I've been reading these forums for a while and would welcome some comments regarding Mary and her place is Christianity.
I'm Anglican by birth but was never religious growing up. I had a probable Kundalini/spiritual awakening in my early twenties. Initially I was more focused on the yogic paths and Buddhism but then became more focussed on Christ. At the moment I would describe myself as spiritual but not fundamentally religious but someone who follows Christ and wants to grow spiritually and be as helpful to others as I can be.
So I have no strong attachment to the protestant branch of Christianity and have enjoyed many Catholic saints writings (Master Eckhart, St John of the Cross for example). My question is how does Mary fit into it all? The bible is primarily focused on Christ Jesus and St Paul's clarifications. So why do Catholics focus on Mary so much in their prayers and contemplative practices? If Christ is the mediator between the Father and us, where does Mary fit in?
Hi Mark. Welcome to the forum.
I will share below a few links from The Catechism of the Catholic Church about Mary. See if you find these helpful.
Welcome aboard, MarkUk.
I'm not sure it's true that "Catholics focus on Mary so much in their prayers and contemplative practices."
Have a look at the order of the Mass:
It's essentially Trinitarian.
It's true that Mary is venerated in ONE of the prayers of the Rosary (the Hail Mary), but only one.
And if you look at other contemplative practices -- Eucharistic adoration, lectio divina, centering prayer, etc. -- they're not Marian at all.
I've had some of the same questions. I found these articles helpful for me.
The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, or Third Order of Teresian Carmel, welcomes, therefore, those of the faithful who, by special vocation, undertake to live in the world and evangelical life of fraternal communion imbued with the spirit of contemplative prayer, in imitation of the Virgin Mary, and animated with apostolic zeal according to the example and teaching of Carmelite saints.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is present in a very special way in the life of Carmelites. She is, first of all, their model in listening to the Lord and serving Him. She is also Mother of the whole Order, which enjoys her special patronage.
The Secular Carmelites' interior life must be permeated by an intense devotion to Our Lady. This will be manifested by honoring her daily by some particular act, and by wearing the holy Scapular of Carmel. This may, however, for good reason, be replaced by the Scapular medal.
Homily Pope Francis gave during the Mass 1/1/2014
According to the visions of Sr Emmerick ("life of Jesus") Mother Mary got trememdous blessing from Jesus right after the resurrection, even more than Petrus. After that all the apostles have always bowed to her, Petrus included.
Jesus said also to Sr Faustina Kovalski about 1930+ : "Me and My Mother are one !"
And finally .. . . . .
Dont forget Medjugorje !
I wonder if it isn't just about a heart connection. There are people outwith Catholicism who feel a real loving connection with her. I think she is simply a female spiritual vessel of Christ's universal light. I think that Mary Magdelen might be that too, and that both had real spiritual authority in the very early church, which may or may not have been snuffed out, manipulated, altered or fully realised according to your view of church history.
It seems to me that the understanding of Mother Mary's role in Christianity has been evolving.
And that changing this understanding almost split the Roman Catholic Church apart. So I've found a wide variation of beliefs about Mother Mary in Christianity.
Very nice spoken
And Mary appears to mankind more often than Jesus himself. She s very, very helpfull ! believe me !
I hope you all have looked over the links I posted above, as they summarize Catholic belief about Mary.
Jesus' visible manifestation now is Sacramental, which goes far beyond what an occasional Marian apparition communicates. Jesus' self-communication opens us to the flow of Spirit that comes through Him, transforming us in the depths of our being.
Mary points us to Jesus. Her final words in scripture are, "Do what He tells you."
Ministry itself, according to George Sumner ( Being Salt ), is mostly about self emptying and pointing towards Jesus. Mary shows us this to be the so.
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