Archive for Marian devotion

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s day brings to mind things that I don’t often think about anymore. While I have four living children, I had two other pregnancies that ended at around seven weeks gestation.  Both of these losses were devastating. On Mother’s day I think of these two children who were so small that I don’t know their genders. One of these children was very my very first pregnancy.  The other was my third pregnancy.

On Mother’s Day I also think of my three stepsons and all of the “stuff” that comes with being a step mother. It is a fine line to walk, to be supportive and loving without over stepping the invisible boundaries. There are bittersweet memories of things like helping with homework and realizing that their mother was not really capable of helping them with it.

I look to the Blessed Mother now and pray that I can learn from her even know that my children are grown and nearly grown. I pray that I can achieve even some small part of the goal to be like Her.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all the gifts you have given me.  Thank you for my children and my stepsons. Each of them has taught me something.

Amen.

So an article got me thinking

I read an article by Mary Kochan over at Catholic Lane. It got me thinking. Here is my take on things.

I am a revert to the Catholic Church. I can tell you for sure that poor catechesis is what led me to seek Christ elsewhere. I can tell you also, that it was Christ present in the Eucharist that brought me back. I was born in 1965. That means I am one of the “Kumbaya” Catholic generation who was never fed anything but drivel. It was only in studying the works of converts to the church that I came to understand the richness of our faith, particularly when it came to doctrine on the Virgin Mary.
I had a great deal of difficulty in understanding devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I couldn’t really see why people were devoted to her. I certainly didn’t understand the praying the rosary. To me it was simply rote prayers repeated. Then I heard Scott Hahn speak about her role in salvation history. I came to understand that she is the new Eve, the Ark of the New Covenant, the Queen Mother. Generations gone by knew this. They had been taught Bible History in light of Catholic teaching.

As Catholics, we can ask Mary to pray for us, however, she is not the source of salvation. We can pray the rosary and other Marian prayers. Each of these prayers is supposed to lead us to Jesus, though. When we pray the rosary, we are to reflect on the mysteries; The Joyful: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation in the Temple and the finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the Sorrowful: the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Luminous: The Baptism in the Jordan, the Wedding Feast at Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, the Institution of the Eucharist, and the Glorious: The Resurrection, The Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of Mary, the Crowning of Mary. Each of these mysteries should draw us closer to Jesus by reflecting with Mary on each event.
So while I can see Mary Kochan’s point about the need for Catholics to talk about Jesus, I can also understand this older man stating the he would ask the Virgin to pray for him. Mary leads us to Jesus. She tells us like she told those at the wedding feast “Do whatever He tells you.”
The Old Testament tells us about Solomon and how he brought a throne for his mother and seated her on his right. He respected his mother and sought her counsel. It stands to reason that Christ, who came not to destroy tradition but to fulfill it, would do likewise and seat His mother at His side.
Mary Kochan stated, “Why do I suspect that if many congregations of Catholics were polled as to whether Mary needed a Savior, a lot would answer “No, because she was perfect”? A loud buzzer and huge banner that unfurls the words: “WRONG ANSWER!” would come in handy.” She is correct. Mary was perfect because of Christ, Her Savior. She was chosen to be the perfect mother of God, but she could not have been so without Him. This is a very difficult concept to understand. The Baltimore Catechism No.4 tells us in Question 50 that, “The Blessed Virgin Mary, through the merits of her divine Son(emphasis mine), was preserved from the guilt of original sin, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception.” It goes on to explain in greater depth the doctrine of Immaculate Conception.
So, while we are free to call upon Mary to pray for us, it is Christ’s actions on behalf of all men and women that save us from the powers of the devil. It is Christ who saves us.
Most disturbing, perhaps, about this man’s “conversion” right before his death was this: “The Protestant took it upon himself to begin to regularly share the Gospel, as he understood it, with the Catholic man. “I explained to him, ‘Jesus died for your sins. You have to trust in Him. The Virgin Mary did not die for your sins. The pope did not die for your sins. No priest can save you. Only Jesus can save you. Finally a week before he died, he accepted Jesus as his Savior.’””
The Protestant man was correct in his assertion that Christ died for us all. The Catholic man, however, had been professing this all his life as he recited the Creed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried….”
We profess our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior each time we recite the creed. We need to be mindful of the words we speak, and not be simply mindless as we speak them.

Dear Lord,
Please help me to remember that You gave Your life for me on Calvary. Help to recall that You gave me Your mother as my mother while you hung on the cross. Help me to have a relationship with You.
Amen.