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Musings 2008/228

The Church of Common Sense
Ever since I read that simple but wonderful book Catholicism: A Religion of Common Sense, by P.J. Gearon, OCC, DD, BA, the reality that the title suggests has occupied my mind.
It is just so true - everything about The Church is plain common sense!
On musing upon The Mother of Christ and her majesty and the growth of her stature over the centuries, in the mind of Christendom, it is clear that this growth served a divine purpose.
A Saint once wrote that, in the early centuries, Catholics concentrated upon Jesus Christ, and he said that this was so because the first priority was The Saviour and only then, His Mother.
At the time I thought this was an unsatisfactory situation and that the fullest devotion to Mary should have been encouraged from the word
go.
Now that I am beginning to realise just how great is the majesty of Mary, The Woman of Scripture, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven - and so on - I have realised the truth of what this Saint said.
The Christian must first realise the Stature of Christ and only then realise the stature of His Mother, because in reverse, this could create difficulties because - as I stated - Mary's majesty is just so astonishingly immense. So much so, that she could be taken for  god - as one fellow in the Philippines has already done!
However, once it is established in the mind and in the soul, that Jesus Christ is Saviour of all creation, being God-made-man, then one might safely indulge in the gorgeousness of Mary.
With this attitude, one's realisation of her perfections encourages him to then raise the eyes of his soul to Christ and all the more, wonder in astonishment at His Manliness and Godliness!
And wonder with a sure sensibility to Truth and Goodness.
On the other hand, ignoring Mary's Glory actually detracts from adoration of her Son, Jesus.
We can observe this when a Protestant accuses The Church of worship of Mary. He declares this to be so because he thinks the Catholic devotion to Mary equals his
adoration of Jesus, and indeed, this is probably the case.
What he fails to realise is that his
adoration of The Christ is somewhat limited - so much so that he compares it with the Catholic devotion to Mary!
True devotion to Mary is a stupendous thing in a person and could easily be mistaken for adoration, so profound can and
should this devotion be.

It is nevertheless,
a real mistake
to compare this profound devotion
for Mary
as a failure
to adore Christ.

As I say, it is the reverse.
And so I again make the observation

that true devotion to Mary
is only for the advanced Christian
who is secure in his real adoration
of Jesus Christ.

On the other hand even though devotion to Mary has developed over the centuries,

it remains a fact
that devotion to her
has always been the mark
of the true Christian
from the time of Christ.

In The Church of Christ there has never been a time where devotion to Mary was unknown. It was necessary however to establish the Centre of man's passion, which of course is Jesus Christ.
The Church, having been established as
The Pillar and Foundation of The Truth in the world, was then enabled to recount the glories of Mary and to establish permanent Dogma about her reality before God and before man.
Devotion to Mary/Adoration of Christ
Not only does devotion to Mary and to her stupendous stature before God and before man, bring about a more pure, more perfect adoration of Jesus Christ, but gives tremendous increase in this adoration; increase in the glory and gratitude given to The Christ and to The Eternal-trinity.
Devotion to Mary - and to the Saints, Angels and Holy Souls - far from detracting from adoration of Christ and of God, in fact multiplies it.
In appreciating the painting one also appreciates the painter.
In the unhappy state of the world it may even be that one might appreciate the painting even though one might not appreciate the painter who might live in a state of sin. Still, that appreciation of the painting remains.
On the other hand an atheist might  have great appreciation for the wonders and beauties of creation and might well give glory to God, thereby.
So, the children of God who greatly appreciate God's greatest creations - that is Mary and the heavenly Court - not only adore God and His Christ but thereby add to the
direct appreciation they have of Him. Indeed, one must consider that the direct appreciation would be multiplied in adding to this their indirect appreciation of God, that is, appreciating the wonders of creation especially those great and wonderful creatures of God's Kingdom.
On top of this obvious conclusion, it is no doubt also the case that Mary and the heavenly Court, in receiving honour and

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