My latest article for Inside Catholic

25 11 2009

On Mary, her critics, and Catholic culture


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25 11 2009
Mike Phillips

Thank you, Arturo, for a much-needed reminder of what it is to be Catholic. I have followed your blog for a few months now and I share your concerns.

I am a Catholic convert of 45 years now, and it is only in the last seven years that I have developed a deepening devotion to Our Lady Mary through the Rosary. I was always aware over the years how much further I still had to go to be a real Catholic, that is, a Catholic fully and habitually immersed in the traditional practises of born-Catholics. And now I am discovering among others devoted to the Mother of God, the deep truly Christian gentleness and humility in them that can only come from devotion to her. Fully developed devotion to Our Lady and the Saints is all of a oneness with Christ: there can be no separation.

To aver “necessary but not sufficient” is typical of the rationalizing spirit of today. It castes doubt on Tradition and the Faith of the Church. I taught at a Marist school for many years, and after a while the message from the clergy was that we should “do as she does”: obey Christ. What this really meant was to caste doubt on devotion to Mary. In practice, the Rosary was discarded in the school’s life. We were meant to see her as a model, an abstraction of motherhood, an example, but one does not place an image or statue in one’s room to Motherhood, or to Humility. One kneels in confidence to one’s real Mother – Our Lady, Mary – and asks her for favours from Our Lord. And through her, our Mother, we are placed solidly – the Father’s children.
In Australia and New Zealand where I live, it is mainly the non-Irish, the non-Anglo and the non-Italian immigrants who still have an abiding family-based devotion to Our Lady: the Poles, the Lebanese Maronites, the Catholic Asians, and the Latin Americans.

So many miracles of Faith and healing are wrought through her prayers and those of the saints. How sad to see such opportunities for grace go amiss among so many.

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