I'm finally making my way through my first (reputable) book about Mary - Scott Hahn's Hail, Holy Queen - The Mother of God in the Word of God. I had picked up some little daily reader book called 365 Mary a while back but it annoyed the heck out of me. This one comes recommended by friends and I know Scott Hahn from his testimony and from his tape series called "Calling Catholics to be Bible Christians and Vice Versa." He is professor of theology and Scripture at the Franciscan University of Steubenville so he better know his stuff, right?
He likes to keep me on my toes with section titles like: "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary"; "From Here to Maternity"; "Cutting the Unbiblical Cord"; and "Maternity Warred". Maybe this is a good thing considering Mary is a stumbling block for a Protestant newly investigating and trying to embrace Catholicism.
There is PLENTY of scriptural support for the Catholic "take" on Mary. But, leave it to me to be most attracted to a paragraph early in the book that is purely Scott Hahn. It sticks in my brain so I'll share it here.
"God's covenant family is perfect, lacking nothing. The Church looks to God as Father, Jesus as Brother, and heaven as home. What's missing, then?
In truth, nothing. Every family needs a mother; only Christ could choose His own, and He chose providentially for His entire covenant family. Now, everything He has He shares with us. His divine life is ours; His home is our home; His Father is our Father; His brothers are our brothers; and His mother is our mother, too.
For a family is incomplete without a loving mother. The breakaway Christian churches that diminish Mary's role inevitably end up feeling like a bachelor's apartment: masculine to a fault; orderly but not homey; functional and productive - but with little sense of beauty and poetry." (pages 27 &28)
I will say that in the limited ways I've "experienced" Mary, I am drawn to her. I have a hard time reminding myself when I see the way she is regarded that Catholics don't see her as another God - but I think the more I understand, the more my perspective will improve. And the more I'll enjoy knowing her and getting comfortable in the church that recognizes her for who she is.