Marian Teachings Are About Christ

One of the questions I sometimes am asked by non-Catholics is, “Why does the Church have all these teachings about Mary?” And that is a reasonable question.

To one who is not Catholic, or to one who has never cultivated a devotion to our Lord’s Blessed Mother, Catholic teachings and practices can seem strange, even very strange. But they are anything but!

The Church proclaims four dogmas (teachings that require the assent of faith) directly concerning Mary.  They are:

  • Mary is the “Mother of God”
  • The Virgin Birth of Jesus and Mary’s Perpetual Virginity
  • The Immaculate Conception of Mary and Mary’s Personal Sinlessness
  • The Assumption of Mary

Each of these teachings reveals more about her Son than they do about Mary.  They are Christ-centered (Christocentric) teachings. In other words, as the late Archbishop Sheen would say, we don’t start with Mary, but with her Son. Jesus we adore and worship, Mary, we venerate because of who her son is and the example of faith she lived and what learning about her can teach us about her Son.

In the coming weeks, I will examine each of these teachings and write about them; how and what they tell us about Christ, their biblical foundation, the history behind their proclamation and how they can inform and inspire our life as Christians.

Addendum:

Subsequent article on Mary – Mother of God

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two adult children, one daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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2 Comments

  1. Deacon Mike-I look forward to reading more about our Blessed Mother from you in the coming weeks. As a convert, I have seen my love and appreciation for Mary grow with each passing year and I am eager to learn more about her and how she can help me draw closer to her son.

    Thanks and God bless-

    Randy

  2. Deacon,

    I recently received permission from the Vatican to write a study on a dozen papal encyclicals about Mary and have learned so much while writing this study. I highly encourage anyone really interested in seeing the full writings on Marian doctrine to consider this study (Mary: A Study of Papal Encyclicals on Mary) . Each encyciical is reprinted in full and I have to say that while I read and wrote the study questions I found myself continually shedding tears of joy at the ways in which our Popes have revealed different teachings and truths. I would be glad to help anyone interested in beginning a study in their parish–just email me with questions at Cheryl@BezalelBooks.com or visit the bookstore at website to see the book: http://www.BezalelBooks.com

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

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