Understanding Mary's power and graces

I’m a former protestant, I just came into the Church at Easter, and I’m having trouble understanding the role of Mary. I understand that she can pray for us, deliver us from temptation, protect us, comfort us, and obtain from God things we ask for.

What is the scope of her power beyond this, according to the teachings of the Church?

I think part of the problem is understanding what the term grace or graces means. It’s a matter of protestant terminology being different from Catholic terminology. For example:

Being called full of grace by the Archangel Gabriel and therefore being full of grace, Mary is able to dispense grace freely to her dear children. When we pray her Rosary devoutly Mary pours her graces upon us.

I really don’t know what that means. Are graces power or…what, exactly.

Another problem is that some prayers written by people much holier than I am seem to go overboard. Like St. Ligouri’s prayer:

Thank you for the many graces you have bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from hell which I have so often deserved by my sins

That doesn’t seem consistent with what the Church teaches-- that Mary can save us from hell?

If you have any apostolic letters or encyclicals or anything else I could read, please suggest them. Thank you for helping me, because I want to build my relationship with Mary, in a way that honors God.

Recommend** CCC paragraphs 963-975**…excerpt below. Once you digest the official Church doctrine/dogma on the Blessed Virgin Mary…I would recommend that you read some of Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort’s writings on Mary and the Rosary…my favorite is:

[INDENT***]The Secret of the Rosary*

[Paperback]
St Louis Mary Grignion De Montfort (Author)[/INDENT]
[INDENT]A beautiful book that provides us divine guidance
I am a protestant and this book captured for me so well the power of the rosary. I am on the path of conversion and this book has certainly helped solidify and strengthen my… Read more
by M. Ross
amazon.com/Secret-Rosary-Louis-Grignion-Montfort/dp/0899421083/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335125347&sr=1-1
[/INDENT]

Lastly, I am not sure of the “who/where//when/what” context is of the Saint Ligouri’s prayer excerpt that you quoted…technically, he may have not been directing those words to Mary, but her God and her Spouse…the Holy Spirit. The Church’s liturgical and prayer and devotional life formula…has and always will be…TO the Father…THROUGH Christ…IN/BY the power of the Holy Spirit

1352 The** anaphora**: with the** Eucharistic Prayer - the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration** - we come to the heart and summit of the celebration:

[INDENT][INDENT]In the preface, the Church gives thanks** to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit**, for all his works: creation, redemption, and sanctification. The whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven, the angels and all the saints, sing to the thrice-holy God.[/INDENT]

[/INDENT]

Pax Christi

**CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (CCC)
SECOND EDITION
**
ARTICLE 9
"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"

Paragraph 6.** Mary - Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church
**
963 Since the Virgin Mary’s role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. "The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head."502 "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church."503

I. MARY’S MOTHERHOOD WITH REGARD TO THE CHURCH

**Wholly united with her Son **. . .

964 Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. “This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death”;504 it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

[INDENT][INDENT]Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."505
[/INDENT]
965 After her Son’s Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers."506 In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."507

. . . she is our Mother in the order of grace

967 By her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity. Thus she is a “preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church”; indeed, she is the “exemplary realization” (typus)510 of the Church.

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace."511

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."512

970 "Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it."513 "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."514

[/INDENT]

As a convert myself, I would recommend you not try too hard to wrap your mind around the role, the power, and the graces of our Blessed Mother (or, for that matter, the saints). Think of it rather as a chance to make new friends. How would that happen? You get to know them, you talk to them, and you find out how much they love you, and, before you know it, you have a real relationship.

Mary,is a powerful intercessor.God bestow us the graces.This has been emphasized by numerous priests, during their homilies in the churches ,i attended in the past.I have several mini and major miracles that have happened in my life,that i attributed to her intercessioN/.These are just the few of them.One day,I knelt infornt of her statue,started crying and requested her to pray for me, that I will be able to find somebody that will sponsor my college ed and provide shelter from being homeless for years.I promised her that i will return to give her thanks and her son,Jesus I left the church,in high spirit and in peace.Three days,after that I encountered a family on the street,talked to them about my life.TO make this story short,they paid for my college ed and provided me shelter in an exclusive subdivision,where millionaires live.They were very devout Catholics.I became part of their family.Of course,I did fulfill my promise to the Virgin and frequent that church frequently,when im in town.On another occassion,I asked her to give me a sign i.e. I would like to see bluegrreen flowers in 3 days to know,if I pass the Board Exam.It was so dumb of me,because I didint even know if these kind of flowers even existed.Two days passed,it didnt happen, and i was scared.On the thrid day,I already gave up hope.Then,all of a sudden,I drove thru a commercial district and saw a name of an establishment that states “BLUEGREEN FLOWERS HARDWARE”.Whilst I was reading it,my phone rang and my classmate told me that I passed!You just couldnt believed how i reacted.These are just few graces that I received from Jesus,thru Mary.

The Four Marian Dogmas:

Mother of God
Perpetual Virginity
Immaculate Conception (her conception free of original sin)
Assumption

Any one is awe-inspiring to contemplate. Mary is surely “the handmaid of the Lord” and “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”

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.