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Dinesh Kowsky wrote:

Hi, guys —

In Luke, Chapter 2 we read: Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem along with Jesus when He was 12. On their way back, they left Jesus behind by mistake. It took one day for Mary to realize that her Son was missing and another three days to find her lost Son.

My Catholic friend said that we should pray to Mary, especially at the hour of death.

  • How could the Church of Rome teach her followers to pray to Mary?
  • How could a mother who:
    • lost her only Son
    • didn't know anything about it for a day, and
    • took three days to find Him, ever take care of you and me?
  • Has Mary, herself, said that we should pray to her?

Hasn't our Lord said:

"Come to me all those who are heavily laden and I will give you rest."
(Matthew 11:28), and

"Him that comes to Me, I will never cast away."
(John 6:37)?

Dinesh

  { How can the Church of Rome teach Her followers to pray to Mary, when Mary couldn't find Jesus? }

Eric replied:

Dear Dinesh —

That's a very disrespectful attitude, I should think.

  • Haven't you done something stupid in your life?
  • Would you want someone to say, what you said, about you?

Some background information is in order here. In the Middle East at that period, people traveled in caravans, the men in one caravan, the women in another. Children would go with either caravan. Since Mary and Joseph were separated, it would be very easy for them to assume that Jesus was with the other caravan. So this is not so silly as it seems.

But let's assume she was ditzy. Hebrews 12 portrays Christian worship:

"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in Heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect..."

So during our worship, the spirits of just men are present, and these spirits have been made perfect. Hence, when we die in Christ, we are made perfect. James 5:16 says,

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Thus the prayers of a so-perfected man avail much and Mary has certainly been perfected.

Mary is also mentioned in Psalm 45:9 as the Queen (see also Revelation 12:1); she will make her children princes in all the earth (Psalm 45:16) and all will entreat her favor (Psalm 45:12).

If you further doubt that this is Mary, simply compare Psalm 45:17 with Luke 1:48.

I am not sure what your point is in quoting what Our Lord says about Himself.

  • Do you dare suggest that because Our Lord bids us to come to him, that somehow we can't ask anyone else to pray for us?
  • What, then, is the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:1?

      1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1)

  • Do you think that somehow rest in Jesus and reliance on others to pray for us are exclusive?
  • Should we not do both?

And what do you make of Revelation 12:17, which says of Mary,

17 "Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring — those who keep God's commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus."?

Mary is our Mother.

Eric

Dinesh replied:

Dear Eric,

Thank-you for your reply. You've said that I am disrespectful. I respect Mary but won't worship or bow before one of her statues as millions of Catholics do, simply by obeying the man-made doctrines of the Church of Rome. My Lord has not taught me to do so. You asked me if I've done anything stupid. I would be doing something if I believe and follow what you have said in your reply.

If the women mentioned in Revelation was Mary, John would have surely named her! You think you are a genius, more brilliant than John, and that others are stupid. According to you, wherever the word women or queen are mentioned, whether it is in the Psalms or Revelation, it should be considered as Mary. Don't be so childish in saying Mary is our mother. Jesus never called her mother even once in the Bible.

Coming back to that story, after finding Him, His mother said to him

"Son, why have you done this to us?" Luke 2:48

He answered them:

"Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in the Father's house"? But they, [Mary,] didn't understand His answer.

Luke 2:49-50

Mary didn't understand what Jesus said to her at the time. Now you want me and others to pray along with you, to Mary and have Mary intercede for us and save us at the hour of our death.

Only God, not Mary, knows the time of my death and your death.

For asking this you call me stupid. The passage your quoted: 1 Timothy 2 :1, talks about praying for others not praying to others.

Just go a little further to 1 Timothy 2:5 and it says there is one God and one mediator between men and God, the man Christ Jesus.

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1Timothy 2:5)

Jesus never said, "Ask in my mother Mary's name."

"So that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you."

(John 15:16)

Mary, the respectful, earthly mother of Jesus said,

5 "His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

(John 2:5)

but the Mary of the man-made Church of Rome keeps on giving apparitions and speaks words of blasphemy, saying she is the:

  • Queen of Heaven,
  • Queen of the Church,
  • in short, the Queen of all.

She has said in these apparitions

"if people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved"

but the Bible says

"whoever calls upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved."

(Romans 10:13)

For that reason, I don't feel that am a stupid for following the words of the Bible.

May be it's those who follow the other, Mary the "Queen Of Heaven"?

We read in the Bible that Christ is our King, but never is there a Queen of Heaven.

The only Queen mentioned in the Scriptures is an idol which was worshiped by the pagans and to which the Jewish women gave offerings, bringing the wrath of God on them.

"the children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven, that they may provoke me to anger".

(Jeremiah 7:18)

Also read Jeremiah 44:17, 19, 25.

Now compare this false Mary presented by Roman Church who claims she is the:

  • Queen of Heaven
  • Queen of Apostles, and
  • Queen of Church

with the Mary of the Bible who is clothed with humility saying "behold the handmaid of the Lord." — Luke 1:38

One of the Ten Commandments of God says:

"Do not make yourself images of anything in heaven or on earth, do not bow down to any idols or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals".

Exodus 20:4

  • Why then, is the Catholic Church filled with images of Mary, dead saints, and other idols etc.?
  • Why are their followers being taught to bow before them and worship them?

Waiting for your reply with thanks in advance,

Dr. R. Dinesh Kowsky
India

Eric replied:

Dear Dinesh —

You said:
Thank-you for your reply. You've said that I am disrespectful. I respect Mary but won't worship or bow before one of her statues as millions of Catholics do, simply by obeying the man-made doctrines of the Church of Rome.

  • Have you actually met anyone who worships Mary or do you just assume that because someone bows before her statue that they are worshiping her?
  • I mean, did you actually ask them, "Are you worshiping Mary as equal to God" and gotten an affirmative answer?

We do not worship Mary. God alone deserves worship. If you go to a Catholic Mass, you'll find Mary mentioned twice in passing, in the context of others, neither of which, are acts of worship.
It's very clear when you go to a Catholic Mass who we worship.

Bowing is not inherently a form of worship; it's just a form of respect. Japanese bow to each other as a form of greeting. The same was true among the Hebrews. I'm sure you'll quote the first commandment, but the exact same Hebrew phraseology used in first commandment in Exodus is used by righteous Isaac in speaking to Jacob in Genesis 27:29:

"May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you."

Even the prophet Nathan, surely a righteous man, bowed before the king.  So they told the king, saying,

“Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 1 Kings 1:23

David did too:

"Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, 'My Lord and king!' When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground." 1 Samuel 24:8

In David's song of praise to the Lord he says:

"You made my adversaries bow at my feet."
2 Samuel 22:40

Also Psalm 18:39:

You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.

So bowing was commonly done between human beings. It is not, therefore, against God's law to bow down before Mary, as long as it is done merely to honor, and not to worship.

I say you are disrespectful, not because you won't honor Mary, but because you basically call her an incompetent mother. It is one thing to honor. It is another to remain reserved and objective.
It's quite another to accuse someone of being an incompetent mother.

You said:
My Lord has not taught me to do so. You asked me if I've done anything stupid.
I would be doing something if I believe and follow what you have said in your reply.

  • Is this what Jesus would have you say?

You said:
If the women mentioned in Revelation was Mary, John would have surely named her!

  • What makes you think that?

In John 2:1-3 and John 19:25-26, John calls her the "mother of Jesus" and does not call her by name. In Revelation 12:5, he says the woman "brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron." This can only be Jesus, hence the one who brought him forth is Mary. So essentially, John is calling her the mother of Jesus, just using more indirect terms.

You said:
You think you are a genius, more brilliant than John, and that others are stupid. According to you, wherever the word women or queen are mentioned, whether it is in the Psalms or Revelation, it should be considered as Mary.

My reasons are more subtle than that. I am distilling a lot of deep study into the Scriptures into a short explanation. Unfortunately, time does not permit me to go into all the details of why, since much of this is based on an exhaustive reading of Scripture.

You said:
Don't be so childish in saying Mary is our mother. Jesus never called her mother even once in the Bible.

  • What did he call her?   "Woman"
  • Where did that come from? Genesis 3:16

He did this to tie her to the fulfillment of Genesis 3:16.

  • Why else would he dare to call his own mother "Woman"?
  • Is it not written, "Honor your father and mother" and did Jesus not fulfill the law perfectly?
  • Do you really think that Jesus would be as disrespectful toward his mother as you seem to be inclined to be?

You said:
Coming back to that story, after finding Him, His mother said to him

"Son, why have you done this to us?" Luke 2:48

He answered them:

"Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in the Father's house"? But they, [Mary,] didn't understand His answer.

Luke 2:49-50

Mary didn't understand what Jesus said to her at the time. Now you want me and others to pray along with you, to Mary and have Mary intercede for us and save us at the hour of our death.

Only God, not Mary, knows the time of my death and your death.

Sir, you do not know what Mary does and does not know. For all you know it is the Lord's sovereign will to reveal such things to her. The most you can say is that we have no sure evidence from Scripture that she knows. Knowledge of the life to come is far beyond your comprehension (and mine), and it would be sheer arrogance to presume that we know with certainty what those who have fallen asleep in Christ know.

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

In Revelation, chapter 5 verse 8 we see the elders in heaven carrying "bowls of incense" which "are the prayers of the saints". So we know that those in heaven are involved in carrying our prayers to God seated on the throne. Saintly intercession is real.

You said:
For asking this you call me stupid. The passage your quoted: 1 Timothy 2 :1, talks about praying for others not praying to others.

As you know, the official language of the Catholic Church is Latin. In Latin, the word for "pray", orare, is the same as the word to ask. When we pray "to" someone, we are not worshiping them, we are merely asking them to pray for us. We can do so because the saints carry our prayers to the throne room of God (Revelation 5:8), and, frankly, if for no other reason, the saints surround us. (Hebrews 12:1,23) We also know it is possible because of Jeremiah 15:1.

You said:
Just go a little further to 1 Timothy 2:5 and it says there is one God and one mediator between men and God, the man Christ Jesus.

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1Timothy 2:5)

Jesus never said, "Ask in my mother Mary's name."

Well, that's not what we're asking; we're asking in Jesus's name through the intercession of Mary, just as we ask our brothers and sisters on earth for their intercessory prayers.

You said:

"So that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you."

(John 15:16)

Mary, the respectful, earthly mother of Jesus said,

5 "His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

(John 2:5)

but the Mary of the man-made Church of Rome keeps on giving apparitions and speaks words of blasphemy, saying she is the:

  • Queen of Heaven,
  • Queen of the Church,
  • in short, the Queen of all.

In Jewish culture, the queen was the mother of the king because kings were often polygamous,
it made sense for the queen to be the mother and not some arbitrary wife. You can see this in
1 Kings 2:19:

"Bathsheba [Solomon's mother] therefore went to King Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne set for the king's mother; so she sat at his right hand."

So King Solomon stands and bows to her, and there is none other, in the kingdom that the king would do that for, than the queen. Normally, the protocol is that the supplicant comes in and bows before the king; in this case, the king bows before her, and he brought in a throne for her, and put her at his right hand, the place of honor. In the same manner, we believe that Christ has done that for his mother, Mary.

You said:
She has said in these apparitions

"if people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved"

but the Bible says

"whoever calls upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved."

(Romans 10:13)

For that reason, I don't feel that am a stupid for following the words of the Bible.

There is nothing wrong with following those words and in fact I would urge you to do so with all your heart. Again, I would urge you to look at our liturgy and see how we "call upon the name of the Lord" so that we may be saved. The central character of the Mass is, in fact, the Blood of Christ (together with his Body), and we believe that it is by that Blood of Christ that we are saved.

Jesus is our Savior. It was his death on the cross that saves us from our sins, and it is his grace alone that everything is ultimately predicated on. While it is possible for us to save people (See James 5:20 and scriptural references), we do so only, in the name of Christ, and through his Saving Sacrifice.

You said:

May be it's those who follow the other, Mary the "Queen Of Heaven"?

We read in the Bible that Christ is our King, but never is there a Queen of Heaven.

  • Then why do we see a woman in Revelation chapter 12 who has a crown of stars clothed with the sun with the moon under her feet — this is definitely symbolic of both heaven and queen — who gives birth to the one who will rule the nations with a iron rod (just as Mary did) and who flees into Egypt (just as Mary did)?
  • If this is not Mary, who is it?

Answer me that question.

  • And, even if it isn't Mary, isn't it still true that someone is the Queen of Heaven, or at least someone is crowned with heavenly bodies and clothed with all the other bodies, the ancients thought of as heavenly, thus validating the concept?

You said:
The only Queen mentioned in the Scriptures is an idol which was worshiped by the pagans and to which the Jewish women gave offerings, bringing the wrath of God on them.

"the children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven, that they may provoke me to anger".

(Jeremiah 7:18)

Also read Jeremiah 44:17, 19, 25.

Well, God calls the pagan Nebuchadnezzar the king of kings in Ezekiel 26:7, yet obviously Jesus is also called the king of kings. Just because someone pagan is called queen of heaven in the Old Testament, doesn't mean we can't legitimately apply that to someone in the New Testament.

  • Am I to say that we can't call Jesus the king of kings because Nebuchadnezzar was called the king of kings?

You said:
Now compare this false Mary presented by Roman Church who claims she is the:

  • Queen of Heaven
  • Queen of Apostles, and
  • Queen of Church

with the Mary of the Bible who is clothed with humility saying "behold the handmaid of the Lord." — Luke 1:38

"He who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted". So it makes sense that the more humble she was, the more she would be exalted.

  • Is it not true?

You said:
One of the Ten Commandments of God says:

"Do not make yourself images of anything in heaven or on earth, do not bow down to any idols or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals".

Exodus 20:4

Clearly God did not forbid all images. In fact, he commanded some of them, such as:

  • the bronze serpents
  • the propitiatory on the ark, and
  • the adornments for the temple
    (Cf. Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-15; Exodus 25:18-22; 1 Kings 6:23-28; 7:23-26).

The point is whether you worship them or not. We do not worship our images. They are merely reminders of those we love, and we bow to them as one might kiss a picture of your family.

You said:

  • Why then, is the Catholic Church filled with images of Mary, dead saints, and other idols etc.?
  • Why are their followers being taught to bow before them and worship them?

Waiting for your reply with thanks in advance,

Dr. R. Dinesh Kowsky
India

Let me quote from our official handbook of Catholic doctrine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

I. "YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE"

2084 God makes himself known by recalling his all-powerful loving, and liberating action in the history of the one he addresses: "I brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." The first word contains the first commandment of the Law: "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him. . . . You shall not go after other gods."5 God's first call and just demand is that man accept him and worship him.

III. "YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME"

2110 The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.

Superstition

2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.41

Idolatry

2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.

2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."70 The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:

Eric

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