True Marian Devotion Stems from True Faith
Vatican II made this important statement:
"Let the faithful remember that true devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in a certain vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to know the excellence of the Mother of God, and we are moved to a filial love toward our mother and to the imitation of her virtues." (1)
John Paul II said, in a similar way, that we are living today from Mary's faith (Redemptoris Mater 27-28).
Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, while referring to the faith of the Faithful Virgin, wrote about participating in Mary's faith:
"Mary will share her faith with you [...]
it is a lively faith animated by love enabling you to do everything from no other motive than that of pure love. It is a firm faith, unshakable as a rock [...]
an active and probing faith which like some mysterious pass-key admits you into the mysteries of Jesus-Christ ..." (2)
The life of faith of a Church in motion
John Paul II was a pastor whose aim was that of leading hearts to a true Christian attitude and a change of life.
Seemingly, it is in this sense that one should interpret the way he insisted on positioning the Mother of Jesus at the center of a Church in motion. It is interesting to note that in the second half of the Marian encyclical, the words history, pilgrimage, path, mission, route and journey occur more than thirty times.
John Paul II said that God's people as a whole should benefit from the maternal presence and intervention of Mary, because Marian spirituality is "not only of the doctrine of faith but also of the life of faith." (3)
In addition, "Entrustment to Christ through the hands of Mary" is an effective means to faithfully live our baptismal vows. (3)
There are different steps to this entrustment:
"Who will take a second step? (...) the one to whom the Spirit of Jesus reveals this secret. The Holy Spirit himself will lead the faithful soul from strength to strength, from grace to grace, from light to light, until at length he attains transformation into Jesus in the fullness of his age on earth and his glory in heaven." (4)
(1) Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium § 67
(2) Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion § 214
(3) John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater § 48
(4) Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion §119
Excerpt from Marcel GENDROT, SMM,
Lignes de force de l’enseignement marial de Jean-Paul II, dans P.A.M.I., De cultu mariano Saeculo XX, vol V, Roma 1999 (The Strong Lines in the Marian Teaching of John Paul II, in P.A.M.I.)