Many non-Catholics have been trained from childhood to believe that one of the clear proofs of the falsity of Catholicism is to be found in the honor that is paid to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Catholic Church, and in the innumerable trusting prayers that are offered to her by Catholics.
At the same time it is true that many non-Catholics, when they learn what are the genuine foundations of Catholic devotion to Mary, are drawn by it so irresistibly that ultimately they become Catholics.
For the truth is very simple and clear, and is all contained in the following two truths.
1. Mary is the Mother of God (Luke 1:43).
Catholics do not believe that God was bound by any compulsion to have a Mother; they believe that He chose to have a Mother and all that this implies. He chose to permit His human body to be formed in her womb (Luke 1:35).
He chose to permit her to bring Him forth as a tiny baby into the world. He chose to let her feed Him at her breast, carry Him in her arms, guard Him from danger, and teach Him as any child would be taught, to walk and speak and pray. He thereby chose to grant Mary a power over Him that only love can bestow (Luke 2:51). Catholics believe that in choosing a mother, the Son of God chose to grant her the power over His will that the love of a good mother always wields over a good son.
2. Mary is a mother to all men.
Catholics believe that the Son of God chose to come into the world through a mother in order that that mother might accept as His brothers all the children of the sinful race of man.
He set an example as to how she should be honored and loved.
He prepared her for this motherhood of all by asking her to suffer every conceivable form of pain (Luke 2:35), thus teaching her sympathy for the sorrows of her children.
Had she been His Mother alone, He would have spared her from pain, because He had the power to do so and because He loved her with an infinite love.
He wrought His first public miracle at her request (John 2:1-11), and when He was dying He reminded her that she had been destined from the beginning to be a Mother to all (John 19:27). Catholics therefore believe that Mary will be as eager to help them, in troubles of soul and body, as every natural mother is eager to promote the welfare of her child.
The rosaries that Catholics recite are but the expression of their belief in these two truths (Luke 1:48). They know that if Mary speaks to her divine Son in their behalf, there can be no doubt about their receiving an answer to their prayers.