Skip to comments.Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Posted on 05/02/2010 1:48:38 PM PDT by marshmallow
If you are a convert to Catholicism and your Protestant friends and family are worried that you now 'worship Mary'...join the club. I remember bumping into an old Evangelical tutor of mine in England. He was very much the hearty, Evangelical Anglican sort--all rugby, cold showers and winning souls to Jesus sort of chap. When he learned that I had become a Catholic his face fell and he said, "But the Roman Catholics still have such a problem with Mariolatry." And this from an Oxford tutor! I said, "Colin, you have made a mistake in terminology. You meant to say 'Mariology' not 'Mariolatry'. The first is the devotion to the Mother of God. The second is a form of idolatry. Surely you were not implying that Catholics worship Mary? I mean, you are a theology tutor at Oxford. You know better than that don't you?"
He changed the subject, and he's now a bishop. Ah well...
If you have ever longed for a book that explains the whole 'Mary thing' to your Evangelical friends and family, then this is the book. David Mills, who is himself a convert to Catholicism has put together a little book that explains it all. He does so in a very winning and personal style, not only explaining the Marian dogmas and devotions, but also helping Evangelicals to understand how the proper devotion to the Mother of God complements and magnifies the proper relationship to Christ. He also does so with a fair sprinkling of his own experience and witness.
The personal witness was, for me, was the most attractive part of the book. This is because the Marian dogmas and devotions are part of the Catholic faith that really has to be experienced to be understood. One can argue about the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin or the truth of the Immaculate Conception until you are blue in the face, but it is when one begins to pray the Rosary that it all begins to come together. It is this personal experience of Mary's love, power and assistance that is the clincher, and David Mills is wise to interweave his own experiences in such an eloquent and pithy manner.
After his introduction explaining how he came to love Mary, David goes on to expound the life of Mary, Mary in the Scriptures, Mary in Catholic Doctrine, The feasts of Mary, her titles and then a chapter on Apparitions, Devotions and Prayers. Packed at the back is a terrific appendix with lots of further reading, full notes and help for inquirers.
This book is really a must read for all Protestants on the Path to Rome, and even for those who feel that a bridge across the Tiber is a bridge too far, Discovering Mary will help to inform them about this rich and beautiful part of the Catholic faith.
Kind of tells you all you need to know about the Catholic position ... sorry, I am a Father/Son/Holy Ghost sort of guy...
As a non-Catholic believer, I guess I just don't understand how this can happen if the person in question, Mary, is dead? Yes, she is blessed among women. That's what the Word says. I have no problem with that.
But she is still dead. How can a dead person help you?
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.
Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).
Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.
Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.
FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
THE SALVE REGINA
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, 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 vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
PETITION TO MARY
Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
Seen above is the Blessed Virgin Mary, portrayed as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
It was she who was chosen by God, to provide His Son with His Sacred Humanity.
She did so in humble and total cooperation with the Holy Spirit and the Divine will of the Holy Trinity; providing God's Son with the Blood He shed for us on the Cross.
TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.
FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val
TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY
O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.
May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.
TO OUR LADY
Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney
ACT OF REPARATION
O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
|Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
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Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
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The thing is she isn’t dead. She is one of the saints in heaven. “For God is not a God of the dead, but of the living!”
46While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
48He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
By the way, I need to tell you this: Whenever I’m looking for something inspirational, or specific about the Church, or even biographies of the saints, one place I look is YOUR POSTS. I put your name in the FR Search, and voila! A treasure trove of links!
Thanks, Salvation. You are wonderful!
So, did Mary not do God’s will?
You never know. You might be a convert someday!
I thought the same thing when I read that ... mysticism at its highest..
If God is the God of the living and not the dead(He is), then why not ask for help from Paul? or one of the other saints? Actually the Word says we are all saints(in Christ). Should I ask for help from Martin Luther? Or Dietrich Bonhoeffer?
Where does it end?
There really is only one mediator and that is Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.
I’m not anti-Mary, but she really can’t help us by us praying to her. Definitely an inspiration,though.
Only God can answer prayer.
King James Bible
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If you pray to anyone other than Christ you are supporting the Catholics Pantheon of Gods and NOT Monotheism.
The core beliefs of the Holy Roman Catholic Church were developed by the Council at Nicea, Which was Commissioned by the Pagan King Constantine.
Before Constantine and Christianity, Rome had a Pantheon of Gods. Constantine Hybridized the existing Roman Religion with Christianity to form The Holy Roman Catholic Church.
At that point Constantine became a “Christian”.
So how exactly does Praying to Mary make one a Christian?
a Father/Son/Holy Ghost sort of guy
I have a link to a FreeRepublic thread, wherein Nancy Pelosi (wannabe good Catholic) recounted praying to some saint or other for the passage of the health care bill. The R.C. Freepers has some amusement at her expense because she prayed to the wrong saint. None at all that she was praying to a saint.
What they do for St. Random, you can bet they do for the BVM.
Heidelberg's always good.
"Q. 30)Do such then believe in Jesus the only Saviour, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?
"A.) They do not; for though they boast of him in words, yet in deeds they deny Jesus the only deliverer and Saviour; for one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Saviour; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Saviour, must find all things in him necessary to their salvation."
Catholic don’t pray “to” a Saint. (Excepting Pelosi, of course since she is a CINO only.)
Catholics ask the Saint to “pray for us.”
Have you ever asked anyone to pray for you? Bet you have. LOL!
When anyone states that you have to experience something to understand it, any rational discussion becomes impossible.
Yes, like trying to explain color to someone blind from birth. No rational way to do that, right?
Read the scripture ..she was never asked..she was told she would have a son, and given His name..
So, Mary did not do God’s will?
And yet the bill (finally) passed anyway. So maybe some saints are jack-of-all-trades types?
God moved on her heart, and brought His will and hers into agreement.. there was never a chance she would have said no, she was ordained before the foundation of the earth to be the mother of Christ..
Just saying we need to glorify God for her and not her :)
Glory is not a zero sum game.
As a former Catholic and now Methodist I was always uneasy about the worship of Mary. To me it was to close to Goddess worship.
When it comes to Nancy Pelosi, I'm not sure that anything of God would be involved.
the strawman arguments about ‘worshipping’ mary are so lame, certainly folks can come up with something better, something that hasnt throughly refuted over the centuries...
wow, itz amazing...
“Before Constantine and Christianity, Rome had a Pantheon of Gods.”
In case you didn’t know, Rome had a pantheon of gods AFTER Constantine as well. Most Romans were still pagans. Strange that they didn’t know that Constantine had created what you claim here:
“Constantine Hybridized the existing Roman Religion with Christianity to form The Holy Roman Catholic Church.”
That’s just about too stupid an idea for words - and that’s probably why no modern reputable historian believes that.
“At that point Constantine became a Christian.”
No, actually Constantine became a Christian in belief BEFORE he was even emperor. Thus, he believed in Christ and His Church BEFORE he even had the power or authority to do anything to any religion.
“So how exactly does Praying to Mary make one a Christian?”
In itself it doesn’t. It also doesn’t make one unchristian.
How can one ask a saint in heaven to pray for us?
Here’s a idea: just don’t care about what your relatives who belong to one of the various protestant sects thinks about your faith.
Humility on my knees.
You might have very humble knees but then that really wasn’t the question.
I know, I was trying to be funny!
IW runs and ducks!
In him with him in the Unity of the Holy Spirit which is the Communion of Saints - the Body of Christ here and in Heaven. If you ask a friend here in the body and soul for pray so can you ask a saint soul in Heaven for pray.
Which is what the Church teaches. However, you apparently don't know the difference between a mediator and an intercessor.
Are you suggesting I pray to a saint in heaven to pray for me?
In your opinion.
One can always count on you to proudly flaunt your ignorance.
Maybe this can explain the Catholic View
Dead Saints: Are They Playing Harps on Clouds or Interceding for Us?
[all passages RSV; Scripture passages colored in blue]
1. “Cloud of Witnesses” - Hebrews 12:1
. . . we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses . . .
Word Studies in the New Testament (Marvin R. Vincent, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1980; originally 1887; Vol. 4, p. 536), a famous, standard Protestant reference work, comments on this verse as follows:
‘Witnesses’ does not mean spectators [Greek martus, from which is derived martyr], but those who have borne witness to the truth, as those enumerated in chapter 11. Yet the idea of spectators is implied, and is really the principal idea. The writer’s picture is that of an arena in which the Christians whom he addresses are contending in a race, while the vast host of the heroes of faith who, after having borne witness to the truth, have entered into their heavenly rest, watches the ontest from the encircling tiers of the arena, compassing and overhanging it like a cloud, filled with lively interest and sympathy, and lending heavenly aid.
Saints in heaven are therefore aware of, and observe events on earth, “with lively interest,” as Vincent puts it.
2. Prayers in Heaven for Those on Earth
Revelation 6:9-10 . . . I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”
Here the martyrs in heaven are saying what are known as “imprecatory prayers”: pleas for God to rescue and vindicate the righteous. Examples can be found particularly in the Psalms (Psalms 35,59,69,79,109,139) and in Jeremiah (11:18 ff., 15:15 ff., 18:19 ff., 20:11 ff.). An angel offers up a very similar prayer in Zechariah 1:12. Jesus mentions a type of this prayer in Matthew 26:53, in which He stated that He could “pray” to the Father and receive legions of angels to prevent His arrest had it been the Father’s will.
Therefore dead saints are praying for Christians on earth. If they can intercede for us, then why shouldn’t we ask for their prayers? Clearly, they’re aware of what is happening on earth. They are more alive, unfathomably more righteous, and obviously closer to God than we are. Omniscience isn’t required for them to hear our prayers, as is often charged. Rather, we have reason to believe that they are out of time, by God’s power, because to be in eternity is to be outside of the realm of time. That allows them to answer many requests for prayer because they have an infinite amount of “time” to do it.
Even Martin Luther and John Calvin admitted that the saints may be praying for us in heaven:
Although angels in heaven pray for us . . . and although saints on earth, and perhaps also in heaven, do likewise, it does not follow that we should invoke angels and saints.
(Smalcald Articles, 1537, Part II, Article II in Theodore G. Tappert, translator, The Book of Concord, St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1959, 297)
I grant they pray for us in this way.
(Institutes of the Christian Religion, III, 20, 24)
If so, then how can it be wrong to simply ask dead saints to pray for us, since they are aware of earthly happenings?
3. Saints and Angels Presenting Our Prayers to God
Revelation 5:8 . . . the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 8:3-4 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God. (cf. Tobit 12:12,15)
It’s somewhat unclear whether the twenty-four elders in this scene are angels or men, and commentators differ. References to them clad in white garments, with golden crowns (4:4,10) suggests the view that these elders are glorified human beings (see, for example, 2:10, 3:5,11, 6:11, 7:9,13-14, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4). In any event, in both examples above, creatures - whether men or angels - are involved with our prayers as intercessory intermediaries, which isn’t supposed to happen according to most versions of Protestant theology, where all prayer goes straight to God with no creature involved other than the one who prays the prayer. What in the world are these creatures doing with “the prayers of the saints”?
Also the deuterocanonical book 2 Maccabees (15:13-14), describes Jeremiah the prophet loving his people after his death and praying for them. since Protestants don’t accept that book as inspired, we might offer them also Jeremiah 15:1: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people.’”
Here it appears that God receives the prayers of the dead saints as a matter of course. Moses and Samuel were both known as intercessors. One could argue that this is only a hypothetical, yet even parables can’t contain something that isn’t true. This mentions a state of affairs which is assumed to be possible (or else why would Jeremiah mention it at all, as coming from God?)
4. No Contact Between Heaven and Earth?
A) 1 Samuel 28:12,14-15 (Samuel): the prophet Samuel appeared to King Saul to prophesy his death. The current consensus among biblical commentators (e.g., The New Bible Commentary, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary) is that it was indeed Samuel the prophet, not an impersonating demon (since it happened during a sort of seance with the so-called “witch or medium of Endor”). This was the view of, e.g., St. Justin Martyr, Origen, and St. Augustine, among others. Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 6:19-20 reinforces the latter interpretation: “Samuel . . . after he had fallen asleep he prophesied and revealed to the king his death, and lifted up his voice out of the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of the people.”
B) Matthew 17:1-3 (the Transfiguration: Moses and Elijah): . . . Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. (see also Mark 9:4 and Luke 9:30-31)
C) Matthew 27:52-53 (raised bodies after the crucifixion): . . . the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
D) Revelation 11:3,6 (the “Two Witnesses”): And I will grant my two witnesses power to prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days . . . they have power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall . . . and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague . . .
These two witnesses are killed (11:7-9), then raised after “three and a half days” and “stood up on their feet” (11:11), and then “went up to heaven in a cloud” (11:12). Many Church Fathers thought these two were Enoch and Elijah, because both of them didn’t die; thus this would explain their dying after this appearance on earth. Some Protestant commentators think the two witnesses are Moses and Elijah, because of the parallel to the Transfiguration, and also similarities with the plagues of Egypt and the fact that Elijah also stopped the rain for three-and-a-half years (James 5:17).
We must conclude based on the above passages that contact between heaven and earth is God’s will; otherwise He wouldn’t have permitted it in these instances. The Catholic belief in more interconnection between heaven and earth cannot be ruled out as “unbiblical”. One has to try other arguments to refute our beliefs in this regard.
5. Prayers for the Dead in the New Testament
Prayers for the dead are very clearly presented in the deuterocanonical book of 2 Maccabees (12:39-45). Protestants don’t accept that book as part of the Bible, of course, so is there anything about prayers for the dead in the New Testament? It may shock and surprise Protestants to hear it, but yes, there is. I contend that there are three passages:
A) 1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?
Protestants consider this one of the most mysterious and odd passages in the entire Bible. But it really isn’t that difficult to interpret. It’s very similar to 2 Maccabees 12:44: “It is superfluous and vain to pray for the dead if the dead rise not again. . . .” That gives us our clue as to what Paul means here. In the Bible “baptism” can describe not just the water ritual but also afflictions and penances (Luke 12:50, Mark 10:38-39, Matthew 3:11, 20:22-23, Luke 3:16). So Paul is saying that we pray and fast and undergo penance for the dead in purgatory precisely because they are resurrected and will live eternally. The “penance” interpretation is supported contextually by the next three verses, where the Apostle speaks of being in peril every hour, and dying every day. So this is a proof of both purgatory and prayers for the dead.
B) 2 Timothy 1:16-18 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me - may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day - and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
This is another passage that gives Protestants fits. The problem is that it seems to plainly imply that Paul is praying for a dead man. Yet Protestants can’t accept that practice because of their theology; therefore, they must explain this away somehow. What they do is either deny that Onesiphorus is dead, or that Paul is praying. Most of the nine Protestant commentaries I consulted for this passage seen admit that he was praying, but deny that the person was dead. Some try to say that Paul was merely “wishing”, but I don’t see any difference between that and a prayer: it looks like a word game to avoid the implications. The same commentaries said he was possibly dead (two), take no position (two), think he was “probably not” dead (one), or deny it (three). A.T. Robertson, the great Baptist Greek scholar, felt that he was “apparently” dead and that Paul was “wishing” rather than praying. I think it’s much more plausible to simply take the Catholic position: the man died and Paul was praying for him.
C) Acts 9:36-37,40-41: Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas . . . In those days she fell sick and died . . . But Peter . . . knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive.
Now, what would Peter have been praying for?: obviously, that Tabitha would be raised from the dead. So it seems indisputable that St. Peter literally prayed for a dead person, the very thing that Protestants say is not permitted, and supposedly not recorded in the Bible. And Jesus prayed for Lazarus, just before he was raised from the dead, in John 11:41-42 (”Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me”). The Bible informs us that the disciples raised people from the dead (Mt 11:5, Lk 7:22) and that Jesus told them that they would be able to, and should, do so (Mt 10:8). So they went out and did it. It’s natural to assume that prayer would accompany these extraordinary miracles (because God performs miracles - thus we ask). So almost certainly they prayed for the dead, too. It’s as simple as that. The prophet Elijah did the same thing in the Old Testament:
D) 1 Kings 17:21-22: Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s soul come into him again.” And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
Martin Luther and his successor as head of Lutheranism, Philip Melanchthon, accepted prayers for the dead:
As for the dead, since Scripture gives us no information on the subject, I regard it as no sin to pray with free devotion in this or some similar fashion: “Dear God, if this soul is in a condition accessible to mercy, be thou gracious to it.”
(Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper, 1528, in Luther’s Works, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, vol. 37, 369)
[W]e know that the ancients speak of prayer for the dead, which we do not prohibit . . .
(Apology to the Augsburg Confession: Article XXIV, 94)
I said something funny once, 1980’s I think, didn’t like it, haven’t done it since.
I just posted on 42 Explains Catholic View sorry did not act quick to send to you.
So unlike Eve, you're apparently claiming that the Blessed Mother didn't possess free will.
Just saying we need to glorify God for her and not her :)
Which is exactly what the Blessed Mother did in the Magnificat. If you'd read the Scripture you'd know that.
No. There is no way that I know of explaining the color blue to someone born blind. You can explain the electromagnetic scale and the existence of wavelengths, but I doubt that that will help him understand color. There are, however, billions of people that have SEEN the color blue, so you have facts to support that the color blue does exist. If everyone was blind, then no one would experience the color blue or that such a thing existed. When something is based entirely upon a personal experience, it is not in the realm of reasonable debate. That does not make the experience false, but you cannot argue with feelings. You can only recognize that certain feelings exist.
“As a non-Catholic believer, I guess I just don’t understand how this can happen if the person in question, Mary, is dead?”
It’s understable why you are a former Catholic if you thought Catholics worship the Blessed Mother.
“Do not Protestants still win the Lotto at a rate consistent with their percentage of the population?”
Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal.
Well, she was obedient, but I can think of many more hero/heroines of the bible that were obedient as well....I'm not praying to any of them.
All have sinned and fall short of God's glory. (Romans 3:23)
Praying to Mary is idolatry.
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