The definitive list of Mary objections


#1

I want to create an exhaustive list of all the objections that non-Catholic Christians may have of Mary. I have used Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain and Defend Mary extensively in creating this list, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read many other objections (For every wall we tear down, it seems that some are ready and waiting to find and erect a new one).

Please help with adding to this list any additional objections you may know of and the refutation of them. Please expand upon any of the points below also if you care to. I am trying to keep it brief since there are so many points to make. Also, if you would like me to expand upon any of the points, ask and I’ll be happy to go into depth on any of them.

Common Objections:

Catholics worship Mary: We worship God alone. Mary is a creature - God’s greatest creature, but still a creature - and we do not mistake a creature for the Creator. Catholic’s honor Mary. We honor her mainly because we are called to imitate Jesus, and since Jesus was perfect and sinless, he would obey the 4th commandment (Honor your mother and Father) perfectly. We also honor Mary because Scripture tells us that all generations will call her blessed (Luke 1:42, 48)

**Catholics are idol worshipping by kneeling/praying before statues or icons of Mary: **We know the difference between painted plaster and the God of the universe. God prohibited graven images for the purpose of worshipping them. We use images to help us focus our prayer. We are well aware that it is just a man-made image and are not worshipping it.

Why do we need Mary? 1 Tim 2:5 says Jesus is the One Mediator between God and man: All prayer (to any Saint or angel) is focused on God. When we pray to Mary, we are praying to God through Mary.

How can Mary hear all these numerous prayers to her simultaneously? She isn’t God: Of course she isn’t God. Where do you get the idea that one needs to be God in order to hear multiple prayers at once? If man can make bits of silicone into a computer chip capable of millions of calculations per second, why can’t God make His saints capable of hear multiple prayers at once?


I’ll continue this tommorrow since there are ALOT more. It’s after 3am and I need to get to sleep. Once again, feel free to help me out :slight_smile:


#2

Theotokos, how can Mary be the Mother of God:

While Mary is not the mother of Trinity in its entirety, Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ who was both true God and true man. Mary cannot be mother of one part and not the other as the two natures existed in a hypostatic union, a subject of Mystery. Thanks and God Bless.


#3

I would say rather that since God, and presumably the saints, are existing in eternity outside of time, Mary has all the “time” she needs to consider each prayer individually. Of course it’s just a guess, but He does say that a thousand years are as a day to Him, and a day is as a thousand years, which would tend to support my theory.


#4

[quote=slinky1882]Theotokos, how can Mary be the Mother of God:

While Mary is not the mother of Trinity in its entirety, Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ who was both true God and true man. Mary cannot be mother of one part and not the other as the two natures existed in a hypostatic union, a subject of Mystery. Thanks and God Bless.
[/quote]

Mary = Jesus’ mother (the Bible says so)
Jesus = God (the Bible says so)

Thus, Mary is the mother of God.

I think, and I might be wrong in my presumption, your human understanding of motherhood is likely getting in the way of divine understanding. Perhaps you think that this doctrine somehow means that Mary was involved in the creation God. No. That is not what this means. Perhaps you think that this doctrine implies that Mary somehow preceded Jesus in existence. No. That is not what this means either.

But Mary did have an active role in the incarnation of Christ. Her “yes” allowed the Word made Flesh to dwell among us. (otherwise, what is the point of her saying yes?) God gives his creations free will. But look at the way the angel of the Lord addressed Mary: “Hail, full of grace!” (drbo.org/chapter/49001.htm) First of all, nowhere in the Bible other than here does an angel address a human by saying “hail!” She had not yet conceived, Jesus was not yet in her womb, she was simply Mary, and Gabriel says “hail!” Why? “Full of grace!” Grace is God’s life in us. To be full of grace is to be free from any stain of sin. How could anyone with the stain of original sin be “full” of God’s life in us? That tendency toward sin would have prevented such a greeting.

She agreed to the incarnation. In such a manner, she is God’s mother.


#5

Paul VI - esortazione apostolica di Sua Santita Paolo VII
"From the time that we were called to the Chair of St. Peter, we have constantly worked to increase the worship of Mary"

… it reflects in the forms of worship and redemptive plan of God, by which the extraordinary worship for her (Mary), as also, every authentic progress in Christian worship is necessarily followed by a correct increase in the veneration of the Mother of the Lord."

We wish to underline: the worship which the universal church renders to the All-holy-one (Mary) is a derivation, promulgation and unceasing increase of the worship that the Church has attributed in every age (to Mary). . .

The worship of the Virgin (Mary) has deep roots in the revealed Word together with solid dogmatic foundations . . .

Pius IX in the encyclical Ubipriinum
“The foundation of all our confidence. . . is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is his will, that we obtain everything through Mary.”

I’ve seen protestants use quotes from past popes to prove their point that we worship Mary. Could some please tell me how I should go about explaining what these past popes meant.

thanks


#6

Mary is DEAD! Only Jesus is in Heaven.

This is what I hear alot from Protestants.

If they only knew how wrong they are. What a blessing that we KNOW for certain that The Blessed Mother is watching over us from Heaven.


#7

[quote=SL20]I’ve seen protestants use quotes from past popes to prove their point that we worship Mary. Could some please tell me how I should go about explaining what these past popes meant.

thanks
[/quote]

To “worship” is to give honor and respect to someone, whether to a person, such as a king or judge (as in “Your Worship”), or to God. Nowadays it is usually used of the worship due to God alone (adoration, or latria) but it was in the more general sense that the popes–or their English translators–were using the term.

This should give you what you need:
catholic.com/library/Saint_Worship.asp

Beannacht Dé agus Muire libh,
James


#8

[quote=mkw]Mary is DEAD! Only Jesus is in Heaven. This is what I hear alot from Protestants.
[/quote]

Really? What about the 24 elders of Rev 4:10++, already in Heaven when the doors of Heaven open for John to see? They’re not angels. Any competent scripture scholar will tell you that.

And what about the martyrs under God’s altar at Rev 6:9-11? They’re already in heaven, too.

Maybe Revelation is just a little too difficult for them to understand… :confused:

Regarding Mary, the objection I’ve seen (read it in the Encyclopedia Brittanica, I think) was the Catholics wanted to subjugate women, so they raised humble Mary to quasi-goddess status and told women to be submissive and humble like she was. And they used Mary to evangelize pagan cultures who felt lost without a “goddess” figure. Sheesh!!


#9

Here’s one I hear often…

“Mary was not sinless! To believe this means Jesus’s sacrifice was not necessary!”


#10

[quote=sweetchuck]Mary = Jesus’ mother (the Bible says so)
Jesus = God (the Bible says so)

Thus, Mary is the mother of God.

I think, and I might be wrong in my presumption, your human understanding of motherhood is likely getting in the way of divine understanding. Perhaps you think that this doctrine somehow means that Mary was involved in the creation God. No. That is not what this means. Perhaps you think that this doctrine implies that Mary somehow preceded Jesus in existence. No. That is not what this means either.

But Mary did have an active role in the incarnation of Christ. Her “yes” allowed the Word made Flesh to dwell among us. (otherwise, what is the point of her saying yes?) God gives his creations free will. But look at the way the angel of the Lord addressed Mary: “Hail, full of grace!” (drbo.org/chapter/49001.htm) First of all, nowhere in the Bible other than here does an angel address a human by saying “hail!” She had not yet conceived, Jesus was not yet in her womb, she was simply Mary, and Gabriel says “hail!” Why? “Full of grace!” Grace is God’s life in us. To be full of grace is to be free from any stain of sin. How could anyone with the stain of original sin be “full” of God’s life in us? That tendency toward sin would have prevented such a greeting.

She agreed to the incarnation. In such a manner, she is God’s mother.
[/quote]

Hey sweetchuck,
Thanks for the reply, but I am fully for the title of Theotokos and have defended the title in other forums and am a practicing Catholic. I was merely attempting to state a common Protestant objection. My statement had the intent of saying that one cannot divide the two natures of Christ as Protestants sometimes attempt to say that Mary was only mother to Christ’s Human Nature and not the entire Person which consisted of both. Your syllogism was well put, and I was tackling the object from different angle. Thanks and God Bless.


#11

[quote=SL20]I’ve seen protestants use quotes from past popes
to prove their point that we worship Mary. Could some please
tell me how I should go about explaining what these past popes
meant.

thanks
[/quote]

sl20,

couple of things. first, we, as catholics, tend to be more
feminine in our worship. we are contemplative, serene, submissive,
and there is a lot of focus on material (stained glass) and
spiritual beauty (poetry). our protestant bretheren have trouble
understanding this, as they are more masculine in nature - with
screaming fiery-brimstone sermons, rock and roll services, and
evangilization with the “sword of the spirit” and the full armor
of God. that’s why most fundimentalist “worship centers” look like
batchelor pads. so there’s a cultural difference that has to be
understood - one’s not “better” than the other, really, just different.
in my opinion, we would each do well to learn some from the other.
that said, when we talk about mary we, as catholics, are prone to
using very artistic and “gushy” language. (if you need some clear
examples, pick up st. louis demontford’s “true marian devotion”.)
it’s because they don’t understand that we typically use poetic
language when speaking of our blessed mother that they feel
threatened. an example:

How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

now, to be consistant, the protestant must conclude that
elizabeth browning “worships” her husband!! you see, it’s really
not that threatening when you see some other non-religious
examples. the key distinction to make is that we have a word
for people who “worship” mary - HERETICS! the catholic church
has excommunicated sects for “worshipping” mary, and it
usually curbs the protestant enthusiasm to remind them of this
historical fact
(catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9410hotm.asp).

second, you may point out how words tend to change meanings
over time - specifically, i’m thinking of the words “pray” and
"worship". ask them to open their kjv to some of the following
verses and ask if they can see what you mean:

  1. Genesis 12:13
    Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well
    with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
  1. Genesis 13:8
    And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray
    thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy
    herdmen; for we be brethren.
  1. Genesis 16:2
    And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath
    restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid;
    it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram
    hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

worship was covered in a previous link
(catholic.com/library/Saint_Worship.asp).

if you can clear up these few things with respect and love, it
should make things a bit easier. also, you may want to look
into typology and mary, so that you can explain how she was
part of God’s plan from the beginning. if you need further
clarification, please ask.

humbly,
RyanL


#12

Thanks everyone for all the help, those were some great responses. :thumbsup:


#13

Your last two points are interesting.

If I’m praying to God through Mary isn’t Mary then, by definition, a mediator?

Secondly, can you provide a verse from scripture that illustrates either Mary or anyone else in Heaven (besides God) hearing prayers?

The reasoning behind your last objection is flawed in that it is argument from silence. For example, using the same form of logic I could claim that Jesus doesn’t know His own name. “Nowhere in scripture does Jesus use His own name, therefore Jesus doesn’t know His name.” Or everyone in Heaven is blond, because there’s nothing stopping God from making everyone blond.

Peace


#14

EA,
my dear brother in Christ, i’m glad to hear from you again! it provides yet another opportunity for me to try and clear up some misunderstandings…

[quote=EA_Man]If I’m praying to God through Mary isn’t Mary then, by definition, a mediator?
[/quote]

only as much as **we **are mediators. most prots like to quote 1 tim 2:5 to support thier idea of “me and Jesus, only”. i tend to direct them to the four verses prior:

1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

by praying for eachother (or mary for us), we are participating in the sole mediatorship of Christ. this does not take away from His glory, but allows his glory to be reflected in us. make sense?

[quote=EA_Man] Secondly, can you provide a verse from scripture that illustrates either Mary or anyone else in Heaven (besides God) hearing prayers?
[/quote]

“. . .we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses . . .” (Hebrews 12:1 - RSV). this observation applies even if we are alone, in context. also, i have never been a member of a cloud…have you? i believe that would be a more appropriate term for me once i am without my physical body…
how about another…
from Luke 16:

27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

here we have a dead man trying to interceed onbehalf of his brothren. oh, did i mention this was Jesus’ story?

in heaven, Jesus interceeds by prayer for us constantly/eternally before the Father. when we get to heaven, do you really think we’ll see Jesus praying for us unceesingly, and we’ll say, “oh, look, there’s Jesus praying for those on earth. rather than do as he does, let’s do something else, because even though He can do it, it would be completely wrong for us to.”?!? of course not! we will be like Him!

[quote=EA_Man] The reasoning behind your last objection is flawed in that it is argument from silence. For example, using the same form of logic I could claim that Jesus doesn’t know His own name. “Nowhere in scripture does Jesus use His own name, therefore Jesus doesn’t know His name.” Or everyone in Heaven is blond, because there’s nothing stopping God from making everyone blond.
[/quote]

lame. :wink: see argument above.

may God bless you and keep you, and make His face to smile upon you,
RyanL


#15

True, but where in Luke 16 or anywhere else does it say that he heard the prayers of his brothers yet on Earth? The answer is nowhere.

Furthermore, his petitions were all denied.

Additionally, the rich man is petitioning Abraham from Hell.
The question then becomes, do the occupants of Hell really converse with those in other regions of the afterlife? Or is this parable meant to instruct in areas other than what you are trying to use it for?

Despite your labelling my critique of the previous argument as “lame” - I stand by the classification. To claim that Mary can hear thousands of prayers simultaneously, because God could enable her to do it; is by definition “argument from silence”.

By this rationale, Mary could also have a thousand ears because God could do that too. How about some exegesis of Biblical text, rather than wishful thinking?

Your citation of Hebrews 12:1 is somewhat out of context (in that the witnesses spoken about are used as examples of faith), but does raise an interesting point; ok - we’re surrounded by the cloud of witnesses that the writer talks about in Chp 11. Where does he speak about the communication that goes on between believers in the temporal realm and those that have departed? He doesn’t.

None of these examples do anything to buttress your case.

Peace


#16

[quote=EA_Man]True, but where in Luke 16 or anywhere else does it say that he heard the prayers of his brothers yet on Earth? The answer is nowhere. Furthermore, his petitions were all denied.
[/quote]

this is all true, but it still begs the question of why Jesus would talk about people in the afterlife interceeding for those on earth, even if He denied the request. if it were so patently absurd, wouldn’t He, the greatest teacher EVER, have chosen a different way to explain?

[quote=EA_Man] How about some exegesis of Biblical text, rather than wishful thinking?.. Despite your labelling my critique of the previous argument as “lame” - I stand by the classification.
[/quote]

i hope you understand that it wasn’t meanspiritedness that brought on the “lame”, but rather an attempt at humorous shorthand. i appologize if it was taken other than that. as for exegesis…i’ll get to that in a sec.

[quote=EA_Man] Your citation of Hebrews 12:1 is somewhat out of context (in that the witnesses spoken about are used as examples of faith), but does raise an interesting point; ok - we’re surrounded by the cloud of witnesses that the writer talks about in Chp 11. Where does he speak about the communication that goes on between believers in the temporal realm and those that have departed? He doesn’t. None of these examples do anything to buttress your case.
[/quote]

first, i disagree that these don’t buttress my case - they are pertinent, and if properly understood create the basis for belief.
your reading of heb 12 is lacking in context. re-read heb 11, and see that it’s the pre-Christ fathers who are referred to as the “cloud of witnesses”. remember, before we muddled with the numbering, this letter was one logical flow of thought - one chapter is not the “end”, and the next a new “beginning”. to say that there is no connection between the temporal and spiritual realm is false, not just in reality (angles and miracles), but within the text itself. this is a terribly weak position to argue, and i hope you won’t try.

exegesis, as promised:

Revelations 5
8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

here we see a vision of heaven, as revealed to the apostle, John. we see the “elders-in-heaven” offering bowls of incense to God, meaning the “prayers of the saints”. so these elders bring to God the prayers of the saints… sounds pretty catholic to me! you may say: “saints doesn’t mean ‘Saints’ the way the catholics use it! it just means ‘believers’!”. this makes the case even more obvious, as the elders in heaven would have to ‘hear’ the prayers of the ‘believers’ on earth in order to bring them to God.

so there it is, in plain text on the surface of scripture, we pray to God through the Saints. still believe i’m just wishful-thinkin’?

may God eternally keep you,
RyanL


#17

The exegesis goes like this: there are three examples of petionary prayer in Revelations. Besides this oft quoted example there’s also v. 6:10 and 8:3-4. In the case of 6:10, the martyrs cry out to GOD directly from underneath the altar for justice. In 8:3-4 we have the bowls of incense motif again, but neither here nor in 5:8 does John specify that he HEARD the prayers.

But to be charitable, let’s SAY that this is how prayers are literally conveyed by the “saints”. We had the 24 elders with bowls of incense in 5:8 and one angel in 8:3-4 with a bowl. Neither St. Thomas, nor Mary were identified, No St. Francis or St Fiarcra. To use the logic from a previous post “God chooses to use these tweny-four elders this way because He can.” If that’s true, then how do you know which saints have been enabled by God for this task? And if they all can then why doesn’t John specify that he saw all the inhabitants of Heaven with a bowl of incense?

Further, Catholics like to point to the woman in Rev 12 as being Mary, okay. Why then isn’t the woman portrayed with a bowl full of incense? Or with having any interaction with the Lamb or the Ancient of Days?

And lastly, does the fact that an angel is holding the bowl of incense in chp. 8 mean that we can pray to angels too?

As you correctly observed, these chapters do run together.

Peace


#18

EA,

i’m terribly pleased that you’re dialoging with me! it’s refreshing to disagree and still be able to discuss charitably! you are truly a credit to those who believe as you do. thank you.
now…

[quote=EA_Man]The exegesis goes like this: there are three examples of petionary prayer in Revelations…but [nowhere] in 5:8 does John specify that he HEARD the prayers.
[/quote]

true, the specific mechanism of audibiltity is not long dwelled upon; the elders not having physical bodies, it’s not surprising. the fact remains, however, that those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth, and that’s impossible to get around. thank you for realizing this with your next paragraph.

[quote=EA_Man] But to be charitable, let’s SAY that this is how prayers are literally conveyed by the “saints” … If that’s true, then how do you know which saints have been enabled by God for this task? And if they all can then why doesn’t John specify that he saw all the inhabitants of Heaven with a bowl of incense?
[/quote]

you’re going to hate this answer: because the church says i can believe it, i know they can. to explain: the mechanism is there in scripture, the example is plain, the meaning obvious. the saints in heaven are aware of our prayers, and they bring them to God. only twenty-four are pictured that way, you say: revelations is extremely polyvalent, including numerical symbology along with the plain sense of the words. while i claim absolutely no knowledge about the full symbology of these numbers apart from the 12 tribes of israel + the 12 apostles, i believe they are symbolic of many, many more. i think this is a very credible position to take (and could try and explain more, if you would like), but i understand if you disagree. regardless, the church has told us dogmatically that while these are specifically pictured, these are not the only ones who God will hear - indeed, He will hear us all (though our efficacy is not equal), as we are all one in Christ Jesus, living or dead. i can believe this because the church, who dogmatically defined this, has been empowered with the credibility of God to bind and loose on all matters of faith and morals. told you you’d hate that answer.

[quote=EA_Man] Further, Catholics like to point to the woman in Rev 12 as being Mary, okay. Why then isn’t the woman portrayed with a bowl full of incense? Or with having any interaction with the Lamb or the Ancient of Days?
[/quote]

you’re right, mary isn’t portrayed as having a bowl of incense, but as having a crown of stars with the moon under her feet and as being the ark of the new covenant (end of rev 11) - i would say that’s a little better. and i would say that her giving birth to Him in rev 12 would be considered “something to do” with the Lamb. finally, because we know mary was at EVERY key moment of salvation history with her Son, and because it’s fortold in gen 3:15, we can know that she will be there with Him at the end of days, ever the queen mother, always guiding her children (rev 12:17) to her Son and commanding them to “do as He tells you”. it’s safe to say that she pleads for us, her children, to our eldest brother Jesus to have mercy on us.

[quote=EA_Man] And lastly, does the fact that an angel is holding the bowl of incense in chp. 8 mean that we can pray to angels too?
[/quote]

you bet! feel free! i’ll tell you what - pray to God and tell Him that you’re sorry if what you’re going to do offends Him, but you have to know if this really is what He desires of you. He will understand. From there, go to a catholic church, let the art and architecture cast your thoughts heavenly, and pray the rosary. Have a specific request in mind, and ask the blessed mother to bring your prayer to God. just as Jesus didn’t refuse His mother at Cana, He won’t refuse her if you commit your prayer to her. don’t be silly and ask for world peace, a million dollars, and a helicopter - ask for what you would reasonably ask God for, as this prayer will wind up with Him. be serious, and be specific. even if this is all houy, you can at least get the chance to see what the rosary is, and how it’s scripturally based and centered on Jesus. at the end, you can ask God for His forgiveness again if what you did offended Him. just be open to the possibility of it NOT offending Him! finally…wait and see!

[quote=EA_Man] As you correctly observed, these chapters do run together.
[/quote]

sorry about that. in re-reading, i notice that i was agreeing with you - i didn’t mean to agree so vigorously! HA!

may almighty God be with you, always,
RyanL


#19

I still don’t fully understand the need or want to pray to anyone else than God through Christ alone. That is how the Bible instructs us to pray. We are told to pray FOR each other in this world, not THROUGH or TO each other or anyone who has died. If Catholic teaching is correct and those in heaven can hear, understand, and bring prayers to God, every believer already has this ability, it seems redundant and a hinderance to go to God through anyone other than His God-ordained mediator and intercessor, Jesus Christ.

At the very least it takes focus off of Christ’s great high priestly role and doles it out to mere men, they could be the best of men, but are still men at best. God is God, go to Him and Him alone, through Christ. Why would anyone want another way to pray?

Also, in prayers to Mary it is said not to be praying to her but asking her to pray for me to God, similar to if I asked any one of you to pray to God for me about something. The thing is, praying the rosary, after I ask you to pray for me once, would it make sense to ask another 49 times? I have yet to witness anyone, Catholic or not, petition prayer from their fellow man/woman like this. But nothing is thought odd about “asking” prayer from Mary in this way.

God bless


#20

mike,
i understand what you are saying, and why you have difficulty. please be open to the responses i give, and prayerfully consider them.

[quote=mikeabele]I still don’t fully understand the need or want to pray to anyone else than God through Christ alone. …We are told to pray FOR each other in this world, not THROUGH or TO … it seems redundant …
[/quote]

don’t get side-tracked on the “through/to/for” bit. we ask those in heaven to pray **for **us, and **through **them our prayers are brought **to **God. the specifics on this are really secondary, with the concept being primary. as shown in my previous posts, the concept is there in scripture. why constrain requests within the body of Christ to those living on earth alone? there are so many more who are far more alive than us in heaven! it’s not asking prayers from the dead, but prayers from the ultra-living. perhaps that helps. also, a discerning man asks those who are righteous to pray for him, as “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b). who among us (in the body of Christ), i would ask, is more righteous than those who look upon God in heaven, and have been made perfect in Him (Heb. 12:22-23)?

[quote=mikeabele] At the very least it takes focus off of Christ’s …
[/quote]

is focus removed from the artist when people admire his work? does a father resent when his children love eachother, insisting that any time they love someone other than him they are somehow dishonoring him? the answer to both is no. God is our loving Father, and He is pleased when we love eachother and pray for eachother to Him. there is one God, and we are all mindful of that in our prayer. to Him alone is all worship, praise, and glory due. it is with that understanding that we ask our brothers and sisters in heaven to pray for us on earth, who are still bound by our sin.

[quote=mikeabele] … would it make sense to ask another 49 times…nothing is thought odd about “asking” prayer from Mary in this way.
[/quote]

from catholic.com/library/rosary.asp

First we must understand that they are meditations. When Catholics recite the twelve prayers that form a decade of the rosary, they meditate on the mystery associated with that decade. If they merely recite the prayers, whether vocally or silently, they’re missing the essence of the rosary. It isn’t just a recitation of prayers, but a meditation on the grace of God. Critics, not knowing about the meditation part, imagine the rosary must be boring, uselessly repetitious, meaningless, and their criticism carries weight if you reduce the rosary to a formula. Christ forbade meaningless repetition (Matt. 6:7), but the Bible itself prescribes some prayers that involve repetition. Look at Psalms 136, which is a litany (a prayer with a recurring refrain) meant to be sung in the Jewish Temple. In the psalm the refrain is “His mercy endures forever.” Sometimes in Psalms 136 the refrain starts before a sentence is finished, meaning it is more repetitious than the rosary, though this prayer was written directly under the inspiration of God.

It is the meditation on the mysteries that gives the rosary its staying power. The Joyful Mysteries are these: the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38), the Visitation (Luke 1:40-56), the Nativity (Luke 2:6-20), the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:21-39), and the Finding of the child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-51).

Then come the Sorrowful Mysteries: the Agony in the Garden (Matt. 26:36-46), the Scourging (Matt. 27:26), the Crowning with Thorns (Matt. 27:29), the Carrying of the Cross (John 19:17), and the Crucifixion (Luke 23:33-46).

The final Mysteries are the Glorious: the Resurrection (Luke 24:1-12), the Ascension (Luke 24:50-51), the Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), the Assumption of Mary into heaven (Rev. 12), and her Coronation (cf. Rev. 12:1).

With the exception of the last two, each mystery is explicitly scriptural. True, the Assumption and Coronation of Mary are not explicitly stated in the Bible, but they are not contrary to it, so there is no reason to reject them out of hand. Given the scriptural basis of most of the mysteries, it’s little wonder that many Protestants, once they understand the meditations that are the essence of the rosary, happily take it up as a devotion. We’ve looked at the prayers found in the rosary and the mysteries around which it is formed. Now let’s see how it was formed historically.

i hope this helps. please read the links and let me know if you have further questions,

RyanL

catholic.com/library/Praying_to_the_Saints.asp


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