There is an old cliché about “selling your soul to the devil.” Well, I did not befriend the devil by any means. However, I did reject my true self by seeking the approval of others. As a young mother, I wanted so badly to “fit into” my church community that I did things I would never dream of doing in any other life situations. I wanted to earn my mother’s love by obeying false Catholic doctrines.
The concept of the Virgin Mary was extremely twisted and dysfunctional for me throughout my entire childhood and into my young adulthood. On a spiritual level, it’s as if the beautiful images we see of the Blessed Mother were covered with mud and bird droppings. As I took graduate theology courses in Mariology and Spiritual Direction I came to learn the truth about my Catholic faith. I want other lay women to know the beauty of our Catholic faith and avoid the many mistakes I have made.
It is so important for women to realize that in the Catholic lay-culture there are terrible distortions about who Mary the Mother of God is. These concepts are what fuel bitter divides between Catholics and Protestants that need not be there. We can begin to bring healing into divisions within our own souls by contemplating Mary as ever-merciful. As Catholic women we must take the log out of our own eye before we can attempt to take the splinter out of our neighbor’s eye.