Archive for May, 2015
Last spring, I made the 33 Day Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary (sometimes called the Total Consecration to Mary, inaccurately). I’d been hearing about it for at least a year, but it always seemed a daunting prospect, a matter so serious as to be too high for non-saints to attempt. But for some reason, when a local ministry announced a 33 Day Consecration beginning the day after Mother’s Day, I decided to take the proverbial plunge.
The presenter, Anna Rae-Kelly of ARK Ministries, led us in a series of weekly talks and provided guidance for our progress. On the very first night, she spoke of Mary, Mother of Jesus, as the Queen Mother. This makes great sense: Jesus being King of the universe, His Mother must be regarded as the Queen Mother. In this connection, Anna referred to the relationship between King Solomon and his queen mother, Bathsheba, particularly in 1 Kgs. 2:19-20. In that Scripture passage, we read that Solomon bowed to his mother when she entered his presence, and she took her place on a throne at the king’s right hand. The queen had approached her royal son in order to bring him a request from a petitioner.
Others have, of course, noted the connection between this passage and the Catholic view of Mary as Queen of Heaven. The idea that Mary has a seat at Christ’s right hand has also been noted, as in the psalm for feasts of Mary: “On your right stands the Queen in gold of Ophir” (Ps. 45:10). However, there may be a hidden reference to Mary being seated at the right hand of Jesus in the Savior’s own words.
In Mt. 20:20-23, the mother of Jesus’ apostles James and John asks Jesus to allow her sons to sit as His right hand in His kingdom. This is a very bold move, reminiscent of queens of old approaching kings in petition. Jesus quickly puts her and her sons in their place by replying that it is not His to grant that privilege, but that the Father alone has reserved that spot. The place at Jesus’ right hand was being held for His Queen Mother. Jesus is telling his apostles’ mother that the throne at His right hand is for Mary, just as Solomon had ensured that his mother had a place on his right in 1 Kgs. 2:19.
The point of all this is that the Mary’s queenship is completely scriptural. If Bathsheba, who was the mother of the earthly King Solomon, was so highly honored that she sat at the king’s right hand, and that the king bowed to her in respect and listened to her bring petitions before him, how can we believe anything less of Mary, the Mother of the very Son of God?
During the eight or ten years that I was away from the Catholic Church, I completely abandoned veneration of Mary. I joined the Episcopal Church; and while many Episcopalians hold Mary in high esteem (particularly the “high church” Anglicans), I thought it incongruous to be Protestant and acknowledge Mary. My rationale was the same as the rationale of so many other Protestants: “worship” of Mary detracts from the worship of Christ. After returning to the Catholic Church, Mary was the one sticking point that remained for me, the final difficulty in fully accepting Catholic doctrine once again.
I struggled and prayed about this. Eventually, I did start praying the Rosary again; and when the opportunity arose for the 33-day Consecration, I thought it might help me to resolve some lingering doubts about the Catholic veneration of Mary. All it took was that one night, that one talk by Anna, to direct me to Scripture to discover that Marian devotion is entirely biblical, thoroughly Christ-centered, and completely theologically correct. If we acknowledge that Mary is the Queen Mother, the implication is that she is the Mother of the King, and that cannot lead us anywhere but to Christ.