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England would be a more hopeful place if it rediscovered its devotion to Mary

The trouble is that once a tradition has been destroyed, how do you revive it again?

By on Monday, 15 August 2011

The feast of the Assumption is celebrated in style by Maltese on the island of Gozo

The feast of the Assumption is celebrated in style by Maltese on the island of Gozo

Here in England we have just celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption, which usually falls on August 15. I fear most people will have missed the significance of the date, but in the rest of Europe it is not so. In Italy the Assumption is a major holiday, coinciding as it does with the mass rush to the mountains and the sea, known as the ferragosto, the annual holiday that takes place in the very hottest days of the year. In the Maltese islands, the air echoes with petards during the day, and fireworks at night, as six parishes celebrate the Assumption as their patronal feast, including the Cathedral of Gozo.

Even in oh so secular France, August 15 is a day of celebration, partly because it is the Assumption, and partly because it is the birthday of Napoleon I: during the years of the Bourbon Restoration, the populace used the feast of the Assumption to mask their celebration of their national hero.

So, looking around Europe, dull old England is not really the place to be at this time of year, and I am resolved to be elsewhere next year – I hope in Gozo: there is something about the sun, the sea, and the taste of the local speciality, pastizzi, that bring out the true significance of this feast for me.

The Germans, with their down to earth language, call the Assumption “Mariä Himmelfahrt” – Mary’s journey to heaven. This reminds us, I think, that the Assumption is a feast about a physical fact – Mary’s body now being assumed into heaven – and that where she has gone, we too all hope to go one day as well. I doubt the fear of Hell grips many people nowadays; but just as belief in Hell has waned, so has a true belief in Heaven. Heaven, as the Assumption illustrates, is in continuity with this life, a life in the body, the glorified body. As I gradually fall apart and feel mortality creep up on me, I am cheered by the thought of a glorified body awaiting me, if I am saved. As summer begins to show the very first signs of fading, I am encouraged by the thought of an eternal summer, that contains within it no hint of its own decay.

Hope is the great message we need to hear. When those dismal killjoys, the so-called reformers, burned the statues of Our Lady at the time of the Henrician Reformation, and after the iconoclasts had done their terrible work of destruction, the people of this country were left without beautiful images, and left without a proper Marian theology, and thus, in large measure, without hope. We need to rediscover our Marian devotion, and we need to cheer up, and look to the future with confidence. These three are all connected; they are in fact one task. The trouble is that once a tradition has been destroyed, how do you revive it again? Unlike Italy, Malta, or even France, England seems to me to be a culturally impoverished place, and religion has been excised from the popular imagination, leaving us all the poorer for it. We are no longer Mary’s Dowry, but we need to become so again. But how?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhyssmogs Rhys Morgan

    Maybe we should send those murderers or bankers to Italy or Malta?  I know its August and the silly season but really……

  • http://www.kerrywalters.net Kwalters

    Excellent!  thanks!

  • October671

    Yes I agree. Here in Eastbourne the Feast Day usually falls during Airbourne, so I can celebrate the Assumption al fiesta, though no-one else realises!

  • Anonymous

    Go to Walsingham at Assumptiontide and experience the joy of Christians celebrating Our Lady – the Anglican shrine does it best !!

  • Ianbonner

    I usually manage to be in France or Belgium for this Feast. This year alas I failed: but I attended the Byzantine vigil for Sunday at Chevetogne (Belgium); skipped Sunday Mass in England; and attended the Greek Orthodox Liturgy for the Assumption (Dormition) in my home town of Cambridge. I hate picking and choosing my religious observance,but the call on the 15th of August to be with the Catholic and Orthodox world is too strong.
    IGB

  • Anonymous

    Well here in Scotland, it was a day of special devotion. Largely ignored by Catholics as it is not  a Holyday of Obligation this year. Yes, this year.!! Our Bishops have decreed that because the feast falls on a Monday it is not a Holyday. You could not make it up. It may be a Holyday next year, who knows, but by then so many more people will have forgotten what a Holyday is. Our Lady must be weeping at Her childrens folly. 

     o

  • Anonymous

    I agree about the neglect of this wonderful feast of the Assumption in the UK. In our church yesterday there was nothing special at all to make it a feast. The organist was on holiday (so no hymns or music). There was nothing apart from a good sermon decrying the stance taken by the Bishops of England and Wales over moving it from its proper day and we did all say the Hail Holy Queen; better than nothing, just.

  • Anonymous

    Without attempting to offend you here, i would be infinately more pleased with a return to Christ first. Lets start with peoples names in the book of life and see what happens next.

  • Anonymous

    As Our Lady was the first Christian. The highest honour of our race. Our mission is, like hers, to make Christ known to mankind. So devotion to Her in no way detracts from a return to Christ. Quite the opposite.

  • Just Sayin’

    Name even one thing that devotion to Mary could achieve that devotion to Jesus couldn’t?

  • http://www.kerrywalters.net Kwalters

    But really.  What’s the point of that sort of a question?  If you’re not a devotee of Mary, leave others who are in peace.

  • Adam Thomson

    Quite so. The hope of heaven, and a resurrection body is a thoroughly New Testament hope. But where do the Scriptures relate it to the experience of Mary? They relate it entirely to Christ. HE ascended bodily into heaven. He said to his disciples ‘I go and prepare a place for you … that where I am there you may be also’ – John 14.3. (Not, ‘that where my blessed Mother is you may be also’.) The whole of 1 Corinthians 15 is about the resurrection body, but not a word about the Blessed Virgin.

    Maybe we have something to learn from “those miserable kill-joys, the so-called reformers” in their emphasis upon following the Scriptures. 

  • Adam Thomson

    (To Fr Lucie-Smith)

    What exactly were the joys that the reformers wanted to kill?

  • Parasum

    “We are no longer Mary’s Dowry, but we need to become so again…[t]he trouble is that once a tradition has been destroyed, how do you revive it again?”

    By reviving it. The Universal Living Rosary Association has over 12 million members worldwide. It grew from nothing, in 1986, when a married couple decided to revive the Universal Living Rosary Association founded in 1832, which had died out. If a good & useful & fruitful practice or idea or emphasis has died out, it can be revived.

    If you wish for devotion to the Mother of God, practice it, preach it, recommend it. There are so many ways in which it can be promoted: Marian associations of the faithful like the Legion of Mary or the Living Rosary Association; prayers such as the Rosary itself, or the Litany of Loreto; the Marian scapulars; making books about her & devotion to her known; holy cards about her and her privileges and graces and titles; the Little Hours of the Virgin Mary. There is so much that can easily be done – there must be a huge amount of material in cyberspace. There is so much that can be done, and so easily. Is anyone not capable of spreading devotion to her ? Surely not.

  • The Moz

    What a strangely relaxing holy piece. Thank you. God bless.

  • Adam Thomson

    “… the people of this country were left without beautiful images, and left without a proper Marian theology, and thus, in large measure, without hope.”

    They had the Scriptures. Do the Scriptures not give us a proper Marian theology? What proper Marian theology can we learn from beautiful images that we can’t learn from Scripture?

    How can people with the Scriptures be ‘in large measure without hope’? The apostle Paul saw the Scriptures as the instrument of hope. ‘For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope’ (Romans 15.4).

  • Parasum

    If love for Mary meant we had to subtract love from Him to give to her, that would amount to saying that He is to be loved, not with all our heart and mind and strength – but with very nearly all; the remainder would be taken from what we owe Him, & given to her, a mere creature. We would be robbing God, and committing idolatry. In fact, we would be doing so every time we loved our neighbour, as our neighbour is our fellow-creature. Yet we have the two great commandments of love for God and neighbour. Our neighbour is to be loved in God, as a way of loving God. 

    So there are not two loves, but one love, shown in two different ways. Mary is included in Christ; she is not independent of Him – let alone a rival to Him. His Uncreated Divine Person contains her, a created & human person. She is our neighbour; & He is God Incarnate. So there are two persons to love; and she is is found only in Him. She is like a living magnet: for all her attractive power, all her holiness, all her graces, everything she is and has and does, is not hers, but His, realised through her. She is an open window, He is the Sun who shines through her, and acts through her. Love of Mary is of itself and by its very nature a form of love for Him. Her intercession for us, is a form of His intercession for us, because all His Saints are in Him, so where He is, they are; and their love for us is nothing but His Love, realised through them, who are members of His Body. He can’t be divided from Himself, or set against Himself. She is not an obstacle, to be removed or got over, but an instrument, through whom her Son works.

    So the question, as phrased, makes a distinction where none exists; for her power & love are in reality His  through her. She can do nothing without Him.

    From Father Faber’s “All for Jesus”:

    “Love of Mary is but another form, and a divinely appointed one, of love of Jesus: and, therefore, if love of Him must grow, so also must love of her. If a person were to say, “you must not mingle prayer to Mary with prayer to Jesus”, he would show that he had no true idea of this devotion, and that he was already on the brink of a very dangerous error. Yet people sometimes thoughtlessly speak as if devotion to the Mother was a little trifle allowably cut off from devotion to the Son, that it was something surrendered by Jesus to Mary; that Jesus was one thing, and Mary was another, and that devotion to the two was to be divided between them proportionably to their respective dignities, say a pound to Him and an ounce to her. If such persons really saw what they mean, which they do not, they would perceive that they were talking impiety. Love of Mary is an intrinsic part of love of Jesus, and to imagine that the interests of the two can be opposed, is to show that we do not understand Jesus, or the devotion due to Him, If devotion to Mary is not already, and in itself, devotion to Jesus, then when we show devotion to her we are consciously subtracting something from Him, and so actually robbing God, which is sacrilege. So that when people tell us to keep within bounds, to moderate our devotion, and not to go too far, or to do too much for Mary, they are not, as they fancy, securing to Jesus His rightful honour, but they are making the horrible confession that they themselves do take something from Jesus to give to Mary, though they are careful it should not be very much. How dreadful this sounds, when put in plain words. Devotion to Mary can get wrong in kind; it can never err in degree. If love of Mary be not love of Jesus, if devotion to Mary be not one of His own appointed devotions to Himself, aye, and the chief one too, then my theology as well as my love tells me, I can have no room for Mary at all, for my heart cannot adequately hold Jesus as it is.” [pp.154-155]

    http://www.archive.org/stream/allforjesus00fabegoog#page/n178/mode/1up

  • http://britologywatch.wordpress.com David Rickard

    Why does the title refer to ‘Britain’ but the rest of the article talk of ‘England’? There’s no shame in talking only of England not Britain, and in hoping for a revival of Marian devotion and indeed of Roman Catholicism in general in England.

    Indeed, England still is and always will be Our Lady’s Dowry: she hasn’t lost faith in England even if England has lost its faith in her. The question isn’t, “once a tradition has been destroyed, how do you revive it again?”. Only Our Lady can restore in England a knowledge of her pivotal role in our salvation and a corresponding devotion to her on the part of the people. We just need to entrust our own hearts and redemption to Our Lady Queen of Peace, and let her do the rest.

  • AidanCoyle

    Two very interesting posts from Parasum and Mr Thomson that lay before us (a) a well-reasoned theological rationale for honouring Mary and (b) the standard Scripture-based objection to this. Not yet being privy to ultimate answers (!), I vacillate between the two positions but I have always wondered about the basis of Catholic devotion to Mary, given the paucity of elaborated references to her in Scripture. I can’t help wondering about the extent of projection of the idealised comforting mother that goes on in devotion to Mary, serving a variety of psychological purposes for devotees. There are also excellent socio-historical accounts of the development of the cult of Mary (Marina Warner’s remains the most fascinating of these for me). Of course the existence of good quality psychological and socio-cultural explanations does not mean that a theological reality is not also present.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    The joys that are usually summed up in the traditional picture of “Merry England”: the fasts and feasts of the Catholic Church, which were destroyed by an iconoclastic Puritanism, which reached its high watermark with Oliver Cromwell, but which persists in the dourness of certain reformed traditions to this day. The aniconic emphasis of Protestantism and the wholesale destruction of artworks at the Reformation – a tragic loss attested by the very few surviving pieces such as the Wilton Diptych – surely makes our country a less happy and colourful place. Neither do i see the necessity for destroying works of art and abolishing millenial customs in order to appreciate Scripture. One can, and one does, one hopes, do both.

  • AidanCoyle

    From our 21st century standpoint, the iconoclasm associated with the Reformation can seem a barbaric and unjustifiable over-reaction. However, if we can really appreciate the intellectual and religious world of the time and the iconoclasts’ understanding of what was at stake here, as well as relevant political considerations and the psychology of the group, their actions are eminently understandable. Regrettable from a purely aesthetic point of view perhaps but nonetheless understandable.

  • http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/ The Catholic Herald

    Thank you – that is a good point. The headline, which was not written by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, has been corrected.

  • Adam Thomson

    I agree with you. It is certainly to be regretted when noble works of art are destroyed, but if the “dismal killjoys, the so-called reformers” were right in their assessment of what was at stake, then they had Biblical justification for what they did. One thinks of Moses’ destruction of the Golden Calf, which presumably had artistic merit and was certainly an object of great historic interest. Even more instructive is Hezekiah’s destruction of the Brazen Serpent (2 Kings 18.4). That had been created by Moses himself at the express command of God, but because it had become an object of idolaty it had to go. It does not follow that either Moses or Hezekiah was lacking in artistic appreciation. And if the “dismal killjoys the so-called reformers” were motivated by the same spirit, their motivation at least was not only understandable but comendable.

  • Adam Thomson

    Thank you.

  • Aidan Coyle

    It’s just occurred to me, Adam, that perhaps we should avoid using the phrase ‘at stake’ when discussing the Reformation…

  • Adam Thomson

    Er, yes! You might be right!

  • Aunt Raven

    I’ll name one:  Since she gives us her immaculate heart, then we by her gift can worship Jesus in and with her the perfect and sinless love of her heart–which is much superior to the love which our even repentantly sinful hearts can manage.   But she won’t push this gift of her own perfection on us.  If you don’t want it, she respects that–she’s kind and courteous, like her Son.

  • Aunt Raven

    The church honors sacred tradition as much as sacred scripture.  Jesus in the Gospels said to his Apostles, “Many other things I have to teach you, but you could not bear it now.  But the Holy Spirit, when He comes, will teach you everything.”  He’s saying right there not all truths are revealed in scripture, but that as we are ready for it, we will receive deeper insights into reality; and the assumption of Mary is one fact that actually affirms that as she is, –so shall we be– resurrected not only soul, but body as well, into eternal life.  

  • Aunt Raven

    Our Lady has already revived a tradition considered “destroyed” –just look up “Alfred Hope Patten” and see how heaven used him to singlehandedly revive Anglican devotion near the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham; and then look of “Charolette Boyd” who did the same thing for the Catholic Shrine.  
    These two accomplished this astonishing revival without knowledge of each other, in approximately the same era.  Our Lady obviously guided both, as well as the Orthodox Church priest (?) who initiated the Orthoxox shine in the same place.  At no other holy place are these three churches one in a holy purpose–un-heard of elsewhere, and only possible by some kind of gentle miracle.  By the way, Our Lady of Walsingham is the ancient patroness of England, and there is a prophecy which says that when England as a whole returns to the Old Faith, –she will return to Walsingham.  This is interesting inasmuch as the exact site of the ancient shrine belongs to no church, but is in private hands.  The ancient statue which once stood in the mediaeval shrine is reported burnt at Chelsea in 1536, however another madonna reported burnt at the same bonfire was smuggled to Nettuno,  Italy where it is venerated as “The English Lady” to this day. When the time comes, the lost madonna of Walsingham will be found and restored to the original shrine site, and then the three shrines will be one.  Wait, pray for this, and see.   

  • Aunt Raven

    The joy of freedom of religion.  Catholics were told, “become Anglican or die.”  Not a joyful choice.  

  • Aunt Raven

    Wow–you really believe that, –because the “reformers” wrote succeeding history books, which you have read. If you are as open-minded and scholarly as I think you are, –you owe it to yourself to read “Stripping of the Altars” by Eamon Duffy.  It’s a surprizing, well-researched revisionist academic work of reformation- era sociology, and presumes of the reader a serious knowlege of history which I’m guessing you have.  (It wasn’t originally intended for a non-academic readership, but astonishingly, it became quite popular among intellectuals, even non-religious ones) Read it and see if you still think that “The iconoclasts’  understanding. . . and relevant political considerations and psychology. . .are still understandible”.  Actually they are perfectly understandable, but what I want you to re-examine and consider is whether   the Reformers were “honest and sincere” in what they did to the social and communal fabric of English society, and whether England was improved by it.  

    As a sidelight, the eccentric and non-too-admirable “Vicar of Bray-ish Pastor of the parish of Moorecroft fascinated Duffy while writing the above book, and he wrote a hugely entertaining but chilling worms-eye-view of the reformation from the point of view of a backward and poor parish in the west country.  Parts of it are hilarious, parts tragic, but it will make you re-think a lot of what you thought about the Reformation as “A Good Thing.”  

  • Anonymous

    “Maybe we have something to learn from “those miserable kill-joys, the
    so-called reformers” in their emphasis upon following the Scriptures”

    Indeed we do.  The lesson of rejecting the primacy of conscience, lest we splinter into 40,000 denominations all at odds with one another.  And faithfully follow the teachings of the Magisterium of the only true Church on earth.

  • Adam Thomson

     “Catholics were told, ‘become Anglican or die.’”

    I deplore that as much as you do. But remember that Scottish Presbyterians and English Dissenters suffered much the same treatment when they didn’t conform to the Anglican establishment.

  • Adam Thomson

    “He’s saying right there not all truths are revealed in scripture.”

    They obviously weren’t recorded in Scripture at the time our Lord was speaking, since no part of the New Testament had been written. But surely the natural interpretation of our Lord’s words is that after Pentecost the Holy Spirit would teach the apostles (to whom his words are addressed) everything (‘all the truth’). We know that the apostles then produced the Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles and the Book of Revelation. To interpret our Lord’s words as meaning that apostles would never know and teach all that the Church needs, seems to me to be more or less the opposite of what the Lord is promising. 

  • Parasum

    “But where do the Scriptures relate it to the experience of Mary? They
    relate it entirely to Christ. He ascended bodily into heaven.”

    ## Whereas she was taken up, & did not ascend. In no way is she the equal of her Son; no creature could be. The Ascension is part of the Glorification of Christ, as the cloud imagery St.Luke’s text suggests; for clouds are often a sign of the Presence of God in the OT. The passages about the Ascension are not about the Atonement, but it would be strange use them against the Atonement; and it is equally strange to use what is said so as to glorify Christ & show Who He is as a objection to belief about His mother.

    “(Not, ‘that where my blessed Mother is you may be also’.)”

    ## Indeed not – that passage is not about her, but about Him. One might as well try applying Romans 3.23 to Christ, in order to make it an objection to His sinlessness – the solution to that is to point out that, in St. Paul’s argument in this passage, He is the Father’s remedy for sin, & is not in the class of people who have “come short of the glory of God”.  Taking doctrines & opposing to them positions that are not implied by the verses used against them, is not an objection of any weight.

    Most of the NT – 4,000 or so verses – is not about the Blessed Virgin; but how is that an objection ?  As  she is a creature, and therefore, just like any other member of the Church, a recipient of the salvation of Christ & of the grace of Christ & the redemption & renewal brought out by Him; & as the grace of the Resurrection comes as truly to her as to any other Christian – there is no reason to separate her from the rest of Christians. Nothing in 1 Corinthians 15 sets her apart from us.

  • AidanCoyle

    I read it long ago thanks, Aunt Raven, and I agree that it’s a valuable contribution to our understanding of the complexity and diversity of the Reformation in England. And I do still believe that the iconoclasts’ actions were readily understandable in the terms I alluded to. Note, though, that understanding their actions is not the same thing as saying those actions were commendable, whether we’re evaluating them in theological or aesthetic terms.

  • Anonymous

    This blog post entitled ‘Beautiful Practices to Bring Back to our Catholic Faith’ will help England find its devotion to the Catholic Church, let alone its devotion to Mary.

    http://catholicgadfly.blogspot.com/search/label/Catholic%20Traditions

    Definitely worth a look!!!!!

  • Caeli

    As in England, so in South Africa. All we can do, Father, is pray.

    Caeli

  • Kennyinliverpool

    Vatican II ended the popular folk religion of middle aged women and attempted to make people read the Bible – what a scandal!

  • Ianbonner

    I usually manage to be in France or Belgium for this Feast. This year that was impossible,but I went to the Byzantine Vigil at Chevetogne for the Sunday; skipped Mass in England on the 14th; and attended the Greek Orthodox Liturgy for the Assumption in my home town of Cambridge (I am fortunate). I hate picking and choosing religious observance, but if the Bishops of England and Wales prevent us celebrating with our fellow Catholics and our Orthodox brothers I have no option.

  • Mary

    Our Blessed Mother would be greately honoured more if Catholics showed  love to Her by using the  fertile time
    instead of using the contraceptive pill which is an abortfacient.

  • Joanne Meyers

    Well, first start with prayer. You may want to start reading the “Secret of Mary” and the “True Devotion to Mary” written by St.Louis Marie Demontfort. Ask fellow Catholics to make the Total Consecration to Mary and announce that this is something that will be done before a major Marian feast day.  Then have a little celebration beginning with Mass etc.. Start with prayer first

  • Anonymous

    I know that this was written a while back but, I just spotted it and thought I’d reply. I agree with your point but, the problem was that after the reformation and particularly after that despot Cromwell caused trouble it was not just beautiful images that were destroyed. Statues were destroyed, and once colourful and ornate Catholic churches were painted that plain magnolia that we now see in all C of E churches (which invariably used to be Catholic). Even our own Catholic churches now are drab with some priest refusing to use incense.

    You see what we have now in all our churches is not what it was supposed to be. Catholic churches should use ALL our senses to help us come closer to, and worship God (smell, noise, colour etc.). In essence every aspect of our churches should bring us closer in worship. Of course this was ripped out in the reformation, and so it is not just something lost in Mariology but, in every aspect of our faith.

  • Clareshort79

    Medjugorije.

  • http://www.paulsmithsale.uk.com/ paul smith uk

    abc123

  • No more NO!


    Name even one thing that devotion to Mary could achieve that devotion to Jesus couldn’t?”

    Er, her Divine Son (Who just happens to be GOD) is less likely to call YOUR immortal soul  to task for disrespecting  His own immaculately conceived MOTHER…..???

    You think about it.  How would YOU feel about the person who held YOUR Mother in so much contempt?  Your Mother created YOU – but Our Lord Jesus Christ had the unique ability to CREATE His own Mother………..I’d show her some BIG respect if you value your place in Heaven – She IS Queen there after all.  If you read Sacred Scripture you will discover that in Jewish Tradition, the Queen of Israel was ALWAYS the Mother of the King……………She was called the Gebirah.  . 

  • No more NO!

    Since God assumed Moses AND Elijah into Heaven bodily – it is rather taken for granted that He would have extended the same privilege to the woman chosen from all time to be His Mother.

    The Immaculate Virgin is not very respected by Men today it seems. I see that many people on this site call the Christ the King’s chosen Queen simply”Mary”  Well really!  Surely only Protestants and anti-Catholics call her Mary? – Perhaps when the Holy Virgin is respected for her perpetual chastity once more – we will see an end to pornographic filth, the twentieth century quest to degrade the status of womanhood – and a return to the respect due to purity and child like innocence.

    Even LUTHER and Calvin showed Our Blessed Mother the greatest of respect – calling her “Ever Virgin”

  • Daclamat

    Oh dear. Have a look at the New Testament. The Assumption as defined is nonsense.  the Magnificat isn’t.

  • Parasum

    “England would be a more hopeful place if it rediscovered its devotion to Mary”.

    Yes it would, but how can it do so, unless it accepts her Divine Son & Lord first ? Jesus is the Way to all His Saints, the Foundation of all good – including His mother & all she is & has & does ?

    STM the Dowry of Mary will again become hers in truth & not in name alone, only if she is loved by those who know her. And it would help if all the bishops would encourage devotion to her, and explain – to those who ask wishing to know – why she is to be honoured. The SSPX is devoted to her – should this not prompt their critics to exceed  them in love for her ? She is an illustration in real life of all theological ideas we express about what the Divine Saviour can do in a redeemed creature. What does a thoroughly redeemed & saved & blessed human being look like ? Like Mary. People become like what they love – for good or ill. As the most fully redeemed of all creatures, she looks wonderfully like her Son. This has very great practical importance for us: what do *we* love ? She is not a “Catholic add-on” to the Gospel, but (by God’s decree) an essential, if often invisible, part of it. To take her out of Christianity is not possible – she’s part of the recipe. Just like the Cross. God graciously chose her to be part of the recipe – so we have no right to leave her out. Any more than we could have a right to revise the multiplication table. IOW, she is a “given” in Christianity. 

    She teaches us what love is and demands. She is an antidote to sentimentalism. She is an antidote to confusion between love, lust & selfishness. She is – in & with & under Christ – a remedy for countless evils. Love of her is  *very* practical. And all this, is because of God the Holy Spirit. Without Him to make her beautiful inside & out, & overflowing with grace & love, she would be nothing. She is God’s masterpiece among creatures, because He lives in her. But we need to be utterly convinced of her excellence among creatures, if devotion to heer in her Son is to flourish, & bear fruit, & increase.This too must be the work of the Holy Spirit.       

    “The trouble is that once a tradition has been destroyed, how do you revive it again?” Simples – by reviving it. To be engaged in swimming, it is necessary to be swimming. 

    If Mary is not loved – then “get stuck in” loving her.  Then she will be loved. She is the *Virgo Praedicanda* – the “Virgin Who *must* be preached” (H/T to Frank Duff for that)

    1. What has been the experience of those who love her – what fruit has love of her borne ?

    &

    2. Why has the CC to any degree stopped loving her ? 

    3. As Fr. Faber says in “All for Jesus”, in 1853: “Mary is not loved”. As he points out so clearly, love for Mary cannot be too great. To paraphrase: love for her can go wrong in its kind; but never in its degree. Adoration of Mary as God, however lacking in warmth, is horrendously wrong. But no matter how  blazing hot the love of her, that is not wrong, but very good. That’s the distinction he makes. His remarks on this subject:

    http://archive.org/stream/allforjesus00fabegoog#page/n175/mode/2up

    STM his reasoning is water-tight.