Praying to Mary


#1

I came across this on a website "

This is probably the place for a warning against an undue exaltation of Mary as morally unique. She is unique. No one else bore the Son of God. But the Roman Catholic doctrines of her sinless life, her perpetual virginity, her bodily assumption into heaven have no warrant in the New Testament. In fact there is an implicit warning against excessive veneration of Mary in Luke 11:27-28. Luke tells us that once after Jesus had spoken “a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that you sucked!’ But He said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.”’ At another time (recorded in Luke 8:19-21) “His mother and His brothers come to Him, but they could not reach Him for the crowd. And He was told, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.’ But He said to them, 'My mother and my brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it.”’ Jesus was fairly blunt in both of these instances and there surely is no indication that Mary should be venerated in a moral class by herself.”

Can someone help me with this? I am a devout Roman Catholic and my girlfriend is a Born Again Christian (which I am still having a tough time figuring out in terms of what “they” believe) and her mom was Catholic, so I’m sure this text would undoubtably come up. Thanks.


#2

Dear Go,

Luke 11:27-28 is not a warning us about giving attention to Mary. It’s about the importance of keeping the word of God after having heard it. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of an exhortation if Mary were not so special. It is saying that as special as the mother of Jesus is, it is even more special to obey God—which, of course, is what Mary did her whole life.

Again in Luke 8:19-21 Jesus is emphasizing how important it is to do the will of God when it is made manifest to us. When we do His will, we are family to Him. Again such an exhortation wouldn’t mean much, if His relationship with His mother and relatives were not special.

Mary’s sinless life: Luke 1:28, 30. The angel greets her as “full of grace” and having “found favor with God.”

Luke 1:42. Elizabeth calls her “most blessed of all women”.

Luke 1:48. Mary says, “all generations will call me blessed”.

For more on this, I suggest that you go back to our main website and click on “Mary and the Saints” in the column on the left. Write back if you need more.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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