Importance of MARY
The Importance of the Blessed Mother to Catholics.
I remember many years ago sitting in a waiting room with a group of strangers waiting to hear whether or not we would be called as jurors for an upcoming trial. We had been there three hours already and I was getting restless not knowing how long this process might take.
I struck up a conversation with the lady sitting next to me. Somehow we began talking about religion. She was Protestant and me, Catholic. As time went on we discussed our beliefs and she asked me why Catholics prayed to Mary and likened her to Jesus. I was shocked. I told her that we don't think of Mary in the same way we do God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. And that as far as praying to Mary, we really ask her to pray for us. She told me how surprised she was and that she really didn't understand it until now.
So, as I started listing the Madonna statues on my site, I felt it was important to give some background on the Blessed Mother and why Catholics honor her in our faith. I want our friends of other faiths to understand why she is important to us. At a time when our world is so divided over so many things, religion being one of them, it is so important for all Christians to come together, pray together and support one another, after all, we serve the same God and He would want it that way.
To begin, Catholics do Not worship Mary like we do our Lord and God Nor do we feel she rises to the same level as the Three in One, Trinity. She, however, as chosen by God, is seen as a means by which we can grow closer to Our Lord.
Mary was chosen by God to bear a child, the son of God, who would save us all from eternal damnation. By Christ's sacrifice and crucifixion, He would open the gates of Heaven for all believers. God chose Mary and so she was conceived without sin in order to carry Jesus in her womb. If you recall the story of the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel greets Mary and tells her she has found favor with God. And through the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon her, she will be the Mother of the Mesiah. Mary responds, I am the handmade of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word. So there are two very important points here: "We honor Mary as God's choice of Mother for His son. Also, Mary at that time was just a teenager and yet she showed such unwavering faith and trust in God. Once the plan was revealed, she believed it and accepted it as God's will. We, being like Mary in human form, can learn a great deal about trust and faith by her example and so we ask her for help in becoming more like her.
Mary was also the person closest to Jesus while on earth. She gave him life, she mothered him and protected him through his childhood and into adulthood. She walked the road of Calvary with him and suffered each step he took to the cross. She witnessed his resurrection and was a faithful follower. Who would know the human part of Jesus better than his mother? They shared a very close and special relationship. Not to take anything away from Joseph, but Mary was with him in his final days on earth and a follower after his death and resurrection.
The relationship between Jesus and His mother, Mary, and the important role she she played in his life is evidenced in the story of the Wedding at Cana. Jesus, Mary and the disciples were invited to attend a wedding. Soon into the feast, the wine ran out. This was considered a real embarrassment to the family in those times. Mary, not wanting the bride and groom to be embarrassed, went to Jesus and said, "They are out of wine" and He replied, "Women, what has this to do with me?" he continued, "My time has not yet come". She then says to the servers or waiters, do exactly as he tells you to do. It was then that Jesus asked the servers to go and get the urns and fill them to the top with water and then give them to the Stewart. After the Stewart samples the wine, he says this is much better wine, and questions why they waited until the end of the night to serve it.
The very First Miracle Jesus performs is at the prompting of his mother. This is a critical point in this story: After Jesus says, "My time has not yet come, Mary still tells the servers to do just as Jesus tells them. She shows tremendous faith. Make no mistake, we do not think Mary tells Jesus what to do. But we do feel that as His mother, her unshakeable belief in Jesus gives him strength and reassurance.
So if Mary's intercession can be the catalyst to Jesus' first miracle then it could be the catalyst for more miracles.
We believe that Mary's sole purpose is to work for the conversion of souls to her son Jesus. And that all her work and intercessions are for this end.
After Jesus was nailed to the cross, He hung his head and spoke to Mary and His disciple, John. He said to Mary, "Woman this is your son" and to John, "This is your mother". In that time of deep sorrow and suffering Jesus is not thinking of himself but his mother's well-being. He wanted to be sure Mary was taken care of. He loved her deeply. We also believe from His words that Jesus gives his Mother to all of us - to love her and to be loved by her. We see Mary, as our Heavenly Mother.
Therefore, as Catholics we see Jesus' Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as our Heavenly Mother. We ask her to pray for us just like you would ask your mother or father, family member or friend to pray for you today. We look to Mary as a great example of faith and love. We ask for Mary's help in being better, stronger followers of her son, Christ.
Coming soon.... What is the rosary?