Monday, August 31, 2009

Do Catholics Worship Mary as a god?

No we don't.

St. Luke 11:27-28: "Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it."

We honour the Mother of God, as God Himself desires us to do.  None have heard the word of God, nor kept it, more greatly that the she who was chosen out of all the world for that single greatest favour ever bestowed upon a created being - namely to bear the God-man in her own womb, being closer to God than any other.  Such a blessing is not bestowed on "second best" hearer and keeper of the word.

Please also read:
The Seven Dolours of Mary (listen to audiobooks here)
The Scriptural Rosary

I invite all to consider logical argument and analogy, in regard to the relationship we ought to have with the Holy Virgin Mary:

I am going to visit my boss at home, to ask a favour. If I knock on the door of his house, and his mother answers, what should I do?

a) Brush past her and ignore her completely?
b) Say a curt greeting and then walk right on in?
c) Politely ask her to go see if he will come speak with me?

I imagine any sensible person picked c). Even if my boss is known to be a hard man, I might even score a couple points by being very kind and respectful to his mother. If I do this, does it mean that I am now working for my boss's mother? If she sends me on an errand for her and promises to butter up my boss for me, does THAT mean I am now working for my boss's mother, or that I am no longer working for my boss?

I am going to visit the king of the land, to plead my case. He is known for bestowing his abundant favour on his friends and for treating very harshly his enemies, and as of yet, I do not know for sure which way he will look at me; am I his friend or his foe? Crossing the courtyard, I see his mother in the way. How can I enhance my chance of being well received by the king?

a) Take my chances on my own, and rely on my own merit and charming personality?
b) Tell the king's mother that she has no authority and no power and that her son the king doesn't need her, so she should just buzz off?
c) Take this rare and fortunate opportunity to show her respect and reverence, and ask her to put in a good word for me with the king?

If I pick a) I am being prideful and should not be surprised if the king turns me away, or worse yet, chastises me for wasting his time.

If I pick b) I should rightly EXPECT chastisement from the king, who loves his mother dearly.

If I am smart, and pick c) does this mean that I am now pledging allegiance to the king's mother, and withdrawing it from the king? What if the king's mother asks me to do something in return for putting in a good word, does this mean that I have committed treason against the king?

I am seeking to win favour with God, the Creator of the world, who has condescended in His great mercy to be born of a virgin in time. I also know that I am infinitely less than He, being made of nothing, and that I have already offended Him more times than I can count. When I think on this my heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble, at the presence of the LORD, and at the presence of his holy words.

My courage falters even more as I remember the intended fate of the unfaithful people Israel that is related by Moses.

"The LORD said to me: I see that this people is stiffnecked: Let me alone that I may destroy them, and abolish their name from under heaven, and set thee over a nation, that is greater and stronger than this."

But Moses, who already had favour with God pleaded with Him.

"And when I came down from the burning mount, and held the two tables of the covenant with both hands, and saw that you had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made to yourselves a molten calf, and had quickly forsaken his way, which He had shewn you: I cast the tables out of my hands, and broke them in your sight. And I fell down before the LORD as before, forty days and nights neither eating bread, nor drinking water, for all your sins, which you had committed against the LORD, and had provoked Him to wrath: For I feared His indignation and anger, wherewith being moved against you, He would have destroyed you. And the LORD heard me this time also. And He was exceeding angry against Aaron also, and would have destroyed him, and I prayed in like manner for him."

An entire nation saved by the prayer of Moses! Oh if I could only ask Moses to pray for me! If only he were not dead!

At this thought, my conscience rebukes me sharply, bringing to mind the words of the Saviour, Christ Himself.

"And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living."

Then... Moses lives! I may certainly ask for him to pray for me to the LORD our God! He interceded so willingly for an entire nation, which had offended God so grievously, and on account of his prayers they were spared from destruction!

By now my conscience tells me: "Fear not: your God, and the God of your father hath given you treasure."

What treasure is this? What treasure can give me, such a wretched sinner, greater courage to approach the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the army of heaven standing by Him, than to ask for the prayers of Moses?

"When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own."

The Apostle St. John took Jesus' mother for his own! Of course! Who better to help us go to God, than she, by whom He chose to come to us! And should we not imitate St. John and take her for our own mother? The Apostle St. Paul says we should.

"That we might give ourselves a pattern unto you, to imitate us."

It is clear. The mother of the living God, the Blessed Virgin Mary was chosen out of all the creatures of God for the greatest honour of all, that of raising and caring for God Himself, made flesh. There is therefore, no creature who merits higher favour than Mary, who is indeed living in heaven, with her Divine Son.

Blessed Mary, ever a virgin, be thou my mediator of intercession with the one mediator of redemption between God and man, thy Son Jesus Christ. Polish my virtues, remove whatever there is of me that is displeasing to thy Son, as only thou art able, and may the LORD accept my humble offerings and prayers at thy immaculate hands. Amen.

V. The Angel of the LORD declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost. Hail Mary, etc
V. Behold the handmaid of the LORD.
R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail Mary, etc
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, etc
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O LORD, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His passionate cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our LORD. Amen.

[Said during Eastertide, instead of the Angelus.]
Queen of heaven, rejoice. Alleluia
For He whom thou didst deserve to bear, Alleluia.
Hath risen as He said, Alleluia.
Pray for us to God, Alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad O Virgin Mary! Alleluia.
R. Because our LORD is truly risen. Alleluia.

Let us pray.
O God, who by the resurrection of Thy Son, our LORD JESUS Christ, hast vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our LORD. Amen.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary! that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother! To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate! despise not my petitions, but, in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

The most excellent way to honour and petition the Mother of God is the Most Holy Rosary.

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