Why Do Catholics Pray to Mary?

Q. Why do Catholics pray to Mary and the Saints?

A. When we “pray to Mary” we are merely asking Mary and/or the Saints to pray for us in exactly the same way as when we ask another Christian to pray for us. This is nothing more than asking for intercessory prayer. And just like most Christians ,when we are in need of prayer we ask those we consider to be closest to God. If I need prayer for healing for my mom with cancer I will not ask the drug dealer on the corner or even a nominal Christian to pray for me. Instead, I ask the holiest Christians I know. After all, James 5:16 says, “the fervent prayer of a righteous man is very powerful”.

Misunderstanding arises between Protestants and Catholics because of our use of the phrase “pray to Mary” or “pray to St. Francis” etc. For Protestants, with a shorter history, prayer is only and always directed to God. However, for Catholics the older uses of the English “pray” have endured through the centuries. In medieval English it was common to use the word “pray” as a synonym for “ask”. I pray thee, good king, give me …. Plus, as usual in human speech this phraseology has endured because it is short and sweet. It is easier to say, I will pray to Mary than to say, I will ask Mary to pray to God for me. While the second sentence is more theologically accurate it is also more than twice as long. So, no one uses it in everyday speech.

Despite this colloquialism, the prayers of the Church are theologically correct. For instance, in the Hail Mary we say, “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” and in the I Confess we say, “And I ask blessed Mary, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the Lord our God.”

Another difference between Protestants and Catholics is how we view those Christians who have died. Protestants remember them and miss them but once they are dead they are beyond this world and our prayers. And although Protestants certainly believe in the Body of Christ they tend to think of this consisting of living Christians only. Dead Christians are either in Heaven or Hell and no longer connected or affected or interested in events in this world.

But ,for Catholics, all Christians both the living and the “dead” are a part of the Body of Christ. We remain connected to each other. We continue to love, care and pray for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, intercessory prayer continues through the power of God, among the members of the Body of Christ, because we are all alive.

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34 Responses to Why Do Catholics Pray to Mary?

  1. gil c says:

    Numbers 20:16
    but when we cried out to the LORD, he HEARD our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.

    Exodus 2:24
    God HEARD their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.

    Exodus 3:7
    The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have HEARD them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.

    Exodus 6:5
    Moreover, I have HEARD the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

    Numbers 11:18
    “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD HEARD you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it.

    God also hears whining:

    Exodus 16:9
    Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the LORD, for he has HEARD your grumbling.’ ”

    Exodus 16:12
    “I have HEARD the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’ ”

    Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father MAKING INTERCESSION for us.
    How many intercessors do you need? I guess Jesus is inadequate.

  2. Robert says:

    Gil C,

    Welcome to the Black Cordelias! May God bless you.

    Your argument was this:

    “Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father MAKING INTERCESSION for us.
    How many intercessors do you need? I guess Jesus is inadequate.”

    And the answer is: as many as possible! Paul asks “that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,” (1 Tim 2:1). And note how he doesn’t even bat an eye before he moves into his famous text on Jesus being the sole mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5). There is no contradiction between asking for as much intercession as possible from men and being totally dependent on Christ’s mediation.

    And Paul is constantly asking for prayers. “With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones, and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Eph 6:18-19). Do you think this implies that Paul thinks Jesus is inadequate?

    He says in Philippians that “Indeed I shall continue to rejoice, for I know that this will result in deliverance for me through your prayers and support from the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:18-19). Through their prayers *and* the Spirit of Jesus Christ? Does this sound like he thinks Jesus is inadequate and he also needs their prayers?

    And in 2 Thess he says, “Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you” (2 Thess 3:1).

    So it does seem that we need lots of intercessors if we want our prayers to be answered, because even Paul wanted lots of intercessors. And it seems equally that wanting many intercessors does not imply that Jesus is inadequate, because it would be absurd to think that Paul preached or acted in a way that implied Jesus was inadequate.

    God bless.

  3. bfhu says:

    Thanks Robert for an excellent response to Gil.

  4. Chaka says:

    Gil c wrote:”Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father MAKING INTERCESSION for us.
    How many intercessors do you need? I guess Jesus is inadequate”.He seem to forget that St.Paul in the Epistle to the Romans teaches that the third Person of the Holy Trinity,the Holy Spirit,is interceding for us(Rom.8:26-27:”Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    “.
    ).Because we have the third Person of the Holy Trinity also interceding for us,does this mean that the intercession of the second Person of the Trinity,Jesus Christ,is inadequate?With Gil c kind of reasoning it is.But that kind of reasoning certainly is false.If not we will have Scripture contradicting itself(Note in that same chapter St.Paul spoke of Christ interceding for us,see Rom.8:34).The fact that we can have the Holy Spirit interceding for us without this infering that the intercession of Christ is inadequate shows that the intercession of Christ does not exclude the existance of other intercessors.

  5. Ron says:

    Your explanation was outstanding, and is how I attempt to describe our belief on the ‘praying to Mary’ question to others. When we intercede for our fellow man it increases our love, faith and compassion, and thus God within us, as I’m sure it does for the saints as well, and as God in us increases, our selfish interests fade away, and we are even closer to him. God is the source of all prayer, and he certainly asks all immortals to participate in it for each other.

  6. Betty Salinas says:

    I can see why Catholics pray to saints, but where in the scriptures does it say that its ok to pray to Mary or any other saint? I haven’t read anything that indicates to me that it is ok to do this?? Isn’t God a jelous God? Wouldn’t he get upset?? Exodus 20:4-5 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…”

    Also didn’t JEsus teach us how to pray??

  7. bfhu says:

    Dear Betty,

    Where does it say in Scripture not to pray to Saints? In fact where does it say in scripture that everything has to be is scripture? Hint. It does not.

    We do NOT worship or serve the Saints so we observe Ex. 20 just as well as Protestants.

    We don’t worship a carved image of Mary or a picture of a saint any more than you worship a picture of your mother hanging on a wall in your house.

    We are all the family of God and statues and pictures of the saints inspire us to follow their example of heroic virtue. We have family pictures at our communal house of prayer. To say we “pray to” them is only a matter of speech b/c what we actually do is ASK them to PRAY FOR US TO GOD.

    Hail Mary Full of Grace….pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

    • Star says:

      Jesus said, “No One Comes To the Father, But Through Me”: John 14:6

      • Briana says:

        I find this discussion very interesting, I am a sophmore in high school and in my AP European Literature class we cover pretty much all of European history, and of course the Catholic church and the protestant reforms play an enormous role in the society. I understand that ‘praying’ to Mary and the saints has to do with asking them to ask God things for you, what I do not understand is how this is better than directly asking God? Also even though you do not worship Mary or the saints where did anyone ever get the idea that praying to dead people, yes dead people because that is ALL that Mary or any of the saints is, dead, is going to help anything? Nothing makes the saints or Mary holy in any way except that human beings decided they wanted to be, Jesus also died but the difference is that he came back to life afterwords. The scripture verse above that Star posted is extremely relevant and in my opinion too much over looked in our society today. So what I would like to know is how it is possible to justify the belief that Mary and the Saints can do anything at all for you and whether or not Catholics view them as holy? One last point I would like to make is that there are many graven images of the Virgin Mary, one in almost every Catholic church, as well as images of the saints, and that even if you yourself do not worship Mary many people out there actually do, this tradition began in the 11th century when St.Bernard began a cult completely dedicated to the worship of Mary. It is completely ungrounded in scripture that any dead person can intercede between you and God.

        My REPLY TO Brianna
        Dear Briana,

        Q. I understand that ‘praying’ to Mary and the saints has to do with asking them to ask God things for you, what I do not understand is how this is better than directly asking God?

        A. I don’t know. It just does. Our Lord likes for us to pray for one another. If we were only supposed to pray directly to Him then scripture would not exhort us to pray for one another. Where in Scripture does is say that we must only pray for ourselves and directly to God at all times?

        Q. Also even though you do not worship Mary or the saints where did anyone ever get the idea that praying to dead people, yes dead people because that is ALL that Mary or any of the saints is, dead, is going to help anything?

        A. We do not think of them as dead. I am sorry that you lack the faith to realize that even thought our bodies die, our souls are alive in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. Therefore, since their souls are ALIVE, they are able to intercede for us.

        Q. Nothing makes the saints or Mary holy in any way except that human beings decided they wanted to be.

        A. No, it is not that easy to be declared a Saint with a capital “S”. The life of the person is examined with a fine-toothed comb. Writings, witnesses, friends and relatives are consulted if still alive. But then two supernatural miracles must occur as a result of a person asking for the intercession of the person. These miracles are not just lightly accepted the way a lot of people talk about, “it was a miracle”. The disease or disorder must be verifiable by medical, scientific records, doctor reports, lab work, X-rays, etc. The person must have been praying to this individual and then be cured. The cure also must be medically/scientifically verified with physician testimony, lab reports, X-rays etc. It must be determined beyond doubt that something supernatural occurred.

        Q. Jesus also died but the difference is that he came back to life afterwords.
        A. Jesus’ body was resurrected. But His spiritual being never died. He is God. He cannot die. And it is the same with our souls. Our bodies die but our soul is immortal. At the end of time all bodies will be resurrected and reunited with their soul in Heaven or Hell.

        Q. The scripture verse above that Star posted is extremely relevant and in my opinion too much over looked in our society today.

        A. The scripture verse: Jesus said, “No One Comes To the Father, But Through Me”: John 14:6
        Of course, this is true. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection made it possible for man to be reconciled to God. Not Mary or any of the Saints. I think you seem to have some misinformation about what Catholics believe. Protestantism is riddled with misinformation about the Catholic Church.

        Q. So what I would like to know is how it is possible to justify the belief that Mary and the Saints can do anything at all for you and whether or not Catholics view them as holy?

        A. Yes, since we believe that they are ALIVE in Heaven, as evidenced by miraculous signs through their intercession, we believe that they can join their prayers with ours to our Lord. They do not, by their own merely human power, answer our prayers. We do view them as Holy. But we are all supposed to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is holy.

        Q. One last point I would like to make is that there are many graven images of the Virgin Mary, one in almost every Catholic church, as well as images of the saints, and that even if you yourself do not worship Mary many people out there actually do.
        A. I would say that you are wrong. Have you ever asked a Catholic if they worship Mary? Did they say, “Yes”? Protestants are taught that Catholics worship Mary and the Saints. They have no pictures or statues in their churches. Therefore when they go to a Catholic Church, because of the biased teaching they have received, they jump to an uncharitable conclusion that Catholics worship Mary, etc. Any Catholic who actually does worship anyone other than God is a heretic. Pure and simple. No Catholic is EVER taught to worship anyone other that God.

        Q. This tradition began in the 11th century when St.Bernard began a cult completely dedicated to the worship of Mary.
        A. You are mistaken.

        Q. It is completely ungrounded in scripture that any dead person can intercede between you and God.
        A. Where does scripture assert what you say here? Where does Scripture say that a person who’s body has died cannot intercede for other members of the Body of Christ? Where does Scripture say that a person who has died is dead, dead, dead, until the end of time or whatever it is you believe about the soul?

  8. EFBurke says:

    Hello! All your comments are wonderful! I really appreciate an open, loving and friendly conversation between catholics (emphasize little c) because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

    I guess one thing that I wanted to emphasize is that Catholics do not pray to saints. The phrase “pray to saints” is confusing. I understand as a Catholic what it means because I was raised with the true understanding, but to other Christians they take you literally. Personally I use “Ask for the intercession of Saints,” or “pray through saints.”

    Robert, i really appreaciated your defense. God bless!

    Eugene

  9. Gilbert says:

    Okay.. something you are all forgetting in your arguements is that you are all going off of the Biblically unfounded idea that the Saints and Mary can even HEAR your prayers. Do the dead HEAR our prayers? Show me a scripure that says “Dead mortal men hear our prayers” or anything like it and I will aid you in your argument to pray ALONG SIDE dead saints. And BTW, getting on your knees before a Saint or Mary or infront of a candle or image is VERY unbiblcal. I wouldn’t say “Sara, come pray for me” as I am physically kneeling down before her.

  10. EFBurke says:

    Gilbert,

    I’m no expert but….
    I am a Catholic (thus a christian) and I believe both you (gilbert) and I agree that I will someday die. But the question i think you posed is, ‘Am i really dead?’ Here I would say no. In a sense i would say that as soon as I die and join God, it would be the first time i have ever truly lived.
    Also, I agree with you that kneeling in front of Saints/Mary seems weird/unbiblical. But it is important to remember that we are not praying to the saints. There is only one God. In the words of St. Louis de Montfort, “God has laid no other foundation of our salvation, our perfection or our glory, than Jesus Christ.” In light of this, “If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly [our] devotion to Jesus Christ.” Any intercessions or devotions that Catholics have (that may come in the form of them praying in front of a Saint, Mary etc. is only meant to more perfectly establish our relationship with Christ. It is all centered on Christ.
    I hope i answered your question, I do not mean to offend, so please take nothing I said in that way. I simply want to further ecumenism.

    • Star says:

      Jesus said, “No One Comes To the Father, But Through Me”: John 14:6
      NOT through Mary.
      Please understand, God also said not to take away or add anything to the Word of God.

      “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:2

      “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32

      “…if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:9-10

      • Briana says:

        Just so you know I love your use of scripture, it gets right to the point and refutes other arguments with out you even having to say anything other than quote scripture, I really appreciate it and it reminds me of how Jesus used scripture to overcome all of Satan’s temptations.

      • bfhu says:

        Are you aware that the New Testament has been added to the word of God?

        We do come to the Father through Mary but through Jesus. Who lied to you and told you we thought this?

        We believe that same Gospel taught to the Apostles by Jesus and passed down for 2000 years. Protestants believe in a gospel taught by Martin Luther a mere 500 years ago.

  11. Robert says:

    EFBurke,

    And one could add some other Scripture passages which indicate knowledge of the saints (in heaven) regarding what goes happens on earth.

    For instance, when Jesus tells His parable about the woman and the lost coin, He says that, “In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

    This is also a helpful verse because it indicates how the communion of the saints is. There is rejoicing in heaven concerning the victories of Christians on earth. Indeed– they seem to look on and celebrate at what happens. The Epistle to the Hebrews indicates a similar thing when it speaks of us being “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” and so to “persevere in running the race that lies before us” (Hebrews 12:1). They are like the crowd in an amphitheater cheering on the runners as they run. They give us encouragement.

    The other evidence of awareness of the saints in heaven comes from the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse). The Apocalypse is a revealing of what the heavenly liturgy, the heavenly worship, looks like. We Christians are quite familiar with the imagery of the 24 elders casting their crowns and worshiping before the throne, or the 144,000 sealed by God, and the countless multitude praising Him.

    What is especially important is this description of the elders worshiping before the throne. John recounts: “Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones” (Rev 5:8).

    The heavenly liturgy, oddly enough, includes the offering of prayers. Any Christian, understands, of course, that the blessed have no need for prayers on their own behalf. It seems most reasonable to conclude, therefore, that they are praying for the fulfillment of God’s will outside of heaven.

    There is another similar description a few chapters later. “He [the angel] was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel” (Revelation 8:3-4).

    Now, it is ambiguous where the prayers come from. It says, after all, “the prayers of the holy ones.” It could mean (a)the prayers of the blessed– of course, it could also mean (b)the prayers of the ‘holy ones,’ the Christians, on earth. If (a)the former then it shows that the saints in heaven pray for things to happen on earth. If (b)the latter then it shows that the prayers of the saints on earth (the Christians) are offered before God by the angels and elders, meaning that they are aware of the prayers of those on earth. Either way seems to be enough to show my point.

    There is one addition point. The martyrs who witnessed to God by the shedding of their blood cry out before God constantly: “How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” (Rev 6:10). This at the very least shows a prayer to God the Father from the blessed for His will to be done on earth. It implicitly includes awareness of earthly events, because they know that the earth has not been judged and that their blood has not been avenged.

    As you can see Gilbert, there are not inconsiderable reasons for thinking that the blessed know what is going on!

    One last consideration, Gilbert, on the knowledge of the blessed. As we know, eternal life consists in the knowledge of the One true God and in Jesus Christ (John 17:3). And, as the first epistle of John states, “we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

    Now, the highest function in man is his intellect. And when God says that He created us in His “image and likeness” it refers most highly to our soul which has a rational intellect. Our perfection in heaven, therefore, must consist most highly in a perfection of the intellect. This is what these Scripture verses indicate to us– the blessed will know God as He is, directly and intuitively. That is, they will know Him by His essence.

    Now I won’t press this argument too hard, but I will leave it open for you to contemplate. If the blessed themselves contemplate God Himself as He is, then wouldn’t this include, then, much knowledge? The blessed will especially understand God’s will and His plan through creation. It will be at this point that we understand fully the intricate plan which God has effortlessly weaved throughout all of creation to fulfill His will. Doesn’t it, then, stand to reason, that the blessed know about God’s will as it relates to earth?

    The Scriptures and even reason seem to support the idea that the blessed have knowledge of things on earth.

    God bless you Gilbert,

    Rob

  12. happy says:

    Rob and EFBurke,
    Very well put! I think that this is one of this most misunderstood parts to the protestants. I am Methodist in the process of converting. That was one thing I heard continually… don’t pray to Mary/saints. Actually, the Meth. Church has many Churches named after saints and it is a practice to ask for intercessory prayer, so it is not just Catholic. Meth.just don’t have patron saints of….. like the Catholic Church does. We do say the Apostles Creed which states:
    I believe in the Holy Ghost;
    the holy catholic church;
    the COMMUNION OF SAINTS;
    the forgiveness of sins;
    the resurrection of the body;
    and the life everlasting.

    I just think people get really confused on the whole praying to them and thinking that Catholics believe that someone other than Christ answers our prayers.
    You most kindly explained it all and that is what we must continue to do!
    God bless you all and Happy Weekend!
    Ally:)

  13. Dr. Eric says:

    He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

    cf Matt 22:32; Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38 and many, many others.

  14. Ed says:

    From the discussion, it is clear that there are two very different ideas of the dead: those who believe they are completely separate from us, and those who believe (Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, others) that the dead are in union with Christ, and therefore still part of his Body. For those who hold the latter, asking the saints to pray for them is no different than asking your next door neighbor to do so. Asking the person in the pew next to me to pray for me does not diminish the unique mediation of Christ, nor does asking the cloud of witnesses.

    Is the point of the discussion to give reasons why people believe what they do, or is the point to convince others to believe as you do? I don’t see much benefit to the latter, as it tends to generate more heat than light.

  15. Ed says:

    Oh, yeah. I know it’s a parable, and therefore not to be taken literally, but I have always been fascinated with the fact that the rich man in Jesus’ parable about Lazarus intercedes for his family, even though he’s in hell.

    I’m pretty sure that if anyone has chosen such alienation from God and others, they are not particularly concerned about anyone else’s well being (thus, it is not literal). However, it is interesting in light of this to maintain that those who are in union with Christ cannot intercede, as though they were unconcerned with the continuing work of Christ on earth.

  16. bfhu says:

    Dear Ed,
    My purpose for writing my posts is to explain the the rationale for Catholic teaching. This is because there is so much misinformation out there, especially among Protestants. I was appalled at the lies I had been taught about the Catholic Church from people I trusted and who should have done the homework to make sure they were teaching the truth.

    Because I am so happy to be Catholic and love her teachings so much I would hope others might come to love the Church as well.

  17. julian says:

    John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

    John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

    I haven’t seen any evidence of Jesus telling me to ask Moses, Mary, Paul or any other saint in the bible to pray for me. The Lord Jesus is our interceder to the Father. No one else.

    I agree with the poster who said that we should stick to the bible and not traditions.

    “beiruth”
    “I prefer to use 1 John 2:1 “..and if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only but also for the whole world….”
    Note Advocate is Capitalized which means Deity. If Jesus christ is our Advocate and the propitiation for our sins then there is no other way to God the Father than by Jesus christ.”

  18. Nan says:

    julian, it’s great that you have an opinion, but this is a Catholic blog and it was Martin Luther who started Sola Scriptura. Catholics believe in Scripture and Tradition.

  19. julian says:

    oops i didn’t realize this was a Catholic blog and opposing views are not allowed, my apologies.
    God Bless.

  20. bfhu says:

    Julian,

    Questions and opposing opinions are welcome.

    But, what you are unaware of is that sola scriptura is a tradition started a mere 500 years ago by Martin Luther. You say there is no evidence of Jesus telling us to pray to the Saints in the Bible. I agree. But neither is there any evidence of Jesus saying to “stick to the Bible and not the oral teachings of the Apostles…because that is what TRADITION in the Catholic Church is. The teaching of the Apostles, which is the teaching of Jesus to the Apostles. It is not a theory or fad started by a man on his own authority, as is sola scriptura. And St. Paul explicitly DID tell us to…

    II Thess 2: 15… stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

    And that is exactly what the Catholic Church has done for 2000 years. The Protestant Churches have lost these teachings of the Apostles because of Martin Luther.

  21. Morse says:

    I think the article is very well written and explanatory. There is deep confusion about the role Mary plays in the R.C. Church, this confusion arises over the wording which is highlighted above.

    I have had to explain a number of times (to Protestants) Mary’s role and the role of the saints play in R.C. tradition.

    Whilst I doubt any prayers do anything other than support oneself psychologically, credit where credits due – its a good article.

    Am I becoming soft – this will never do! back to reading Hitchins….

    Yours M.

  22. Julian says:

    If the Bible is a Catholic Book written by the appostles than how can one explain this.

    Why does it condemn clerical dress? (Matt. 23:5-6).

    Why does it teach against the adoration of Mary? (Luke 11:27-28).

    Why does it show that all Christians are priests? (1 Pet. 2:5,9).

    Why does it condemn the observance of special days? (Gal. 4:9-11).

    Why does it teach that all Christians are saints? (1 Cor. 1:2).

    Why does it condemn the making and adoration of images? (Ex. 20:4-5).

    Why does it teach that baptism is immersion instead of pouring? (Col. 2:12).

    Why does it forbid us to address religious leaders as “father”? (Matt. 23:9).

    Why does it teach that Christ is the only foundation and not the apostle Peter? (1 Cor. 3:11).

    Why does it teach that there is one mediator instead of many? (1 Tim. 2:5).

    Why does it teach that a bishop must be a married man? (1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5).

    Why is it opposed to the primacy of Peter? (Luke 22:24-27).

    Why does it oppose the idea of purgatory? (Luke 16:26).

    Why is it completely silent about infant baptism, instrumental music in worship, indulgences, confession to priests, the rosary, the mass, and many other things in the Catholic Church?

    The thing about tradition, which i have a hard time to understand is, First It cannot be proven that the church which held the Council of Hippo in 390 A.D. was the same church which is now known as the Roman Catholic Church.

    and second, it cannot be proven that the Catholic Church is solely responsible for the gathering and selection of the New Testament books. In fact, it can be shown that the New Testament books were gathered into one volume and were in circulation long before the Catholic Church claims to have taken its action in 390 at the council of Hippo. In the following we list some of the catalogues of the books of the Bible which are given by early Christian writers.

    And also,
    The word of God of God teaches against the adoration of Mary.
    Luke 11:27-28 (KJV) 27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

    28 But he said, YEA RATHER, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

    Also, Even if the Catholic Church could prove that it alone is the sole deliverer of the Scriptures to man today, it still remains that the Catholic Church is not following the Bible and is contrary to the Bible. Furthermore, even if the Catholic Church could show conclusively that it alone is responsible for gathering the books, it does not prove that the Catholic Church is infallible, nor does it prove that it is the author of the Bible. God has at times used evil agencies to accomplish His purpose (Jer. 27:6-8; 43:10; Hab. 1:5-11; John 11:49-52).

  23. bfhu says:

    Julian,
    I am going to respond to your long post above, but it will take some time. However, you still have not addressed the foundation of all of your premises..where does Jesus command sola scriptura? What if this doctrine, invented by Martin Luther is itself a tradition of men? You are demanding proof for Catholic beliefs from scripture alone and yet you have no proof that this demand is itself scriptural.

  24. Robert says:

    Julian,

    Surely some simple distinctions can easily deflect the force of most of these criticisms. It seems you are more bent on finding anti-Catholic proof-texts than on making a credible case from the Scriptures.

    Consider this quote of yours at the end, allegedly against the veneration of Mary, “28 But he said, YEA RATHER, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”

    Indeed, what better proof of Mary’s blessedness is there except this verse? The ground of blessedness is not merely Mary’s physical relation to Jesus as His mother, but rather the true ground of her blessedness is her superlative following of God’s will.

    Don’t the Scriptures testify that Mary hears the word of God and keeps it? The Gospel of Luke certainly testifies that when the angel appeared she was the Lord’s “handmaiden” who wanted only to do according to His will. And many times the Gospel of Luke testifies that Mary kept the word of God closely guarded in her heart.

    It will take a long time to understand the Catholic Christian faith, Julian, but I assure you it is well worth it– and it will satisfy both your mind and your heart. God bless you,

    Rob

    • Julian says:

      Robert,
      I agree with you , she is blessed indeed The Lord has used her in a mighty way, but (with no pun intended) she was used by God in a unique way Just as he does with many christians today. The way the Lord uses a christian to do God’s will is merely the same way he has used her to do God’s will. In this case the Lord has used her body as the living vesel. The Lord want’s us to listen to his word which is alive today. Mary has done her deed and is just like any other person who has passed on. Mary didnt preach the Gospel Jesus thru his disciples.We need to focus on his word and that is it.

      The way i interpet the verse , But he said, Yea RATHER Blessed are those that that hear the word of God, and keep it.

      notice the word “but” and “rather” gives me the inclination that the mere importance of this verse is taken away from “mary” and placed on the “word” of God.

      • Robert says:

        Julian,

        While Mary’s blessedness primarily because she followed God’s will so perfectly, and secondarily because of the way in which she did so, namely, by bearing the Son of God.

        You fall into the same error that the person who addressed Jesus did when you say that the Lord used her in a mighty way merely as a “living vessel” for the Lord. The person in the gospel makes the same error when she says “blessed is the womb that bore you.” I turn around your error in the same way Jesus turned around the woman’s error: rather, blessed in the woman who heard God’s will, and carried it out, so becoming the living vessel of the Lord.

        A fine distinction? Perhaps, but crucial.

        As to the verse: (1) there is no such strong opposition. The Greek reads in verse 28 “autos de eipen.” I am not an expert in Greek, but it amounts to no more that a simple opposition of statement. To read anything deeper into the grammar would saddle too much on the grammar.

        What are being opposed are two views of “blessedness,” not Mary and God. The first speaker says, “blessed… for these reasons,” and Jesus says, “no, blessed… for these reasons.”

        “Mary has done her deed and is just like any other person who has passed on”

        You might say that Mary is like any of the saints who have passed on, that is, in her ability to intercede before us in heaven. But she, of course, has this ability in a superlative degree as compared to the other saints.

        “We need to focus on his word and that is it.”

        The saints always point us to Jesus. Mary said, “Do whatever He tells you.” To focus on the saints is not to lose focus on Jesus. There is no opposition. Rather, a true attention to the saints is paying attention to God, because God shines through the humble saint, because the true saint is but a transparent glass through which we see God.

        I can tell you experientially: many Christians, including myself, have been led much closer to Jesus through His blessed Mother. That is good fruit, my friend.

        God bless,
        Rob

      • Julian says:

        Robert, the position i come from is the belief that the bible, (KJV) is fully inspired by God, by telling me the gospel has errors and this word belongs here and this word there, leads me to believe that this debate is useless.

        I dont understand why you had to change the wording since it is clear that the Lord said “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and do it” He didnt say blessed are they who hear the word of God thru Mary because of her blessing.

        I agree that there are 2 different blessings here.

        One of Mary made by her own claim alone,
        and the other completely unrelated to the first, Jesus said that it is for those who listen to the word of God, and obey it, notice it does not say the word of God which “YOU Mary” will Tell the world thru intercesion since you have a superlative degree and in that alone qualifies you.

        What is happening here is you are combining these two verses that are ment to be kept separate, and presuming to correct what Mary intended to say.

        By implying that Mary intercedes for us, is beyond my understanding, where does this notion even come from biblically speaking. If any saint had anything to do with interceding for me after they have departed dont you think the Lord would have mentioned its significance? The Lord teaches us to pray to Him and the Father, not to anyonelse, nor thru any one. The holyspirit is our only intercessor and mediator as the bible says, if Jesus would have given us more mediators from heaven to intercede for us he would have told us so. No saint or anyonelse can intercede for me. Because the Lord already has given us the holyspirt which intrcedes for us in the spiritual relm, there is no need for anyone else who has passed on to do so. By the way i am sure you are aware of the fact that the bible does indicate that praying to the dead spirits is phorbitten,and iam sure Mary qualifies as a spirit who has died, yet is alive with Christ, but that’s a whole new topic i dont want to get into. I have given many questions in my posts above, which are not answered. But it makes perfect sense why this debate has gotten no where because as i mentioned before the Gospels we are using arn’t the same.

        Since i refer to the KJV, and perhaps you have another, throws this whole debate off.
        You seem quite knowladgeble with the Catholic faith and i respect that, I am sure you know how the KJV came about there is no need to get into it why i believe this is the one true word of God.
        In this sense we shall leave it the way it is and agree to disagree.

        God Bless
        Julian

        God

  25. Julian says:

    bfhu,

    I got a bit carried away with the long post. Jesus does command sola scriptura,

    Where does Jesus command sola scriptura?
    Jesus endorsed the reliability of the scriptures by repeated claims that God was the Author, that they were authoritative, and continually quoted from them (Matt. 19:4,5, Matt. 24:37-38, Luke 4:1-13, Luke 17:28-31, John 6:49, Luke 24:27).
    If one has confidence in Christ’s infallibility, one must also bring an equal weight of confidence to the credibility of the Bible from which He based His teachings.

    also,

    in (2 Tim. :3-16)The Bible itself, claims to be the truly inspired word of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).

    I do want to emphasize on the fact that there are many inaccuracies in some of the well common translations used by the non-catholic, and this is the main reason i do not condone anyone to study multiple translations due to its errors. The Lord himself has mentioned in the King James Version prohibiting any addition to his word (Rev 22, 18:19)

    I consider Sola Scriptura to be accurate but only one translation, the KJV, and the reason I strongly suggest the King James Verion is primarily due to its accurate translation from the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Unlike Martin King who has injected his personal views in the word of God, The KJV scholars have carefully translated word for word from the Original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts to English.

    Any translation of the Bible is affected by the faith of the translators. A secular writer or translator will never translate God’s Holy Word as will a Believer, and that guarantees the word for word translation.

    Martin Luther is reported to have written, “Translating is not an art that everyone can practice, as the mad saints think; it requires a right, pious, faithful, diligent, God-fearing, experienced heart. Therefore, I hold that no false Christian or sectarian can be a faithful translator.”

    I do have a gut feeling, we will have to agree to disagree and perhaps the feeling is mutual?

  26. EFBurke says:

    Julian,

    So, would you say then that Jesus himself was a “sola scriptura” proponent?

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