For many people entering the Catholic Church from a Protestant background, the Church’s devotion to Mary can be a real stumbling block. The false assumption that Catholics worship Mary is widespread, and that can make it hard for people who are looking into the Catholic Church.
Sarah Coffey is a convert to the Catholic faith and a newlywed, and she recently stopped by Morning Air® to share how she went from being afraid of Mary to making her a major part of her marriage.
Speaking of how she viewed Mary growing up in a Protestant landscape, Sarah said, “I often heard that Catholics worship Mary, and that’s kind of the general consensus among non-Catholics, unfortunately. So when I was in RCIA, I was actually really afraid of giving Mary too much attention because of that. At least the direction that I was coming from was that giving Mary too much attention and veneration takes away from Jesus. And I was just really afraid of opening that can of worms at all.”
“What helped me get over those fears was learning what the Church teaches about her, and really meditating on how she lived and how she loved throughout Scripture,” she continued. “And what was really a game-changer for me was realizing that everything that Mary does points to her Son. Whether it was at the Annunciation or the Wedding Feast at Cana or at the foot of the Cross, it’s always all about Jesus when it comes to Mary … and so that was kind of the turning point, when I realized that Mary is not someone you should be afraid of. That’s kind of when I wanted to figure out how to bring her into my life.”
But Sarah didn’t only bring Mary into her own personal life. She and her husband Jesse have made a point to bring Mary into their marriage as well. She shared what they do as a couple to bring Mary into their relationship, and how it has impacted them.
“We pray a weekly Rosary together, and that’s a really important part of our marriage and our devotion to her,” Sarah said. “It’s a time to be together, to pray, and to bring our petitions to Mary and just keep our marriage united in that way. And of course we have at least one image of Mary in every room of our apartment.”
“She’s the one we look to,” she explained. “Of course we look to Christ, but we also look to her in the good times and the bad times, and how we respond to certain situations. Whether it’s needing more humility or needing greater faith, we look to how she has such great humility and faith and trust in the Lord. She’s a great model for us in everything.”
But how do they find time in their busy lives to carve out a regular time to pray the Rosary as a couple? “We’ve done this since we first got engaged, and so we decided that we’re just going to pray one Rosary a week together,” Sarah said. “Sometimes life happens and we’re just not able to do it, but we try not to stress out about it too much. We just catch up with it later in the week. Really, it’s just a matter of making that part of our week. Even if we don’t feel like praying or if we’re tired, just making that something that we can do together.”
Sarah explained how making their relationship with Mary a part of their marriage has helped them not only during their weekly Rosary, but in other times when they need a mother’s comfort and protection.
“When I’m really stressed about something, and I know Jesse does this too, but when something is just really weighing heavily on me or both of us [the Rosary is] usually what we always turn to. Even just a decade or two immediately calms us down, helps us to focus and know that it’s all going to be OK, that nothing is impossible for God, and that Mary’s got us.”
Listen to the full conversation below: