In a very natural way we start wanting to speak to the Mother of God, who is also our mother. We want to treat her as someone who is alive. For death has not triumphed over her; she is body and soul in the presence of God the Father, her Son, and the Holy Spirit.
If we want to understand Mary's role in the Christian's life and to feel attracted to her, to be in her company, we don't need to go into the theological theory, even though it is an inexhaustible mystery that she is the Mother of God.
The catholic faith sees Mary as a sign of God's special love. God calls us his friends; his grace acts in us, winning us from sin, enabling us to reflect in some way the features of Christ, even though we are still wretched dirt. We are not stranded people whom God has promised to save. His salvation is already at work in us. In our relationship to God, we are not blind men yearning for light and crying in anguished darkness. We are children who know our Father loves us.
Mary tells us about this warmth and security. That's why her name goes straight to our heart. Our relationship with our own mother may show us how to deal with Mary the Lady of the Sweet Name. We have to love God with the same heart with which we love our parents, our brothers and sisters, the other members of our family, our friends. And we must love Mary with that same heart, too.
How does a normal son or daughter treat his mother? In different ways, of course, but always affectionately and confidently, never coldly. In an intimate way, through small, commonplace customs. And a mother feels hurt if we omit them: a kiss or an embrace when leaving or coming home, a little extra attention, a few warm words.
In our relationship with our mother in heaven, we should act in very much the same way. Many Christians have the custom of wearing the scapular; or they have acquired the habit of greeting those pictures — a glance is enough — which are found in every christian home and in many public places; or they recall the central events in Christ's life by saying the rosary, never getting tired of repeating its words, just like people in love; or they mark out a day of the week for her — Saturday, which is today — doing some special little thing for her and thinking particularly about her motherhood.
There are many other marian devotions which I needn't mention here. A Christian doesn't need to live them all. (Growing in supernatural life is not a matter of piling one devotion on top of another.) I would say, however, that anyone who doesn't live some of them, who doesn't express his love for Mary in some way, does not possess the fullness of the faith.
Those who think that devotions to our Lady are a thing of the past seem to have lost sight of the deep christian meaning they contain. They seem to have forgotten the source from which they spring: faith in God the Father's saving will; love for God the Son who really became man and was born of a woman; trust in God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us with his grace. It is God who has given us Mary, and we have no right to reject her. We should go to her with a son's love and joy.