I don't know if anyone can help me with this. I don't even know if this is the correct forum to place it. Please understand, I am not contesting anything, I just don't understand this seemingly contrasting issue and it sometimes bothers me.
I know that traditionally, Mary is often called "the gate of heaven". In her litany it is said as such. (also, please understand I have no problems with venerating Mary) I can understand how it can be* seen* that way, but I have concerns when I read in John 10:7 Jesus says this:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber/I]. 2 But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.
7 So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you,** I am the door** of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and [a]have it abundantly. "
In some interpretations, instead of "door" the word "gate" is used. (I used the NAB for the quote posted above.) I underlined and bolded that which makes me feel nervous about calling Mary "gate of heaven". I was wondering if anyone could help me have more understanding as to why Mary is called "the gate of heaven". When I hear priests and lay people say "To Jesus through Mary"... I think of what Jesus said here, and it makes me nervous. Apologies to anyone that this might offend. I do not mean to do so. I am just trying to understand better. Thanks in advance.