Some mistakenly think that Mary “gets in the way” of our relationship with Jesus. How far from the truth is this erroneous attitude. Mary’s role in our salvation has been willed by God. Enough said!
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is held in great honor by Christians, particularly the Catholic Christians, because of her unique role among all human beings as the Mother of God. Catholic tradition affirms that God prepared Mary for her role as the Mother of God from the first moment of her existence in her mother’s womb. Unlike every other human being but Jesus, Mary was not born into the condition known as Original Sin, the alienation of the whole human race from God. She was “full of grace” from the moment she was conceived in her mother’s womb. This special favor given to Mary is known as her Immaculate Conception. It did not exempt her from suffering; she endured great pain and sorrow in life. But she was and is always closest to God of any human being that ever lived, except Jesus.
Devotion to Mary is intense for many Catholics. For example, many poor and oppressed people experience her care for them in very special way. Listen with you heart to Mary’s own prayer of praise, the Magnificat, from the Luke’s Gospel account of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth when both women were pregnant. In this great prayer, so Jewish in its spirit, Mary proclaims her joy and hope that God’s promises to the poor and the lowly will be fulfilled through the baby she is carrying in her womb:
“My soul proclaims greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the All mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation,
he has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
To Abraham and his children forever.
Is there anyone who, listens to these words of Mary, does not long for a closer union with loving Heart of our Mother?