I realize this will be a touchy subject for some – especially if you do not hear me out completely or jump in without reflection. I ask for your responses to be considered and thoughtful. Please don’t think I mean to disrespect nor cast aspersions on Church teaching nor anyone’s personal beliefs or devotions.
I am a cradle Catholic of 43 years. With the exception of about a year after high school, I have been a regular participant in a parish and I have taught CCD and been a Lector. I have my questions and issues with Church teachings, but I realize that it is up to me to align myself with the Church and I am not leaving nor am I rebelling. I have reached a place where I have made a decision - not irrevocable, but pretty firm right now - and I’d like some thoughts from you all.
I am uncomfortable in my own heart with some of the devotion, adoration, and prayers to Mary. I revere Mary as the Mother of God, I believe whole-heartedly in the Virgin Birth, and I have no reservation that she is Blessed among women. However, while I am in the midst of my own doubts and questions and issues with Marian devotion, I have arrived at a place where I think I can remain for awhile while I sort this out in my soul and I hope you will help me in this.
Can I remain a Catholic in good standing in the Church if I have chosen, for the time being, to put aside (not reject) devotions, litanies and prayers to Mary? What if I never arrive at acceptance of that in my own heart? I find no question in my heart about the Mass, I believe in intercessory prayer and veneration of Mary as Mother of Our Lord. But, for instance, if I go to Confession and I’m given a penance of the Rosary then I find I’m in a corner as I am not entirely in line with the Church on the Rosary. I pray it and I concentrate on the Mysteries more than the devotion to Mary.
I’m not even sure I’m able to make my feelings clear here about it, and I hope (and I’m sure having seen many of you in the Prayer Intentions threads) that you will understand how hesitant I am and with all respect and humility for those who are fully in accord with devotion and adoration to Mary. I thank you for your consideration and thoughtful replies.