Spiritual Warfare Forum: Why the worship of Mary
Why the worshop of Mary QUESTION from Karlo March 28, 2001 I read your answer to QUESTION from Lilly January 12, 2001.
In the qustion the statement is made My love and devotion for Mary is so very real. In the answer you gave you said, If you are Catholic you MUST believe in a real satan and in real demons. It is part of the Catholic teaching. I can assure you that devils do in fact exist and that it is not unusual for a devil to try to trip up an unsuspecting soul. That is why St. Paul tells us to be on guard for hte devil is like a roaring lion waiting to devoir someone.
My question is based on the understanding that all the epistles in their instructions to the churches make it quite clear that we are to worship God alone and come to him through Jesus Christ. And if we are to apprach God there is no other name under heaven by which we are saved. It also makes it quite clear that in Christ, we lack nothing and that in Jesus Christ is sufficiency for all that we are and all that we need both in this life and the next.
The first part of my question is: Why isn't the adoration and prayers offered to Mary put in a questionable light, and as you say devils do in fact exist and that it is not unusual for a devil to try to trip up an unsuspecting soul. Or to put it another way why isn't the prayers offered to a created being (Mary) seen as worshipping something other than God.
The second question is, what is lacking in Christ that we should bother to pray to Mary? If all the fulness of the Deity was in Christ in Bodily form and you have come to fulness of life in Him what is Mary adding to what is there is for us in Christ? Is there a difference between approaching God with Mary as part of the equation, than if we stick with Christ alone? If there is no difference and we end up with God just the same, why are people being encouraged to look to Mary? Why not direct them to christ and christ alone. And why was Lilly not told that the words My love and devotion for Mary is so very real just as odd as her wanting the find out the name of her guardian angel.
The third question is: If there is a difference between having Mary as a factor in our prayers as we approach God and not having her as a factor in our prayers, then please tell me what the difference is?
Again the three questions are :
1. Why isn't the adoration and prayers offered to Mary put in a questionable light?
2. what is lacking in Christ that we should bother to pray to Mary?
3. If there is a difference with having Mary as a factor in our prayers, then what is the difference?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on May 14, 2001 Dear Mr. Karlo:
Please forgive me, Karlo. I am soooooo weary at this profound misunderstanding Protestants have about prayer and about Mary. This misunderstanding was not misunderstood even by the reformers like Martin Luther, but since then, due to the profound need of the Protestant movement to demonize their parent (the Catholic Church) the prejudice toward the church has become surreal.
One of the many legacies of generations of prejudice against the Catholic Church, and 450 years of chaos in the Protestant movement, is this tired saw about Mary.
To your Question One: adoration and prayers offered to Mary is not put into a questionable light because the Bible instructs us to be involved in intercessory prayer. The fathers of the Church understood the meaning of this and offered adoration and prayers to Mary and the Saints from the 1st century on. It was only with the sinful arrogance and bigotry of the Protestant rebels that it came to be thought of as questionable. There was no serious question about this for more than 1500 years, and still today the VAST MAJORITY of Christians in the world have no problem.
Question Two: There is nothing lacking in Christ. Is there something lacking in the Father that he had to send His Son to earth? Is there something lacking in the king if we ask the secretary to intercede for us? Is there something lacking in the employer if the employee does something?
This question is nonsense and unthinking.
If my next door neighbor asks my daughter for advice, I am honored. I am honored because it was my raising of my daughter than brought her to such a place as to be asked by the neighbor. Jesus is honored, not depreciated when we appeal to his children for intercession. We are a family and ALL the family is at our disposal to help us.
This family aspect of the God's Salvation Economy is very difficult for Americans, especially, to understand. America was born in rebellion, rugged individualism, and Protestantism (largely Congregationalism). God, on the other hand set-up an economy for his people that is obedient, not rebellious, family and communitarian, not individualism, and paterfamilias, not democracy).
The Catholic Church models God's economy. Protestant faith communities model man's economy. But then that is to be expected since they were all founded by men. The True Church was founded by Jesus Himself on the Chair of Peter (successor from the Chair of Moses). Only those faith fellowships that are loyal to God's appointed successor to the Chair of Peter are the true Church -- and that what we call today, the Catholic Church.
Question 3: Good question. The Bible says that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. There is no person in the universe more righteous than those souls in heaven. Thus asking Mary and the Saints to pray for us has MUCH difference in that they are at God's right hand and have the righteousness to have God's ear like no one else.
By the way, it should be said that one of the definitions of prayer is to ask. When Catholics pray to Mary they are asking her to intercede for us before the Son. It is NOT worship. ANY CATHOLIC who worships Mary risks their soul to hell. It is a grave sin.
Intercessory Prayer is commanded to us in the Bible. Some Scripture on this includes: Rom 15:30; Eph 4:3; 2 Th 1:11; 2 Th 3:1; Tobias 12:12; Rev 5:8
The Communion of the Saints is a doctrine of family love, of intercession, and of community. Praise God that the Body of Christ is not amputated. The Body is whole and we are able, by God's grace, and as has been taught by the Apostles, the Church Fathers, and the Church for 2000 years, to ask our brothers and sisters in the heavenly part of the Body to intercede for us before our Lord.
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