I am a Mary worshipper


#1

In So how is the Blessed Virgin Mary not a goddess? one of the main points made is that we (Catholics) do not worship Mary. I think it is a serious mistake in apologetics say that we do not worship her. Anyone outside of the Catholic Church can see that we do worship her. To reply to them that it only looks like worship but is not *really *worship just undermines our credibility. They know what the word “worship” means and our explanation just looks like redefining the word worship to suit our needs—which it is.

But this finagling is unnecessary. The relationship between the words worship, veneration and adoration is:

- Adoration is the worship properly due to God alone, veneration is the worship appropriate to the saints.

See the Catholic Encyclopedia articles on Worship, Christian, which begins thus:

The word worship (Saxon weorthscipe, “honour”; from worth, meaning “value”, “dignity”, “price”, and the termination, ship; Lat. cultus) in its most general sense is homage paid to a person or a thing. In this sense we may speak of hero-worship, worship of the emperor, of demons, of the angels, even of relics, and especially of the Cross.
and continues

As the Blessed Virgin has a separate and absolutely supereminent rank among the saints, the worship paid to her is called hyperdulia (for the meaning and history of these terms see Suicer, Thesaurus ecclesiasticus, 1728).

The worship due God alone is properly called Adoration.

Some might say that the usage of “worship” has changed since the Catholic Encyclopedia, but I see no evidence for that. All that is happened is that recently Catholics have tried to sweep an uncomfortable question under the rug… and quite unnecessarily.

So the next time you are accused of worshipping Mary, say, “Yes, I do but not with the sort of worship that may be given to God alone.” Or simply, “Yes. And…?” That may lead to a conversation that will help them actually understand the distinction. On the other hand, what are they to make of denial of worshipping her when they can see it with their own eyes?


#2

[quote=Racer X]In So how is the Blessed Virgin Mary not a goddess? one of the main points made is that we (Catholics) do not worship Mary. I think it is a serious mistake in apologetics say that we do not worship her. Anyone outside of the Catholic Church can see that we do worship her. ?
[/quote]

Please quit with this please. To worship anyone other than God is to commit a serious sin. Thou shalt not put false god before Me.

We do NOT worship Mary, Mary does NOT want us to worship her.
Please buy the Catholic Answers Beginning Apologetice book on Defending Mary.

YOu do Catholics a HUGE disservice by calling yourself Catholic and saying we worship Mary. To do so shows a disregard for our Church and Jesus teachings.:nope:


#3

Donna, did you even read the quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia?

That Catholics worship Mary is not a conclusion to be debated. It is a simple fact. We–those with Marian devotion–honor her with worship. Praying to her, building immense and gorgeous shrines to her. If Schubers Ave is not worship, what is?


#4

Worship originally MEANT to simply honor. So yes, in a way we do worship Mary is what he is saying. I “worship” my parents. I honor them. The modern connotation of the word worship is of the kind given to God, but that is/not always was the case.


#5

I kind of like the idea.

Actually there was a perfectly good Catholic book published some time ago called “The Worship of Mary.” I don’t remember the author.

And wasn’t the queen of England at one time referred to as “Your Worship?”

No need to fear the word “worship.” Do we worship Mary more than we do the Queen of England, or Britney Spears, or Tom Cruise? Hopefully, yes. Do we give to God an entirely higher order of worship? Of course.


#6

[quote=Donna P]Please quit with this please. To worship anyone other than God is to commit a serious sin. Thou shalt not put false god before Me.

We do NOT worship Mary, Mary does NOT want us to worship her.
Please buy the Catholic Answers Beginning Apologetice book on Defending Mary.

YOu do Catholics a HUGE disservice by calling yourself Catholic and saying we worship Mary. To do so shows a disregard for our Church and Jesus teachings.:nope:
[/quote]

we do worship Mary. we do pray to Mary. It’s the Protestants who have changed the meaning of “worship” to exclusively means the latria or adoration that is reserved to the Creator alone. That, we don’t give to Mary, a creature. To her does the worship of hyper-dulia (high honour) belongs.


#7

[quote=mrS4ntA]we do worship Mary. we do pray to Mary. It’s the Protestants who have changed the meaning of “worship” to exclusively means the latria or adoration that is reserved to the Creator alone. That, we don’t give to Mary, a creature. To her does the worship of hyper-dulia (high honour) belongs.
[/quote]

I’m more concerned that they may have lost the concept of latria entirely. And so the amount of worship they give to God hardly even exceeds dulia or hyperdulia. Which is not giving God his due. It is just making Him a Very Important Person.


#8

The important thing to consider is what is being communicated. Regardless of what worship used to mean, in our modern culture it means the adoration that is reserved for the true God alone. By saying that Catholics worship Mary, you are communicating something you do not intend. We need to clear up misunderstanding amongst Protestants, not perpetuate it.


#9

[quote=JimG]I’m more concerned that they may have lost the concept of latria entirely.
[/quote]

Hear, hear!


#10

As a former Catholic, I find this thread very interesting. I, as a practicing Catholic, could never understand why we “worshipped” Mary, saints etc, and then went around denying it. Seemed very crazy.

The shades of difference are tricky. Hard to know when you might be going over the line so to speak. Some people have a devotion to a particular saint or Mary that certainly seems to over ride their devotion to the Father. But that is between them and God.

If, though, there are those critical shades of difference, and, as Catholics, you can discern what they are. Then why not be willing to offer the benefit of the doubt to others? As a pantheist, I have been sneered at by Catholics and others for worshipping plastic, styrofoam and my breakfast cereal. Hmmm, just like Catholics are sneered at for worshipping statues, saints and Mary.

I am not worshipping the sun, I am worshipping that which makes the sun possible, the divinity behind the sun, the divinity that holds the atoms of plastic and styrofoam together, the divine which makes my cereal possible, and makes it nourishing. I am honoring the greater divinity that holds it all together and makes it work.

I do worship, but not idols. Does that make sense?

cheddar


#11

[quote=FuzzyBunny116]Worship originally MEANT to simply honor. So yes, in a way we do worship Mary is what he is saying. I “worship” my parents. I honor them. The modern connotation of the word worship is of the kind given to God, but that is/not always was the case.
[/quote]

It does not matter what it ORIGINALLY meant unless you are refering to ancient documents.
This word is being used now by living people and it has a meaning.:

Worship:
wor·ship P Pronunciation Key (wûrshp)
n.
1 a. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
b. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.

  1. Ardent devotion; adoration.

  2. often Worship Chiefly British. Used as a form of address for magistrates, mayors, and certain other dignitaries: Your Worship.

So you see, there in lies the problem. Those that throw an accusation of Mary worship are using the word in the sense of 1. a. and b.

You are using it in the sense of definition 2. I think.

Someone else in this thread used it in the sense of definition 3.

Though its valid to respond to the acusation by saying, “Yes I do.” It would not be wise to do so unless you have the time to explain which shade of meaning you are using.

There is another word: Adore.
I tell my fiance “I adore you.” We both love God imensley and know that we are using “adore” in a special sense that in no way diminishes our adoration for God.


#12

Actually I would say that its use is in line with definition 1, since I also maintain that the Catholic perception of Mary satisfies what is usually meant by a goddess in any other context. See So how is the Blessed Virgin Mary not a goddess? for more.

There is another word: Adore.
I tell my fiance “I adore you.” We both love God imensley and know that we are using “adore” in a special sense that in no way diminishes our adoration for God.

Yes, context is important. “Adoration” usually means latria only when used in a religious context. And in a religious context “worship” usually applies to just the sort of veneration that we Catholics give to Mary. Just consider what is meant when we refer to pagans worshipping various gods. How does that differ from the “veneration” we give Mary?

Frankly, though, when I actually interact with non-Catholic Christians on this point, I always insist that they be more specific. So if I am criticized for “praying” to saints, I will reply, “Just what is it that I am doing with the saints that you think should be reserved to God? Talking to them? Can you rephrase your question without using the word ‘pray’ ? I am not sure we are using it in the same way.” And I would do the same with “worship.”


#13

Play with semantics all you want, but I as a Catholic do not worship Mary and never will. To suggest doing so is heresy.


#14

[quote=Racer X]Actually I would say that its use is in line with definition 1, since I also maintain that the Catholic perception of Mary satisfies what is usually meant by a goddess in any other context. See So how is the Blessed Virgin Mary not a goddess? for more.

Yes, context is important. “Adoration” usually means latria only when used in a religious context. And in a religious context “worship” usually applies to just the sort of veneration that we Catholics give to Mary. Just consider what is meant when we refer to pagans worshipping various gods. How does that differ from the “veneration” we give Mary?

Frankly, though, when I actually interact with non-Catholic Christians on this point, I always insist that they be more specific. So if I am criticized for “praying” to saints, I will reply, “Just what is it that I am doing with the saints that you think should be reserved to God? Talking to them? Can you rephrase your question without using the word ‘pray’ ? I am not sure we are using it in the same way.” And I would do the same with “worship.”
[/quote]

Ok, I have not read the other thread about Mary as a Goddess. I simply reject that concept. I also reject worshipping her in the sense of definition 1, as a diety, which she is not.


#15

[quote=UnworthySoul]Play with semantics all you want, but I as a Catholic do not worship Mary and never will. To suggest doing so is heresy.
[/quote]

I am sorry. I was not trying to play with semantics. I was only trying to show that the word “worship” in modern usage is ambiguous. I also tried to indicate that I would avoid using the word in the context of Mary since it would require a lot of discussion to make it clear it was not being used in the common sense of the word.

The semantic argument asside. I think you and I agree on this matter. Catholics do not and should not worship Mary.


#16

My post was more aimed that the thread’s originator, sorry for any confusion.


#17

[quote=scm]Ok, I have not read the other thread about Mary as a Goddess. I simply reject that concept. I also reject worshipping her in the sense of definition 1, as a diety, which she is not.
[/quote]

That you capitalized Goddess suggests that you do not grasp my meaning. There is a distinction between the concept of a god and that of God. My central points on both threads are

(1) An object of religious devotion in any other religion who had similar characteristics of the Blessed Virgin would without-question be referred to (by we Catholics) as a goddess.

(2) Devotion identical to that which we give to the Blessed Virgin, if practiced by members of another religion, would unhesitatingly be referred to (by we Catholics) as worship.

Do you disagree with that?


#18

I do agree that we as Catholic worship Mary if properly understood in the context of latria, hyperdulia, and dulia. In modern English, however, “worship” has become synonymous with latria (adoration).
Since for Protestants, worship and adoration (the form of worship given only to God) are the same, it would be exremely unwise to tell Protestants we worship Mary. I am a former Protestant myself, and I assure you, once the Protestant hears you say “We worship Mary”, that is all he will hear and everything else you say to him won’t make a difference.
It is better to use the term “veneration” in reference to Mary and the saints and “worship” only in reference to the Blessed Trinity.


#19

If your purpose is to demonstrate interesting developments in the english language over time, the word worship is a good example, but if your purpose is to clearly explain our faith in terms of devotion to Mary and the saints, it would be difficult to think of a poorer choice of word.

You are correct that the meaning of the word worship has changed meaning over time and from place to place, so that if you are understanding this word according to its common seventeenth-century (and earlier) definition, you can say that you worship Mary, or any other saint or person worthy of honor. Worship is not the only word that has undergone such a transformation. The word meat originally meant any kind of food, as illustrated by the King James Bible:

[quote=Genesis 1:29-30, KJV]And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
[/quote]

Food specifically from animal sources was defined as flesh. Nowadays, the definition of meat has shrunk to mean food from animal sources only, while the definition of flesh has shifted over to mean animal or human physical material, not necessarily used as food.

So does this mean that we can say that strict vegetarians, who adhere to their diet for moral reasons, do in fact eat meat? According to seventeenth century english usage, yes, we can. But there’s not much point in doing this today, as the only likely result of such an assertion would be to offend people who generally tend to use the word meat according to common contemporary usage and who hold strong beliefs on the morality of eating animals, without contributing anything positive to the exchange.

In the same way, the word worship does have definite connotations of latria to the exclusion of dulia in twenty-first century english that did not exist in its common seventeenth century usage. So this word is unlikely to contribute anything positive to an understanding of devotions to Mary and other saints, but instead is likely to offend and scandalize non-archeolinguists. If you are seriously attempting apologetics as opposed to just shocking people, would recommend you avoid such anachronisms whenever possible.


#20

[quote=Racer X]That you capitalized Goddess suggests that you do not grasp my meaning. There is a distinction between the concept of a god and that of God. My central points on both threads are

(1) An object of religious devotion in any other religion who had similar characteristics of the Blessed Virgin would without-question be referred to (by we Catholics) as a goddess.

(2) Devotion identical to that which we give to the Blessed Virgin, if practiced by members of another religion, would unhesitatingly be referred to (by we Catholics) as worship.

Do you disagree with that?
[/quote]

Yes, flatly.

We are not to worship gods with little "g’s either. That is right in the Bible.
Catholics have great reverance for Mary and ask Mary to intercede for them, so we are not praying to her in the sense we would pray to Jesus. We are asking her to pray for us to Jesus on our behalf. [edit] Just as you would ask a friend to pray for you.

Mary is the most special person who lived, aside from Jesus Himself. Think about it. She was a young virgin visited by an angel and told she among all other women would carry God himself into the world in flesh. How holy she must have been! And what a chance she took accepting that considering she was not married to Joseph yet, it could have lead to disgrace and stoning. She deserves great reverence and love for that. But she is not a god no matter how you spell it. The reverance and love is of the kind humans give to another human.

To worship her as a diety is to create a false idol and goes against a commandment of God.

To use semantics to consider her a g[G]oddess is to invite paganism into the faith. There is no Christian Goddess.


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