PRAYING TO MARY AND THE SAINTS Anyone who has glanced at the newspaper has probably come across the advertisement by the Knights of Columbus in which they advertise “Prayer conversation with God, his angels and his Saints.
” The Pope prays to Mary and encourages all Catholics to do the same. In his Sunday mass in Denver in Aug.1993 John Paul II entrusted the youth and the entire world under Mary’s protection and guidance. Can we pray to Mary or other saints as we do to God? Can some person who is at the other end of the universe hear our prayers? Isn't this something that is exclusively reserved to God? How can a saint hear hundreds or thousands of prayers at one time? No matter how great a saint they were, they are not omniscient nor can they answer our prayers (it is a known fact there are more prayers offered to Mary than to God by Catholics). This is seen by the statement by Bishop Liqouri “We often more quickly obtain what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus. She...is our Salvation, our Life, our Hope, our Counsel, our Refuge, our Help” (The Glories of Mary by Bishop Alphonse de Ligouri (Brooklyn: Redemptorist Fathers, pp. 254, 257). The Roman Catholic apologia claims that both Mary and saints are now glorified and have greater abilities. Some Catholics claim that they don't pray to Mary, but rather only ask her to pray for them. All this is like asking them to pray for you as you would ask a friend. But a person would have to pray to Mary if they are asking her something because she is not physically here. However we do not entrust the world to one or ask protection and guidance from someone who in turn is going to ask God! A excerpt of the conclusion of the Rosary prayed by millions is: “Hail, holy Queen [of heaven], Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping, in this valley of tears.” To Mary they pray. The most wellknown portion of the Rosary and most recited Catholic prayer, repeated millions of times is Catholics praying to Mary and asking in prayer for her to “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” If this is not praying to Mary then one is not praying to the Father either in the Rosary. God says to ask Him not Mary. Only God can answer ones prayer. So it becomes useless to pray to a saint, any saint no matter how great they may be. Despite the rejections of saying they are praying to Mary or saints the Catholic Church does encourage praying to Mary as these excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church prove: “Beginning with Mans unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God” (Catechism 2675)
They do this claiming they are centering it “on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries.” 'This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria” (Catechism 2676) “Mary is the perfect Orans prayer, a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father” (Catechism 2679) They can pray to her because their church says “Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son ... ” “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” Can this be found in the Bible? Pope John Paul II dedicated his general audience to the Virgin Mary urging all Christians to accept Mary as their mother. Using the words spoken by Jesus on the cross to Mary and to John “Woman, behold thy son!” and “Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26,27), and he claimed that in this statement “IT IS POSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND THE AUTHENTIC MEANING OF MARIAN WORSHIP in the ecclesial community” (Vatican Information Service, May 7, 1997). Even the Pope prays to Mary “Mary of the New Advent, we implore your protection on the preparations that will now begin for the next meeting [World Youth Day]. Mary, full of grace, we entrust the next World Youth Day to you. Mary, assumed into heaven, we entrust the young people of the world ... the whole world to YOU” (August 1993, Denver, Colorado, Pope John Paul II). Pope Pius IX in 1854 “Let all the children of the Catholic Church ... Proceed to worship, invoke, and pray to the most blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God. ” This is not like asking someone on earth to pray for you, since they are physically here to converse. What the Roman Catholic is doing is asking those who are not physically here and are unable to see or affect the affairs of mankind on earth to do what is attributed to God only. When we look in the Bible we find that prayer is directed to God alone. To set up a person as a recipient for our prayers, no matter how great they are is making them out to be deity. Asking a saint to help and guide or protect is something only God can do. As someone once put it, why go to the branch office when you can go to the president. There
is not one example of a Christian addressing prayers to Mary or saints, or those who are dead passing from our world. There is much to be said of those who practice Spiritism that use this method. Catholic defenders suggest that Mary is not part of “the dead”, since she's spiritually alive in Heaven. The passages in Deuteronomy 18 and Isaiah 8 are referring to the physically dead, not the spiritually dead. There are hundreds of prayers and passages about prayer in scripture, and none of them instruct prayers to the dead. The scriptures forbid attempting to contact the dead, yet the Catholic Church teaches people to do it. The most often used way to pray is by the rosary, which is a series of prayers said that are counted on a string of beads (groups of ten small beads separated by one large one, there are five sets of decades) All the prayers said to both Mary and the Father are said with no distinction. There is one “our father” with ten “hail Mary’s” said over and over, it ends with trust in Mary’s intercession. Clearly the emphasis is on Mary. The Bible says in Eph.2:18, “for through him we both have access by one spirit to the father.” Jesus taught us to pray and it was to be directed to the Father although on occasional instances it was directed to the Lord as a witness to others around, i.e. Stephen when he was stoned. All prayer is directed to Godfalse prayer is directed to false gods or people. Heb.7:25 he is our high priest who lives to make intercession. If God is praying for us is this not sufficient. Why go To a middle man (or woman who God has not instructed to go to) when we have God himself. Walter Martin understood all too well the significance of the action of praying to one other than god. “Mark this well; there is not one verse of the scripture in the New Testament anywhere which authorized anybody to intercede with God after death. We are told to pray for one another only while on earth. Prayer that is blessed by God is prayer which is suppose to be directed to god while we are alive. There is no authority in scripture for prayers either by, to or for the dead. Yet this is the cardinal tradition of the th Roman Catholic church a tradition which the 4 chapter of Hebrews very pointedly contradicts.” There is not one place in the New Testament that people pray to Mary or saints in the early church the apostles never wrote of it in the book of Acts or the epistles. There is no Old Testament or New Testament teaching of praying to the dead. and while they may be very much alive in heaven the Bible categorizes them as dead because they are no longer with us here on earth after their body is put to the ground. Duet. 18:1012 tells us about a medium, a spiritist is some one who calls on the dead. All these have to do with contact, talking and communicating with spirits, which is strictly forbidden. They are in a different place than earth, and fallen angels (demons) love to deceive by convincing people they are their dead relative, Mary or Jesus speaking to them.
Today there are appearances of Mary which tell people to pray the rosary (which practice is not mentioned in scripture and even forbidden to pray in repetition) or ask her for grace. Clearly this apparition is not the Mary of Scripture who supposedly travels from heaven and does not reveal her son in accordance to scripture. Mary was in the upper room with everyone else to receive the Holy Spirit. She was not numbered among the apostles who were given special authority to do miracles and the scriptures have no focus on her at all after the resurrection of Jesus. In the twentyone Apostolic letters in Bible, her name does not occur in one of them, why? If she is so important as the Catholic Church says why did any of the apostles not recognize this to be written down for all the church throughout time? This is an easy question that can be answered. Because Scripture sis the only thing that is called inspired by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit of God did not recognize Mary in such as way as the Roman Catholic church does. We need to listen to what the Father said about his Son when he spoke in an audible voice from heaven at the mount of Jesus’ transfiguration. “This is my beloved son hear him.” God has always pointed to his son for his final revelation in these last days Heb.1:1. If any spirit appears and does not point to the Son and refuses the Biblical test of truth we are to reject it's message. The Mary of Roman Catholicism fails miserably when this is applied. The first martyr of the Church Stephen prayed to Jesus to receive his spirit in Acts 7:59 contrary to this Catholics today pray “obtain for us oh Mary the grace for eternal salvation.” This shows they don’t possess it yet and are depending on a mere human to obtain for them by the privilege of being the Saviors mother. To do this is to ignore Jesus in His office of savior, in His high priestly role today and as our soon coming King. Nothing in Scripture ever indicates that Mary had prayers offered to her. no Catholic can ever prove this from the Bible only from the additions added on by the church. The last recorded words of Mary in the Bible are “His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5). She is saying, listen to Jesus. If Catholics consider themselves servants and truly listen to Mary they will obey her by listening to her advicelisten and believe Jesus’ words in the Scripture. Catholics would do well to also hear the words of Christ who said, 'whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you, Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23) Only God can fill you with this joy. www.letusreason.org