It is a common misconception that Catholics worship Mary. Devotions like the Rosary, May crownings, and statues of the Blessed Mother give some who are not Catholic the impression that Catholics put Mary on the same level as God. This is not true, but it can happen that even Catholics get confused or worried that certain devotions are heading into dangerous territory.
A listener named Frank recently called in to The Patrick Madrid Show with just such a concern. He explained that his parish was going through the book 33 Days to Morning Glory in preparation for consecrating themselves to Jesus through Mary. He told host Patrick Madrid, “I know this isn’t true or Catholic teaching, but it seems to put Mary on a God-like level, and how we’re being souls for Mary. My wife is a convert and asked me and I kind of got stumped a little bit.”
Patrick responded, “I guess my reaction is that I’ve never detected anything like putting Mary on the same level as God. I mean, that would be blasphemy. That would be completely contrary to everything that the Church teaches.”
He asked Frank to remember, “Jesus said in John chapter 17, in His high priestly prayer to the Father, ‘I have given them the glory You have given Me.’ So Jesus Himself glorifies His own mother. Not just her, but all the friends and followers of Jesus. He glorifies His own mother.”
“We know that in choosing the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of God, God elevated Mary to a height so majestic and so beautiful and glorious,” Patrick explained. “There’s no honor that we could bestow on Mary that could even approach the honors that God has already given to Mary, by choosing her to be the mother of Jesus; by selecting her from all other women.”
God has already crowned Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, so any honors that we give her are simply acknowledgements of what God has already done in her. In terms of Marian consecration, Patrick explained that, while there are many practices that honor Mary in it, the purpose of it is to have Mary be our mother, guide us to her Son, and trust her to help us be Christians as she is.
“It’s a way of trusting yourself to her motherly guidance,” Patrick said. “And in seeing her in her rightful place. She was the first Christian. She’s the very first person to whom the message of salvation was given by an angel. And she said yes. She accepted Jesus, not only into her heart but into her body.”
“She’s not only the first Christian, but we see that she goes immediately to tell somebody else about Jesus. She gets up and brings Jesus to Elizabeth and Zechariah and John the Baptist. So she’s a model of Christianity. I could go on but I want you to be encouraged to see this not as some sort of elevating Mary to some improper place or giving her glory that she doesn’t deserve. Nothing we do can compete with the glory that God has already given her. And when we acknowledge that, and when we see her biblical place in the plan of salvation we say, ‘I want to be like her.'”
“Mary I trust myself to you. Pray for me that I can be like you, a good Christian.”
Listen to the full conversation below: