Need help with answers for someone who thinks Catholics worship Mary


#1

A concerned friend of mine is trying to evangelize me out of the Catholic Church. He referred me to Jack Chick’s site and is inundating me with emails insisting that we worship Mary.

I want to help him understand that we don’t worship her, but he hasn’t been very receptive to the explainations I have given so far, seemingly getting hung up on semantics and almost refusal to be open to what I say.

The following is the lastest inquiry from him. It is long, but I really do want to answer his questions as best as possible and could use some help.

He writes:

I have researched this stuff over the years and this is what I found. Tell me what you think???

Mary Saves
*Does Mary, the mother of Jesus, play a role in the salvation of mankind?: *

“Taken up to heaven she (Mary) did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…” Pg. 252, #969
*“Being obedient she (Mary) became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Pg. 125, #494 *

*Is this doctrine scriptural? According to God’s Word, Mary has never had anything to do with the salvation process. Scripture reveals that Jesus is the ONLY One who can provide salvation: *

*“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 *

*Jesus Himself declared that He is the ONLY way to heaven: *

*“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 *
*"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved… " John 10:9 *

*Still the Catechism insists: *

*“She (Mary) is inseparably linked with the saving work of her Son.” Pg. 303, #1172 *

*Once again, it comes down to who you will believe, the Bible or church tradition. The Bible is unmistakably clear: *

*“I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” Isaiah 43:11 *
*“Yet I am the LORD thy God… there is no saviour beside me.” Hosea 13:4 *

*“The God of my rock he is… my saviour…” 2 Samuel 22:3 *

*Before Jesus was born, an angel announced that He would be the Savior: *

*“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 *

*After Jesus’ birth, the angel repeated himself: *

*“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 *

*Over and over, we read that Jesus is the Savior: *

*"… we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." John 4:42 *
*“Him (Jesus) hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour…” Acts 5:31 *

*“Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:” Acts 13:23 *

*“But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ…” 2 Timothy 1:10 *

*“Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Titus 1:4 *

*“Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;” Titus 3:6 *

*"… the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." 1 John 4:14 *

*Look at the words of Peter, recognized as Catholicism’s first pope: *

*"… through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:" 2 Peter 1:1 *
*"… into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:11 *

*"… through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…" 2 Peter 2:20 *

*Certainly, Peter knew that Jesus, not Mary, was the Savior. Peter glorified Jesus as the Savior, not Mary: *

*“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 *

*This same Peter declares that: *

*"… ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" 1 Peter 1:18-19 *

*Without question, Jesus is the Savior, not Mary. *

Again, I have explained that we recognize Jesus as Savior. Perhaps some of you can help me to be able to address his concerns re: the Cathecism and Scripture. Thanks.

Also, please pray that his heart be open to the deeper/fuller truths that he does not understand. He really does love the Lord and means well.


#2

Diem,
Perhaps these sites could help you, as you study up on the teachings about her, it may help you to answer his questions.
Although, I have found it to be that usually people who speak in that manner against Our Lady are very difficult to deal with. You need to do a lot of praying also.
It has been my experience that they don’t want to learn, just tear down, but with lots of prayer, eventually, sometimes, their hearts are softened towards her.
I will say a prayer for you daily, as you work to bring him closer to Our Lord and Our Lady.

catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp
ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marymenu.htm

Remember too, that St. Bernadette repeated 3 times what Our Lady said:, "Penance, penance, penance."
ewtn.com/library/MARY/BERNLIFE.HTM


#3

I would start here:

catholic.net/RCC/Catechism/3/l30_ToC.html

This is a link to the Baltimore Catechism online. It is extremely simple for anyone to understand and appreciate the clear teaching of the Church on “worship.”

Moreover, it is an older catechism and it will help show the person that this has been the constant teaching and practice within the Church.


#4
  1. Your “friend” needs to back off.
  2. Refer your “friend” to the Catechism. He can find it online here: scborromeo.org/ccc.htm that way, unless his “proof” about what Catholics believe about Mary comes from a Catholic document, tell him you’re not interested. Would he expect to “teach” a Jew about Judaism using anti-Semitic sources?
  3. Refer your “friend” to any of the articles about Mary on CA:
    catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp
  4. Refer your “friend” to any of the free MP3 talks from the Bible Christian Society, particularly the one about Mary, called “Mary and the Bible”:
    biblechristiansociety.com/download

#5

I would note that, in the Bible, Mary prophecies that, on account of her special status in God’s eyes, she will be honored by all generations (Luke 1:48-49). Most Protestants do not object to merely honoring her, but they object very often to the idea that she has a special status. Ask your friend when and how he fulfills this prophecy, and which great “things” he honors her for. Remember, the word “things” is plural, meaning there is more than one thing God did for her – He didn’t just make her the mother of our Lord, but there were other honorable “things” that God did for her.

This is very important. Most non-Catholic apologists, when confronted with this passage, will say something to this effect: Sure, Christians do call Mary blessed. She ought to be called blessed, there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is that you guys worship her." (For example, we see this argument in this anti-Catholic apologetics website: justforcatholics.org/a20.htm.) But non-Catholics sing this tune without dancing: where are the fruits of their devotion? Nowhere! The most they ever do for Mary is sing a line about her at Christmas ("…round yon virgin, mother…") and attack Catholic devotion to her. If they are truly devoted to Mary, as she says we should be in that passage, what do Protestants do to foster such devotion??

If you continue to look in Luke 1, you will find that the angel of God “hailed” Mary (Luke 1:28). Ask him if we should follow that example: should we hail Mary? Catholics do; most Protestants would rather that we call only upon Christ. But what does the angel of God do? Certainly, he doesn’t hail “only” Jesus. He finds no problem with hailing Mary. Neither should we.

Give your friend an analogy of a magnifying glass: when we want to peer closer at something, what do we look through? a magnifying glass. Nobody would say that you should only look at the thing itself, and ignore the magnifying glass, for the magnifying glass enhances the image you would have get without it.

Now consider this: Mary says “my soul magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46). We approach God through His divinely appointed magnifying glass! By looking to Mary, we do not detract from His glory, but we magnify it, through her! And notice, this quality of hers is not something that passed away when she died: for she purely reflects God in her very soul, which transcends death. That means she is still there for us, perfectly enhancing our image of God, if we just approach Him through her. (BTW: this is also a good argument for the Immaculate Conception, for she seems, in the Magnificat, to be talking about her soul as naturally good in God’s sight, whereas everyone else – by nature – has a tarnished soul.)

I hope that helps!


#6

Hi Diem,
I would keep it simple, with two points

  1. Like the apostles and Christians today, people besides Christ can play a role in our salvation by leading us to Jesus and helping Jesus. That’s the only sense that Mary has anything to do with our salvation.

  2. Someone who is subservient to another person or god can not be a god, it goes against the definition of god. We believe that Mary is subservient to God, and therefore we do not treat her as a god, and therefore the honour we give her isn’t worship. That kind of honour would be insulting to a god.

See if he can understand those points and use examples. Don’t get sidetracked into other issues.

Neil


#7

There are also more threads underneath this one from times past addressing this subject.

Ask him what his intentions are for sharing this information with you. If he doesn’t want to learn then don’t engage him. He may feel he wants to save you, but, he knows what the Church teaches before he creates strawmen to crucify.

You can always tell him we DON’T worship Mary. We worship STATUES of Mary. …That ought to get him off your back…


#8

Lol, that’s funny! Good joke. :smiley:


#9

bows…but clearly not in a worshiping way Thank you.


#10

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :stuck_out_tongue:

I would just ask him how Jesus got here, and whether He would have ever died on the Cross, if Mary (or someone) had not agreed to give birth to Him. :shrug:


#11

Since your friend is using Jack Chick against you here’s a good article that refutes the garbage Chick has put out via his “gospel” tracts:

catholic.com/library/sr_chick_tracts_p5.asp

I’ve found it quite useful.


#12

But, see, that’s something else with these types. Whereas the Catholic position points to Scripture and says that Mary was separated from the Beginning to have this special honour, while attending a Full Gospel School, I was taught, “Mary was at the right place at the right time. She isn’t special. God could have chosen anybody; she was at the right place at the right time.”


#13

It was likely God who chose Abraham Lincoln to abolish slavery in the United States - he just happened to be in the right place (the Presidency) at the right time (the Civil War) to be the guy to do this. Does the fact that he “just happened” to be in the right place at the right time to do this task mean that we should stop admiring the fact that he did it, or tear down all of his statues? :shrug:

Lincoln could have said “No,” but then, so could have Mary. It is not clear in Scripture that God goes shopping around for a more willing candidate when someone says “No” to him - after all, He could have killed Adam and Eve, created new and better parents for us from the dust, and started over again when they sinned. He did not. He let history unfold with the consequences of their “No” to His will.


#14

Ew. That’s just gross, if you think about it. That God Himself would spend no more time thinking about His mother- who, by His own Laws, He was going to honor- than, “Let’s see, who’s ready for a little Incarnation action?”

And what about the previous poster’s observation about St. Elizabeth’s words, prompted by the Holy Spirit Himself, which declared Mary to be “blessed among women”? And, as I understand it, Aramaic didn’t have superlatives, so in order to say “The most blessed woman in the world”, one would have to say it the way she did ( ex- the language failed at observations like, “He was the tallest man”, so they have to circumvent with things like, “He was tall among men”).

If God’s going to get as specific as He does about the construction of the Ark and the Temple, why would people think He’d leave his Infancy and Childhood to any ole’ girl who was “ready”?


#15

Such a mindset is completely incompatible with Psalm 139. Just consider verses 1-17 with Mary as “me.”

***Psalm 139

1 For the leader. A psalm of David. O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
2 you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.
3 My travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.
5 Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.
7 Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?
8 If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.
9 If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,
10 Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light” –
12 Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.
13 You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew;
15 my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.
17 How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!
18 Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity.
19 If only you would destroy the wicked, O God, and the bloodthirsty would depart from me!
20 Deceitfully they invoke your name; your foes swear faithless oaths.
21 Do I not hate, LORD, those who hate you? Those who rise against you, do I not loathe?
22 With fierce hatred I hate them, enemies I count as my own.
23 Probe me, God, know my heart; try me, know my concerns.
24 See if my way is crooked, then lead me in the ancient paths.***


#16

It is not likely that anything you say will be effective. Given that, for your own benefit it will be good to study, and for those lurking that have similar questions it will be worthwhile to address this.

The most basic error here is “is this doctrine scriptural”? The doctrines of the Church have never been dependent upon scripture. All the the Teachings of Jesus were delivered whole and entire to His Apostles, and they taught these for decades in some cases before a word of the NT was ever written. The Teachings did not become “obsolete” after they were written, but continue to exist in their fullness outside of scripture.

Second, what does “salvation process” mean? Most Sola Scripturists believe that one is “saved” when one prays the “sinners prayer”, once in time, for all time. It is likely that anyone who adheres to Jack Chick material is an OSAS person. (Once Saved, Always Saved).

Yes, Jesus is the source of our salvation, however, He is generous, and has allowed others to participate in HIs saving work. Paul writes that they are ministers of reconciling the world to God:

2 Cor 5:19-20
in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and **entrusting to us the message **of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

1 Cor 9:21-23
22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Does Paul believe he can “save some”? Surely nothing he can do apart from Christ, as he says elsewhere. However, in Christ, we are able to become members of the ministry of Christ that brings salvation to the world. the Church teaches that this ministry does not end after we pass from this life to the next.

1 Cor 7:16
16 Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?

Can people “save” one another? Yet, the Apostles teach that through marriage,as well as other sanctified relationships, we can bring one another further into the kingdom, and into possession of our heavenly inheritance.

1 Tim 4:16
16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Does the Apostle mean that Timothy can actually save himself, or others? Certainly not apart from Christ! yet, if we hold fast to Him, we become partakers of His divine grace, and able to participate in His saving mission.

"My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. " James 5:19 - 1 Peter 1:1

Can anything but the blood of Christ cover sins? Yet, we participate in the benefits of His shed blood when we pull back those who wander from the truth.

Can one person save another’s soul from death? Yet, when we bring back sinners from error, we participate in salvaiton.

Jude 20-23
20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And convince some, who doubt; 23 **save some, by snatching them out of the fire; **on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."

Can we build ourselves? Is it not God who builds us up? Can we keep ourselves in the love of God? Can we convince anyone, apart from God? Can we save some who are falling into sin by snatching them out of the fire? Isn’t this God’s job? He is generous, and allows us to participate.

This is very Catholic! :thumbsup:

It is not necessary to choose, since there is no contradiction. All of the NT was produced by, for, and about Catholics. Everyone who wrote it was Catholic. That is why nothing in the Bible contradicts Church Teaching, it all came from the same Source. If it seems that there is a contradiction, it is because the reader does not understand one or the other. :shrug:

As noted above, there is no conflict. Mary was the first Christian, and she was given a unique role to fill by bringing the saviour into the world. In this role, she brings salvation to every human. We each have also the opportunity to bring salvation to the world, as noted in the above passages.

Well, I hope these passages help, but frankly, I doubt they will. Fundamentalists reject the communion of saints, taught by the Apostles, and do not believe that we are actually partakers of the divine grace, and that we can be co-workers with Christ with regard to saving others. We are one beggar, telling other beggars where to find the bread.

I pray daily for all those on the forum, and those touched by it’s ministry. :thumbsup:


#17

This should go along pretty well with what guanophore was saying

Mary Saves
*Does Mary, the mother of Jesus, play a role in the salvation of mankind?: *

“Taken up to heaven she (Mary) did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…” Pg. 252, #969
*“Being obedient she (Mary) became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Pg. 125, #494 *

Ask him if you were to put the word Church in the place of Mary what he would then think of the sentince

Does the church save does the church bring about salvation…

You have all the scripture guan has given to you for help

If he does not agree then ask what is it that he is trying to do to you. is he not trying to bring salvation to you?

He could say its not him but God in witch I would respond maybe so but God is doing it threw you.

Hope this helps


#18

Thanks everyone for your helpful responses and prayers!

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#19

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