VERY many questions I would like YOUR help with...


#1

I have recently adopted some Catholic ideas (some, not all). Anyway, I am looking to gather information from you because I think as whole you are knowledgeable. Ok, here they are.

How would you answer these questions?

  1. A. Why do you pray to Mary?
    B. Isn’t it better just to go to God?
    C. Doesn?t He listen to your prayers and care about you?

Remember I want to gain info, not be a “troll.” I am interested in your answers!

  1. A. Why do you confess to a priest?
    B. Isn’t it better to go straight to God?

  2. A. Why do you think there is a purgatory?
    B. Wasn’t Christ"s death on the cross enough to sanctify us?

  3. A. Why can’t priests marry?
    B. Isn’t it possible to serve God and a family as long as God is always first?

  4. A. Why do you think Mary was a virgin all of her life?
    B. She was married. God made sex for marriage, why would it be a sin for her to not be a virgin?

Don’t feel obligated to answer all or any if you don’t want to. Maybe this should be more than one thread, but I need the answers soon. So if you see that one question has been avoided, please take the initiative to answer it yourself. Thanks for everything!
God’s Peace~
Lisa


#2

I’ll try to answer a few. We pray to Mary for the same reason you and other non-Catholics pray to your fellow Christians here on earth to intercede for them to God. Everytime you ask someone to “pray for me” that is a prayer to that person. Now you may think that the difference is that your person is alive, the Catholic saints are dead. But God is God of the living, not the dead. In heaven, they are alive and beyond time and space, and are able to receive our petitions and pray to God for us. We ask for Mary’s intercession because she is the closest to Jesus, having borne and raised him. It is all part of the ancient teaching of the communion of saints (both on earth and in heaven).

Whether it’s better to go directly to God, yes it is. In fact, praying to Mary alone at the exclusion of all else is frowned upon, because we are all called to a personal relationship with God. The highest form of Catholic prayer, the Liturgy, is always directed to God, never to Mary. Catholics MUST pray directly to God, but we have always treasured intercessions by fellow Christians, either on earth or in heaven, because “the prayer of a just man is most powerful.”

And yes, we pray directly to him because we know he cares deeply about us, and we know he will answer our prayers according to what he knows is best for us. BTW, we don’t NEED to ask fhe saints for their intercession, just as you don’t NEED to ask someone to pray for you. But it is good to know that someone is interceding for us (whether Catholic or not) when we ourselves can’t (busy, for example).


#3

We confess to priests because Jesus gave the Apostles power to forgive and retain sins the night of his Resurrection; see John 20. Bishops (episkopoi) are the successors of the Apostolic office, and the priests (presbyteroi) are their extensions. Christ entrusted this power to forgive or retain in his name, since they are the representatives of Christ.

Again, about going straight to God, yes we can. If we are truly contrite and express sorrow for our sins because God is all-good and deserving of all love, he does forgive us. But too often, our contrition is based on fear of hell, guilt, and selfish shame, in other words, less than pure motives. I trust God forgives even when contrition is imperfect. But the power to forgive sins as entrusted to the apostles is the ordinary means by which grave sins (which separate us from God) are forgiven, because by ourselves, we are unable to return to God. That is why a penitent who sincerely seeks forgiveness in Confession is responding to God’s grace.

We confess because the priest must know what he is to absolve. Now as to confession as it is, should not be a problem. Scripture commands us to do so. (James 5:16). Non-Catholics may implement this in their own way (confessing to their friends, or pastors), but for us Catholics, the choice is to confess to a priest, as God’s representative.

BTW, it is NOT Catholic teaching that the priest HIMSELF has the power to forgive sins. It is Jesus working in the priest who forgives. And the power of the sacrament, as with all others always comes from the Cross.


#4

We believe in purgatory because we know nothing unclean shall enter heaven. But rarely do any of us die without some little sin on our souls. For Catholics, purgatory is a transition, where we shed of the last of our imperfections prepare ourselves to enter the presence of God as he is. This is the reason many Christians, even non-Catholics fast; by denying themselves little things, they allow Christ to work better in them, by shedding their imperfect human desires.

Now we are able to go to purgatory BECAUSE of Jesus’ death on the Cross. Without Jesus’ death, there wouldn’t even BE a purgatory, there would just be helll. Purgatory can be throught of as a department of heaven, for those in purgatory are ALL SAVED already.

A fundamental difference between the Catholic and Protestant traditions is the notion of justification. For is Catholics, justification is infused; i.e. the soul is WIPED clean. For Protestants, justification is imported, i.e. forensically declared. The soul is still guilty but merely covered and overlooked. The differences belong in another thread, but in short, because justification for us is a state of the soul, the soul MUST be 100% clean.

We get our belief for purgatory from 2 Macabees. Protestants may not accept this book as Scripture, but 2 Maccabees is accurate history, and it shows the belief of the Jews in the early centuries before Christ. St.Paul also mentions a cleansing fire that may destroy men’s works, but in the end, they themselves are saved.


#5

Priestly celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine, and then only in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. In Eastern Catholic churches, married men may be ordained priests.

The main reason for celibacy is for total commitment to the ministry. But again, this is discipline, and may change in the future.

Scripturally, it has basis. St. Paul declares the celibate life a valuable state (1 Cor 7:27ff), and Jesus accepts those who renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom. So the Church does not forbid marriage, However, those discerning the priesthood in the Latin rite are aware that if they do enter the ministry, they can no longer marry.


#6

No one says it would have been a sin for her to have normal sexual relations, but the fact of the matter is, she didn’t.

Yes, it’s true, God made sex for marriage, but it’s also true God made Mary for a more special purpose. We don’t have strong word-for-word evidence in Scripture that Mary remained a virgin all her life (but Catholics don’t subscribe to Sola Scriptura). Early Christians though accepted this as fact, and they were closer to the apostles chronologically than we are. From Scripture, we see that Jesus entrusted Mary to John, which would have been a scandal in 1st-century Jewish culture (“and from that day, the disciple took her to his own home”) if Jesus were not an only child. Because of this, we understand the reference to Jesus’ brothers to be fellow kinsmen as expressed in Aramaic (which had no word for cousins, or uncles).

The main reason this is an ancient teaching is that no sinful creature is worthy to dwell in the womb that bore God, her holiness/blessedness means that she as a woman and mother is set apart for God’s sacred purpose. Mary is likened to the Ark of the Covenant: just as the Ark bore the Word of God, so did Mary bear the Word incarnate: God himself. As such, she is even holier than the original Ark. When a fellow named Uzzah touched the Ark (and he meant well), he was immediately struck dead, for only sacred hands may touch the sacred. As such, Mary, as a sacred mother, bore only a sacred Son, and where God has passed, no one else shall.pass (Ezekiel 44:2).


#7

[quote=JesusFreak16]Remember I want to gain info, not be a “troll.” I am interested in your answers!

  1. A. Why do you confess to a priest?
    B. Isn’t it better to go straight to God?

  2. A. Why do you think there is a purgatory?
    B. Wasn’t Christ"s death on the cross enough to sanctify us?

  3. A. Why can’t priests marry?
    B. Isn’t it possible to serve God and a family as long as God is always first?

  4. A. Why do you think Mary was a virgin all of her life?
    B. She was married. God made sex for marriage, why would it be a sin for her to not be a virgin?
    Lisa
    [/quote]

Hello Lisa, how are you doin.

We confess to a priest because that is the way that Christ told us to do it. There are many reasons why this is good. One of them is that it is very therapeutic. When you tell someone your sins, you are getting them off you chest. It makes you feel better and it helps you to rehabilitate yourself. Confession is presenting your sins to God and saying, “I am sorry lord, please help me quit them.”

Purgatory is not something to complete the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In the bible it talks about how everyone who enters Heaven must be pure and clean. Purgatory is just the cleansing of us and the removal of all our attachment to sin. There is no set doctrine about Purgatory other than that it exists and that prayers help those who are there. All those who go to Purgatory end up in Heaven.

The celibacy of the priests is only a discipline. It could be changed if the pope or a council fealt it would be better to allow married priests. The reasoning for not allowing priests to marry though is that if they are married they will always be divided between there family and God. What they want is for the priests to be completely dedicated to God. They could change this though.

It wouldn’t be a sin if Mary had had sex after she had Christ, but that is what the tradition is. In Luke chapter 1 we can see that Mary made a vow of virginity when she says, How can it be since I know no man." The angel hadn’t told her that it would be a virgin birth yet. There is also a verse from Isaah I think it is that says, “what I have come through no man shall enter.”(paraphrase)

I hope these responses help a little.


#8

Lisa,

Porthos and Jimmy have well explained it. Just would like to add this passage from Sacred Scripture about confession:

John 20:23 “…he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the holy Spirit. ***Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” **–*It is clear that this is not referring to a situation where one personally sins against a particular person and forgives him. This power to forgive sins is given by Jesus Christ to the apostles (and their successors) to forgive sins that people didn’t just personally commit against them.

2 Cor. 5:18 -"And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation… " --the ministry of reconciliation was given to the ambassadors of the Church. The sacrament of confession is also called tha sacrament of reconciliation.

Now, why not confess directly to God? Good question! Like Porthos has explained, there is perfect and imperfect contrition. We often fall to the latter. If we are afraid or nervous to confess our sins to a priest who is a human being, how much more to God who is All Holy! I bet you, we will all be trembling before God and not be able to say a word if we would have seen him with our physical eyes and confess to him! Many people wouldn’t dare come to him because of guilt. But God understands our human nature. That’s why the sacrament is a gift from God, so that thru them we might receive forgiveness of sins inspite our weaknesses. God himself is at work thru the ministry of reconciliation.

Pio


#9

I’ll just tackle one of your questions – Sacramental Confession. Others have already done a good job in explaining this, and in giving the relevant Scriptural citatations. One point I would add to the John 20:23 reference is that a confession is implicit in the faculty to forgive sins. Makes sense, right? How can one forgive what one does not know?

Among the things Catholics do that are not found much in Protestant churches, this is perhaps the most dreaded – and contrariwise, confession can also be a deeply desired sacrament. Coming to terms with yourself with unflinching integrity, and doing it in the presence of another human being can be difficult – even scalding, but it is among the most rewarding and growth-effecting exercises a human being can undertake. Sometimes the more difficult it is, the more you gain from it.

So is confessing to a Priest better than confessing directly to God? I would answer with an unqualified yes. Why? Because the Lord himself has given us this means of approaching the divine mercy. Of course, we can and do confess directly to God (daily). When we confess in the presence of a Priest, we are confessing no less to God himself; the presence of God in that room is often palpable.


#10

Lisa,

Very good questions. I became a Catholic 7years ago. I had attended Methodist Church before that. Even when I was a child, I worried with the question “how do we know which church is right?” When I began the RCIA program, I recieved such a blessing. The more that was explained about the Church, the more it all came together. The one thing that made alot of sense to me was that the Catholic Church never changes. Protestant churches tend to change some things as Society changes. Such as politically correct Hymnals, gay clergy, etc. How can the words of Christ change with Society? It can’t. We need to work to change society to live within the Church. You can always attend RCIA without joining the church. It is also for information and education.

One thing about Mary. Catholics do NOT pray to Mary. We ask her for her intersession with Jesus. Just like we ask others here on earth to pray for us. We ask Mary and the Saints to also pray for us.

Good Luck with your search! Trust Jesus.


#11

You’ve probably already seen this:

catholic.com/library/Confession.asp


#12

Hi Lisa,

Well, I must say you have received some excellent answers to your questions. If you have anymore that pertain to the answers that were given here, please ask them. There is such a misconception about the topics you asked about.

I have something else for you concerning Mary. You asked about her virginity and why we believe she did not have normal relations with her husband, Joseph. We believe this because of the Jewish traditions. These you will not find in the bible, but that does not mean they didn’t exist.

I would like to refer you to the “Protoevangelium of James”. It was written by James, the head of the Jerusalem church in the first century. He writes about Mary and the Jewish tradition concerning her connection to the temple. It explains why she did not have a “normal” marriage. She had been “overshadowed” (which is typical speak for the marriage act in that time) by the Holy Spirit therefore she was married to God himself! Joseph knew this (remember his dream and what the angel told him about Mary and her child?). She was the Mother of God, their Savior and his place in that marriage was that of guardian - to Mary and the Son of God. St. James’ writing gives great insight into Mary’s position and why we honor her - FOR SHE ALWAYS LEADS US TO HER SON.

Hope you have a better understanding of these issues now - but please, don’t stop asking!!


#13

**Well, it says that Mary did have children, boys and girls! Jesus never told anyone to pray to anybody but His Father. He did warn about repitious prayers that do no good! **
**Don’t you think God would like to hear from your heart instead of babble that tends to be boaring for those that do it as well as those that hear it! **
**I was raised in a part Catholic home. **
**I found things in the bible that couldn’t be answered by the brothers! **
**Like why does God say make no objects or idols to use in worship and yet the church is full of crosses and saints! **
**It is like a storehouse of goods to sell out of the church. Jesus turned over the money tables and dove cages because He felt it was shaming His Father’s house! **
**Jesus warned of the priests that wore shiney robes and in the front of the church to be seen. **
**Jesus never said that we could pray to a saint and get our prayers answered. **
**He did say that the only way to God was through Him! **
**The crosss is a deadly yool that was used to kill Christ so, why would you wear it and kiss it? **
**If He had lost his head would you wear a sabor or guillotine and kiss it? It look like you are worshipping the tool and not the one on it! **
**Jesus said not to anyone father because we have only one Father, in heaven. **
**The Catholic church is and always has been corrupt through the sex scandles and aborted babies. **
**There is a movement to make Mary a co-redeemer in the church right now! **
**It is full of witchcraft worship and I would be scared to be in it now that I know the truth! One more thing! **
**When Jesus asked Peter who he thought He was Peter said your are the Son of God and Jesus agreed with Peter and said upon this rock He would build His church! **
**Jesus didn’t say upon you I will build my church! He also offered the keys to the kingdom to ALL of His followers! There is nothing in the Bible that says it was just for Peter! In fact Peter challenged Jesus a few moments later and Jesus called down Peter by saying, GET BEHIND ME satan! There is so much wrong with the catholic church that is known. **
I find it brainwashing!
GBIJN
jondular


#14

**Mark 6
**2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
3 **Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
**4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

She had more children unless you don’t believe in the Word of God!
It is found in other places, as well.
GBIJN
jon


#15

I would also like to add this from the Catechism. #1441
Only God frogives sins. (Mk 2:7) Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven.”(Mk 2:5, 10; Luk 7:48) Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.(Jn 20:21-23).

I would also like to point out that the only other place God breathed on man was when He breathed the soul into Adam in Genesis. (Gen 2:7). Here Christ breathed onto man again, and again, it has to do with man’s soul.

Now I have been told by Protestants that these verses mean we are supposed to go out and teach the forgiveness of the Lord. It does not say go and teach forgiveness, it says go and forgive. Also, if you look at the early records, (Mercygates link provides some documentation on the early practice of confession) it is clear that Christians understood this words to mean confess in front of a priest. Only God forgives the sin, but Christ Himself laid out the way for us to obtain that forgiveness.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#16

Glad to see your back! I’m just going to make one comment about the praying to Mary thing. Even though that is way it is often worded that isn’t really what we do (I know I don’t). We ask Mary to pray for us, like we would ask our friends here on earth to pray for us,. It’s the same with the saints. The difference is Mary and the saints are in heaven looking upon the face of God, how powerful their prayers must be!


#17

[quote=JesusFreak16]I have recently adopted some Catholic ideas (some, not all). Anyway, I am looking to gather information from you because I think as whole you are knowledgeable. Ok, here they are.

How would you answer these questions?

  1. A. Why do you pray to Mary?
    B. Isn’t it better just to go to God?
    C. Doesn?t He listen to your prayers and care about you?
    The worst place to start the discussion! There is virtually no possibility of someone understanding this without a lot of info, both biblical and extra-biblical. However, consider this: Is it so unreasonable to think that if God chose to ener this world through Mary that He may also allow our prayers to enter through her now?

Remember I want to gain info, not be a “troll.” I am interested in your answers!

  1. A. Why do you confess to a priest?
    B. Isn’t it better to go straight to God?
    I do both. Im obedient to the Church and tradition and scripture.
    Why does anyone confess sins if Christs sacrifice was sufficient?
    Why were sacrifices only made by the priests for the people?
    Why didn’t God simply have everyone sacrificing for themselves?

  2. A. Why do you think there is a purgatory?
    B. Wasn’t Christ"s death on the cross enough to sanctify us?
    Nothing impure shall enter heaven. I have never heard anyone, protestant or RC say that our sanctification is completed in this life. Very simply, Purgatory is the completion of our sanctification that wasn’t accomplished during this life. Catholics have a word for it, nobody else does.

  3. A. Why can’t priests marry?
    B. Isn’t it possible to serve God and a family as long as God is always first?
    Some can. They are following the model of Christ himself. It is possible to serve both - I do it, but there is conflict and I often find that I must compromise.

  4. A. Why do you think Mary was a virgin all of her life?
    B. She was married. God made sex for marriage, why would it be a sin for her to not be a virgin?
    Why would the Church insist on something so stupid and vulnerable to attack if it weren’t true? Does it gain anything by it? The Church teaches it because it is true. From a practical perspective, it is very likely that Joseph was considerably older than Mary and that she took a vow of celibacy(not uncommon) and these things make it more understandable. I’ve never heard that it would have been a sin for Mary to not be a Virgin.

Don’t feel obligated to answer all or any if you don’t want to. Maybe this should be more than one thread, but I need the answers soon. So if you see that one question has been avoided, please take the initiative to answer it yourself.

Lisa - I believe a lot of good came out of the reformation - but that good is meant for the Church - it was not meant to divide us. Adn please don’t forget that there is 1500 years of Christianity before the reformation - to ignore that is ludicrous. The question I would say is missing, but is implicitly present in all of your questions, is “Who is the final authority for interpretation of Scripture?” Can anyone today “know” what was meant by the new Testament authors or are we just to reach “intellectual certainty beyond a resonable doubt” as to what Scripture says? The Church is revealed as the “pillar and foundation of truth” by Holy Scripture - don’t ignore it.
Lisa
[/quote]


#18

**

**He did warn about repitious prayers that do no good!
Don’t you think God would like to hear from your heart instead of babble that tends to be boaring for those that do it as well as those that hear it! **

jondular
I bet you do pray the same prayer all over again until your prayers are answered, don’t you? If you do, then you keep praying the same prayer all over again.
Jesus also taught us the “Pater Noster”(Our Father). And we keep repeating this same prayer all over again every now and then.
Brother, there is nothing wrong with praying the same prayer. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, keep praying to God with the same prayer and even babbling. If you take a closer look, what Jesus meant were prayers that are useless or insignificant. Just read the next line of what Jesus said and you will understand it more clearly.

God bless!

Pio**


#19

[quote=jondular]Mark 6
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

She had more children unless you don’t believe in the Word of God!
It is found in other places, as well.
GBIJN
jon
[/quote]

Matthew 27:5656 Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Mark 15:47
47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid.
Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:47 shows that Mary wife of Clopas was James and Josephs mother. so how could James have to mothers? oh thats right Mary mother of Jesus was his spirtual mother. symbolism is great :smiley:


#20

jondular,

**

**He did warn about repitious prayers that do no good! **

So did the prayer of Christ Himself do no good just because He repeated it 3 times?see Mt 26:44

Why then does God allow angels to repeat the same thing over and over again day and night in Rev 4:8

Read the Scripture again, only one is called the son of Mary. The others may have been stepbrothers or cousins. In another place it refers to the brothers of Jesus. There are over 100. Are they all the children of Mary too?

**

**Like why does God say make no objects or idols to use in worship and yet the church is full of crosses and saints! **

**

The Bible does not say that. It in no way says do not make objects to be used in worship. Why then did God tell men how to make an Ark covered in angels?

Graven images - objects that are made to be worshipped.

Look it up in the dictionary. God told us not to make graven images. The definition of graven images is specifically things made to be worshipped.

You twist the word of God. No where does God say not to make objects to be used in worship. Just that worship is for God alone.

**

**It look like you are worshipping the tool and not the one on it! **

**

Good thing God judges my heart.

For each of your “problems” there is a Biblical answer. But you have let Satan fill you with half truths and lies about His Church. Maybe if you took the time to find out what the Catholic Church actually teaches, you could see through the veil of lies Satan has you trapped in.

May God Bless you and keep you safe.

**


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