If you want to take quotes from the Bible to justify your viewpoint, that can just as easily be done for Mary.
"The angel of the Lord appeared to her." That alone is amazing, as usually God sends his messages to people in dreams in the old and new testaments. But here, he sends a heavenly body.
"Hail Mary, full of grace!" That's not a Catholic made-up prayer, it's from scripture. Mary is the only woman who ever lived who is grace-filled, pure of defect, immaculate. This gives her a special place of honor among all humanity. This does not mean we worship Mary like we do God, but she is "blessed among women."
"Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." Mary and Jesus DO go together. You can't have one without the other. He chose her to be his tabernacle.
When Mary visits Elizabeth, and the latter cries "the baby leapt in my womb for joy." The future John the Baptist recognizes Jesus inside Mary. Could God choose to dwell in anything less that a perfect and pure vessel?
There have been only two perfect human beings on planet earth, Jesus and Mary. I don't see why some folks have such a problem with that. Mary herself has appeared in many parts of the world, not just in visions, but physically.
It's easy to dismiss Mary if you have never looked into Marian theology or the Church's teachings on Mary. Don't deprive yourself of your spiritual Mother. As Jesus said on the cross, "Here is your Mother."
And after his Resurrection, he glorified Mary by bringing her body and soul to Heaven. She is in the perfect state, as is Christ, which we may all attain someday.
We all agree Mary existed, that Jesus was born of a woman.
Besides the Bible, which can be twisted around to suit everyone, we also have 2000 years of history, revelations, mystics who spoke with Mary, Catholic doctrine which was revealed over centuries, not just made up on the whim of a pope.
But also, isn't it just common sense? This is the Mother of God! We know she has preceeded us to Heaven, we know that during his lifetime Jesus always honored and respected her, that as a child he was dependent on her for his every need. Should we not follow his example?
And there appeared unto him [Zacharias] an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
*******"Hail Mary, full of grace!"
Believers are told that they are also "full of grace" [caritovw] by Paul in Ephesians...
Luke 1:28 And he came to her and said, Greetings, O favored one [caritovw] , the Lord is with you!
Eph 1:16 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted [caritovw] in the beloved.
*******"Mary is the only woman who ever lived who is grace-filled, pure of defect, immaculate."
What do you base this belief on - becasue it isn't in the Scriptures.
*******"Mary and Jesus DO go together. You can't have one without the other."
Jesus is Eternal God. I assure you that you can have Jesus without Mary. If Mary would have said "no" then God would have found someone else. What you are saying is borderline blaspheme.
*******"There have been only two perfect human beings on planet earth, Jesus and Mary."
There are five explicit references to Jesus' sinlessness in the Bible. Regarding Mary there are none.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1 Peter 2:22
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1 John 3:5
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin
"Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?"
*******"Don't deprive yourself of your spiritual Mother."
The "mother" believers is the heavenly Jerusalem...
"But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."
*******"Besides the Bible, which can be twisted around to suit everyone, we also have 2000 years of history, revelations, mystics who spoke with Mary, Catholic doctrine which was revealed over centuries, not just made up on the whim of a pope."
Every theological belief must be judged by it's argeement with the Scriptures! Even as Isaiah said...
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
And how can you be absolutely sure these appearances were really Mary? Remember, "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." - Galatians 4:26
*******"Jesus always honored and respected her, that as a child he was dependent on her for his every need. Should we not follow his example?"
Yes we should! Starting here:
"While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." - Matthew 12