When I come across stories of Catholics who initially had issues with devotions to Mary but who've overcome them, I perk up... because I've been there, I've done that.
So I perked up immediately when reading this from Allison H.:
When I stood before the altar at the Easter vigil eight years ago and answered, “I do (believe all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches to be true),” I meant it. I loved the Eucharist; I loved the communion of saints; I loved the unbroken line of Popes; I loved the entire Hebrew Scriptures. Marian doctrines, however, I only accepted.I believed the theology and history of Mary’s place as the New Ark, the Queen Mother, my mother, and completely full of grace. I was comfortable with the wording of the Hail Mary, Hail Holy Queen, and Memorare. But the rosary was too much Mary. I could not understand the bond other women had with a woman who was not only sinless herself, but who had one Perfect Child that I’m certain she never said bad words to because He threw a book at her. I yearned for the closeness I’d read about, though, so I went to where I was comfortable, the New Testament, and looked for her. I searched for things we might have in common, rather than dismissing her for the things we did not (as we should treat all women, yes?). What I discovered was a gentle friend and confidant; a beloved mother and wife; a perceptive lady and mentor; a strong woman of God. I assigned my own meditations to the crystal blue beads given to me at that Easter vigil, and called it my Mother Mary Mysteries:
She was calm in difficult circumstances: when told of the conception of Jesus, her answer was “Let it be done to me according to Your will.” It was difficult and my life is often difficult. Lord, help me to be calm.
She had courage in a fearful time: when heeding Joseph’s dream and fleeing with a baby to Egypt. I, too, have fears about my children and their future. Lord, help me to have courage.
She was content in a less-than-ideal situation: keeping home in a foreign land while awaiting another angelic visit to call them home. Life is full of less-than-ideals. Lord, help me to be content.
She was confused but patient: when Jesus was found in the temple and gave the cryptic answer, “I must be about My Father’s business.” Sometimes God confuses me; sometimes my children confuse me. Lord, here’s my confusion; I’ll not waste time fretting.
She was crushed in sorrow but kept her faith: witnessing her beloved Son’s torturous murder. Lord, help me to love You still, even in crushing sorrow.
And there are other precious stories such as...
Go see what those precious stories are.
Mary is someone I've committed to daily time with and she, by praying to her Son on my behalf, by her example, by her devotion and faith, has given me a gift. My nearness to her has brought me nearer to Him who I so need.
Thank you Mother Mary and yes, pray for me, and for us, now and in the hour of our deaths.