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Marianism

Catholics are sometimes being ridiculed by other Christians for their veneration of Mary. I can understand those who laugh at us.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, plays an important role in the Gospel. She agreed to get pregnant without being married, and this in a time where this was almost sure to mean her death. She raised up that boy who later became the saviour of the world. We know the important role of a mother for the social and personal development of a child. I think it’s okay that we talk to Mary when praying. Or would you refuse to talk to the mother of your best school friend?

I can confirm from own experience that the Rosary is a powerful prayer. You can pray it alone, in your family or in big groups. You can pray it when walking, swimming, waiting for a bus. You can pray it in your bed, in your kitchen, at school or at church. You can pray it when you are tired or ill and have no energy for finding your own words.

Marianism

Over-stressing the importance of Jesus’s mother Mary as the primary intercessor in prayer.

I have heard terms like “Queen of Heaven”, “immaculate conception”, or “perpetual virginity” and I must say that I don’t understand why they are still being used.

My notes after reading Medjugorje message expresses Pope Francis’s ‘Marian Classic’: Pope Francis, like is predecessor Benedict, acknowledges that “simple believers” are often a better guide to the faith than academic theologians. Hope in the maternal compassion of Mary has sustained individual people as well as whole peoples through their darkest moments. Francis’ skepticism arises from a more pastoral concern not to see those simple believers hoodwinked by people who manipulate Marian faith for their own ends. He is suspicious of some of the claims made by fervent Marian devotees. In November 2013 he declared that Mary “is not a postmistress, delivering messages every day,” in the context of answering a question about Medjugorje.

Note that I have never been in Lourdes or Medjugorje so far. I fear that I would feel disgusted by hypertrophied Marian devotion. On the other hand I can imagine that I would change my mind if I would go there for real.