Do Catholics have an obsession with Mary?

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"Do Catholics have an obsession with Mary?" by Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh (CatholicMom.com)

Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (1609–1685)
Title: English: The Virgin in Prayer
Description: Giovanni Battista Salvi “Il Sassoferrato”, Jungfrun i bön (1640-1650). National Gallery, London. Via Mary’s Rosaries.com

Mary was chosen by God to give birth to the human nature of Jesus! He is our Savior. It is through her we receive Grace because it was through her we received Jesus.

St. Louis de Montfort said:

“Christ came to us through Mary, and it is through her that we go to Christ. Mary is the most perfect path to Christ. We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a means leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”

It’s not easy answering criticisms Catholic continue to receive for honor given to Mary. One woman wrote that while visiting Europe every Church is filled with recognition to Mary. Even when she went to confession she was told to say Hail Mary’s. She commented it was annoying to her because in her view the same importance wasn’t put on Jesus. Even though we know this isn’t true, do we have an obsession when it comes to Mary?

When this question came up during my CCD classes I would ask the kids this question, “When you want to share something important with your parents, do you always go to both parents or do you start with one parent more than the other?” Probably 90% of the time they answered they would start with their mom. I was a little surprised because I thought it would be 50/50; boys choosing their sad and girls their mom. They each stressed their answer with “I love my dad, but, most of the time it’s easier talking to Mom “about stuff.” They wanted me to understand it didn’t take away from their loving their dad. They knew that their mother would sometimes approach their dad for them or even with them from a different perspective. Or, maybe it was as simple as knowing their mom would forgive no matter what the situation. I taught middle school and high school and their responses were pretty honest. I would use their response as an example of why we ask Mary for intercessory prayer to Jesus.

I love writing about Mary. Quite frankly, the most responses I receive from articles I have written are when I write about Mary or my mother and her love for Mary. If I were to examine why she holds so much fascination for me, I suppose the number-one reason would have to start with my own mother; she never started a day without saying her Rosary. She believed without any doubt that Mary took her prayers to Jesus on her behalf. My mother believed that Mary was her direct line to Jesus!

Another reason I find myself close to Mary I think is because Mary was a mom. A mom understands what other moms feel. When I pray I will often talk to Mary as a friend or a fellow mother. I might say, “Please ask Jesus to watch over my family, or my children, or my grandchildren.” The prayer may start with her. Then I may say something to Jesus at the end of it like, “I humbly beseech this of you.”
The third reason is because she doesn’t stop with loving her own Son, Jesus. She shares her unconditional love with all of God’s children; this includes all of us. She proved this in so many ways; none more transparent than during her apparitions when she pleads with children to pray to her Son, Jesus. She loves her Son, and His Father above all else and encourages Churches to be built so they have a place of worship. She is the ultimate example of loving unconditionally. Her goal in her apparitions is to always bring love to her Son and His Father.

The final reason that I am enthralled with Mary is because she is like us; Mary was human. Perhaps it’s as simple as we can all be like Mary since we too are human. How is this possible? Mary stated her unending desire was to do God’s will. She proved this even while they crucified and murdered her Son. Admittedly it’s hard to be like her, always striving to do God’s will. She did it “full of grace” and we can too.

Our goal is to do God’s will above all else. We don’t always understand what that is but Mary didn’t know what would happen to her and she said, “Be it unto me according to thy word.”

Saint Maximillian Kolbe said:

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

I’m inclined to agree with him on this one!

Copyright 2017 Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh

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About Author

Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh (Cathy) completed her education in Special Education and English and now works as an Agent in the Insurance Industry. A mother and Grandmother, Cathy grew up in a large Catholic family and has spent the last 30 years as a caregiver for her husband, Jack. She is a cancer survivor which inspired her to begin writing six years ago.

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