Why do Catholics “Pray”
It is often observed by many Evangelicals and Fundamentalists that Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, is worshipped by Catholics worldwide. They often associate the rosary as a form of “prayer” to Mary. They also argue that because Mary plays a significant role in Catholic worship, she is clothed with the same glory and respect as that of the Trinity. Nonetheless, because of the eagerness of Catholics to regard her as an “omnipresent” patron, they place Mary on the same level as that of Christ.
The elaborate and magnificent statues of Mary in many Catholic basilicas prove this point, according to Protestants. However, this is not really an accurate observation of Catholic doctrine. The Roman Catholic Church believes that there is only one God, signified by the Three Persons of the Trinity (the Godhead). God created the universe; all the living and non-living things on earth are put into existence by God. Mary then is considered as one of God’s creations. However Mary was considered special by God, since she was chosen by God to deliver His Son to earth.
Her humble submission to the Lord earned her the title “Handmaid of the Lord. ” She was the channel for the Son of God to be born in this world; of which salvation of humanity depends. Her purity of faith had been bestowed by Divine favor, the only woman who would be the mother of the Son of God: the Incarnate Word. It is not that Mary has some special powers to control the seas and winds; Mary was honored by God because her fidelity had proven to be perfect. No such wonder that her title “Mother of God” is supplemented by the words “full of grace.
” Her fidelity to the Lord and humble obedience to His will had been unshaken by temptations (Macdonald, http://www. davidmacd. com/). Thus, she holds God’s favor because of her nothingness: her will to do God’s bidding. She became the instrument of God, in order for salvation to be attained. The Catholic Church views Mary as the Mother of God, full of grace, chosen by God in order for the Word to be incarnated to this world, blessed among women. She is not equal to God but she has God’s favor because of her unwarranted faith. She is “Immaculate Conception”, Mary conceived without sin.
Since she was born, she was free from sin. God bestowed on her the right to be full of grace. Because Mary will deliver the Son of God, she must be free from sin, for the Son is free of sin. It was not her nature that made her free of sin; it was the will of God that she was made free of sin. The title “Immaculate Conception” was not made by Mary herself, but by God (Mary and the Saints, www. catholic. com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assumption). The Catholic Church also views Mary as the greatest of all saints, since she became the perfect instrument of God in the work of salvation.
Nonetheless, her “assumption to heaven” is a symbol of divine respect and love for humanity; that though men are creatures of God, men are the most beloved of God’s creatures, having been promised eternal life. Thus, it should be noted that the Catholic Church do not assume the “assumption” as the glorification of Mary, it is a symbol of God’s love. The Protestant’s view that Mary was glorified as a “Mother Goddess” simply is an absurd idea. Mary’s role in the Incarnation of the Word is one of the most logical bases of the Church in conferring the title “Mother of God.
” The Son and the Mother cannot be separated. The birth of Jesus Christ is seen by the Church as God’s descent into flesh and time (which characterizes humanity) in order to be one with His creatures: Jesus’ humanity proves His love to mankind, made in the image of God. The Mother, being the closest to the Incarnated Word, was honored by Jesus Christ more than any son could honor his mother on earth. The Son was not connected to the Mother only by the contours of instrumentality, but by the love of mother and son.
Because Christ is the Incarnate Word of God, it is accurate to give her the title “Mother of God. ” Protestants will argue that it is more accurate to call Mary the mother of Jesus since she is the earthly mother of the Lord Jesus. But it should be noted that Christ nature is not human; it is both human and divine. Christ has two natures: human and divine. The two natures are not separated from each other but an expression of oneness. To call Mary the mother of Jesus eliminates Jesus’ divine status. Nevertheless, this phrase will only mean that the love of Mother and Son is limited only in flesh and time.
Protestants then would argue that if Mary is the Mother of God, then she created God. Again this is not an accurate view of Mary. It should be noted that the Incarnated Word cannot be separated from the Father and Spirit. The Trinity is one in spirit, of which no man can imagine or discern. The Son is the image of the Father; the Spirit is the love that binds them. Although this is a simplistic view of the Trinity, it should be noted that it is accurate to say that Mary is the Mother of God, due to the Divine status of Christ, not separated from the Godhead (Trinity).