instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The disciple of Jesus is the child of Mary

The place of our Blessed Mother Mary in the life of a Christian is a contentious topic between Catholics and Protestants -- or at least, between those Catholics and Protestants who still care one way or another. There are certainly plenty of Catholics who entered the Church as adults who say the Marian doctrines were the final hurdle (and even, I think, plenty who say they entered the Church despite not really getting those doctrines beforehand).

Most of the contention is due to ignorance or foolishness. When I started typing the previous sentence, I'd planned on ending it with "of the Protestants," because it is foolish to contend against what you're ignorant of (according to the old capere non potest principle, "it would be the height of folly for a simple person to assert that what a philosopher proposes is false on the ground that he himself cannot understand it"). But the ignorance of the Protestants would ordinarily be corrected by the knowledge of the Catholics, and I'm not sure we Catholics have enough knowledge of Mary to spare on correcting the ignorance of others, such fools are we.

Catholics ought to be neither triumphalistic nor diffident about devotion to Mary. We shouldn't say, "Honoring Mary is what Catholics do, so there!" Nor should we say, "Honoring Mary is what Catholics do, so don't worry about it."

Honoring Mary is what Christians do, and it's right there in the Bible.