I could honestly use some help with my Marian devotion. Simple explanations? I've read a book of articles written by Balthasar and Ratzinger about Mary as the Source of the Church and I just received some books on the Rosary (Balthasar's Threefold Garland and St. Louis de Montfort's The Secret of the Rosary) as well as a book by St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary. But I just don't understand the "to Jesus, through Mary" thing. And St. Louis de Montfort's language sometimes pulls amens from me and at other times his language about Mary makes me squirm. I'm still only beginning Montfort's True Devotion to Mary so perhaps I simply need to give him the time to better explain. But I feel dense here. Like he keeps talking and his words are just bouncing off of stone walls (i.e. my head).
The thing is, I love the Rosary and I love the place that Mary has in our Church - I suppose my trouble is with St. Louis's understanding of Mary's place in our Church and lives. I'm not saying he's wrong or even that he has a different understanding than the the teaching of the Church. I just don't comprehend it yet - I don't get it. So pray for me. I think I'll be discussing the matter with my priest as well, but any suggestions or explanations you could provide, I'd appreciate. Perhaps I've been too general here to garner any specific response.
Maybe I could put it this way best: I understand the hows and whys of Marian doctrine, but cannot wrap my head/heart around Marian devotion. Maybe that seems schizophrenic, maybe it is. Maybe it's simply hardness of heart. Maybe it's some vestigial Evangelical theology in my brain. I don't know. But that's kind of where I am right now. Any help?
Update: My terminology is most likely skunked on this issue, but I'm just trying to figure out what's going on in my head and heart and Church. I understand Marian devotion - as much as that I pray the Rosary and other Marian prayers and continue to grow in love of our holy Mother. What I struggle with is the idea of, as St. Louis de Montfort, that seems to make Mary a necessary mediator to Jesus. I can understand a love for Mary and a desire to be close with her, but I don't understand the seeming stern necessity that Montfort makes of devotion to Mary.
And either I don't understand Montfort or I don't understand the Church, but Montfort seems to reinforce the typical misunderstandings of Protestants concerning Marian devotion - not to the extent of worship - but a Marian devotion, fervor, that seems absent to me in the writings and concerns of the early Fathers.
Totus Tuus makes some sense to me, but Montfort does not. Does that make any sense to anyone familiar with these things? Can anyone help me with sorting this out?
Update on the Update: I think I'm beginning to see the light on some of this, thanks to the introduction to and writing of Balthasar in The Threefold Garland. I can understand it more easily through the lens of an icon like the "Panagia" (icon shown) and how the Orthodox and Eastern Catholics speak of the Theotokos. I'm not sure I still understand the expression of "to Jesus, through Mary," but I might be beginning to grasp the mind and heart behind it. The Rosary itself is a kind of "panagia" in words, in prayer.