Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers explains the relationship that Catholics seek with Mary. He teaches that we should think of it like a family. Jesus said that we are his brothers and sisters, so Mary is our mother. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus explains that at the end of the ages, he will say, “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” Consequently, Mary is our spiritual mother.

Just as we do not worship our mothers and fathers, Jesus did not worship his. This is the key; the Church distinguishes between adoration and veneration. Latrie is the word describing worship of God alone. On the other hand, veneration is like honor. We honor our parents, as the Ten Commandments tell us to. We honor public officials and their authority. Deacon Harold illustrates this by the way that soldiers would salute in the presence of the President. Similarly, we are called to honor, or venerate, and not worship Mary.

The highest level of veneration is reserved for Mary, because she is the mother of Jesus Christ, our God incarnate. She said “yes” to the gift of the Holy Spirit, as we are all directed to do. She is a perfect model to us all of what it means to be human, and so we can turn to her as an example.

In summary, we see Mary as our spiritual mother, but not as a part of the Godhead.

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