What would be the absolute worst thing that could happen to a nice Protestant girl?
Why Mary, the Blessed Virgin, would do a little interior house cleaning, then make a home for herself in the poor girl’s heart, that’s what!
If that was not bad enough, this perplexed young woman’s belief system would stay staunchly anti-Catholic for oh, about another 10 years, even though she had converted to Catholicism. I mean, what choice did she have?
Nobody but the Catholic Church even wants someone who craves the Eucharist and has a relationship with Mary, the Mother of Christ.
Obviously this young woman was and is me. God has a peculiar sense of humor and now I can look back and laugh at my dilemma. At the time, though, I was shaken up.
I was reluctant to turn to Mary; I couldn’t help but feel like a heretic somehow turning from Jesus as my only Savior. Yet over and over, God only offered healing and peace when I turned to His Mother. Finally a wonderful priest from Madonna House, the Director General of Priests. Fr. Bob Pelton, smiled at me compassionately and said something like this:
“Melanie, why don’t you relax for a few months and stop tormenting yourself with guilt? Simply relax into the bosom of the Church and Her teachings and allow your relationship to Mary grow naturally, without fighting everything with your intellect? Trust in your own heart as well.”
Even now, some 30 years later, tears are welling up and I could weep with relief all over again as I write these words. Somehow I was given the grace to lay down my logic, reasoning and Protestant theology and simply throw myself into the arms of Mary, my Spiritual Mother.
A tidbit from the Catechism:
[Mary’s] role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”
“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.“ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 968)