It was meant to be an ironic reference to her mistaken belief that Catholics consider Mary equal to God.
The dirty little secret is we all become gods. We are the created gods, made in the image and likeness of the Uncreated God. But that’s for another discussion.
With regard to this assertion…
The only way to talk to anyone who has passed from this life on to the next is either to pray (talk to) or to try and communicate in a seance (which is forbidden in scripture). You may want to believe it’s ok (the Catholic Church says "We can pray with and to her.)
There’s an ancient Jewish prayer to St. Elijah, and it goes like this…
“How awesome are you, ELIJAH! Whose glory is equal to yours?
You brought a dead man back to life from the nether world, by the will of the LORD.
You sent kings down to destruction, and nobles, from their beds of sickness.
You heard threats at Sinai, at Horeb avenging judgments.
You anointed kings who should inflict vengeance, and a prophet as your successor.
You were taken aloft in a whirlwind, in a chariot with fiery horses.
You are destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD, To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to reestablish the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed is he who shall have seen you before he dies O Elijah, enveloped in the whirlwind” (Sirach 48:4-12)
Some might say that such a prayer is wrong, because it is addressed to Elijah, who is dead. I disagree. Such a thing is Biblical.
The Psalmist gives us yet another Scriptural example of invoking (humbly requesting, aka praying) the heavenly angels and saints directly in prayer (Ps. 103:20–21). In Psalms 148 we pray (humbly request), “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!” The angels and “hosts” (army) of heaven were addressed directly in the prayer of the Psalmist.
Consequently, we also can, according to Scripture, directly address all of the works of the Lord in our praise of the Lord.
Now, is there an example of a NT Christian conversing with angles and saints in heaven? Yes. The Apostle St. John, being “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev 1:10) conversed with those assembled in heaven. St. John, one Sunday on Patmos, spoke to angels (Rev 1:2), and Jesus (Rev 1:17-18), and to the elders (Rev 5:5) and to the souls of the martyrs (Rev 6:9). If it is unScriptural to converse with angels and saints in heaven, then St. John has some ‘splainin’ to do.
What if you can’t hear the saints and angels, can they hear you? If so, how? Even if you cannot hear the angels and saints conversing with you, they can hear you conversing with them. Christ is the vine between the branches. They do not have to be omnipotent to be able to hear you. **St. John was a mere creature of God. Nevertheless, by the power of God, St. John somehow heard every created thing in heaven and on earth without having to be omnipresent like God **
Rev 5:13 - “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea”
It seems one doesn’t need to be omnipresent when God is the vine between the branches and can, by his almighty power, allow any of his creatures, even a mere human like St. John, to hear what all of God’s creation is saying.
But are the angels and saints aware of our petitions? According to Revelation ch. 5, and ch. 8, we can be certain that the angels and heavenly hosts alive in heaven offer to God the prayers of the holy ones (Rev 5:8; 8:3).
According to the Epistle of Hebrews, ch. 12, we as Christians come to the CITY of God, and that city is poplulated with God AND angels AND saints. We come to them all. Scripture speaks of them as though they are united by the same Divine Love, so we don’t accept the polemic that if we ask Mary to pray for us, we do so in opposition to Christ. The CITY of God includes all the angels and heavenly host that the Psalmist invokes in prayer. In includes St. Elijah who the Jews of old invoked in prayer. We certainly agree with the Psalmist in the biblical practice of invoking all the angels and heavenly hosts in prayer.
Even today, Jews pray at the grave sites of their sages who have passed away. The Talmud records this practice, even describing Caleb of the OT praying at the tomb of the patriarchs for aid against evil.
This is a ancient Jewish and Christian practice. Protestants, a minority of Christians, and not even all Protestants claim this practice is against Scripture. I have two texts from Protestant pastors, however, which encourage praying the Rosary, so it seems this more of a Protestant vs. Protestant dispute.
Additionally, Protestant often sing the following hymn in their worship: Angels We Have Heard On High. Protestants, whether knowingly or not, ask (PRAY) for Joseph and Mary’s help when they sing the hymn. The relevant verse goes: “See Him in a manger laid / Whom the choirs of angels praise / Mary, Joseph, lend your aid / While our hearts in love we raise.” :eek: Prayers to Mary and Joseph in our hymnals!!!
Catholics and Orthodox–indeed every Church of Christ which traces their history to the advent of Christ–continue this ancient and biblical practice.
I have a Protestant wife, from a time when I walked away from the true Church. We are still married after 37 years and I have returned to my Catholic roots some 2 years ago.
She continually tells me how bad/wrong/misguided/corrupt is the Catholic Church and produces a never ending list of Bible verses to “prove” it.
I have given up discussing this with her as she has a fixed mind, and I have to pray and rely on the Lord to bring her home.
Relatives and family are often a difficult issue when it comes to conversion, but you have to trust that Jesus will reveal the truth and compensate you for any loss of family and friends.
With regard to this assertion:
I would say that bowing before a statue of Mary is worship.
I think we ought to be clear about what we mean by the word “worship.” It comes from an Old English word, *weorthscipe, *which means worthiness, respect, from weorth worthy, worth + -scipe -ship. Do we give Mary respect, honor? Yes. Do we adore her as Divine? No. I also honor my father and mother, but that doesn’t mean I adore them as though they were Divine.
I spent many years in Japan, and we bowed to each other all the time. It was a sign of respect, not a indication that we thought of each other as worthy of Divine adoration.
Even the Protestant KJV of the Bible uses the word “worship” (Hebrew “shachah”) in the sense in which holy men bowed down before mere creatures. According to Strong’s concordance:
shachah, shaw-khaw’; a prim. root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (espec. reflex. in homage to royalty or God):—bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
The word not only means the worship due to God alone, but like the English word, can mean respect or recognition, affection or friendship, frequently done in greeting another person, as when David bowed before Jonathan. (cf. Gen 27:29; 33:3-7; 37:10; 41:43; 42:6; 43:26; 47:31; 48:12; 49:8; Ruth 2:10; 1 Sam 20:41; 24:8; 25:23, 41; 28:14; 2 Sam 9:8; 14:22, 33; 18:21; 24:20; 1 Kings 1:15, 23 (obeisance), 31(reverence), 47, 53; 2:19; 2 Kings 2:15; 4:37; 1 Chr 21:21; Est 3:2 (reverence); Isa 60:14).
Another Hebrew word used almost exclusively in the context of worship, and is usually translated as “bowing” is:
qadad, kaw-dad’; a prim. root; to shrivel up, i.e. contract or bend the body (or neck) in deference:—bow (down) (the) head, stoop.
It is almost always done in the context of worshiping God (Gen 24:26, 48, 52; Exo 4:31; 34:8; 1 Chr 29:20; 2 Chr 20:18; 29:30; Neh 8:6).
Biblically speaking, bowing, and even prostration, was not in and of itself an indication of worship as much as it was a sign of respect and recognition.
Furthermore, Jews bowed down before graven images during their prayer. The high priest, for example, knelt before the altar, facing the image-adorn temple with hands raised in prayer. Jews from outside of Jerusalem would turn to face the Jerusalem Temple in prayer, sometimes standing, sometimes kneeling. The Psalmist said: “I will bow down toward your holy temple…” (Psalm 138:2). Was the psalmist wrong to BOW DOWN toward the graven image adorn Temple?
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, “The custom of turning toward the east while at prayer, observed by the Jews living west of Palestine, is of great antiquity (Dan. vi. 11; comp. I Kings viii. 38; Ber. 28b.)” According to the same article, during prayer “One who is outside of Palestine should turn toward Palestine; in Palestine, toward Jerusalem; in Jerusalem, toward the Temple; and in the Temple, toward the Holy of Holies” (Ber. 30a; Yer. Ber. iv. 5)." (Jewish Encyclopedia, “mizra”). In another article from the same source, it states “**It was customary in prayer to turn toward the Temple at Jerusalem (I Kings viii. 38; II Chron. vi. 34; Dan. vi. 11); this attitude may even have been considered necessary to give validity to the prayer. The Israelites prayed both standing and kneeling. **” (ibid, “Liturgy”).
Why would they do this? Why pray kneeling toward a graven-image adorn Ark inside the Holy of Holies? A superficial understanding of their actions may suggest they worshipped a golden box adorn with golden cherubim, no?
Was bowing down before things (Temple) or people prohibited by Scripture? No. Only if the *intent *was to give the worship due to God alone. Honor? OK. Worship as though God? Not OK.
In Latin, the Catholic Church has always been careful to distinguish the honor (Latin dulia) for the saints and the adoration (Latin latria) due to God alone. The problem with English is that the word “worship” can mean both. Nevertheless, Catholics are known to bow before such things as a crucifix or a statue or an altar. That no more means we worship those articles than it did when Jews bowed before their image-filled Temple. To make claim that a person is in violation of the Commandment of God merely because of his posture is a sin of presumption which has no place among Christians.
I wonder why Tim can’t honor Mary AND his own mother. For example, Tim does not need to go to Mary for intercession, correct, even if he believe’s that he can? Why can’t Tim render unto Catholicism that which is Catholicism’s and unto Mom that which is mom’s?
Well, whitemat, why don’t you write a response that deals with all of her concerns and share with her why you are becoming Catholic? These are your standard objections to Catholicism, so there are a lot of resources available to respond to her.
In Genesis, I believe it is Abraham who kneels down to angels out of respect. The INTENTION of what you mean by kneeling down or bowing is the difference between respect and worship.
I agree with some of the other posters here. Refutation in not the answer. Jesus never once commanded anyone to be right, He commanded each and every of us to be righteous. You have to love and honor your mother but you have to be firm with her that this is not an acceptable topic for discussion. Witness to your faith by your selfless love for and service to your neighbor. Hopefully, even if she never fully understands your decision, she will see by your works that it is Christ in you.
Dear author of this thread, welcome home ! !
These are very good tips :
*** ** There is no heresy in the Catholic Church dogma.
*** **Only the Holy Spirit can convert the heart. You don’t have to immediately know all the answers.
*** ** Continue to inform + conform your conscience To The Holy Spirit.
*** ** [Build] your relationship; based on what [you both] have [in common].
***** No family member (or protestant spouse) should [impose their will on you], when it comes to your Catholic Christian spirituality.
*** **Continue to answer her questions as politely as possible. She has the freedom to not accept ] your answer.
Reassure her you won’t be offended in any questions she asks you, that you did not first think about yourself. Then don’t get offended.
***** I highly recommend the catholic apologetics blog entitled, Bread From Heaven Unlimited bfhu.wordpress.com/
***** She might [want to] watch Scott Hahn’s videos.
COMPLETELY AGREE with this advice. This isn’t about your mother. It’s about YOUR relationship with God
Choosing one’s own religion and how they practice is has nothing to do with honoring his mother. He’s an adult. Disgreement with one’s mother is not the same as dishonoring her.
I see nothing wrong with entering into a dialogue with his mother about why he believes what he believes. Its a teaching moment. I agree that words are less meaningful than deeds when teaching the faith. But, St. Peter, St. Paul and the rest of the apostles also used words.
St. Peter taught, 1 Pet 3:15 - “in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence”
There very well may be a time in their dialogue where the prudent response is to agree to disagree. However…
St. Augustine taught, in De Civ. Dei, XVI, 2:
For while the hot restlessness of heretics stirs questions about many articles of the catholic faith, the necessity of defending them forces us both to investigate them more accurately, to understand them more clearly, and to proclaim them more earnestly; and the question moved by an adversary becomes the occasion of learning.”
First of all, welcome to the Church! I assist with RCIA and this will be my third year at Easter Vigil with the candidates and catecumens.
I joined the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil 2007.
Honor your Mother, do not feel like you need to defend “your side”. Accept her love, acknowledge her love, and tell you that you appreciate all the time she took to give you the bible proofs. Tell her you are a student and after you have learned more about the church you can discuss it with her.
Do assert yourself as a grown man and head of your family. Accept that your mother does not want you to join the church, don’t argue with her.
Lastly, I urge you to study St. Augustine, and St. Monica. St Monica prayed for her son’s conversion from pagan for more than 30 years. It is not a sprint it is a journey. Pray for your mother, pray that she finds peace and grace.
God Bless you!
It very well can be. If your wife worked hard to teach your son to be a good Catholic, and he gave it up to choose Shintoism, what does that say about what he thinks about all the work your wife did.
HOW one makes decisions, an what one does, is sometimes very important.
It was not yet Christ’s time, and yet, at Mary’s insistence, He turned water into wine. He knew it wasn’t His time. And yet He chose to honor His mother.
Wow, lots of good advice here. You can invite your mom to read some informative books about the Catholic Church, and avoid arguing with her because, as you pointed out, you’re a RCIA candidate and therefore still studying the basics yourself. And finally, you can agree to disagree with her, without being disagreeable about it!
I agree with the advice to postpone interaction on this level until you are more grounded in the Faith. I was raised Independent Fundamental Baptist and experienced a similar situation with my mother and some of my family. I found it advantageous to address only one issue at a time. My mother died a Baptist (tho I guess she is now Catholic) One sister is now firmly Catholic and most recently I was able to allay another sister’s fears about the “salvation” of my children. She actually wept with relief. So “divide and conquer.” What concerns me the most is that most of my family has not broached the subject at all. I hear that is a common reaction with some family members, usually they just don’t want to seem confrontational or judgmental. Don’t sweat it. By your works they shall know you.
The Church does not teach that for an adult to honor one’s mother and father means you must do what they say with regard to assent to religious beliefs. Instead, the Church states that we are always obliged to follow the certain judgment of our conscience.
Thank you everyone for your encouragement and input!