Question:

I was reading over your web site about Catholicism. I have had doubts about the Catholic Church before, and the one thing I knew to do was to pray. So I prayed and the next day God led me to a website. Since I read your web site, I ask that you may read this website and see if you can find the answers to your questions. Make sure you have you Bible with you so that you can make references. By the way, we don't worship Mary. We honor Mary for the birth of Jesus, and prayers to her are asking her to pray for us sinners. If you ask me to pray for you does that mean you are worshiping me? No, I am helping you to relay a message to God.


Answer:

Isn't it odd that you claim to have doubts about Roman Catholicism but instead of reading God's instructions which He has already given you run off to the work of uninspired man? Actually your recommendation is no different that the Mormons who ask people to pray to the Holy Spirit as to whether the book of Mormon is true or not. The answer to both prayers has already been given: "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

In regards to Mary, your true colors are showing. You did not justify your prayers to Mary by God's teachings. Instead you attempted to present a philosophical argument that makes your pre-decided action sound plausible. Your claim is that you are not worshiping Mary, just praying to her. However, the very statement is a contradiction. The Greek word for prayer is proseuchomai. It means to beseech or ask favors of God. To pray to Mary, by implication, is to treat her as a deity.

You try to make prayers to Mary as equivalent to asking a friend to pray on your behalf. But it is not the same. I don't go to my room in private and pray to my friend across town to offer a prayer on my behalf. It doesn't work because he cannot hear my prayers since he is not God. I have to go to him and ask him face to face. Of course, you might object, "that can't happen with someone who is already dead." Precisely! Concerning the dead, the Bible says, "For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6). The dead of mankind have no contact with those who are living. They cannot hear your prayers according to what God has told us.

If you wish to claim that Mary is different, as Catholics are wont to claim, you will have to show so by the word of God. There is no record in the Bible that Mary was given any special status in the Church or in heaven.

One of the interesting things about Catholicism is that it is so large and has existed for so long that its own members, even among the notable scholars, are unable to keep track of its varied positions. However, to demonstrate what Roman Catholicism says about Mary, allow me to quote from Glories of Mary, by Liguori.

"Whoever asks and wishes to obtain graces without the intercession of Mary, attempts to fly without wings" (page 189).

"Very glorious, oh Mary, and wonderful, exclaims St. Bonaventure, is thy great name. Those who are mindful to utter it at the hour of death, have nothing to fear from hell, for the devils at once abandon the soul when they hear the name of Mary" (page 163).

"The devils have presented my sins before the tribunal of the Lord, and already they were dragging me to hell, but the holy Virgin came and said to them: 'Where are you taking this youth? What have you to do with one of my servants who has so long served me in the congregation?' The devils fled, and thus I have been saved from their hands" (page 667).

"Father Bernardine de Bustis relates that a hawk darted upon a bird which had been taught to say Ave Maria; the bird said Ave Maria, and the Hawk fell dead" (page 96).

"Wherefore those who are servants of Mary, and for whom Mary intercedes, are as secure of paradise as if they were already there" (page 280).

"What poor sinners we should be if we had not this advocate, so powerful and so merciful, and at the same time so prudent and so wise, that the judge, her Son, cannot condemn the guilty, if she defends them. ... Precisely the same thing does Mary continually in heaven, in behalf of innumerable sinners: she knows so well how to appease the divine justice with her tender and wise entreaties, that God himself blesses her for it, and as it were thanks her, that thus she restrains him from abandoning and punishing them as they deserve" (page 220).

"God was also subject to her will" (page 201).

"And therefore, says St. Peter Damian, the Virgin has all power in heaven as on earth" (page 201).

"She seems to command rather than request" (page 202).

"Thou, then oh Mary, being Mother of God, canst save all men by thy prayers, which are enforced by a mother's authority" (page 211).

"But now, if God is offended with any sinner, and Mary undertakes to protect him, she restrains the Son from punishing him and saves him" (page 133).

"She possesses, by right, the whole kingdom of her son" (page 280).

"St. Bernardine of Sienna does not hesitate to say that all obey the commands of Mary, even God himself" (page 202).

"Holy Virgin, Mother of God, succor those who implore thy assistance. Turn to us. But, having been deified, as it were, hast thou forgotten men?" (page 331).

The following is from True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, by DeMontfort:

"... Mary whom He has made sovereign of heaven and earth, general of His armies, treasurer of His treasures, dispenser of His graces, worker of His greatest marvels, restorer of the human race, mediatrix of men, exterminator of the enemies of God, and the faithful companion of His grandeurs and His triumphs" (page 15.)

"The divine Mary is the terrestrial Paradise of the New Adam ..." (page 2-3, 40-41, 59, 117, and 129).

The following is from New Interpretations of the Mass, by Borgmann:

"Now He lifts His eyes to her, knowing that she is His mother. At every nod of her eyes He plays the part of the 'subdeacon' and grants her every wish" (page 57).

Thus we see that Roman Catholics not only claim a divine nature to Mary but they are wont to claim that she has power over and above both God the Father and God the Son; all based on the philosophies of men and not a word from the Holy Word of God.