Would the Jews have condoned this understanding of worship


#1

youtube.com/watch?v=QPmK_wWR_4Q

I saw this video taken in Mexico concerning the Catholics and their veneration to the Virgin Mary.

I wanted to begin this thread to the purpose that someone can give a reason for such a high faith in the Virgin Mary with respect to salvation. How can Catholics defend the charge that it condones worship of the Virgin Mary, which would be idolatry.

The Jewish people were adamantly against images and statues being built to pay homage to anything but the LORD Yahweh.

This is the modern day dictionary definition of the term:

wor·ship [wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, wor·shiped, wor·ship·ing or ( especially British ) wor·shipped, wor·ship·ping.
noun
1.
reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2.
formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
3.
adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
4.
the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5.
( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her ).


#2

With all due respect, I'm not entirely sure what it is that you're asking. Are we supposed to hold ourselves to Jewish standards? I seem to recall the founder of the Christian faith getting nailed to a Cross for doing something that was unthinkable by Jewish understanding--namely that he applied the sacred name of God to himself.

As for "worship" of the Virgin Mary, it's not idolatry because we're not ascribing to Mary the worship due only to God. Rather, we are simply following through with what she herself says in Scripture, namely "Henceforth, all generations will call me blessed."

-ACEGC


#3

[quote="Erick_Ybarra, post:1, topic:306368"]
youtube.com/watch?v=QPmK_wWR_4Q

I saw this video taken in Mexico concerning the Catholics and their veneration to the Virgin Mary.

I wanted to begin this thread to the purpose that someone can give a reason for such a high faith in the Virgin Mary with respect to salvation. How can Catholics defend the charge that it condones worship of the Virgin Mary, which would be idolatry.

The Jewish people were adamantly against images and statues being built to pay homage to anything but the LORD Yahweh.

This is the modern day dictionary definition of the term:

wor·ship [wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, wor·shiped, wor·ship·ing or ( especially British ) wor·shipped, wor·ship·ping.
noun
1.
reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2.
formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
3.
adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
4.
the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5.
( initial capital letter ) British . a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her ).

[/quote]

That would be 'veneration' of Mary. Not worship.

There is a difference between veneration and worship in Catholic terms. Worship and Adoration is reserved for God only.

Catholics do not worship Mary. Sometimes it doesn't matter how many times we tell non-Catholics this, they will choose to believe what they want to believe.

Idolatry would exist if you worshipped and believed in your heart that a person, or a tree, or a bull, a carving, statue or flower was an actual God. Catholics do not believe Mary is a God.

God doesn't have an issue with statues, rosary bead, candles etc as long as it aids in the worship of God which is why Priests consecrate and bless items which are used for worshipping God.

I cannot speak for the Jews of today, maybe one of our Jewish friends on CAF can enlighten us.

I do know that the God ordered the OT Jews to build an Ark made of the finest materials, the purest gold, with Cherubs etc. It contained the stone tablets of the 10Commandments, Manna and The Rod of Aaron the High Priest. It was used as an aid for worship. Only the High Priest could enter the sacred area, others were struck down.

That Ark above was the Ark of the Old Covenant, Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant.

Mary bore the Jesus: The Word made Flesh, The Everlasting High Priest, The Bread of Eternal Life and the New Covenant.

The short video below explains Mary role best.

youtube.com/watch?v=kUdYeYy3NQA"]youtube.com/watch?v=kUdYeYy3NQA


#4

We don’t condone worship of Mary, because that would be idolatry.

Veneration ≠ Worship

There are those who take it too far, and they should be corrected.

The media will often make things appear different than they actually are.

Do we worship the U.S. (or the government) on Independence Day? What about Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Do we worship him? No, we give thanks for the people who have brought about good things in ways that really impact history. This instance of Mary visiting them helped to bring the natives to Christ and mend a relationship with the Europeans. How you could not be thankful for something like that? It is such a big deal for them, and that is why they celebrate. They celebrate Mary doing good work in Christ’s name. Not for her own sake.


#5

I understand the semantics that distinguish between worship and veneration, but how do you tell the difference when, like in the video, there are men who are on their knees crawling to see the Virgin Mary, or to at least pay homage to her in some way?

I mean, getting on your knees and crawling for miles?? This is not just an excercise, this represents something. It has a purpose and it shows forth a cause. And just from the outside it appears as if they are ascribing some sort of worship.

Also, how should we respond to the charges that the early church had nothing of the sort of Mary veneration as we do today? For instance, historians who are held in high regard such as diarmaid mccullough teach that Mary veneration was something late coming and was increased during the reformation because the people were wanting something substantial in their worship due to the lack of bible study.


#6
  1. I did not watch the video -but it matters not --I have been to other places where the practice of walking on ones knees is practiced.

  2. It is an act of penance – offered to God. Mary asks in various private revelations for prayer and penance. To pray and do penance not only for our own sins --but for the sins of others --seeking their conversion.

  3. The early centuries were actually quite big on physical acts of penance. So yes they would not have a difficulty with one walking one knees in penance.

  4. As to the various developments in authentic veneration of Our Lady as well as other developments over the last 20 centuries – there is development. Heck the Rosary (which is largely meditation on the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ)-- did not develop until the middle ages. Such authentic developments in devotion etc are beautiful and good. And I speak from within my great love for the early Christians. So much riches over these centuries. And I imagine to come.


#7

As an outsider in any situation it is hard to distinguish what is really going on. You can make assumptions, but you don’t know unless you are actually a part of the action. In this case, as long as they are not pronouncing Mary as a god or as God (or part/person of God), equal to God, or that salvation can come through her alone, then they are okay. Basically, as long as they don’t ascribe something to her that can only come from God, then they are not worshiping.

As to the last part of your post (omitted from quote), I don’t know off hand. I’m not one for being good at remembering history (not even my own). But I’m sure someone will be able to address it.


#8

There have been developments in Christology etc and ways of meditating on the life of Christ etc etc etc over the centuries.


#9

Kneeling and crawling for miles to a sacred shrine is not new for Catholics. It is a sign of humility.

If you can read their hearts and know that they are ‘worshipping’ Mary that would be a different story. If not you are just speculating.

The same I could speculate that non-Catholic christians worships the Bible, an inanimate object. Pure speculation on my part based on my experience with most Protestants. Granted it is a limited and narrow view, I have to keep reminding myself that ‘no they don’t worship the Bible’.

It’s a subjective experience.

Hardly surprised about Mcculloghs views, he is a well-known anti-Papist. He thinks in terms of years and decades, the Church thinks in centuries. He has an axe to grind and he will continue to do so. One could hardly accuse him of being unbiased.

From Diarmaid MacCulloch’s entry in Wikipedia:

***“Regarding the conflict between his homosexuality and the Church of England and his own retreat from orthodoxy he said:

I was ordained Deacon. But, being a gay man, it was just impossible to proceed further, within the conditions of the Anglican set-up, because I was determined that I would make no bones about who I was; I was brought up to be truthful, and truth has always mattered to me. The Church couldn’t cope and so we parted company. It was a miserable experience.”

The Church of England’s official (and rather bizarre) policy is that homosexual acts are ok for the laity but not ok for the clergy.

At least Mr MacCulloch is honest enough not to try to live a double life. But a little knowledge about his own background can help others to understand his prejudices about the Catholic Church***

Why would he leave, there are sections of Anglicanism who welcome ‘gay clergy’?


#10

I would now describe myself as a candid friend of Christianity : diarmaid mccullough


#11

Our Lady’s image is to be found in the Catacombs, on tombs as well as on large central vaults. The early Fathers called her the New Eve by at the middle of the second century…

A wonderful Prayer to Our Lady form around 250 AD

Sub tuum præsidium

Sub tuum præsídium confúgimus,
sancta Dei Génetrix;
nostras deprecatiónes ne despícias
in necessitátibus;
sed a perículis cunctis
líbera nos semper,
Virgo gloriósa et benedícta.

Under Your Protection

We fly to thy protection,
O holy Mother of God.
Despise not our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from all dangers
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

(text from Compendium of the Catechism)

Did devotion to Our Lady develop over the ages? certainly.

As did the many other devotions and ways of praying and living the Christian life.

Again as much as I love the early Christians (and my wife can tell you I do indeed!) …there are so many splendid gifts that have flowered over the last 20 centuries. Developments in ways of devotion, of prayer, of art, of architecture, of music of pilgrimage of life, of thought, of study, etc etc


#12

The answer to the bolded section above is simple…you do what you have done…When is doubt, ASK. Then - having asked, listen carefully and openly to the answers provided by the people best acquainted with the matter.

I fully agree and really like how you express what is happening…Not some empty ritual (exercise), but that, " this represents something. It has a purpose and it shows forth a cause". Indeed it does. It shows love and reverence, and penance. And I think that if the world is to be saved from impending disaster, we need more of what we see there.

Peace
James


#13

But again...an act of penance offered to God....is what is indicated in the walking on ones knees.


#14

Everyone else explained that we don’t worship her.
I know your next question might be, "well why do anything with her? That’s more than we do to honor others!"
The reasons I think Mary helps us to find salvation in her Son, the reasons that I like Marian devotions, are simple:

  1. Think of the Wedding at Cana. Jesus turned the water into wine because Mary asked Him to. In a way, she’s already proved herself to be a really good prayer. I ask friends and family to pray for me, especially if they’re “good prayers”. Why not ask the best prayer I can think of?
  2. When I ask God to help me (which I often do) I make an effort to include “if it is Your Will”. Gotta acknowledge His sovereignty and that His will transcends all since He is King of the Universe, don’t I? Thing is, sometimes, I struggle with actually meaning this. When I’m saying “please help me get over this cold, God” I sometimes have trouble with being open to Him NOT doing so (giving me an answer to my prayer that I don’t like, even though to do so is part of His perfect plan). However, I don’t have this problem with truly bending to Jesus’s will if I’m whining to His mom. I trust that Mary, being much more holy than I, can help me out once in a while and pray better, more respectfully.

These reasons are not to say that I don’t ever pray directly to God. I do. More often than praying through Mary, as a matter of fact. Thing is, my prayers directly to God are about 90% praise/ worship/adoration/thanks/sorrow and 10% petition. My prayers to Him through Mary are about 95% petition and 5% thanks/honor (we still have to be polite!).


#15

Because her every message (approved by the Church after much investigation) is always essentially the same as John 2:5.:thumbsup:


#16

I'll post an excerpt from "Upon This Rock — That Doesn’t Roll" by Dale Ahlquist

There’s something about Mary…

I also learned that the Catholic Church, in spite of its reputation among Baptists, is intensely scriptural. Ironically, at any Catholic Mass you will hear far more Scripture than at any Baptist service. And it was also my observation that every Protestant sect at some point simply disregards certain Scriptures that are not convenient to its own teachings.

There is not enough space here to deal with all of my objections to Catholic doctrine and how each was resolved, but I must mention one. The first hurdle and the final hurdle for me was Mary. I’m sure it is the same for most Baptist converts to the Catholic Church. Mary represents all the things we object to in one package. She is the pagan remnant in the Catholic Faith, the goddess-worship, idolatry, bigger-than-Christ in all the prayers, art, and music devoted to her, appealing to the ignorant who do not read their Bibles, and so on.

My objections to the Catholic view of Mary were deeply ingrained. The first thing that helped me overcome them was reading something that Cardinal Leo Suenens once said when speaking to a group of Protestants. He said, “I’m going to say to you what the angel said to Joseph in a dream: ‘Don’t be afraid of Mary.’”

I was indeed afraid of Mary.

Do not be afraid of Mary. This is the first step. And it was like Chesterton’s three steps of conversion. I had to start by deciding not to fear Mary, but to be fair to her. Then, it was a matter of discovering her. Then, running away from her.

The next thing that helped me with Mary was something I read when I went on a retreat to a Trappist monastery in Iowa. (Imagine! Here’s a guy who thinks he’s running away from the Catholic Church and he goes on a retreat to a monastery! Though I have never been too bright, I have still always managed to outsmart myself.) In that place of silence and solitude I read how the monks there model themselves on Mary because Mary is the model Christian. She obeyed God’s call, she carried Christ within her, and she then revealed Him to the whole world. She stayed close to Him and, so, she experienced the suffering of His death, the glory of His resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are to imitate her. What she did, literally, we must do in every other way. Who can argue with that beautiful image? It is an image worth meditating on every day, which is exactly what devotion is, and why so many have meditated on and been devoted to Mary. In doing so, they have also fulfilled her prophesy in Scripture by rising up and calling her “blessed.”

After a few more intermediate steps, I went to another monastery on a retreat (again, I was retreating in the direction of the Church). The priest there looked me in the eye and asked, “Why haven’t you converted yet?” I mumbled something about Mary. He did not loosen his gaze, but asked, “Do you believe that her soul magnifies the Lord?”

The literal Baptist in me had never considered that verse literally before: “My soul makes God bigger.” I had run out of excuses.


#17

Thank you for the comments. Unfortunately, this certainly does not convince me of Marian veneration. I think it would have at least been a bit more popular amongst the early christians. I mean how much development can you really have about that?


#18

Lots.

As with so many wonderful aspects of Christian Prayer and devotion through the centuries.

The use of the Crucifix in our love of Jesus --in our prayer – came several centuries down the road.


#19

[quote="Bookcat, post:6, topic:306368"]
1. I did not watch the video -but it matters not --I have been to other places where the practice of walking on ones knees is practiced.

  1. It is an act of penance -- offered to God. Mary asks in various private revelations for prayer and penance. To pray and do penance not only for our own sins --but for the sins of others --seeking their conversion.

  2. The early centuries were actually quite big on physical acts of penance. So yes they would not have a difficulty with one walking one knees in penance.

  3. As to the various developments in authentic veneration of Our Lady as well as other developments over the last 20 centuries -- there is development. Heck the Rosary (which is largely meditation on the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ)-- did not develop until the middle ages. Such authentic developments in devotion etc are beautiful and good. And I speak from within my great love for the early Christians. So much riches over these centuries. And I imagine to come.

[/quote]


#20

Our Lady’s image is to be found in the Catacombs, on tombs as well as on large central vaults. The early Fathers called her the New Eve by at the middle of the second century…

A wonderful Prayer to Our Lady from around 250 AD

Sub tuum præsidium

Sub tuum præsídium confúgimus,
sancta Dei Génetrix;
nostras deprecatiónes ne despícias
in necessitátibus;
sed a perículis cunctis
líbera nos semper,
Virgo gloriósa et benedícta.

Under Your Protection

We fly to thy protection,
O holy Mother of God.
Despise not our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from all dangers
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

(text from Compendium of the Catechism)

Did devotion to Our Lady develop over the ages? certainly.

As did the many other devotions and ways of praying and living the Christian life.

Again as much as I love the early Christians (and my wife can tell you I do indeed!) …there are so many splendid gifts that have flowered over the last 20 centuries. Developments in ways of devotion, of prayer, of art, of architecture, of music of pilgrimage, of ways of life, of thought, of study, etc etc


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.