Catholics are probably questioned more about our relationship with Mary than any other part of our faith. Protestants and most non-Catholics do not understand how or even why we revere her. We may be accused of “worshipping” her or even deifying her. What they don’t get is that we respect her, love her, and ask her intercession. When we speak of “devotion” to the Blessed Mother, we do not mean we place her above God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. A person can be devoted to many things, like a job or career, but that doesn’t mean it becomes your god. Devotion implies a loyalty and trust in a person. It also involves a certain amount of faith and effort on our parts to continue the bonds of a good relationship. A mother who is devoted to her children is applauded (generally) by society; and conversely, children should be devoted to their parents and their siblings. This kind of devotion doesn’t displace God as the Supreme Being either. Our relationship with Mary, and our devotion to her as Catholics, follows along these same lines.
In every instance that Mary has appeared to people throughout the ages, she always calls us to her Son, Jesus Christ. This is her wish: that we come to Him with open and contrite hearts, asking Him for mercy and forgiveness, so that we may one day be united with Him in heaven for all eternity. She never asks for herself–only for us to love and obey her Son. She is NOT God, nor a “goddess”, nor a 4th Person we add to the Holy Trinity, nor did she exist before God.
As for me personally, I see this Blessed Lady as a very special woman, hand-picked by God Himself to bear His only begotten Son into this world. She was chosen out of all of us for this privilege and honour. That alone tells me that there is something about her that should have our attention.
This is the month of Holy Rosary. When we pray the rosary, it is of course, a Marian prayer because she has endorsed it. In many of her apparitions, she asks us to pray this powerful prayer and often holds a rosary herself. She has even made promises–with the approval of God Himself–to those who recite her rosary prayers and to those who promote this devotion. To non-Catholics, it may seem to be a repetitious group of prayers that focus on Mary, because most of the prayers are “Hail Mary’s”. We, as Catholics, know this is not true. We are supposed to be meditating on the “Mysteries” of the rosary, all of which are based on the life of Jesus and Scripture passages. It is really more about Him than her.
When we need a mother, Mary is there for us to love & nurture. She is like the morning star shining brightly in the East to shed her rays on us to fill the warmth of her Son’s love. So let us pray Rosary and increase our Marian Devotion towards as we celebrate this Month of Rosary. By increasing Marian Devotion we can make Mary as our real role model and draw others nearer to her.
“Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord be with you” Let these words resound in us always