Something needs to be said. I hope Scott doesn't mind too much, if I jump in here.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is definitely not a doormat. She was and is a beautiful, obedient, servant of God, both the Father and her Son, the Son of God, Jesus Christ Our Savior, and then the Holy Spirit (after all she was there at Pentecost --Acts 1:14--and received the Holy Spirit at the same time the apostles did) whom her Son promised to all Christians. Mary, the Mother of the Christ, can rightly be called the first Christian.
Mary is the Queen mother. I can tell you one thing that I know for sure about Hebrew royalty, they honored their mothers! Jesus Christ is, after all, acknowledged almost universally by Christians to be the King of the Universe. That would make Mary, His mother, Queen Mother. The queen mother in Israel was not reverenced above the king, neither is Mary, the Queen Mother of Heaven reverenced above Jesus Christ the King of the Universe in the Catholic Church. Remember King Solomon? The Queen Mother, Bathsheba, was at his right hand in the palace. Adonijah asked Queen Bathsheba to intercede for him to his brother, King Solomon.
Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king's mother, who sat at his right. In I Kings 2, it says that she did intercede for her stepson, Adonijah.
"There is one small favor I would ask of you," [Queen Mother Bathsheba] said. "Do not refuse me." "Ask it, my mother," the king [Solomon] said to her, "for I will not refuse you." So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunamite be given to your brother Adonijah for his wife." "And why do you ask Abishag the Shunamite for Adonijah?" King Solomon answered his mother. "Ask the kingdom for him as well, for he is my elder brother and has with him Abiathar the priest and Joab, son of Zeruiah." And King Solomon swore by the LORD: "May God do thus and so to me, and more besides, if Adonijah has not proposed this at the cost of his life. And now, as the LORD lives, who has seated me firmly on the throne of my father David and made of me a dynasty as he promised, this day shall Adonijah be put to death."
In John 2, the Blessed Virgin Mary interceded for the wedding couple.
When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." (And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."...Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then He told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,...
Queen Bathsheba have the ear of her son the King. Queen Mary, too, had the ear of her Son, sitting as she was near Him, the King. Queen Bathsheba interceded for her stepson. Mary, mother of our King, interceded for the wedding couple. King Solomon said he would "not refuse [her]". Jesus Christ, on the surface, seems to turn His mother down, but note her confidence that Jesus would do as she asked ("Do whatever He tells you.") King Solomon took back his word to his mother; it was not politically expedient to grant his 'enemy', his half-brother, any favors, so he did not honor his promise. Jesus did as His mother asked, without any promise, and miraculously turned water into wine--and not just any wine but the best wine.
Let's approach this from another angle. Here are some generally acknowledged prophecies about the Messiah's mother (iow, MARY):
Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at His heel."
Obviously the "woman" will has a significant role in that her child (offspring) will "bruise" Satan's "head". He made no such statement to the man, Adam. He did not mention the savior without the way in which He would enter the world--through the womb of the woman.
Psalm 22:10-11 (9-10 in other versions) Yet you drew me forth from the womb, made me safe at my mother's breast. Upon you I was thrust from the womb; since birth you are my God.
This is almost universally seen as a messianic prophecy from one of the Psalms. Why does this prophecy talk about the WOMB from which the Savior/messiah would come. His mother's womb (twice), His birth from her, even the breasts that would feed Him. Of course, His mother is significant; they don't just mention the Messiah, but also His mother.
Don't like that prophecy? How about the old stand by, Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name Him Immanuel."
It should be properly read in English as "the virgin shall be with child, and the virgin bear a son, and the virgin shall name him Immanuel." The VIRGIN is prominent in this prophecy; she is the sign of the savior, she carries the Savior, bears the Savior, and names the Savior. Seems pretty significant to me.
There is are at least Seventeen names for Mary, the mother of the Savior.
Woman: Genesis 3:15; Jeremiah 31:22; John 2:4; John 19:26; Galatians 4:4; Revelation 12:1, 4, 6, 13-17.
Virgin: Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27 (twice).
Mary: Matthew 1:17, 18, 20; 13:55; Mark 6:3; Luke 1:26, 30, 34, 38, 39, 41, 46, 56, 2:5, 16, 19.
Mary His Mother: Matthew 2:11; Luke 2:34.
His Mother: Matthew 2:13, 14, 20, 21; 12:46, 47; 13:55; Mark 3:31; Luke 2:33, 43, 48, 51; 8:19; John 2:5, 12; (John 6:42); 19:25, 26.
Mary the Mother of Jesus: Acts 1:14.
Mother of Jesus: John 2:1, 3.
Full of Grace: Luke 1:28.
Handmaid of the Lord: Luke 1:38.
Blessed among women: Luke 1:42.
Mother of my Lord: Luke 1:43.
Here are some other significant Scriptures that Catholics (and many, many non-Catholics) believe are types, or figures of Mary, the mother of God the Son mentioned in Scripture (some repeat from above) [List from Catholicbridge.com]:
•Genesis 3:15, 24:43-46 - Rebecca, 28:12 Jacob's Ladder, 30:13?,
•Exodus 3:11-12, 13:2, 13:14 (Magnificat), 15:20, 21, 26 (Magnificat), 25:8 Ark, 34:19-20
•Leviticus 12:2, 8 (Purification)
•Numbers 18:15 (Presentation)
•Judges 6:12, 15 (Annunciation)
•1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Magnificat)
•Isaiah 7:14 (Virgin Birth)
•Ezekiel 44:2 (Mary's perpetual Virginity)
•Mat 1:16, 18-25 (Mary to be found with Child), 2:11, 13-14, 20-23 (Maji flight to Egypt), 12:46-50 (Who is my mother?), 13:55 (is his mother not Mary?)
•Mark 3:31-35 (Your mother is outside), 6:3 (is he not son of Mary?)
•Luke 1:26-56 (Annunciation, visitation magnificat), 2:5-7, 16-19, 22, 33-35, 39, 41-51 (Nativity, shepherds, presentation, finding in the temple), 8:19-21 (Your mother outside) 11:27-28 Blessed is the womb that bore you
•John 1:14 (incarnation), 2:1-5 (Cana), 6:42 (Do we not know his mother), 19:25-27
•Acts 1:14 (Gathered in prayer with Mary), Gal 4:4 (God sent son born of woman)
•Col 1:15, 18 (first born, Head of body)
•Rev 11:19 (Ark in Heaven),12:1-17 (Woman clothed with the sun)
Besides Mary, the mother of God, what other person, besides the apostles themselves including Sts. Paul, Mark, and Luke, is mentioned so many times in Scripture? A doormat? I think not. The woman, the mother of the Messiah was prophesied and honored through Scripture, and the Church. She is no doormat. She is His mother, and she is our mother.
All Scripture quotes from the New American Bible, special nod to this page on Mary in Scripture for names of Mary, and Catholicbridge.com for Mary in Scripture.