It’s funny that the Mother of Jesus is such a sensitive topic. I mean, if God thought she was good enough to carry the Savior of the world, how could she be controversial?
But, controversial she is.
I think a lot of the problem comes from misunderstanding. Misunderstanding of Mary’s role in our salvation. Misunderstanding of the meaning of devotion. Misunderstanding of actions. Misunderstanding of confusing and sometimes, frankly, misleading language.
I’ll start with Mary’s role in our salvation. Throughout the Gospels, Mary has a role in Jesus’ life. Not the least part is her being the person who carried Him in her womb. Can you even imagine the grace involved in that? I can’t even begin to fathom. “Let it be done unto me according to your word” means nothing in our lives compared to what those words meant for Mary.
As a result of the understanding of her role, devotion to her is something that is accepted and encouraged in the Catholic church. Unfortunately, devotion to Mary is often seen as worship of Mary. But, our devotion is never intended that way. Another of Mary’s roles was to bring others to her Son. At the wedding of Cana, she brought Jesus to the servants, and told them, “Do as He tells you.” As we come to her, she tells us the same.
As we ask Mary to help us, lead us, and bring our intentions before her Son, these actions can be seen as worship. However, this devotion is not much different from how we look to spiritual leaders in our lives. We ask them to pray for us, we seek to imitate or follow their examples, and we tell them that we appreciate and love them for the ways they lead us to God. Why not go to the mother of our Savior? Why not look to someone who gave herself completely to God’s will?
Does Mary inspire you? How would you like to imitate her in your own life?