Anti-Marianism: Satan's Revenge
One of the hardest issues for evangelical Protestants to come to grips with in their Crossing the Tiber (conversion to Catholicism) is Marian devotion. For some reason, as evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants we were schooled in many myths and fables about what Catholics believe about Mary. Some were quite awful! Why attack the Mother of God, when scripture alone clearly refers to her with such honor and reverence? Holy Scripture even tells us that "All generations will call her blessed." To bless someone is to speak well of them and certainly the Church has fulfilled this, but sadly the post-reformation Christians, (myself included up until 8 years ago) have not. Unfortunately they have taken to doing the opposite of what Scripture states.
Hey, if an angel sent from God hails her as full of grace, Saint Elizabeth asks who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? and Saint John is given Mary at the foot of the cross by Jesus, and later in his life writes of her in Revelation as the Queen of Heaven, am I to just reject all that? Should I say: "who am I that the Mother of my Lord come to me now? Get lost, you are just a random Jewish virgin!" When the early Christian theologians wrote of honoring Mary and asking for her intercession, should I just ignore their writings and assume that 1600 years later we have a clearer and more accurate view of her with the passage of time?
In Genesis, we read; "I will put enmity," the woman is placed in the first place in a certain sense: "I will put enmity between you and the woman." Not: "between you and the man," but precisely "between you and the woman." Commentators from the earliest times emphasize that we have here an important parallelism. The tempter "the ancient serpent ”according to Genesis 3:4, first addressed the woman, and through her obtained his victory. In his turn the Lord God, in announcing the Redeemer, makes the woman the first "enemy" of the prince of darkness. In a certain sense, she should be the first beneficiary of the definitive covenant, in which the powers of evil will be overcome by the Messiah, her Son ("her offspring").
(Cf. The General Audience of Blessed Pope John Paul 2 12/17/86)
Perhaps the anti-Marianism that has developed is partly a result of Satan's feeble attempts to exact his revenge on "the woman" whose offspring (Jesus) crushed his head* and he now continues to try to bruise his (and her) heel. I believe this may explain the unusually exaggerated and visceral reaction many folks have to Marian devotion.
"I will make you enemies of each other; you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring. It will crush your head and you will strike its heel" (Gen 3:15).
*Two ancient translations, the Latin Vulgate (revised by St. Jerome) and the ancient Coptic version read, “She shall crush your head.”