Friday, October 22, 2004
Unfortunately, a lot of Christians have the wrong view on Mary mother of Jesus. It's sad that it can cause division among Christians.
I know from my own experiences in my former Church. I have been informed that Catholics worship Mary, they place her above God, Mary is just like us a mere sinner set free etc.
Although, on the other hand some Catholics themselves do not understand what the Church truly teaches about Mary. Yes, there have been exaggerations in devotion which has helped give protestants the wrong impressions that we give her honor that is due to God alone.
Ok, so Mary is a creature of God just like we are, but we honor Mary as the greatest of all Saints, Mother of Jesus, but one still below Christ, whom we worship as Our Lord and Saviour, Son of God.
Mary is a great model of discipleship, look at her response to the angel's message, she said "let it be done to me according to your word" She was the first person in that gospel story to hear the word of God and do it.
She fulfilled what Jesus describes as the mark of the true discipleship.
So she is a Mother and the model of true discipleship.
Ok so next comes Lukes account of Mary and her visit to Elizabeth, she too had received a revelation from God that she was to be a mother, she was pregnant to the one who would be called John the Baptist.
On this occasion Luke attributes to Mary a song of joy and praise to God, known as the "magnificat". In this song Mary acknowledges the wonderful priviledge that God has given to her, "my spirit rejoices in God my saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name" She was a favored woman, I don't think many of us would have taken the same enthusiasm.
So Catholics honor Mary, not worship her as I have been told all so many times. Catholics honor Mary because they love her, not because they see her as some kind of goddess.
But because God chose her to be the mother of his Son Jesus.
As with the other Saints of the Church, Catholics see her as a model and inspiration for their Christian lives.
We also see in Mary the power of intercession with the risen Lord her Son.
So just as we pray to the other Saints, we pray THROUGH Mary not TO her, recognizing that God alone is the one who ultimately accepts and grants our prayers.
Recently I have begun to learn about the Rosary, my boyfriend had given me one as a gift, I never thought that I would find it such a blessing, since I am a former protestant. I found it to be such a great prayer, honoring Mary. A wonderful meditation on the important events in the lives of Jesus and his mother.
I have seen that devotion to Mary has received great impetus from alleged appearances made by her to children at Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal and somewhere in Yugoslavia (I can't remember the name).
Anyway, Catholics are not forced to believe or obliged to believe in these, although in the case of Lourdes, well documented and scientifically tested miracle cures make it hard to not believe that the power of God has been at work in the response to Mary's intercessions.