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Mary Jo Weidman wrote:

Hi, guys —

In the presence of some non-Catholics, when asked about praying to Mary, I said that Jesus would never refuse His mother, therefore I sometimes ask for her intercession.  I suppose this was something I grew up with from my childhood either at home or growing up in Catholic schools.

  • Nevertheless, are there Scripture passages to support this idea that Jesus would never refuse His mother?

Mary Jo

  { Are there Scripture passages to support this idea that Jesus would never refuse His mother? }

John replied:

Mary Jo —

We wouldn't suggest this as a good approach when asked about why you pray to Mary. Mary is not going to twist Jesus' arm to do something that He isn't perfectly willing to do for us, in the first place, and when we say things in the manner you have, we completely distort Catholic doctrine.

Mary knows Jesus' will better than the rest of us and therefore she would only ask according to
His will and therefore, whatever she asks, is granted. That said, it's not like He won't grant it if we ask Him directly. We must be careful when we say these things not to paint an image of Christ that is distant so we need Mary in order to get to Christ. That is a huge, huge heresy which is way too common among those who have a devotion to our Blessed Mother.

Jesus tells us in the Gospels, that what ever we ask in His name, according to His will, He will grant.

  • Who are we to turn around and say we have to sneak in a request through His mother, because it's something He won't do for us?

Jesus died on the Cross for your sin and mine. We were all lost, every single one of us, and in need of redemption, yet He become Man, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead for our salvation — personally — not just collectively. That means if you or I were the only sinner and everyone else were perfect, He still would have wanted to die for us and our salvation. Now after all that, we're going to blaspheme Him and say, we need to do an end run to get His mother to convince Him to do us a favor?

That is exactly what a Protestant will hear when you make such a statement. We ask Mary's prayers for many reasons. For one thing because we never pray alone. Our prayers are always united to the prayers of the entire Church which are always "In Christ" offered to the Father.
Mary is the first member of the Church, the Mother of Jesus, therefore she is our Mother,
the Mother of Church. Just as we ask each other to pray for one another, we ask Mary to pray for us. St. James tells us that the prayer of the righteous [man|woman] availeth much. (James 5:16) Well, you can't get much more righteous than Mary. That means that Her prayer is going to be in line with God's will, not that she, or any other righteous person is going to twist God's arm.
We have to be careful to not to imply that God's arm needs twisting. If it is something that is good for us, He will grant it, if it serves the greater purpose. The Bible is clear. It says delight yourselves in the way of the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. So God is already predisposed to giving us what we desire if it is truly good for us and everyone else involved.
Of course, we don't know all aspects of every desire in our life or how "what we want" will effect everyone else later down the line. We're not God so we need to have faith that God knows what He's doing on our behalf.

Mary is the most powerful human intercessor, but her intercession means nothing outside of her role "In Christ" just like the rest of us. Her prayers are only as powerful as they are in accord with God's will. Because she was conceived immaculate at the first moment of her conception,
the power of her prayer will be immaculate and in line with Her Son's Divine Will.

We should never say anything in front of a Protestant that implies that we believe Mary is a way to Jesus; something Our Lord is not already willing to do for us. We should never perpetuate the myth that we can't ask the Lord to grant our prayers and petitions directly ourselves, especially in front of Catholics. Too many Catholics, although well intentioned in their devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Saints, fall into the trap of thinking they are some how not worthy of Jesus so they go to Mary or their favorite Saint. Well, the fact is none of us are worthy, even the Saints were sinners, and Mary was preserved from sin, so she's in the same boat as us. She was saved from sin by Jesus, but it was applied in a different way. So none of us are worthy, and yet all of us are worthy, to go boldly before the throne of grace as St. Paul writes.

Mary is not a free agent that changes Jesus mind. She is not a way to convince Jesus. We need to get away from these childish and medieval notions of God who has nothing better to do than deny what is good for us.

Yes, we ask for Mary's prayers; and yes, it's because a Mother knows the Son's will better than we do, therefore she will pray according to His will and according to His Word. 

When we pray according to His will, He will grant it but if we ask her for something that isn't according to His will, we will not change His mind.


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