Hello all, I am a cradle Lutheran who goes to an evangelical Christian college and I am thinking seriously about converting to Catholicism. I am currently enrolled in the local parish’s RCIA program but like many Protestants, I am really struggling with the Catholic doctrine surrounding Mary. I really want to believe it, in fact, before enrolling RCIA, I was always quick to defend Catholics when I heard somebody accuse them of “worshipping Mary.” As a Protestant, my knee-jerk reaction is “Where is it in Scripture?”, although I do acknowledge the value of Sacred Tradition.
Here are some things I do believe:
- Mary is the New Eve. There is a pretty clear thread in Scripture that draws the parallel between Mary and Eve. How significant this is in the overall message of the Bible, I am not sure but I am fully confident that God chose Mary so as to bring things full circle
- There is something special about Mary as communicated through Gabriel’s greeting of her in Luke 1:28. Though I find exegetical analyses of this passage a little hard to follow, I think it is clear that the biblical Greek is conveying a deeper truth than Protestant interpreations give it credit for.
Things I am struggling with:
- The Catholic interpretation of Revelation 12: If I am not mistaken, this is the passage most commonly cited as evidence of Mary’s Queenship in Heaven. While I could certainly see some evidence for the woman being Mary, I believe there is stronger evidence for the woman being Israel and the former interpretation seems a little bit opportunistic. I understand that the Catholic Church does not exclude the possibility of the woman represented Mary and Israel and the Church. Aside from the fact that the woman gives birth to the Savior, I’m having trouble finding any further evidence that it’s Mary.
- Hail, Holy Queen: Yesterday, I received a rosary from a deacon and have prayed the rosary twice since then. While I have no qualms about the Hail Mary, the wording of the “Hail, Holy Queen” makes me a little bit uncomfortable, in particular the beginning that refers to Mary as “our life, our sweetness, our hope”. The wording of the prayer seem to imply that it is Mary that is the source of life, hope, sweetness and salvation rather than God.
Could anybody explain to me how they got past these objections? Are there any other doctrines you struggled to accept as a candidate for conversion? How did you get past those?
Thank you so much, and may the Lord be with you.