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Published by Louie Costales

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Published by: Louie Costales on Jun 17, 2012
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What about praying TO Mary? What's that about?
Many Evangelicals think the word "pray" means "worship." So it makes sense that theythink Catholics who "pray" to Mary actually "worship" her. Let's look up the word "pray"in the dictionary. Here is what Webster's says about the word
:(1) To utter petition to God ... (2) To make a fervent request: PLEAD (3) To beseech:implore (4) to make a devout or earnest request for.The first thing to notice is that the word "worship" is not included in the definition of "pray." It does
mean "worship." A prayer to Mary is clearly
a petition to God.Mary is not God, and there is not one faithful Catholic since the apostles who has saidshe is. So clearly it is not the first meaning.The English language is often limited in that we often have to use the same word to saydifferent things. There are several meanings of the word "pray." When Catholics pray toGod they "utter a petition to God." When they pray to Mary and the Saints they aremaking a "devout or earnest request for" prayers from Mary or the saints. In mediaevaltimes when a royal court official was asking something of a person who outranked him,he would say "I pray thee your majesty."
You have to say that in an English accent to get the full effect
! The person was simply making a request in a polite manner.Catholics think Mary is a prayer warrior. That's her job. We think she was given a full-time 24/7 prayer ministry. She said "all generations will call me Blessed" and "my soulmagnifies the Lord" (Luke 1:46). Catholics think this is significant.Martin Luther said "The veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the humanheart." (Sermon, September 1, 1522). There is a difference between
of Maryand
of Jesus. John Pacheco says:There is a great difference between veneration ("douleia" in Greek) and worship("latreia"). The word "douleia" occurs 5 times in the Bible. (Rm 8:15, 21; Gal 4:24, 5:1;Heb 2:15) never does it refer to worship of God. The word "latreia" occurs 5 times but italways refers to God only. (Jn 16:2, Rm:9:4, 12:6, Heb 9:1,6) And there are plenty of Old Testament references that distinguish veneration from worship. "Then Moses wentout to meet his father in law, and he bowed down and kissed him.." (Exo 18:7)...(also 1Chron 29:20, 1 Sam 24:8)Some say "Consecration" shows that Catholics worship Mary. The word "Consecrate"means to entrust. I entrust myself to my closest friends but only one is my Savior.“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her morethan Jesus did.”
Catholic versus the Evangelical approach to a relationshipwith Jesus
Scenario 1: If a guy falls in love with a girl he might say:
I love you so much. I love you so much that I want to spend all my time with you. Inever want to talk to your mother. I never want to see your family or friends. I wantyou to banish them when they come around, I just want to spend my whole life withyou and love you.That's how I understand the Evangelical take on a relationship to Jesus.
Scenario 2: On the other hand he could say
I love you so much. I love you so much that I want to spend my time with you. Yourmom is welcome to visit our home. Your family is my family, your friends are myfriends. The people you love, I will love. We are one flesh and I welcome everyone youwelcome."I think the second one sounds like a more authentic love. I think that is the Catholicapproach to a relationship with Jesus.
The bible says: “Honor your father and mother”.Mary, being the mother of Jesus, Isn’t she worthy of any honor/praise?Mary, who played a big role on Jesus’ life, why can’t we pray for that person thatJesus loved so much?
Does hanging out with Mary defocus us from Jesus?
I got an email that said:Why then would we want to take the focus off of Jesus and pray through Mary, or anyone else for that matter? I also see a lot of the issues surrounding Mary as distractions.I appreciate concern that attention paid to Mary
from Jesus. It is aninteresting choice of words because Mary said the
about herself. In the Bible,Mary clearly spells out her role in eternity:
My soul
the Lord,And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.For He has regarded the lowly state of his maidservant;For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. (Lk 1:46-49)The Bible says Jesus is
by Mary's
. A soul is not limited by life on earth.Mary reinforces her eternal ministry by saying "all generations will call me blessed." If the Bible intended Mary's ministry to end with the birth of Jesus, or at Jesus' death, oreven at Mary's death, I don't think it would use that language.A magnifying glass increases the object it is focused on, so being in relation to Mary'seternal soul does not draw focus away from Jesus, it does the opposite. It magnifieshim. This is the Bible's word to the people of God.I've heard Evangelical Pastors do sermons on just about every passage of Scripture
except this one
. I invite you to try to remember a sermon on Luke 1:46-55.The movie "The Nativity"removed wordsfrom the Bible that referred to Mary when theyflashed the passage on the screen during the final scene. I think it's crazy to removewords about Mary from the Bible to make some Christians feel more comfortable.Catholics believe Mary's soul still "magnifies the Lord" for Christians of our generationwho choose to relate to her. Currently, Catholics are pretty well the only onesupholding the biblical prophecy to call her blessed, which was intended for
generations, and for all Christians.Myexperience with Maryhas actually significantly improved my relationship with myLord and Savior, Jesus. I think time spent with Mary is no more defocusing than timespent with my other Church friends or with my pastor. To me the logical end to the"defocusing" theory is that I should never talk to or pray with any other Christians. Itsuggests I shouldn't go to prayer groups, or even read the Old Testament (because itpredates Christ). It suggests I should only talk with Christ alone and never even talk toanother human being. To me, that is a definition of a hermit and although it is avaluable calling, I don't think it is for me.When I was a performer in the US National tour of "Cats" my mother did not want tojump on the stage and take my place in the spotlight (although that would have beenpretty funny). She wanted everyone to know that her son was in "Cats." She wantedeveryone to go see me. That was her role. Mary's role is not to jump on centre stageand take the place of Jesus. She just wants everyone to know about her Son Jesus andshe will do anything to help that relationship.I got an email that said:... Unlike Kings here on earth, God doesn't need a Queen. He has been, He is, and Healways will be complete on His own.

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