I know that most of my readers here are Catholic, mostly women. Most get why I would create a Mary altar in my home -- see yesterday's post if you don't know what I mean. It's not because I worship Mary -- Mary's altar is not at all the same as the "the altar of the sacrifice and the table of the Lord." CCC 1383
But I also know that not all Catholics have a relationship with Mary. Some have tried but just don't "feel it." Some don't want to try. And some of my readers, mostly non-Catholics might not get it at all and think it fairly blasphemous.
Some religions declare that Catholics worship Mary (and other saints) by their mere collections of objects with her image on them.
The Catholic Church gets idolatry:
CCC 2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.Devotion to Mary is not worship. If that was the case, Jesus would be guilty, as He certainly had a devotion to His own mother.
Devotion to Mary is as natural as worship of Jesus, and some saints would say the former is required for the latter to be possible.
'Mary having co-operated in our redemption with so much glory to God and so much love for us, Our Lord ordained that no one shall obtain salvation except through her intercession.'--St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
The point I would like to get at is "why Mary" and I am reposting a short post from when I was consecrating myself to Mary, 18 months or so ago, when the answer was revealed to me:
As many of you may know, I am in the preparation period for a Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I am taking a "class" at church and our associate pastor, Fr. Adam, is doing a wonderful job of leading us to our heavenly mother and, ultimately, her Son, Our Lord. We have delved into significant scripture which teaches us about the life of Mary and her role in our salvation, and we have studied Chapter VIII of Lumen Gentium, which explains the Blessed Mother's role in the church.
We have also begun to go through, paragraph by paragraph St. Louis de Montfort'sTrue Devotion to Mary. This consecration is such a natural step for me, I wish that I had done it years ago.
Anyway, one little thing has been bothering me as I read True Devotion. Maybe not bothering, maybe that's too big a word. Maybe niggling, it's been niggling me -- just kind of pestering me in the back of my mind. I think it's from listening to too many EWTN open line radio shows, I've started to think from an apologist's perspective. I kept asking myself, if I was not me (which is a really stupid thing, because I am me) why would I do this? Why consecrate oneself to Jesus through Mary? Why not just go right to Jesus?
There are about a million answers to that question and they all add up to a perfect explanation of why Jesus though Mary, but I just wanted one, one very simple perfect explanation.
Last night I found it. It's a beautiful, perfect million dollar answer (bold emphasis mine):
From the True Devotion to Mary:
"Our Blessed Lady is the means Our Lord made use of to come to us. She is also the means which we must make use of to go to Him."
Oh, blessed St. Louis de Montfort. Your wisdom has saved many a soul.
I'd also like to direct your attention to an article posted at Lifeteen.com about "why Mary" titled "Top Five Reasons My Mama Rocks" just in case you still don't understand why I go to Jesus through Mary. It's a simple article but very good. And if you have teens, it's a great read for them.
The author's last paragraph:
If you’re like me and never got the whole “Mary” thing, I encourage you to ask her to reveal herself to you. Mary isn’t even close to being boring, distant, or dull. She is real, powerful, and a fire-ball of love for her son and for you. Since I began to have a personal relationship with Mary, my life has radically changed. She has taught me, protected me, and led me to great intimacy with her son. I now talk to Mary daily and she is an active part of my life. Her power is real! Open your heart to the Mother of all mothers, and let her rock your world as much as she has rocked mine!