von Harnack on the blessing of the “adoration of Mary” in worshiping Jesus

Yet there is blessing even in the Heart-of-Jesus worship, the adoration of Mary, etc., where they are carried on with humility, and with an upward look to the God who redeems. As, apart from the confessional, with its power to foster concern, they are the only embodiments of living piety, even sincere Christian feeling finds a refuge in these things; for the Church which transacts on equal footing with the States, and makes dupes of them, cannot certainly impart vigour to piety, but only to an undevout arrogance. As the heart that seeks to rise to God is not restrained by doctrinal formulæ, but can transform even what is most alien to it into a means of comfort, this same spirit cannot be quenched by idols, but changes them into gracious signs of the God who, in all signs, reveals nothing but His renewing grace.

Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma (ed. T. K. Cheyne; trans. Neil Buchanan; vol. 7; Harnack’s History of Dogma; Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1900).

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