As we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption this month, we might recall the words of Vatican II in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), part 66:
"Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son, as the most holy mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ: she is rightly honoured by a special cult in the Church. From the earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honoured under the title of Mother of God, [under] whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer in all their perils and needs.
"Accordingly, following the Council of Ephesus, there was a remarkable growth in the cult of the People of God towards Mary, in veneration and love, in invocation and imitation, according to her own prophetic words: 'All generations shall call me blessed, because He that is mighty hath done great things to me' (Lk. 1:48).
"This cult, as it has always existed in the Church, for all its uniqueness, differs essentially from the cult of adoration, which is offered equally to the Incarnate Word and to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and it is most favourable to it.
"The various forms of piety towards the Mother of God, which the Church has approved within the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine, according to the dispositions and understanding of the faithful, ensure that while the mother is honoured, the Son through whom all things have their being (cf. Col. 1:15-16) and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell (cf. Col. 1:19) is rightly known, loved and glorified and His commandments are observed."
Michael Gilchrist: Editor (E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org)