A question about Mary.


#1

Hi everyone, Im not a catholic and I hope that i do not offend anyone here with my question. I m not big on Denomination and do not have anything against anyone’s denomination. I prefer to go directly to GOD through JESUS.

Do people actually pray to the Virgin Mary and why?
the reason for my question is because I notice some,not all people kneeling and praying to the Virgin Mary and as far I could remember and I will not say That Im an expert on the bible that it does not say anywhere in the bible to pray to Mary. is thhis an individual thing?

Thank you.


#2

Welcome.

By your bolded words, you seem to imply that Catholic Christians do not prefer to go directly to God through Christ? Was this your intent?

Depends on what your definition of pray is.

If you are using the older definition of pray which simply means “to ask”, we certainly ask Mary to pray for us.

If you are using the narrowed and more modern definition which defines prayer as something that you use only with God (or a divine being for pagan religions) then the answer in no. We never pray to Mary, we only ask her to pray for us.

Since the saints in heaven are alive in Christ and are not dead, through the body of Christ, we can continue on with what Christians are supposed to do, pray for one another and ask each other for prayer.

Would you consider that they are kneeling in front of a statue, as a reminder and asking her to pray for them? Or do you believe they are worshipping an inanimate object an praying to Mary as a diety?

Since you are not an expert, I will give you some verses that specifically mention how Christians are supposed to pray for one another.

Intercessory Prayer of Saints
Rom 15:30 - join me by your prayers to God on my behalf
Col 4:3, 1Thess 5:25 - pray for us
2Thess 1:11 - we always pray for you
2Thess 3:1 - finally, brothers, pray for us
Eph 6:18-19 - making supplication for all the saints & for me
Tob 12:12 - angel presents Tobit & Sarah’s prayer to God
Ps 148 - David calls upon angels
Zech 1:12 - angel intercedes for Jerusalem
Mk 12:25, Mt 22:30 - men in heaven are as the angels
Rev 5:8 - those in heaven offer prayers of the holy ones to God

No, it is a Christian thing to ask the saints (in heaven and on earth) to pray for each other.

God Bless,
Maria


#3

Hi, Stormy! :wave:

Since you know little about Catholicism I think it best to start with a few definitions to help you understand Catholic teaching and practice with regards to Mary or any other Saint.

Catholics worship/adore only the triune God. For worship to be true worship a sacrifice must be offered (the OT is full of examples of this). We offer the one sacrifice of Christ on our altars, which is the highest form of worship in the universe.

Prayer is another matter. Prayer can be offered to God or to others, including you and me, for it means to ask for assistance. Do you sometimes ask others to help you or pray for you? If so, then you are doing what Catholics do when we pray to Mary or a Saint or an Angel.

We offer adoration (Latin: latria) only to the triune God. We offer veneration/reverence (Latin: dulia) to the Saints and Angels. And, because she was without sin and the Mother of God, we offer to Mary the highest veneration of all the Saints and/or Angels (Latin: hyperdulia).

Kneeling is not worship in and of itself. As I wrote above, true worship is to offer a sacrifice. Merely kneeling (something those who live under a monarchy do that we in a republic don’t) is merely showing veneration/reverence, which is what we are doing when we kneel before a statue of Mary or another Saint or Angel.


#4

I pray to Mary every day. Sometimes I pray to St. John the Baptist. Or any number of other saints.
If it were not mentioned in the bible I would still do it.


#5

Would you consider that they are kneeling in front of a statue, as a reminder and asking her to pray for them? Or do you believe they are worshipping an inanimate object an praying to Mary as a diety?

I m sorry if I offended you with my misunderstandings. I just never thought of going through anyone to pray for me. I just go straight to the source.

Im very sorry if I did offend you or anyone out here.I figure that we all want to make it back home to GOD the road we take back to him is not important as long as we get back home.


#6

Oh! My bolded words, Thats because I can not write JESUS or GOD without them being bolded, I guess its my way of showing respect. It had nothing to do with my question. Sorry about that.


#7

From the responses, it doesn’t seem that anyone was offended. Sometimes our posts lack the inflection that we wish to convey.

I promise you, you’ll KNOW when someone is offended. If there’s any doubt, go with your doubt and assume that they are not offended. Life is a lot easier that way, I’ve found.

One last thing to consider: Is our Lord the God of the Living or the God of the Dead?

P.S. Welcome to the Forums!!! :clapping:


#8

Hi and welcome to the CA forums!

Yes, Christians throughout history have prayed to the Blessed Mother and the saints and angels for help and intercession.

In the same way that I may ask you, a brother or sister in Christ, “Please pray for me. . .” I ask Mary to pray for me to her Son and because of her special relationship with Him, we believe that her prayers are powerful.

We go to Mary for help and intercession, not INSTEAD of going to Christ, but BECAUSE of Him.

We know, through Scripture and the Church, that Jesus is the one Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus Christ, through His Life, Death, and Resurrection, makes it possible for us to have fellowship with our heavenly Father and with all the saints and angels. This Mediator of the New Covenant, our Lord Jesus Christ, has flung open the gates of heaven that we may experience grace and fellowship as members of God’s family.

We know, too, that Jesus is the one great high priest (Heb.8:1), yet God calls all Christians a “priestly people” and invites us to share in His priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).

In the very same way, we know that God alone accomplishes and provides everything that we need, but in the fullness of His design he has chosen to include us, his creatures, in his work of mediation by allowing and enabling us to pray to God for each other. This is how we understand St. Peter’s instruction: “As generous distributors of God’s manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another, each in the measure he has received” (2 Peter 4:10).

This is what we believe Mary does. That’s what we believe the saints do. Scripture tells us that we are “surrounded by this cloud of witnesses” which are those who have gone before us in the faith (Hebrews 11 and 12). These witnesses are examples to us and are eternal brothers and sisters through Christ, we are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph 2:19-21). As fellows, they are our friends in Christ, and we turn to them just as we turn to each other for help and intercession.

We are told in Scripture that we are to “pray for one another that you may find healing. For the fervent prayer of a holy man is powerful indeed” (James 5:16). The saints and the Blessed Mother are closer to Christ than we are. They are with Him in heaven, glorified, saved, and praying for us as we run this race that they have already completed.


#9

Another thing I’ve noticed about those that pray to Mary. If you look at these people around the parish, they are typically the ones that are volunteering the time for various causes. They are the ones that form prayer chains for the sick and the dying. They are the ones that are working for those less fortunate.

Of course, this is just a trend, but it sure seems like Mary helps to steer these people towards working to fulfill God’s Will!!!


#10

Can I ask where you noticed people praying to Mary?

thanks, Ken


#11

co-workers here in FL.
Seen it back up in NYC where I lived.


#12

I am not offended:)

You never ask other Christians to pray for you:confused:


#13

Okay. Thanks for clarifying. The type of media, it is sometimes hard to understand the intent of things. Usually bolded words like that are a way of emphasizing a point, and I did not understand what your point was if this was the case.


#14

Hi Storm and thanks, can you be more specific? Do you work at a Catholic Church?


#15

maybe Im just very bad at explaining what I mean.
Yes, I have asked other christians to pray for me and still love it when people do.
I think its more of seeing people pray to a statue. I know there is more behind it and they are not praying to the actual statue its just a point of contact.
I guess its my own ignorance.


#16

sounds like a very intelligent observation if you ask me, and very humble too.

God bless your great attitude and your willingness to ask things.


#17

The difference, and your ignorance:) , is that Protestants have lost the understanding of the beautiful connectedness of the body of Christ. Your understanding is limited to that which you can see, the saints on earth.

But we know that those who die are in Christ are not dead but alive. Through God’s grace we see that they continue to offer the prayers of the faithful to God.

Rev 5:8And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints;

We are one Body through Christ. We also know from Scripture that they are aware of what is happening on earth and concerned about us, and it is inconceivable that the saints who are in heaven would no longer be praying for us here on earth.


#18

Well, it’s either use the statue to help us focus on the saint(s), or hire a necromancer to call up their spirit from the great beyond. Ooooh, now THAT would be wrong. :wink:


#19

Now, I think, I understand your question better.

Christian statuary, pictures, artwork and icons are all holy reminders. As we are the family of God, these physical representations are like our family photo albums.

Whenever you have witnessed a Catholic or Orthodox praying “to” a statue, you have misunderstood the action. Those people with holy devotions to the Blessed Mother and the saints do not pray to statues. We pray to the actual being. The statue is a reminder of that person.

I think you have actually demonstrated a good understanding of iconology in your statement:

I know there is more behind it and they are not praying to the actual statue its just a point of contact.

So, I am unsure of what you are trying to understand better??? Can you elaborate on your concerns?

I guess its my own ignorance

Bless you for asking!


#20

If it helps you understand better, have you ever seen someone kneel with a Bible to pray? I know I’ve seen lots of preachers on TV who kneel with the Bible in their hands, and begin praying.
So it is with statues- the preacher isn’t praying TO the Bible, he’s kneeling WITH a Bible. So it is with Catholics who kneel before a statue. We’re not praying TO the statue, but we’re praying WITH the person portrayed by the image.

Just like people who kiss pictures of family members aren’t showing affection for the chemically-treated paper, but rather for what the pictures represent.

Hope this helps!!

C


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