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Michael Taylor wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Where in the Bible does it tell us to pray to Mary?
  • Where in the Bible does it say Mary was immaculately conceived?
  • Where in the Bible does it call Mary Eve like it calls Jesus the Second Adam?
  • Where in the Bible does it talk about the Sacred Heart of Jesus?
  • Where in the Bible does it talk about praying the Rosary?
  • Does the Bible say we should pray to the saints and Mary or does it only tell us to ask for things in prayer through and in Jesus' Name?

My friend is not Catholic and has been bugging me with these questions.

He says the Church is corrupted and has added stuff like:

  • Mary worship and saint worship.
  • the Rosary and Our Father prayer gimmicks.

I was baptized as a child and he says I will not be saved if I have only been baptized. He has said that I have to ask Jesus into my heart and believe that I died with Him and rose again with Him.

He says the only one that can forgive me of my sins is Jesus and all I have to do is ask Him in prayer. He says no human can forgive sin; that only Jesus can forgive sins. He says my once-a-year Confession is useless.

Michael Taylor

  { How do I reply to my non-Catholic friend who is asking me these questions? }

Paul replied:

Dear Michael,

  • Where in the Bible does it say the entire Word of God is contained in the Bible?

In fact, the Bible does say this:

"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book." (John 20:30)

. . . and this:

"There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25)

. . . and this:

"Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

The bottom line is that the Word of God comes to us through two Sacred Fonts:

  1. Sacred Scripture, and
  2. Sacred Tradition

through both the oral and written word. Divine Revelation in Sacred Tradition is not always found explicitly in Sacred Scripture; yet, it is the same Word of God and the same Spirit of God that inspires both. This has been the faith of the Church since the Spirit was sent on Pentecost over 2,000 years ago.

Having said that, there are places in Scripture that do point to the fact that:

  • Mary is the Immaculate Conception, the New Eve, and
  • worthy of praying to for intercessory prayer.

I will let my colleagues expound on that if they would like to.

Be well,

Paul

Bob replied:

Michael,

There are so many things here. You need to learn a great deal. First I suggest you go to a Catholic bookstore, or online and get a copy of a book like Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating to help you sort all this out. That is a must. There is just too much in your question to reply to.

Second, your friend is a hypocrite although he is not aware of it. You see, he asks you to quote the Bible, because he accepts the authority of the Sacred Scriptures but he does not accept the Church that is responsible for giving him the Bible.

  • Ask him, where in the Bible is the list of books and letters that belong to the Bible?

There is none. He may tell you that these books are universally accepted.

  • Ask him, where universal acceptance as a criteria is written in the Bible?

This issue and string of questioning can go on and on and he will not have the Scriptures to back up these assertions. 2 Timothy 3:16 is not a proof of his claims; it still begs the questions at hand.

  • Ask him, when did Jesus instruct his disciples to write?
  • How many of them wrote?
  • How do we know which letters are Scripture and which aren't?
  • By whom is Hebrews written by?
  • Can he really prove that?
  • Are translations also authoritative?
  • Do you see how huge a can of worms you can unravel with your friend?

The best a Protestant can admit is they have a fallible collection of infallible books unless they admit that an infallible church put it together.

Jesus founded A Church on twelve Apostles. They instructed everyone in the teaching of Christ. They passed on the authority given to them; some wrote, but most did not.

The Church collected writings into a book and determined which ones belonged. They weighed it against the Gospel and Oral teaching they received through the Apostolic Succession given them. This is how all of the points your friend brings up we're hashed out.

  • Mary
  • Devotion to saints (basically acknowledgement that the faithfully departed are in Christ interceding and praying for us, (cf. Hebrews 12, the cloud of witnesses),

were practiced, discerned and later codified through the authoritative Church. Forgiveness does only come from Christ, but he did impart His authority to the Twelve (See John 20:21-23) and they in turn passed in on to subsequent generations through the bishops in Apostolic Succession, who do exactly what Jesus commanded them from the beginning.

You were baptized because that is the covenant ritual for entry into the family of God and the promise was made for families (cf., Acts Chapter 2, where Peter preaches,

"Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins . . . the promise is made for you and your children". (Act 2:38-39)

Jews had always circumcised their children according to the Law, and Baptism did away with that, but they would never have accepted a New Covenant that did not include their children — God had always made it a family affair.

Ultimately, your friend wants you to be saved because he loves you and does not want you to lose your salvation. The problem is, however, he doesn't understand 2,000 years of Church history and has many errors that Protestantism has given him. You:

  • have been saved
  • are being saved, and
  • will be brought to the fullness of salvation when he brings you home, provided you abide in Him.

Learn the fullness of your faith and you will be able to witness to him. My reply does not even begin to scratch the surface of the truth about these issues and others you need to know.

P.S. There is much in the Bible on Mary to underscore the Catholic teaching but I have already written a lot, search our archives. Go to:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/SiteSearch

There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi Michael,

I just wanted to add one comment to what Paul and Bob have said.

You said:
He says my once-a-year Confession is useless.

Though going to Confession once a year is one of the precepts of the Church, it is the minimum that is required. You should try to go to Confession more often. The bishops of the United States recommend that Catholic families go at least once a month. Those who hold offices with more responsibilities should consider going more often.

One of our previous Holy Fathers, Pope St. John Paul II went to Confession weekly.
Talk to your local priest and ask for his counsel.

I would also encourage you to take Bob's advice and search our database. We have answered over 4,483questions.



Mike

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