Of course, we don’t worship Mary! Last week my wife and I attended a party with a full sized statue of Mary. It was beautiful! All of us invited that night were strong practicing Catholics. One attendee observed, if a non-Catholic happened to walk in they would have thought we were worshiping Mary.
So, what would we say if we could explain to them about our devotion to Mary? Hopefully this will help.
She is the Queen of Heaven-see Revelation 12:1
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
This is a biblical concept-the mother of the King (not the wife or wives) is the Queen-see 1 Kings 2:19
Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king’s mother, who sat at his right.
Wow! A throne was provided for the king’s mother and she sat on his right. Who is our king now! It is Christ! Who is his mother? It is Mary.
The Catechism notes in paragraph 128: The Church, as early as apostolic times, and then constantly in her Tradition, has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God's works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.
As we know over and over reading Old Testament passages we see prefiguration’s of people or events in the New Testament. So, the crossing of the Red Sea through the waters prefigures baptism, Isaiah talks about the suffering servant, who prefigures Christ. Likewise, the Queen Mother in the Old Testament is a type of Mary. Mary fulfills this.
As the Queen, we venerate her. Luke 1:48 says all generations will call her blessed. Of all the women in human history she was chosen by God to bring Christ into the world. Jesus was a Jew and he would have strictly adhered to the Ten Commandments, including to honor his mother. We should all honor our own mothers and should like Jesus honor his Mother who sits at his right to take our prayers to him.
Remember, the Wedding feast at Cana? In John 2:5 we read “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” We pray in the rosary asking her to take our prayers to the Son. Because she is “full of Grace” she is our sweet powerful advocate. Remember, James 5:16 “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” Who is more righteous, more full of grace than Mary, born without sin? Other than Jesus, it is Mary.
Will this explanation help our non-Catholic friends? I pray it does.