The Importance of Mary- A Former Protestant’s Take





“Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother.” -Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Reflection.   As a former Anglican, I never really could grasp the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the eyes of a Protestant.  As a newly converted Catholic, soon to be brought into Christ’s Church and true faith, I have not only come to realize our Blessed Mother’s importance, but come to embrace it, study it, and find out more.  The intercession of Our Mother is of utmost importance in our faith as Catholics, as well as the intercession of the Saints-

“Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!” (Psalm. 103:20–21)

(Please also see http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-intercession-of-the-saints)


 When I pray, as I have stated before, images often come to mind, sometimes it is the face of my Patron Saint Padre Pio, others it is the simple cross, but recently, just days ago, an image of Our Blessed Mother came into sight holding a rolled-up scroll, adorned at both ends with gold.  I can only imagine what this could mean, but it warranted enough for me to look closer at the Virgin Mother, to pray, and to reflect.  My interpretation is simply this.  Our Mother, unlike any other Saint, and only second to her Son and Our Lord, was there from the beginning all the way to the end of Our Lord’s earthly life, as protector of the Word.  She nurtured and loved her Son, as only a Mother can, from conception in the womb, to the base of the cross at Golgotha.  The message delivered to her, from the Angel of the Lord Gabriel, was one of not only profound importance  but a task that was insurmountable versus any task that we today will have or ever have.  She was to bear the man-God, the Savior  the Son Of God.  

Luke 130 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end.34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:37 Because no word shall be impossible with God.38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Truly this woman, above all was a special one.  From the beginning she knew that the task at hand was not only of a higher importance, but that it was not her own.  She knew from the beginning that her Son was God and that she served Him and Him alone.  Just like any other mother, she knew that His life was more important than her own, that he would be the Savior of mankind, to rule by example, and by purpose, to save all in His path.  She never once questioned, never once complained.  Even as her Son, was put to death on the Cross, did she ever once question His purpose, His divinity, His mission.   She set forth throughout her life a model for all after her to follow.  One of humility, one of devotion, one of faith. Even when she and Joesph found the twelve year old Jesus in the Temple, although relieved, she never questioned.  She knew why her Son had come, and she accepted that purpose and its fate from the very night she was informed by Gabriel.  Mary, protector of the faith, protector of the Word, protector and model of our Lord.  Let us never forget this, let us always ask for her intercession, let us always understand that Our Lord is merciful, Our Lord is true, and that with His love for us, anything is possible, and Mary never questioned nor waiver-ed from this knowledge.  For those in the Protestant community, it is still hard to grasp- why do I need Saints or Mary to intercede for me, especially when it is written that no man goes to God except through Jesus?  Well the question in itself is two fold.  Yes, you can always go through Jesus.  But as it is also written, the Angels, the Saints, and Mary, and fellow Christians are there for intercession.


Catechism
2634    Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners.112 He is “able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”113 The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us… and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”114 

2642    The Revelation of “what must soon take place,” the Apocalypse, is borne along by the songs of the heavenly liturgy127 but also by the intercession of the “witnesses” (martyrs).128 The prophets and the saints, all those who were slain on earth for their witness to Jesus, the vast throng of those who, having come through the great tribulation, have gone before us into the Kingdom, all sing the praise and glory of him who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb.129 In communion with them, the Church on earth also sings these songs with faith in the midst of trial. By means of petition and intercession, faith hopes against all hope and gives thanks to the “Father of lights,” from whom “every perfect gift” comes down.130 Thus faith is pure praise.

Praying for the intercession of Mary and the Saints is no different than asking a fellow Christian on this Earth to pray for you, your family, your tribulations, or your friends.  The only difference is that the Saints and Mary are there, in Heaven, with Our Father, praying on Our behalf.  Let us never forget that the Lord needs Our prayers, the Angels and Saints in Heaven’s prayers, to lessen the burden of the Cross, that is our Sins.  Let the Blessed Mother be an example to us all, never being afraid to ask for her protection and intercession  to Our beloved Lord, especially during this most Holy and glorious week.  God Bless!  ~CJA


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