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Protestants often accuse Catholics of worshiping Mary.
This isn’t always the case. I know a great deal of Protestants who understand the devotion to Mary but for the most part there is still a lot of confusion in the non-Catholic world on this issue. I know Protestants who agree with most of the teachings of the Catholic faith but still have a hard time with Marian devotion.
I can understand the confusion about Mary’s role in the Catholic Church.
I mean, if Catholic’s say they don’t worship Mary then why are they always talking about her? Why do they pray the rosary so much? There’s nothing wrong with asking these questions. Even a Catholic who doesn’t understand the practice should seek the answers to these questions.
There are very good reasons Catholics are so devoted to Mary. Here are seven.
7. Devotion Is Not Worship
A simple Google search for the word devotion produced the following definition – “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person”. The synonyms provided include faithfulness, fidelity and commitment. I am married and I am devoted to my bride. I have often said that I am in love, faithful, or devoted to my wife. Never have I been accused of blasphemy or worshiping my wife for saying such a thing.
Why is it the case that we are afraid to say we are devoted to Mary? If being devoted to her just means that we really, really, love her then how does that get confused with worship? I spend a great deal of time with my bride. When I am at work I often catch myself thinking about her and wondering how her day is going. I will often send her a text message to remind her that I love her. God is not jealous that I am devoted to my wife, that I spend time with her, or that I love her. When I love her I am honoring God.
Mary is family to me. I listen to her, speak to her and spend time with her as a way to express my devotion, or love, to her and as a way to honor God. We give to God what belongs only to God – worship. However, we can be radically in love with another human and totally devoted to them without fear of worship. That’s because real love has no fear of abandoning God for another since true love must first be grounded in Love himself. Our love for Mary leads us closer to God.
How? Well, that leads to reason number six.