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Anonymous Alexa wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why in the Hail Holy Queen prayer does it say: our life, our sweetness, and our hope?

I thought only Jesus was all of that.

  • Isn't that kind of worshiping her?


  { Why in the Hail Holy Queen do we say: "our life, our sweetness, and our hope"; isn't that for Jesus? }

Bob replied:

Dear Alexa,

Thanks for the question.

Catholics regard Mary as the supreme intercessor to her Son, Jesus, because she is His loving mother, He listens to her. She has also been made our mother when Jesus gave her to the disciple whom he loved (that anonymity actually means you and me) See John 19:26. So we run to our mother, knowing that she loves us and wants the best for us, and will take our requests to Jesus, who has a particular regard for our mom. So these words are fitting because, more than anyone (of all the saints), she does the most for us.

That doesn't replace Jesus—it goes to Jesus.

  • Whenever you ask a friend or family member to pray for you, are you trying to circumvent Jesus? <Of course not.>

You want them to go to Jesus. So we honor Mary in a special way because of her special role. It's not a competition or diminishing of Jesus, but a family affair, honoring the unique relationships God has created.

Lastly, we don't worship Mary, because she is only human, like you and me, but we do honor her as the greatest saint of God's creation. God did that, and by recognizing Mary we honor God. He takes joy in our recognizing His work in her.

  • Get that?

God relishes the goodness of his children, because that highlights the incredible vision He had. You see, satan is always trying to denigrate and cut down humanity, because his pride and arrogance can't stand it. Mary is the humblest of all God's creatures, full of His grace and love, and is the ultimate contrast to satan's pride. The more we recognize Mary as the perfection of God's handiwork, the more crazy satan becomes. She is his arch enemy—which is why in Genesis we see God predicting that the woman who gives birth to a son who will crush satan's head, is to be his rival. (Genesis 3:14-15)

Think of it another way. Imagine God creates the whole universe for mankind and He can't even get one person to match his vision.

  • Does that make sense?
  • Is God a failure?

When He created the angels some chose against Him and became demons, but some were perfect, made just like He wanted.

  • So is it possible that God could make humanity and not one person could fit the vision for which He created humanity?

Adam and Eve were made without sin, but they fell into sin. Mary never sinned, because she had been made like Eve, pure and delicate, because of the grace her Son Jesus won for her. He chose Mary so Jesus could come to humanity to save the world. satan might accuse God of being a failure because of mankind's rejection of Him, but He has no words for Mary.

Mary is God's ace in the hole. She leaves satan speechless, for she is the complete magnifying Glass of God's grace, love, power and meekness. No one can say, when God made Mary, He didn't get it right.

That is why Catholics honor her so much—it is praise to God for such a great gift.

Don't fall into the trap set by Protestants that reduces Mary to some ordinary person, flawed and not worth holding up. Honoring Mary is honoring God, our Father, her father, and the one who made this all happen.


Bob Kirby

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