Please explain!


#1

All right,

There are some things that bother me :tsktsk: with the CC I will have to admit and maybe it’s because I’m ignorant on it :confused: and when I get more info in it, then yes, maybe I will come to find it acceptable…:smiley:

One thing that kinda doesn’t seem right to me (remember, I still have my Protestant views too that has me have a hard time accepting some things!) is the fact of praying to Mary and the Saints. Yes, I may be stupid and ignorant about this and find it hard to believe and accept…please explain why you guys do that and why you think she is sinless. Well, I thought she was just as sinner like everyone else. It says somewhere in the Bible (don’t have it with me, darn! :frowning: ) that “no one is perfect” or no one that does good, etc. something like that. If I had my bible with me (I’m in college, how great! :frowning: ), I would look it up. Please explain!!! Please explain in a way that I can change my mind on this perhaps or will come to accept it!

Remember, I have a heart that is opened to your religion and I will do anything it takes to accept it and understand it!

blessings,
Nicole


#2

We do not pray to Mary nor to the Saints.

We ask for their intercession, we ask them to pray for us.

Also, the Church has ruled that these people are Saints, which means that they are in Heaven and can interceed directly with God.

A relatively short answer, I will let others go into more detail in necessary.


#3

[quote=Paris Blues]All right,

There are some things that bother me :tsktsk: with the CC I will have to admit and maybe it’s because I’m ignorant on it :confused: and when I get more info in it, then yes, maybe I will come to find it acceptable…:smiley:

One thing that kinda doesn’t seem right to me (remember, I still have my Protestant views too that has me have a hard time accepting some things!) is the fact of praying to Mary and the Saints. Yes, I may be stupid and ignorant about this and find it hard to believe and accept…please explain why you guys do that and why you think she is sinless. Well, I thought she was just as sinner like everyone else. It says somewhere in the Bible (don’t have it with me, darn! :frowning: ) that “no one is perfect” or no one that does good, etc. something like that. If I had my bible with me (I’m in college, how great! :frowning: ), I would look it up. Please explain!!! Please explain in a way that I can change my mind on this perhaps or will come to accept it!

Remember, I have a heart that is opened to your religion and I will do anything it takes to accept it and understand it!

blessings,
Nicole
[/quote]

Hi Nicole!

James 5:16
The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.

Simply, when we pray to the saints, what we are asking them to do is pray for us. From the Hail Mary, we say “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death.” We’re not worshipping Mary or the saints; we are simply asking for their intercession as the most righteous people we know.

Hope that helps!

Peace and God bless! :slight_smile:

Eric


#4

PB,

I just finished reading Scott Hahn’s Hail Holy Queen which is all about what we believe about Mary. It is (as usual) an well-explained book and clearly goes through the Church’s teachings on Mary.

Mary is a saint, but one who was in a very special position relative to Jesus. One of the remarkable things about her life was her sinlessness. Dr. Hahn draws on the Church’s teachings regarding typology and the relationship of Mary to the Old Testament’s Ark of the Covenant (the box holding the tablets of the Law, the rod of Aaron the priest and some of the manna found on the ground in the desert during the 40 year wandering). This ark contained the Word of God as Mary contained Jesus in her womb. This ark was so holy (sacred) that no one could touch it. Uzziah was killed just for touching it. It was preserved from stain. In fact Jeremiah hid it and it was never found.

Likewise, Mary is the New Testament Ark and is completely holy. While she (as we all) need Jesus as our Savior, her redemption was enacted before she was conceived. She was therefore preserved from Original Sin. Why? Her typological relationship to the ark is a kind of fulfillment. Another reason is that Jesus wasn’t just God who wrapped some flesh around his Spirit and walked around “like us”. He was BORN. He was nursed. He experienced EVERYTHING about being human. Including a mother.

He perfectly obeyed the 4th commandment to honor his mother. She was therefore preserved before her life and likewise she was assumed at the end of her life and never experienced the decay of the flesh.

Where is this in the Bible? Some of it is not explicity contained there. We should thank Almighty God that we have the Church which DOES have this information and the correct understanding of it!!

Without the Church, it’s hit-or-miss as to whether what you believe is what actually happened! Only with Mother Church, can you be sure.


#5

[quote=jpusateri]PB,

I just finished reading Scott Hahn’s Hail Holy Queen which is all about what we believe about Mary. It is (as usual) an well-explained book and clearly goes through the Church’s teachings on Mary.

Mary is a saint, but one who was in a very special position relative to Jesus. One of the remarkable things about her life was her sinlessness. Dr. Hahn draws on the Church’s teachings regarding typology and the relationship of Mary to the Old Testament’s Ark of the Covenant (the box holding the tablets of the Law, the rod of Aaron the priest and some of the manna found on the ground in the desert during the 40 year wandering). This ark contained the Word of God as Mary contained Jesus in her womb. This ark was so holy (sacred) that no one could touch it. Uzziah was killed just for touching it. It was preserved from stain. In fact Jeremiah hid it and it was never found.

Likewise, Mary is the New Testament Ark and is completely holy. While she (as we all) need Jesus as our Savior, her redemption was enacted before she was conceived. She was therefore preserved from Original Sin. Why? Her typological relationship to the ark is a kind of fulfillment. Another reason is that Jesus wasn’t just God who wrapped some flesh around his Spirit and walked around “like us”. He was BORN. He was nursed. He experienced EVERYTHING about being human. Including a mother.

He perfectly obeyed the 4th commandment to honor his mother. She was therefore preserved before her life and likewise she was assumed at the end of her life and never experienced the decay of the flesh.

Where is this in the Bible? Some of it is not explicity contained there. We should thank Almighty God that we have the Church which DOES have this information and the correct understanding of it!!

Without the Church, it’s hit-or-miss as to whether what you believe is what actually happened! Only with Mother Church, can you be sure.
[/quote]

Let me get this clear…so BEFORE Mary was born, she would’ve been born a sinner like the rest of us but since it was a fulfillment, her sins were not even a part of her? :o I’m sorry! I am soooo ignorant on this!!!

blessings,
Nicole


#6

Nicole,

As a Convert, I know what an issue this can be. But there is no need to rush it. Nothing says that you have to develop a full-blown devotion to the Saints or Mary right from the start. Concentrate on Jesus, and in his good time, as you learn to trust the Church, he will open the wider communion of saints to you and you will understand it better.

Our Lady loves you and, even though you might not realize it, has led you this far (even if you don’t realize it); she can wait a little longer for you to notice.

I remember in my early days as a Catholic asking a priest if it was OK for me not to have a robust devotion to Mary. He just smiled and said, “Why don’t you ask her yourself?”


#7

Dear ParisBlues:

I am a convert to the Catholic Church, and one of my greatest obstacles to the Faith was the notion of communion with Saints. I feared that my communion with the saints would in some way detract from or trespass upon my love Christ. However, once I truly understood that the Church is something that transcends time and space and that those in heaven are just as alive (or more alive) than we are here on Earth, I had little difficulty in accepting the fact that those in Heaven are as much a part of the Body of Christ and are as much my brothers and sisters in Faith as my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters who sit beside me at mass. Just as I have no problem in asking for my brothers and sisters who are physically present to me for their intercession, I now have no problem in asking the Saints. When I began to experience their intercession, I understood what a blessing their faith is in my own life. Also, as my relationship with Christ strengthened, I felt less “threatened” by the notion that somehow the time I spent with the Blessed Mother or with St. John, etc., was pulling me away from Christ. Quite the opposite!
In Jesus and Mary

Fiat


#8

Paris,

On Wednesday the Catholic Church celebrates the Immaculate conception of Mary.
This addresses your post about Mary being sinless.

Here is the exact verbage of what the Church teaches:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 491, citing Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus, 1954: DS 2803.

In Luke 1:28, Gabriel says that mary is full of grace (this is before the Holy Spirit overshadows her).
The greek verb used here, means “to be enriched with grace in a permanent way.” In addressing Mary the angel Gabriel attests that she is endowed with grace of a permanent and singular kind, a perfection of grace or perfect holiness. This implies that the fullness of grace is both intensive and extensive: intensive - in that Mary’s reception of grace was as complete as possible; extensive - in that it was applied to the whole of Mary’s life, from the very moment of her conception.

Catholics affirm that Mary did have a savior. Mary’s Immaculate Conception shows that she was saved preventatively. We are saved by deliverance. In both cases, salvation was completed by the merits of Christ on the cross.

You also object to Mary’s sinlessness ebcause of these verses:

Rom 3:23 “since **all **have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Rom 11:32 “For God has consigned **all **men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.”

These verses supposedly show that the dogma of the IC must be false because nothing can directly contradict Scripture. If ALL have sinned, then there is no way that Mary can be sinless, let alone conceived Immaculately. All simply means all. It is a universal declaration with no exceptions.


#9

However,

This argument, though, falls apart on several levels.

  1. All would also mean Jesus. Yet, Jesus is clearly an exception because Heb 4:15 says that Jesus was like us in all ways except sin. Therefore, Jesus is an exception and defeats the universality of the word all.

  2. A case could be made for Adam and Eve since they were created without sin. However, one could then say that they did in fact commit personal sin when they ate of the fruit.
    Since Adam and Eve were created without sin, there is nothing to say that others could also be created without sin, for with God nothing is impossible(Lk 1:37)

  3. If all refers to all, then what sin has the unborn child committed? The unborn have comitted no sin. Infants have committed no sin. If an infant dies before the age of reason, what sin did it commit?
    Paul speaks of Jacob and Esau were unborn and had done nothing either good or bad (Rom 9:11)

Clearly, Rom 3:23 and Rom11:32 do not hold up to logical criticism. Therefore, those verses cannot mean “all” in a universal sense.

These verses, though, do not contradict the I.C. or Mary’s sinlessness because the dogma specifically states that it was an act of grace that preserved Mary in a way in which she was preserved before any sin touched her. She was not kept sinless of her own merit, but of a singular act of grace in view of Christ’s merits.

Why did God do this?

He did it because no sin ever touched Jesus. The sin of Adam is passed through generation through the mother (Ps 51:5). Mary was kept immaculately as a fitting vessel to carry the Christ child (Mary was the ark of the new covenant) in her womb to show God’s redemptive work in action.

The dogma of the I.C. is Christ- centered because Mary was made fir to carry the King and it also shows the fruits of the cross, salvation.

I hope this helps.


#10

as for praying to mary and the saints:

To pray means simply to ask.
It does not mean to worship. It does not mean to adore.
We worship and adore God alone, not the saints. We respect the saints because they are in Christ, but we do not adore them like God.

Praying simply means to ask. It comes from an old english word. Consider this sentence:
Pray tell, what happened to you today at work?
In this context , to pray means to ask.

We can ask the saints in heaven to pray for us just like we can ask our friends and family to pray for us.

In verses Rev 8:3-4 and In Rev 5:8 we see that the angels and saints present our prayers to God.

that’s all that intercession really is.
It is someone else asking God on our behalf.
It is really no different than asking a friend to pray for you.

hope that helps.


#11

Dan-Man916,

That was an excellent answer to Paris Blues question!


#12

Paris, Here is the same thing , but expressed in a little different way.

Mary was prepared by God to be the sinless vessel through which Jesus would come into the world. Isn’t that ligical?

Because of Adam & Eve’s sins we, their children, inherit both an earthly death and the propensity to sin + we inherit what is called “Original sin”. Mary did not have Original Sin in her soul or body!

Mary was concieved without the "stain’ of original sin! Would God want His only Son to be carried in a vessel that had the stain of Original Sin? No!


Catholics don’t pray to saints or St. Mary. We ask for them to pray for us. We ask for their intercession, to pray for us. We don’t pray to statues either. A statue is much like a photograph, they just remind us of someone.


#13

Prayer to the Saints

You question the reasons for intercessory pray by Mary and the Saints. Please note that in Eph 6:18-19 we read, “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me,” and in 1 Tim 2:1 we read, “FIRST OF all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men,” In James 5:16 we are also told to “pray for one another.”

Now, it is clear from scripture that we are to engage in intercessory prayer. Moreover, the apostle James tells us that “the prayer of a just man availeth much.” In the book of Hebrews 12:22-23 it says that, “…you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” If the prayers of a just man availeth much, surely the prayers of “just men made perfect” will be of even greater effect.

You refer to all these people as “dead.” This is contrary to scripture. Jesus, himself, says in Matt 22:32 “‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” Those in heaven are more alive in Christ than we are. We also read in the Gospels that Jesus was transfigured on Mount Tabor. At the transfiguration Jesus is seen and heard speaking with Moses and Elijah.

The Catholic bible also contains the entirety of scripture. In 2 Maccabees 12:38-44 we read about prayer for the dead. In chapter 15 verses 11-16 we read about intercession by the saints.

Catholic understandings in this area are the most compatible with scripture, and are fully patterned on what we know of the heavenly members of the body of Christ. This practice in no way changes or modifies our understandings of the Holy Spirit nor does it belittle Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It’s important to keep in mind that we are all members of the body of Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 8:33-39, “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Those who are part of the body of Christ in heaven are still connected to those that are members of the body of Christ on earth. This made even more clear by the unity describe in Rev 5:13 where it says, “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!”

And yes, through Jesus, they are in some ways aware of what is happening on earth. Those in heaven are as Jesus tells us, “like angels.” And scripture tells us in Luke 15:10, " Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Obviously, those in heaven know something about what’s happening on earth. The bible gives us numerous examples of angels interacting with men. The book of Revelation 6:9 also cites an example of the martyrs being aware that God has not yet avenged their blood. This is not an exhaustive list of passages but it is sufficient to show that this is all part of God’s divine plan. God’s plan works only for good and everything within it magnifies and glorifies the Lord. None of it detracts from God in any way.


#14

The whole “We don’t pray to the saints; we ask them to pray for us” simply isn’t true, and does no one any good to give this fake answer.

We do pray to Mary and the saints. In fact, we worship them.

But the fact is, prayer and worship, when the terms are properly understood, are not due to God exclusively, but also to his creatures, in certain capacities.

Not all prayer is worship; and not all worship is latria, the worship due to God alone. Hence, the Biblical condemnation of ido***latry***.


#15

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]The whole “We don’t pray to the saints; we ask them to pray for us” simply isn’t true, and does no one any good to give this fake answer.

We do pray to Mary and the saints. In fact, we worship them.

But the fact is, prayer and worship, when the terms are properly understood, are not due to God exclusively, but also to his creatures, in certain capacities.

Not all prayer is worship; and not all worship is latria, the worship due to God alone. Hence, the Biblical condemnation of ido***latry***.
[/quote]

Dom,
I can understand what you are saying but I was attempting to be as simple as possible.

The main issue here is that of language and theological sophistication.

First, the english language only has one word for worship.

Second, not everyone will understand what latria and *dulia *and hyper-dulia is.


#16

The whole “We don’t pray to the saints; we ask them to pray for us” simply isn’t true, and does no one any good to give this fake answer.

We do pray to Mary and the saints. In fact, we worship them.

But the fact is, prayer and worship, when the terms are properly understood, are not due to God exclusively, but also to his creatures, in certain capacities.

Not all prayer is worship; and not all worship is latria, the worship due to God alone. Hence, the Biblical condemnation of ido***latry***.

To the non-Catholic understanding and their limited definition of the words pray and worship, we do not pray to the saints nor worship Mary. Same as with the word devotion. In my Protestant days, devotion=worship as in worship of God.

God Bless,
Maria


#17

D V,

You are just going to confuse the situation by saying what you said without going into a rigorous discussion of the differences between dulia, hyper-dulia, and latria. Most people would be really lost by saying we “worship” saints when the meaning of the word worship is quite significantly and theologically different from the way we worship God. To say we worship saints, without a firm understanding can easily be taken as idolotry.

I understand what your’re getting at, but let’s walk before we run, shall we.

I think that most people can easily get lost in the nuance and theology of it all.


#18

You asked about Mary being sinless.

The best way to think about this is to realize that she bore Jesus Christ, who is both God and man, in her womb. Mary is like the Ark of the Covenant and she had to be a specially prepared and holy vessel to carry God in her womb. In the Book of Revelation it says that nothing unclean will enter heaven. In the OT we read about Isaiah and his vision in heaven. Isaiah immediately became fearful because he knew he was a man of unclean lips. To be made clean an angel went to the altar and brought a burning coal to Isaiah’s lips and thus he was made clean. Moses had to remove his sandals when he walked upon the holy ground before God in the burning bush. I could go on but you begin to see the reason why it is appropriate for Mary to be completely holy.

Now back to Mary and the Ark. In the book of Revelation at the end of Chapter 11 John sees a vision of the Ark of the Covenant in heaven. Immediately thereafter John sees a great portent, “a woman clothed with sun.” This vision is of the Blessed Virgin Mary in heaven as is evidenced by the context that follows that harkens back to the book of Genesis where we see Satan, the Woman, and Her Seed[Jesus the Savior] who will rule with the rod of iron.

Now compare the following verses to see the relationship of Mary the Ark of the New Covenant with the Ark of the Old Testament. And remember how holy the Ark of the OT was. Uzzah, in Samuel 6:6, was killed instantly when he put his hand to the Ark when the oxen stumble. He was struck dead by God for simply touching the Ark. Now check out each pair of the following scriptuures.

2 Sam 6:2
And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God

Luke 1: 39
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah

2 Sam 6:9
And David…. said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?”

Luke 1: 43.
(and Elizabeth said to Mary) “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

2 Sam 6:10
David took it [the Ark] aside to the house of Obededom the Gittite.

Luke 1: 40. and she[Mary]entered the house of Zechariah

2 Sam 6:15
So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting

Luke 1:42
and she [Elizabeth] exclaimed with a loud cry,

2 Sam 6: 16
As the ark of the Lord came into the city…Michal saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord;

Luke 1: 41
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;

2 Sam 6:11.
And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obebedom the Gittite three months;

Luke 1:56
And Mary remained with her [Elizabeth] about three months

2Sam 6:12
So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing;

Luke 1:46-47
And Mary said, "…… and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

These parallels are not mere coincidents in scripture. Think about it, the Ark of the Covenant contained the stone tablets of the law, Aaron’s rod(sign of the priesthood), and the manna. Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, carries in her womb Jesus who is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, our eternal high priest, and the bread that has come down from heaven.

In the book of Exodus we read about how God gave careful and extensive instructions to Moses on building the Ark. So also Mary was specially prepared for carrying Jesus in her womb. The Ark of the Covenant had the mercy seat from which God spoke to the high priest of the people. Mary carries God incarnate in her womb. How much more special and precious in purpose is Mary than the Ark of the Covenant in the OT?

Read the scriptures on all of this and you will see the reason Mary was “saved” in a special way by Jesus from the stain of original sin and was sinless throughout her life. It is all because of who Jesus is, and it is all by the love and power of God.


#19

Maria,

as I stated in the last post, we can easily get lost in the meaning of words. Words can have different meaning to different groups.

Perhaps it is more udnerstandable to say that Catholics ask the saints and angels in heaven for their intercessory prayers.
Being a former evangelical, i can understand why saying “praying to saints” can cause angst for some.


#20

In my post on prayer to Mary and the Saints, I failed to mention that I posted this on another thread. There are a couple of points made in the post that are not directed at Paris Blues. I hope this didn’t cause an issue.


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