Historically, we Catholics have had a complex about the Reformation. Despite our counter-Reformation where alot of the problems were cleared up, there were major disagreements on (minor?) elements of faith. Among these was devotion to Mary, which was popular. We thought Mary important, the Protestants did not. After all, she would be an intermediary, and you could not reject the mediation of clergy without rejecting this mediation, also.
If you examine different Christian Churches and sects, the ones that maintain a clergy have a warmer relationship with Mary than those without.
Because we believe at death there is entry to heaven asking Mary to pray for us is no different than asking a neighbor or a friend to pray for us. Because we cannot text Mary we pray to her. Check the dictionary meaning of prayer and you will see that it does not generally imply worship. Of course, if you only pray to God, it would seem odd to pray to anyone else, but for Catholics prayer and worship are not equal.
Prayer asking Mary to intervene on your behalf with God is, by Catholics, perfectly acceptable. Here is the most common prayer to Mary. The first line is from the Angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary that she has been chosen; the second line is from Elizabeth, Mary's cousin, and the mother of John the Baptist. The balance of the prayer is the mediating request of Mary to pray for us. (It is assumed that she is praying to God.)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. AMEN.
The lines of praise in the first two sentences are biblical. The other represents an acceptable request of Mary whom we believe is in heaven, now, to pray for us. It is no different from asking a brother or sister or friend to pray for us. It is not worship of a friend when you ask for prayer.
By examining each Catholic prayer for biblical and non-biblical parts you can see "our take" on these parts of the bible and what is added to express our current sorrows, joys, disappointments, fears that we are communicating in the prayer.
Please examine them.
· 1 decade ago