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Why We Shouldn’t “Gloss Over” Marian Devotion

August 22, AD 2017 4 Comments

I’ve always enjoyed learning about epic stories of martyrdom. Even as a young child of 8 or 9 years old, I would read, in awe (and a little bit of shock) about the ways in which holy men and women across the centuries have lived and died as witnesses of God’s love and mercy. In fact, in my zeal for learning about martyrdom, I’ve even found myself skipping over areas of a saint’s life, just to get to the “good parts” where I learn about his or her heroic death.

“So-and-so was a good child, blah blah blah…very devoted to Mary…tortured for the Faith-ah yes, here’s where it gets good.”

Learning about a saint’s martyrdom is fascinating, and it can seem extremely relevant. After all, since our world is facing much division and persecution, hearing the stories of the martyrs can give us people to whom we can relate. Shouldn’t we spend our time focusing on stories of martyrdom, and just “gloss over” other aspects of their lives?

The more I think about this, the more I realize something: We can talk about martyrdom all we want, but if that is the only thing we’re focusing on, we are missing the bigger picture. We miss the why. For example, we recently celebrated the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Many people focus on how St. Maximilian offered himself. We talk about his selflessness and heroic sacrifice as he literally gave his life for another person. For years, this is the sole image I had of St. Maximilian. It wasn’t until I reached college that I began to see the “bigger picture.” I learned about how St. Maximilian Kolbe was deeply devoted to Mary, and how his love for Mary was a strong, guiding motivation throughout his life.

We cannot simply “gloss over” Marian devotion or any other devotions that the saints have practiced, thinking that we should only focus on the “good” or “relevant” parts of their lives. These practices have formed the saints and made them who they are. Not only that, but Marian devotion will always be relevant. In fact, as our society quickly plummets downward into the chaos of moral relativism and disunity, growing in our devotion to Mary so that she may lead us to Jesus seems especially relevant.

When we read the lives of the saints, let’s not just focus on their gory martyrdoms or the mystical experiences that they had. Rather, let’s look at the whole picture of their lives, and learn from them so that we can strive for greater holiness too. Marian devotion is and will always be relevant, because Mary will never stop leading us to her son. So why gloss over it?

 

Photo credit: “Statue” by Momentmal via Pixabay. CCO public domain. 

About the Author:

AnneMarie Miller is a quirky, spontaneous woman who loves the excitement and adventure that each day brings. She also greatly enjoys making weird analogies that intertwine the Catholic Faith and everyday life. A recent college graduate, she currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, where she spends her days blogging, avoiding housework, freelance writing, and reading good books. You can hear about her adventures and contact AnneMarie through her blog, Sacrifice of Love (http://marianninja.blogspot.com).
  • douglas kraeger

    Why be devoted to Mary? Because we are trying to imitate her Son who, as God, has only one, single, infinite, indivisible, eternally in the present tense thought and whereby He eternally honors Mary and Joseph the way He did when He was in the flesh, as a child, and teenager, and adult, with unfathomable love, honoring both Joseph and Mary with true obedience. Mary and Jesus both perfectly honoring St. Joseph as the head of the family. To imitate and honor Mary, let us will to honor St. Joseph as the head of the Family the way Jesus does eternally.

  • The only one who draws us to the Son is the Father. Jesus said in John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    • Yes, and can the Father not choose to draw us to His Son through our fellow Christians, including those in the cloud of witnesses over our heads [Hebrews 12:1]? We are all one in the Body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:12].

      • I believe that when God draws, He uses temporal circumstances. In my case it was my curiosity that motivated me to consecrate or surrender myself directly to the Biblical Godhead, just to see what would happen. The Bible does not present any other object to surrender to; nor can it because no other object is God.