Praying to Our Blessed Lady


#1

I’ve been Catholic all my life and strayed when in my late thirties, when they had Vatican II. I was not pleased with all the changes and could not adjust, so instead I drifted away.

I returned to the fold many yeas ago and have since tried to be a good Catholic, receiving my Communion each Sunday and loving the Lord with my whole heart and soul.

I’m embarrassed to explain what I’m feeling, but if I can’t come here, where can I go? Let me explain my problem.

I love Our Blessed Mother and hold her in the highest honor. She is the Mother of Our Lord, and I believe all that the church teaches, but for just a few things that disturb me a bit and I’ve never had the courage to ask a priest from my shame.

I’m confessing that I cannot pray to Mary. I just can’t. I’ve read books regarding Our Lady, I’ve prayed about it, and so often I’ve tried praying the rosary but my mind just can’t seem to accept praying to her. It just seems a litany to me, with no meaning in my heart, and even while I’m praying to Mary, all I do is focus on Jesus and not her. I can’t seem to focus when I pray to Mary, Our Mother.

This hurts me deeply and I feel I offend her by being the way I am. I’m forever apologizing to her, and explain that I love her son so much that I cannot pray to anyone but Him. My desire is for Jesus only and no other. I also do not pray to saints, but honor and revere them highly. Our Lady of course, is even above them.

In all other ways I am a devoted Catholic and adhere and believe in all the teachings of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, I receive the sacraments, and Honor our Lady in most ways, except through prayer.

Is there anyone that can give me a little advice and to bring my heart a little peace about this.

God bless you and I will await some good advice from my Catholic brothers and sisters.

:signofcross: :grouphug:


#2

Your question may be the beginning of your answer. You’ve posed the question on this forum for a reason. You perceive that the folks here are sincere, faith-filled, and striving to be close to God. You obviously trust that the counsel and support you get here will be of help to you in drawing closer to Him as well.

We do the same thing when we address prayers to the saints, and particularly to Our Lady. These people, we know, are close to Our Lord and know how to help us draw nearer as well. We’re not praying to them as much as we are asking them to pray with us and for us in our needs. They have succeeded wher we are still striving. Who better to asist us?

Also, we should never fear offending Our Blessed Mother by having our thoughts turn to her Son. This only follows the example she herself set for us. Her every word and action points us to Him. “Do whatever He tells you” is her primary message to us.

Hope that helps, and prayers are with you.


#3

Thank you so much for your response, and yes, I always check on this forum and I see the people are very Christian and faithful, so I took the leap in asking my question.

I love Mary for who she is, and honor her, but for my prayers, I just can’t help myself but to go directly to Jesus.

I will however, continue to try to at least speak to His Mother, and try to also draw closer to her. I don’t know if I’ll succeed or not, but I believe that we can and do receive many more graces by asking for her intercession. It’s just that I cannot feel it to pray to her.

I appreciate your response to me and hopefully some day I will be drawn closer to her.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Prov 3.5-6)

God bless you
:angel1:


#4

This is just a thought Laura, but is it possible that because you are worried about ‘not focusing on our Lady’ you’re kind of losing the forest for the trees?

The whole reason–the 'sole’ reason–to pray to Our Lady is because she leads us to Jesus. In all my 50 something years, I guess that’s been ingrained in me. . .so I’m never thinking, “what am I going to say to Mary today” or “Gosh, I’m having trouble focusing on Mary today”. . .It’s always, “Mary, please bring this to Jesus” or even, when saying the rosary and noting the ‘dry times’ when one can be rushed, or unfocused, or the words start to get ‘old’, “Mary, help me remember your Son in this mystery”.

Because I know every prayer to Mary or the saints is always made with God as the ultimate’ receiver’ of the prayer, I never worry that “gee, I’m not focused enough on this prayer to Mary”. . .when I’m ‘not focused’, it’s just second nature to ‘add the lack of focus’ into the prayer I’m already making, asking the Virgin (or another Saint) to help not only with the original prayer problem but with whatever else going on in my life that I am bringing to God, whether in petition, contrition, or thanksgiving.


#5

One thing to remember is that Mariology is actually an extension of Christology.

Devotion to the Mother is motivated by Who her Son is.

It’s still about Jesus.


#6

Someone once told me something very beautiful; she said, Whenever you hold your Rosary, you are holding Mother Mary’s hand, and together you are both looking at Jesus.

We don’t so much pray to Mary as we pray with her, to her Son, Jesus. :slight_smile:


#7

I would agree with all of the posts here in answer to your question, and thank you for trusting us with it. I have a strong devotion to the BVM in prayer, however in my mind, whenever I pray “to” her I’m essentially asking the holiest creature I know to intercede with her prayers for me to her Son. I hope this may help a little.


#8

Exactly.

Look at the text of the Hail Mary. The first half is in the bible and the second half simply asks her to pray for you. It’s just like asking one of your living friends to pray for you…except that instead of it being one of your pals or spouse or whatever, you’re asking God’s chosen creature to pray for you. Yeah, God may love your friend and grant his/her prayer, but how much moreso for the Blessed Virgin!?


#9

Let her be a mother to you…ask her to help you pray


#10

St. Therese of Lisieux was in a predicament similar to yours. She had a very difficult time saying the Holy Rosary and said that she felt very guilty about it. Not that she couldn’t pray to Mary at all, just that she couldn’t pray the Rosary. She too expressed her contrition towards Our Blessed Mother.

Now different people have different spiritualities. For whatever reason, your soul appears to be drawn towards Our Lord at this time in your spiritual life.

I would imagine that sometimes men are drawn towards praying to Our Lady and women towards Our Lord – perhaps because of the natural disposition of their affections.

So long as this difficulty praying to Our Blessed Mother comes from just your personal inclinations rather than out of principle.

Nevertheless, you should continue to pray the Rosary, because Our Blessed Mother asked that you pray it–even if while praying it your mind, heart, and soul drift irresistably towards Our Lord. St. Therese prayed the Holy Rosary, despite feeling that she couldn’t do it well and being contrite about it. In the end, she decided that Our Lady accepted whatever she was capable of offering up given the state of her soul.

I completely disagree with those on this thread who dismiss Mary as solely a means to an end, someone whom we try to make invisible and see right through. We owe Our Blessed Mother a debt of love and gratitude for what she has done for us also and not just treat Her / use Her as a means to an end.

If you WANT to be devoted to Our Blessed Mother, then you are, as devotion is primarily an act of the will.

Again, be careful that you aren’t shunning devotion to Our Lady and the saints out of some Protestant-like principle.

It wasn’t entirely clear why you couldn’t pray to them – whether it was just that your soul naturally drifted towards Our Lord or whether you had some kind of principled aversion towards praying to Mary or the saints. If the former, it’s not a problem. But you still have to do things like pray the Holy Rosary as an act of the will. If it’s the latter, then you need to pray for help in this regard, because a principled aversion towards praying to Mary or the saints could involve implicit heresy which of course would be gravely harmful to your soul.


#11

You, being of respectable age, have probably been a mother (or spiritual mother) a few times over. You probably know that it honors you most when one of your children or grandchildren (spiritual or not) are honored (focussed on). Wouldn’t you think it is the same way with Our Lady? For your peace of mind, you might want to pray to Our Lord that you develop a closer relationship with His mother, if it is His Will. Then you don’t have to worry anymore about it. You can just do what you feel you should without additional worries.
Another idea is to chose a virtue of Mary’s that the Magisterium or a Saint has taught about, that you would like to develop more fully - purity, patience, contemplation, etc. Whenever the opportunity for that virtue (or a greater amount of that virtue) makes itself known, ask for her to pray with you for it, to her Son.
Just my :twocents:


#12

I don’t think that any of us dismiss Mary as 'solely a means to an end". . .if you’re referring to me as I think you are. In fact, I am a De Montfort consecratee and for the good reasons that St. Louis gives. While I am by no means as eloquent as he, if you read True Devotion you will see that he supports this devotion for exactly the reason I gave. . .that Mary leads us to Jesus, and that this was if you will her ‘sole’ or overridding purpose in life–to bring Jesus to us and to bring us to Jesus.


#13

I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to pick a fight and take this thread off topic.


#14

I think these are excellent suggestions.

Pray firstly to Our Lord. Ask Him to help you understand His Mother’s role in our spiritual journey.

Focus on one of Our Lady’s virtues that you need yourself and ask her to help you develop that particular virtue. Then you have her prayers, joined with yours, to Our Lord.


#15

Thank you all so very much for such marvelous advice. It has helped me tremendously. One of you got it right here. It was a sense of guilt I think, in my feeling that I was taking something away from Jesus by praying to His mother. I just never looked at it in that way. This was very intuitive of the poster of this message. I am now going to look at things in a different perspective and will take the first baby step to try and become close to Mary.

Someone else mentioned that I might have the Protestant view. “Yikes” no way. I honor Mary above and beyond. She is the Queen of all of Heaven. She was the Immaculate Virgin Mother of Our Lord. Thank God, this was not my thinking at all.

Brigid mentioned to select a virtue in honoring Our Lady. Without me even realizing it I’ve already been doing this for six long years now. I always make the statement that I’m following Mary’s lead on the Via Dolorosa after losing my beautiful darling daughter in the year 2002. She was just 33 years old. I always use Mary as my role model in staying close to the Lord in the walk of sorrow as she also had. . Indeed, she is the role model of all grieving mothers and who else would be better then she, the mother who suffered more then any other on this earth. So this was an excellent point as well. Thank you for reminding me of this.

rescath, You said it so correctly that it’s just my inclination to constantly go to Jesus. Not to do with any Protestant beliefs which are not the same as ours in so many ways. Oh no, Mary is the Queen of heaven, no doubt at all of that in my mind, as well as the all the saints who are so special to God. They are our friends, but when I pray, it’s so automatic that I kneel before the Lord. I pray in my heart and mind all day long. So I guess it’s right what you said that I’m just inclined this way. I do feel that guilt as St. Teresa did about falling short of devoting myself to her, and I don’t mean to. I’m going to ask Jesus to help me in this area since it’s so very importent.

And as you said, my soul just drifts right to the Lord and heaven forbid, not from any kind of aversion. Not at all. I guess it’s just my inclination.

St.Therese prayed the Holy Rosary, despite feeling that she couldn’t do it well and being contrite about it. In the end, she decided that Our Lady accepted whatever she was capable of offering up given the state of her soul.
\

This is just so comforting that St. Teresa was so accepted and understood for what she was capable of. May Our Lord and Our Lady accept my capabilities in the same way

jmcrae… Someone once told me something very beautiful; she said, Whenever you hold your Rosary, you are holding Mother Mary’s hand, and together you are both looking at Jesus.
We don’t so much pray to Mary as we pray with her, to her Son, Jesus.

How very beautiful this is. Thank you so much for this inspiration. I know it will help.

Also, Tantum Ergo, you are so right. I’m so worried about focusing on Mary, that I am losing the forest for the trees. I have to do better in my devotions.

God bless you all for every bit of inspiration and insight you have given me. I will keep this close to my heart and recall all the things you’ve told me.

What is it that our Protestant brothers and sisters do not understand about all that you have said here. I understood perfectly and probably would if I were Catholic or not, so what is their problem with this I wonder. Well as they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

May we all continually drink from the river of life and honor His Blessed and Holy Mother of all. Thank you Jesus.

:crossrc:


#16

thank you so much everyone,ifeel alot better praying my rosary now,im looking for a rosary cd to pray along with. i planning to make a prayer corner,with the stations of the cross, candles,flowers,maybe you could give me somemore ideas,god bless all nettiel:thumbsup:


#17

It was so nice to see this post, and the wonderful responses. I, too, had trouble going to Mary, but that is becoming easier and more natural lately. :slight_smile:


#18

*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. *

Knowing more about her life and her perpetual death during her life due to her (unequaled by any human before, during, or after) love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus may help. I invite you read: The Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Our Lady by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Catholic Church. writer.zoho.com/public/immaculate/Seven-dolors

Free information on almost all I know on devoting oneself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
Pereptual online Adoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus louisville-catholic.net/WebCameras/AdorationChapel/tabid/825/Default.aspx
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin montfort.org.uk/Writings/TrueDev.html
**Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.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
**The Glories of Mary, ** by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Catholic Church, explains Hail Holy Queen http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/glories.htm
On the Dolors of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Catholic Church, explains the sufferings of Our Lady http://writer.zoho.com/public/immaculate/Seven-dolors
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
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.
Divine Mercy Chaplet ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm
Abandonment to Divine Providence ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.html by Father Jean Pierre de la Caussade, the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, she who revealed to us the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus after apparitions/revelations from the Sacred Heart of Jesus himself
Cathechism of the Catholic Church vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

*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. *


#19

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