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Is A Devotion to Mary Optional?

May 27, 2011
I have to be honest – while I grew up in an environment where devotions to Mary were very common – my Parish was “Our Lady of Guadalupe” – I didn’t ever really develop a special devotion to Our Lady. In fact, even calling Mary, “Our Lady” or “Our Blessed Mother,” seems a bit weird to me.
But I get it. I believe everything the Church teaches about Mary. I understand that her “Fiat” changed the world. I even like the idea that God entrusted the salvation of the world to the free will of this teenage girl. I honour her. I love her. I even pray to her; the Hail Mary is one of my default prayers. But I don’t know if I can say that I have a special devotion to Mary.
When we asked the question, “Is a devotion to Mary optional?” we received several varied comments: Aneta Maciejewski quoted Sr. Louis-Marie de Montfort: "If we would go up to God, and be united with Him, we must use the same means He used to come down to us to be made Man and to impart His graces to us. This means is a true devotion to our Blessed Lady." This is a quote from Montfort’s "Preparation for Total Consecration.” It is something I had heard and something I like very much. St. Louis de Montfort is also known for saying that one way to perfection is to be “cast in the mold of Mary.” That is also a very nice image.
At the same time, as Tom Finochio writes that, “We, as Catholics, honour Mary, I do however some times feel uncomfortable with the extreme expressions of that aspect of our Catholicism”,  so do I.  Sometimes, I find myself getting uncomfortable when I sense that people are separating Mary from Jesus, or that they are clinging to a Rosary or medal as it if were a talisman of sorts.
Join me tonight as I share perspectives on this subject with two priests who have special devotions to Mary and who have been consecrated to Our Blessed Mother: Fr. Pawel Ratajczak, OMI and Fr. Daniel Mentesana, IVE.
That’s tonight at 7:00pm & 11:00pm ET / 8:00pm PT.
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