It took me a little bit of time to figure out the Blessed Virgin was the “missing link’ when it came to my spiritual life.
In fact, this link is what is missing for many a Catholic, believe it or not. But it is the Protestants who really struggle with Mariology.
Some Catholics believe that Protestants have a hatred for our Lady, but that’s not so at all. Protestants believe that Mary was blessed indeed to have been chosen as the “vessel” to bear our Lord. They believe she is either in heaven or awaiting the final judgment like all the Saints. There is no doubt in a Protestant’s mind that Mary is “saved”. So we can’t call that a hatred of the Virgin.
What they do hate are statues of Mary or anything that looks like worship of Mary. This comes from a good place.
When Protestants prayerfully consider converting to the Catholic faith, they become petrified of committing idolatry by “worshiping” Mary.
They don’t understand the difference between Latria, which is a reverence directed only to the Trinity, dulia (veneration of Saints) and hyperdulia (the type of veneration relegated to Mary).
So when I first entered the Church, even though I understood the concepts, I was not completely at ease and it took me a little while to pray for her intercession.
However, when I did, I grew to understand that it was a sure path to sainthood.
5 Ways The Blessed Virgin Can Help You Become a Saint
1) Have a Complicated Relationship with Your Mom? Turn to Mary
Wouldn’t it be great if all mother-child relationships were loving?
Unfortunately, it’s not the case.
We should do our best to cultivate a good, loving relationship with our earthly mother, but even when have difficult relationships, our heavenly Mother is there for us.
Mary is the spiritual mother of all mankind. When Jesus was on the cross, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son” and he said to John, “Behold your mother” (John 19:26-27). The Church has always taught this to mean that that passage signifies that Mary’s role from henceforth was as mother of all.
Saint Mother Teresa said,
“If you ever feel distressed during your day — call upon our Lady — just say this simple prayer: ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.’ I must admit — this prayer has never failed me.”
2.) Feel Unworthy to Approach Our Lord Jesus? Approach the Mother of the King
I’m not someone who ever felt like I couldn’t approach our Lord, due to my Protestant upbringing, but I know it is a real problem for some. You can’t go wrong going to Mary because all she will say is “Do whatever she tells you”.
This brings up the concept of “To Jesus through Mary”.
St Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church, in “The Glories of Mary“, says:
“In His eagerness to show you mercy, God has given His Son as your Advocate. And then to make your confidence even stronger, He has given you another Advocate, who obtains through her prayers whatever she asks. Go to Mary, and you will see salvation.”
Devotion to Mary leads directly to the heart of Jesus. Talk about networking!
3) You Learn to Imitate Mary
If we love Mary then we should make a concerted effort to imitate her holy virtues.
“In the classic Marian text, True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort there is a number where the saint lists the ten most important virtues that Mary practiced. Here they are: her deep humility, lively faith, blind obedience, unceasing prayer, constant self-denial, surpassing purity, ardent love, heroic patience, angelic kindness, and heavenly wisdom.(True Devotion to Mary # 108) Knowledge generates love; love generates following; following generates imitation; imitation of Mary generates sanctification!” CatholicExchange.com
Women especially, can learn to imitate the virtues of Mary, as we are bombarded daily with feminist propaganda. Sometimes we don’t know what true femininity looks like. As it pertains to men, a man who loves his Mother, will never be a man who abuses a woman.
4) The Blessed Virgin’s Mantle Protects Us From Impurity – the Greatest Enemy of Our Souls
We have recourse to the Blessed Virgin when it comes to the sins that are most likely to send us to hell. I’m speaking of sins of impurity. Our Lady of Guadalupe said to Juan Diego, “Are you not under the mantle of my protection”?
When we are tempted with sins of impurity, we can hide like little children under the Blessed Virgin’s Mantle.
“Yes, Mary is aflame; the Catechism tells us she is the burning bush (Ex 3:2), radiating fire without being consumed (CCC 724). But hers is a purifying fire—purifying us so that she might draw us ever closer to herself, under the loving protection of her mantle. She does this always out of love, not out of a desire to judge us or humiliate us. You can see this love in Our Lady of Grace’s hands. She does not hold them up like a traffic cop, to push us away. Her palms are always open, inviting us near. Through drawing us with maternal care into her own love, she enables us to grow in that same Holy Spirit love—the love that will draw us closer to one another and to God.”My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, by Dawn Eden
5) A Devotion to Mary Means We Have a Strong Advocate At the Hour of Our Death
I believe this is one of the most important links that a Protestant is missing. We rely on God’s mercy, sure. We pray that God will spare us and we pray for the grace of final perseverance. However, we can do better than that. We have a strong advocate for us at the hour of our death. Some quotes about Mary’s role as advocate:
“Turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.” From the Hail Holy Queen.
“Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death”. The Hail Mary.
“Whoever Dies Piously Wearing This Scapular, Shall Not Suffer Eternal Flames”. Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
There are many more, but what a consolation it is to know that our Mother will intercede for us fiercely at the hour of our death.
The Blessed Virgin is indeed the missing link, not just for Protestants, but for those who want to reach greater spiritual heights and a greater understanding of our Lord.
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- The Glories of Mary by St Alphonsus Liguori; ” One of the great doctors of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori assembled the finest information on Our Lady from the many writings of the saints, holy authors, and Sacred Scripture.”
- Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn: “Scott Hahn illuminates a fresh and enlightening perspective on Mary, Mother of God, and her central importance in the Christian faith.”
- Manual for Marian Devotion by the Dominican Sisters of Mary: “The Manual for Marian Devotion will deepen your relationship with Mary and, in doing so, draw you closer to her Son.”
- Mary, the Church at the Source by Hans Urs von Balthasar & Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: “Two great theologians endeavor to recover the centrality of Marian doctrine and devotion for the contemporary Church, offering a spiritually rich approach to Mariology that brings into new relief the Marian contours of ecclesial faith. “
- True Devotion to Mary: with Preparation for Total Consecration (St Louis de Montfort: “True Devotion to Mary is St Louis de Montfort’s classic statement on the spiritual way to Jesus Christ though the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
- The World’s First Love by Bishop Fulton Sheen: “Fulton J. Sheen presents a moving portrayal of the Blessed Virgin Mary that combines deep spirituality with history, philosophy and theology.”
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