone else develop a very Marian project, but was having trouble “feeling it”.

Their point: My faith is more Christocentric. I don’t need someone to lead me to him. I go directly to him. There’s nothing really for Mary to do.

My counterpoint: Mary was the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. We accept that Mary distributes graces. Where do they come from? They come from the Holy Spirit.

You’re not going to put Mary in between yourself and God-- it’s not in your nature to do that. But she still has a role to play: as Christ’s most perfect disciple. You can make a statue out of a block of stone, or you can make a statue by pouring a mold and popping it out. Which method is easier and more reliable?

So-- if you don’t need Mary to lead you to Christ, ask Mary to help you be a more perfect disciple by emulating her virtues. Ask her to help you understand the Holy Spirit, and ask for the gifts you need from him. Think of her as “role model”. Think of the disasters you see on tv, and how the people involved in the relief efforts distribute bottled water. She didn’t manufacture the bottles of water; she didn’t buy the bottles of water; you can get bottles of water elsewhere; but it’s the fast, reliable way to get what you need when you’re in need.

Some good instructional information can be found by reading “33 Days to Morning Glory”, a daily devotional with solid theology on Mary. Can be found via google search. I believe it is published by Lighthouse Catholic Media or something similar.

I am not trying to put words into your mouth, just expand on them a little.

I think it’s spiritually dangerous when we attempt to travel our own path to sanctity, out of context with Christ’s whole body.
“Cata-holos”: the whole. The path to Christ is, by definition, a path that is traveled in community with all the saints. Mary has the pre-eminent place in that community.

Amen! She was given to us at the foot of the Cross.

I second this book. There is much to be learned about our Blessed Mother through the insights of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. John Paul II, and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

Also, “True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis Marie de Montfort is excellent.

Acknowledging Mary as your mother and your queen is morally obligatory.

The reason this is so is because of how Mary uniquely relates to Christ. Mary is the mother of Christ, who is the Incarnate Son of God and the king of the universe. Therefore, because Christ is King, his mother is - by default - queen. Because Christ is our brother by the New Covenant, Mary is - by default- our mother. It is impossible to say that Christ is our brother without saying that Mary is our mother. It is impossible to say that Christ is King without saying that Mary is queen. If you deny Mary’s queenship, you are either deliberately or inadvertently denying the kingship of Christ, which is apostasy. Does this make sense?

As to how you should address her, I would take the label “Mother” quite literally. Talk to her, sing to her, kiss her, hug her, love her, rely on her. All of these habits - which might be thought as eccentric by some - were done by saints. St Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor and a titanic theologian, serenaded the Blessed Mother in his chapel. There are vast numbers of other examples of adoration, many of which are recorded in St Liguori’s book “Hail Holy Queen!” For my own part, I have found nothing but spiritual benefit come out of it.

The question of “how do I know if I am worshiping her?” is a bit strange, but understandable :stuck_out_tongue: Let’s apply this question to your earthly father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, or friend. How do you know, as your affection & devotion to these people deepen, that you are not worshiping them? I think the answer is fairly straightforward: if you don’t acknowledge them as God, your Creator & Savior, and as the eternal source of all blessings, then you’re not worshiping them.

We should not view our love for Mary as being in competition with our love for our eternal God, but rather as a conduit that strengthens our love for God. Whatever you do to others, you literally do to Christ. It is impossible to increase in your love towards others without also increasing in your love for God, and it is impossible to increase your love towards God without also increasing your love towards fellow man.

Our relationship with the saints are fundamentally no different than our relationship with those on Earth. If you want to spiritually increase in your intimacy with your Queen, you have to pray to her. Reading about her will do you good in better understanding Mariology, but it’s never going to replace the conversation itself.

In “True Devotion to Mary” there is a disciplined plan of prayers and readings for each day. Very inspiring and fruitful. Many repeat it every year. A great blessing!

I had an issue in my marriage which involved some anxiety. The relaxed peacefulness which characterizes a healthy marriage was damaged, leading to dysfunction in a few different areas. In a nutshell, we were living as two separate individuals. I was fearful of giving and trusting myself to my wife.

I was reading De Montfort. In it he talks about the enormous trust God the Father displays when gives himself over to the care of the Virgin Mary.
If God himself can trust so fully in a human being, giving his only son to Mary, why should I not give my complete trust to another? I stopped guarding and protecting myself and demanding that my interests be met, and simply gave my complete trust to my wife. A healing took place that erased this anxiety from our marriage.

While I don’t see this as a result or reward for praying to Mary, meditating on God’s relationship with Mary opens us to a more virtuous relationship with God and each other.

So is Mary’s!

You’re not going to put Mary in between yourself and God-- it’s not in your nature to do that.

Nor will Mary let you!

Mary is the ultimate example of true discipleship. She is esteemed above all the saints, and thus represents for us a perfect model of obedience and love for our Lord. It is in this way that Mary is cherished.

I recommend the book “The Question of Mary” by Fr. Rene Laurentin… great book… it carries a nihil obstat and an imprimatur so you can rest assured that it is in alignment with the Church. It provides a well laid out explanation for the different types of Marian devotion. What some find overreaching, others are drawn to. What some find underwhelming, other find spiritually rich… the trick is not to impose your own personal piety and devotional practices on others as the “true” way. As Marian devotion is a personal devotion, Marian apparitions are private devotions… and ultimately love and obedience to God is the only objective requirement…everything else flows from that. I recommend starting there.

I never thank her for dying for me. I do thank Jesus every day. I never pray to her to lighten my way or send me the Spirit. I do pray that way to Jesus and the Father. I praise God for the glory of His creation.

ONE MORE THING: If any of you have had really profound experiences from asking Mary for her intercession, could you please share with me? :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Thanks, Mix

My youngest and I often butted heads. One day I was so frustrated (after butting heads once again) that on my way to run to the store, I said to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “I cannot take this anymore, I need your help with her.” I get home, and my youngest is in tears, apologizing for the way she had acted. My youngest never apologizes, unless she is truly sorry for something. My jaw dropped. Within a half an hour of my asking Mary for her intercession, something that I did not expect to happen, happened. Oh yes, I believe that she intercedes for us with her Son, all the time.

Mary is our spiritual Mother.

When she sees us, she sees Jesus…she loves us that much!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.