I’m still working on my Mary issues, but I did have a Mary epiphany. Not an apparition, just an epiphany.
I’m not sure why it finally clicked. I’ve heard it explained similar to this, but it just didn’t sink in. I now understand one of the reasons why Catholics have a heavier emphasis on Mary.
We are suppose to imitate Jesus in every way. Mary was his mother therefore we are to love his mother as he loved his mother. It puts us in the mindset of Jesus.
Protestants think of it as giving attention to Mary while leaving Jesus on the sideline. Catholics see it as becoming closer to Jesus because you are viewing people and ideas the way he does. In a sense, you are standing with him and looking at his mother as he does. You are closer to Jesus in loving his mother as he did.
Yes, you could say that is correct. At the cross Jesus said to John, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” - John 19:26-27
And, a reading or Revelation 12 makes her the mother of all who keep the truth of her son, our Lord Jesus. Therefore, is one’s level of devotion to her reflective of the amount of truth regarding Jesus that one possesses or professes?
Took me a long time to have one. Now i feel ashamed i wasn’t more accepting of her from the start.
I’d say what you have said is very accurate.
You know, when Catholics used to tell me that Mary actually leads you closer to Christ, I thought, yeah right, you idolaters will say anything to persist in your sin lol. But it turns out they are right, it does lead to a stronger relationship with the Lord. You cant get more intimate with Jesus than by carrying him in your womb for 9 months. Mary is such a extraordinary prayer warrior for us.
We think of her as the greatest of saints due to her obedience to the will of God and the blessed fruit of her womb. We admire her humility and compassion. Some saints wrote she is the bride of the Holy Ghost- though that concept has symbolic elements to it.
Taken out of context, this can be easily misconstrued as you know.
Can you love other people and also love Jesus while putting no one else above Him? Of course you can.
God is infinite, and He has a plan for all. Mary was an extraordinary part of His plan.
For some reason, it appears certain folks believe Mary is an exception to these concepts. That is the picture you need to paint if you want her to be “just a vessel”.
Reading Luke 1 a few times and absorbing it will help (a version that says “full of grace”, not the highly favored baloney;))
While I cannot speak on the Protestant mind set, I can tell you that you are bordering on the Catholic thought about the Virgin Mary…
Think of our veneration of St. Mary not only as the closest person in Christ’s intimacy but also as the proof of the Incarnate Word… in Mary the Divine took corporal existence so we address her as the mother of God to demonstrate that the Word, Jesus, never ceased being God while, simultaneously, taking on the human form–as Scriptures attest: both Divine and human.
Yet, there are other levels to our veneration of Mary… as I understand it in the Jewish culture it was not the king’s wife that was seen as the queen, but the king’s mother… Jesus being the King of kings would undoubtedly want us to show His Mom the same respect as the human king’s mother.
Finally, Scriptures themselves demonstrate veneration to St. Mary… have you considered the Annunciation and the events that unfolded?:
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. (St. Luke 1:27-28, 35, 41-44)
In a very few verses we have the Holy Trinity Blessing the Virgin Mary and Revealing that through her the Word has become Incarnate and that the Lord God Himself has entered His Promise as the Immanuel is ushered into the world.
The Virgin is greeted with great enthusiasm and announced, by the Holy Spirit, as the mother of God!
How can man down play God’s own acclamations?
But it does not end there… we have additional Scriptures demonstrating Mary’s singularity in the human condition (our Fellowship with God):
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush** your head,
and you will strike his heel.”**(Genesis 3:15)
17 Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, who obey God’s commandments and have in themselves the witness of Jesus. (New Jerusalem)
17 And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (DR)
17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (NIV)
So while Scriptures place the Virgin Mary at a very notable and venerable place, some of her children reject her, our mother and God’s mother, on grounds, which I suspect, that are engrained in “a feeling.”