We are to pray to God. Aren’t you Catholics putting Mary in
God’s place ?
praying to Mary and the other Saints in Heaven does not put
them in God’s place or on the same level as God.
be restated that we worship, adore, and we offer sacrifice
to God and only to God, the Father, the Son Jesus Christ,
and the Holy Spirit. And only God is our Creator, Redeemer,
and Savoir. Salvation is only made possible by the merits
that were won for us by Jesus Christ. God is the source of
all that is good.
the good things that God’s holy people have done and are
doing are the manifestations of the glorious working of God
in their lives and only made possible by their co-operation
with His grace. We believe that God has chosen to
manifest His glory through their lives. Because He has
chosen to honor them so should we. We ask them to pray with
us to Jesus because we believe God has been faithful to His
promise of giving them eternal life, a sharing to be in
union in His love. [Genesis 27:29 and John 11:24-26]
Perhaps one reason for some confusion and misunderstanding
of Catholicism is the following; Protestants pray only to
God and they worship only God. For them the two verbs, to
pray and to worship, are almost synonymous, meaning the same
thing. Not so for Catholics. We worship only God.
However, we define “to pray” to mean to talk to or to ask
for the assistance from someone in heaven.
Also, the only from of worship that Protestant’s have is to
pray. Again these words, worship and prayer, can take on
synonymous meanings for them. Catholics worship our
Heavenly Father, not only by praying, but we also worship
the Father by taking part in that perpetual offering of that
one Sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Life,
Death, and Resurrection, to our Heavenly Father. The verbs
to pray and to worship do not mean the same thing for a
Definitions for To Pray, and To
Just as we honor our parents or others here on earth, we
also honor those whom God has taken to heaven.
manifest His Glory as He works through His creatures, the
angels and the saints. They are vessels of His Grace.
5.2 Doesn’t the idea of praying to the Saints in heaven and
Mary's Immaculate Conception take away from the unique
characteristics of God, and therefore place the Saints on
the same level as God ?
no way takes away from the unique characteristics of God.
It is only because the Saint’s prayers - just as the prayers
of our neighbors and loved ones here on earth - are done in
Christ that they have value.
saved from sin from the first moment of her conception.
However, this in no way takes away from the unique
characteristic of Jesus.
Christians inaccurately state that it is because Jesus was
without sin that He redeemed Mankind. It is true that Jesus
was without sin. He is the perfect and unblemished
Sacrifice. However, if another person, a simple human being
for example, lived his life without sin and he was
sacrificed for others that would not merit heaven for
himself, let alone the rest of humanity. While such a
person would not be deserving of hell that doesn’t mean that
even he himself would have merited the everlasting joy of
being united with God in heaven.
For example, a
baby who is sacrificed in the womb through abortion before
he has the chance to commit any personal sins does not
thereby redeem mankind. Our sins are infinitely great
because the One whom they offend, God, is infinitely great.
Therefore, our salvation requires infinite grace. Jesus was
able to do that and bridge the chasm between God and sinful
man because he is not only Man, but also God. Therefore,
his sacrifice has infinite merit so that it not only saves
man from the just punishment of hell, but also wins for him
the gift of heaven.
Read why our
salvation required a God-Man
saved from sin from the moment of her conception by the
grace of God. This points to how we will also be completely
freed from all sin when we enter heaven. See Revelations
21:27. Mary would not have been saved from sin had not the
saving work of Jesus Christ been applied to her. Her
Immaculate Conception points to the Glory of God and His
Jesus is unique among humans because He is alone is God,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit. His goodness is based
on Himself whereas our goodness is completely dependent on
Him. It is His gift to us. See the
5.3 Aren’t you Catholics placing Mary to high ?
particular gifts that God has given to Mary do not place
Mary to high, rather they point to two realities. They
point to the power of God. And they point to the spiritual
realities that will be made manifest in the rest of the
church when we go to Heaven.
God of His Glory.
reason Catholics extol Mary so highly is that the One who
has molded her and works through her is her Son, Jesus
Christ, who is God. To deny how great He has made her is to
rob Him of the recognition that He deserves for His greatest
work. He is the Artist and she is His masterpiece.
Ironically, some misguided Christians in their zeal to give
the glory to God do rob him of the recognition that He
deserves by denying that His greatest work in her was ever
Mary blessed more than other Christians?
we are more open to God’s grace than we are at other times.
In the course of their lives some people are more open to
God’s grace than are other Christians. God is omniscient.
He knows everything. He even knows our future. He is the
One who created Time and Space and so He is outside of it
and is not restricted by it.
were possible to take a movie of our lives and then to place
the frames of that movie onto a wall, then a person could
see it from the beginning to the end. God is outside of
Time, outside of the movie in a sense, so He knows how our
lives will turn out. God knows how open each of us will be
to His grace. So, He chose that individual whom He knew
would be most open to His grace to be His mother. And that
person is Mary. Luke 1: 41-42
“Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud
voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you [Mary] among women …’
receives a crown, but so do all Christians. See
2 Timothy 4:8, and 1 Peter 5:4.
And these crowns are in fact the crowning of God’s greatest
work, His new creation in us. God’s love is made manifest
when our hearts and souls are transformed by His grace into
a loving and holy family, His people, God’s family. Cf.
2 Corinthians 5:17
The following terms apply to God and yet they also apply in
some way to members in the church; foundation, light,
teacher, apostle, father, shepherd, and rock.
5.4 To say that Mary could hear thousands of Catholics who
are all praying at the same time and asking her to pray with
them to Jesus would be to give to Mary infinite and Divine
like qualities and hence make her a goddess.
clearly stated in
section 2 and repeated in
section 5.1 above Catholics
clearly state that there is only One God, of which there are
Three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit. Mary is a creature and clearly not Divine.
Eventually the end of the world will come, and after which
no more human beings will be created. Therefore, the number
of humans that could be praying to Mary at a given point in
time is a finite and not an infinite number. And so Mary
would not require infinite powers to hear them.
Eternal. That is, He existed - and will always exist - in
heaven before he created space and time. [Please note:
Certain words like the word ‘before’ are inherently based
upon the concept of time so it is somewhat inappropriate to
use this word to express a concept ‘before’ time was
created, but our earthly experience and our human language
leaves us at a disadvantage when speaking about the things
Heaven does not limit a person in regards to time and space
because it exits outside of time and space and always will.
given us many gifts including the ability to hear and to
speak. When we use God’s gifts here on earth it does not
make us Divine. And when we get to heaven we will be
blessed with even greater gifts. Using them then will not
make us Divine either. When Mary hears and responds to all
those who pray to her does not require God’s Divinity, and
so the argument above in 5.3 has no basis.
Does it make sense for a Christian to limit capability of
God and His power to bestow whatever gifts He desires to
those who are with Him in heaven ?
Protestant may counter, “But there is no need for God to
give the saints in heaven the power to offer prayers, in
Christ and through and by the merits of Christ, on behalf of
their brothers and sisters in Christ on earth.”
strictest sense, it is true that there is no need for God to
do anything. He is perfect and complete in Himself.
However, He chooses to manifest His Glory by asking us to go
to our brother in Christ here on earth and ask for their
intercession even though Christ does not NEED to do that.
However, it pleases Him to manifest His glory and love
within those of us on earth to ask for prayers of others on
earth and to offer up holy prayers for others including
those who ask for them. Our prayers for them are holy and
good because of God’s grace working within us, for He would
not ask us to do that if it was not a good thing to do since
God is perfect in everything He asks of us. So, it is
pleasing to God and good that we ask for others on earth to
pray for us, and it is good that they offer those prayers.
when a person goes to heaven it pleases God to manifest His
grace through their prayers for us, not because He needs to,
but because it pleases Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9
“But, as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him … ’ ”
Scriptural support for the Saints intercession in