There's Something About (Saint) Mary

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I am Catholic, and a regular apologist at my school (which is Protestant). It is truly sad that the Mother of Jesus is such a huge division among Christians…but as I should expect, I get questions about Mary all the time, and I don’t hesitate to answer them.

Lately, however…I’ve been hearing some things that make it somewhat clearer why so many people have misconceptions about Mary and her role in the Church.

I am well aware of the fact that Mary should be honored and venerated as the ultimate role model for our lives (heck, she was the first Christian), and I whole-heartedly believe that she can intercede on our behalf. But my question is this:

Do you think it’s possible that some Catholics give too much honor and devotion to Mary? Obviously the Catholic Church teaches that worship is for God alone, but do you think that some Catholics might take it a step too far? If Protestants are constantly saying “It looks to me like Catholics worship Mary and the saints”…though this is rooted in ignorance…should we take a step back and make sure that we really aren’t giving them too much attention?

Discuss. :hmmm:
I always find it interesting that the same ones among my Protestant friends who level those kinds of charges are EXACTLY the ones most likely to ask everyone they know to pray for them…what’s the difference?
People abuse a lot of good things, but it doesn’t make the thing abused any worse. It has been my opinion that some people do go a little nuts at times w/ what almost borders on Mary worship. It is also my experience that it is a phase in the spiritual lives of people that become zealous for the faith. God evens it out over time 🙂

Furthermore, it is interesting that few (if any) Catholics EVER get it wrong when questioned about Mary’s role in salvation history. No Catholic thinks that Mary is to be worshipped or that she is equal to God in any way, or that she is a member of the Trinity. If we were all so overboard Marian devotion, it would seem to me that people would get the wrong impression. Although my experience is anecdotal, I am happy to say that I have NEVER seen this happen.

God bless!
It’s all in the heart.
Why would we need to “take a step back”, as you said, in loving our Mother and paying her her due homage just to not too intimidate our separated brethrens?
As zealous as one can be in his devotion to his heavenly Mother (a prime example: St. Louis deMontfort, perhaps the most zealous advocate of Marian devotion), he must know in his heart Mary, a mere creature of God, is but “an atom compared to God’s majesty” (that, unsurprisingly, comes from St. Louis deMontfort himself). I have yet to meet a Catholic who, being a Catholic, worship Mary – that, indeed, is a sacriledge!

Our attention to God’s holy Mother can never go just as far as that! Paying due homage to our Queen, we ultimately glorify God by glorifying in his most majestic masterpiece – there’s nothing wrong in that!
St. Louis said [paraphrased] that the Devil fears the power of Mary even more so that God! A Prot may be knocked off with a heart attack when he read this, but wait for it… He said that it is not like Mary’s majesty surpasses God, whose splendour, power and majesty is infinite [this is still paraphrased], but because the fact that Mary is a mere creature of God granted such power, Satan is even more humbled, crushed by this humble handmaid of God, by Mary that if he is crushed by the hands of God Himself.

Besides, in the matter of worshipping, the Prots never got it quite right. Their “services” are singing, reading the Bible, sermon…and that’s it…that’s worship to them. To us, like the ancient Jews, worship is sacrifice (Christ’s in the Holy Mass), sacred Sacraments and Liturgies – that’s worship! If Prot mind set is worship in singing, sermon, (normal) praying, etc, then we can understand why they call our sermons, singings and praying (like Rosary) of and about Mary a worship. :rolleyes:

Anyway, let’s conclude with a word from St. Louis deMontfort:

I am all thine, my dear Mistress, and all that belongs to me is thine! Receive me as thy slave of love!

In Christ through Mary,
Thanks for the responses, everyone. Thankfully…I have never seen a Catholic who is under the impression that Mary is to be worshipped, either. Still, sometimes I question whether all Catholics know that everything from praying to Mary to devotion to Mary is ultimately supposed to bring glory to God.

Mr. S4nta brings up a good point about Protestant “worship”… one of the many differences in definitions between Catholics and Protestants. It didn’t take me long to learn that if you have different definitions about something, the argument for it or against it becomes pretty useless.

Anyway, my personal goal is to promote peace (and ultimately unity) between Catholics and Protestants. This is just one of many things that would need to be covered sooner or later. God Bless.
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