For many people, particularly new converts or those who are looking into the Catholic faith, the Catholic emphasis on Mary can be puzzling. Why are there so many statues and prayers and paintings of Mary? Why do we pray to Mary at all? Shouldn’t we go straight to Jesus?
Recently on Heart to Heart with Mother Miriam, a listener called asking for Mother Miriam’s guidance regarding the Marian Consecration, a devotion introduced by St. Louis de Montfort. The caller was a convert from Protestantism and wasn’t sure how she felt about the concept of the Marian Consecration. Mother Miriam told her:
“You’re not consecrating yourself to Mary, you’re consecrating yourself to Jesus. When I did this devotion myself, some years ago after I entered the Church, I had the exact same questions. But it’s not consecrating yourself to Mary. It’s consecrating yourself to Jesus through Mary. As Jesus came to us through Mary, He is delighted when we trust the mother He gave us, and go back to Him through her.
It’s two-way: He comes to us through her and He loves us to come to Him through her. Someone described that Mary is no more in the way between us and Jesus as a limb would be on a tree. She brings us closer to Jesus, she doesn’t come between us and Jesus.
Nobody knows Jesus like His mother, nobody loves Him as Mary does. Nobody. And, in fact, Mary was the source for all the Gospel writers, for the writings of His birth and all of that, because they weren’t around. Mary was their primary source. To know everything about Jesus, Mary was their source. They gathered around Mary.
And so that’s the idea. It’s not that we can’t go to Jesus directly. It’s that He’s given us a mother, to know how to come to Him better, and quicker, and more perfectly, and more directly.
I’m at the beginning of a book, and the book likens Mary to the moon. The moon, it says, would be only a burnt-out cinder floating in the immensity of space without the sun. But with the sun, the moon gets its light from the sun and can light up the world. And so, Mary also would be nothing without her Son. She would be nothing. But with Him, she’s the mother of man, because He’s given her that role.
I was a Protestant for 18 years before I came into the Church, and I had no affection for Mary, I had no trust in the whole system, and all of that. Slowly, I got to know her and to understand more. A book that really, really helped me was The Mother of the Savior by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. It’s not popular reading like some other books on Mary, it’s a little deeper. But it’s what did it for me.
It set my heart on heaven, and when I finished that book, I didn’t understand too much, but I knew that God did much more with her than any of us will ever know, in making her the mother of God.”
Listen to the full conversation below:
Heart to Heart with Mother Miriam airs weekdays from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Pacific on Immaculate Heart Radio.