Katie Lambert, Kennesaw State University
Whenever I am having a discussion about my Catholic Faith with someone of a different denomination or faith background, one of the first questions that usually comes up is: “Do you worship Mary?” or “Why is Mary so important to you?”
These are very important questions to ask. However, they can be difficult to answer. I feel personally that this topic isn’t often deeply talked about. I know I never really thought about the answers to these questions until they were asked to me. It was then that I realized I was not completely sure of the answer. So I dove deep, looking for answers. What I found is beautiful and quite helpful in understanding the why’s and why not’s of both questions.
First, let’s start with, “Do we as Catholics, worship Mary?” The simple answer is no: We do not worship Mary. As Christians, we only worship one God … that will never change. So if that is the answer, why is it that there are misconceptions floating around still? One big reason for this is how we ask Mary or various saints, for help. When I took a step back, I realized how this could be quite confusing to someone unfamiliar with the Catholic Faith. When Catholics ask Mary for help, we are not praying to her; we are simply asking her to intercede for us. The practice of intercession is common among all Christians. Whenever we gather together in groups to pray, pray for others, or ask others to pray for us, we are practicing intercession.
Now, why should Mary be so important to us? Well, who’s better to ask for prayers than the Mother of God! Mary is the Mother of our Savior and is consequently vital in the story of salvation. Moreover, when you look at her remarkably pure and holy life, her total devotion to God, you start to realize just how special she is. Mary truly is the ultimate role model. The moment God asked her to give Him her human nature, to become the Virgin Mother of God, she humbled herself and said yes! “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38 NABRE). I am in awe of her unwavering commitment to God. She is the perfect example of what we all should strive to be like. How beautiful that Mary is so willing to be there for us in times of trouble; to help us with the tender heart of a loving mother.
Edited by Chris Centrella