“Mondays with Mary” – The Importance of Studying Marian Theology

I have often said on previous “Mondays with Mary”, in talks that I have given, and in classes that I have taught, my relationship with the Blessed Mother radically changed for the better after taking the course – Mary in the Modern World with Dr. Mark Miravalle at Franciscan University of Steubenville while I was a graduate student in the Spring 2009. The Blessed Virgin Mary is essential for our relationship with her Son and our King – Jesus Christ. She does not lead us away from him, but brings us closer to Him and continues to intercede for all of humanity throughout the centuries. Mary is our Queen Mother (1 Kings 2; Rev 12).

MaryAtFootOfCross

Many Catholics have a great devotion (not adoration [worship] – that is meant for God alone) to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and even though this is important, it is my opinion that we as Catholics should understand her intellectually as well. We must have correct knowledge of her importance in Salvation History, be able to explain who she is, and defend the doctrines proclaimed by the Church about her to those that believe incorrectly or otherwise. In my experience, Eastern Catholics know her much better than we do in the West. That is not to be a statement of competition; it’s just a fact. Having a devotion to her is important, but we can come to know her better by studying Mariology.

“Mondays with Mary” was developed to essentially do that very act – Help Catholics understand the Blessed Mother in an academic and intellectual way. When we have a better understanding of Mary intellectually, it will catapult us into having a more Marian Spirituality, which is a fundamental aspect of the Christian Life of Prayer. Being obedient to God’s will is exactly what the Blessed Mother did each day of her life; we must learn to be obedient to the will of God everyday of our lives.

With that being said, I give you the words of the Congregation for Catholic Education from their letter dated March 25, 1988 – The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation. They said…

“Acquire a complete and exact knowledge of the doctrine of the Church about the Virgin Mary, which enables them (students and seminarians) to distinguish between true and false devotion, and to distinguish authentic doctrine from its deformations arising from excess or neglect, and above all which discloses to them the way to understand and to complete the supreme beauty of the glorious Mother of Christ…

…nourish an authentic love for the Mother of the Savior and the Mother of mankind, which expresses itself in genuine forms of devotion and is led to “the imitation of her virtues,” above all to a decisive commitment to live according to the commandments of God and to do his will (cf. Mt 7:21; Jn 15:14)…

…develop the capacity to communicate such love to the Christian people through speech, writing, and example, so that their Marian piety may be promoted and cultivated…”

The document concludes that there are advantages of studying Marian Theology for the formation of one’s faith –

“…Intellectual level – so that the truth about God, about man, about Christ and about the Church are understood the more in understanding the “truth about Mary”…

…Spiritual level – so that such information will help a Christian to welcome the Mother of Jesus and “bring her into everything that makes us his inner life”…

…Pastoral level – so that the Mother of the Lord may be strongly felt as a presence of grace among the Christian people.”

Through study, prayer, and contemplation, we ask you, Virgin Mary – Blessed Mother of all Humanity to intercede for us, so that through studying you more, we may attain a closer relationship with you and Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help…Pray for Us!

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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