Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Theological Analysis Of Roman Catholic Marian Prayers

  • Defining The Issues: 
          -For centuries, there has been much debate between Roman Catholics and Protestants on the issue of offering religious devotion to saints through prayer petitions, ceremonies, and the creation of iconography. In fact, Rome has made a reputation for itself with its obsession with the spirits who have departed into the supernatural realm. 
          -While critics accuse the Roman Catholic Church of idolatry, proponents vigorously defend themselves by asserting that they are merely giving honor to whom honor is due. On the contrary, arguments made by Roman Catholic apologists for venerating saintly figures in Christianity fail for the simple reason that their own words and actions testify against them. Their behaviors toward Mary, saints, and the angels so closely resemble worship which belongs only to God Himself.
          -Roman Catholics claim that they do not pray directly to saints and angels, but ask them to intervene on their behalf in prayer. However, a person would have to pray to them if he asks them for something because they are not physically present. Moreover, it would seem redundant to ask people in heaven for support when they are in turn going to ask God Himself. Said petitions to Mary for instance are clearly written with language directed to her as a prayer. 
          -The biblical concept of prayer is always a form of worship. In Scripture, people always worshiped through prayer. It was always directed to God alone. We never see followers of God praying to other entities for any reason. Asking is a component of prayer, but also encompasses factors such as praise, adoration, thanksgiving, and repentance from sin (Psalm 23; 25; Matthew 6:6-14; Luke 18:9-14).
  • The Memorare Prayer: 
          -"Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me."
            *This prayer is essentially a petition to Mary for spiritual protection. The person offering up this request to the mother of Jesus can allegedly rest assured of being answered. It entails a person approaching Mary in a heartbroken, remorseful manner, as though he has transgressed against her and she is a source of forgiveness. That really does sound like idolatry. If people can place this much trust in Mary, then why not simply place all trust in God alone, as did the psalmists of the Old Testament (Psalm 73:24-26)? God is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1-2). He is our confidence (Proverbs 3:26). Never are these things said of Mary in Scripture. Christians stand before God, humbly pleading for His mercy. Jesus Christ lives forever to make intercession to all who approach Him by faith (Hebrews 7:24-28). This kind of prayer to Mary contains elements that should be uttered to Christ alone.
  • The Hail Holy Queen Prayer:
          -"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 toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!"
            *In God should we be placing our trust (Psalm 33:20-22). He is our hope (Psalm 63:5; 1 Timothy 1:1). He is our helper (Hebrews 13:5-6). The Lord Jesus Christ is our advocate before God (1 John 2:1-2). He is our redeemer (Matthew 1:21; 2 Peter 1:1), and does not need any help. Additionally, this Roman Catholic prayer contradicts themes on access to God set forth plainly in Hebrews 4. We now have direct access to God through Christ. The prophets and the apostles never once mentioned entrusting this much confidence to mere creations. There is no denying that such prayers elevate Mary to the level of a goddess. This kind of petition to Mary infringes on the self-sufficiency of Jesus Christ as mediator.
  • Consider This Excerpt From A Papal Speech: 
          -"The history of Christian piety teaches that Mary is the way which leads to Christ and that filial devotion to her takes nothing from intimacy with Jesus; indeed, it increases it and leads to the highest levels of perfection. The countless Marian shrines throughout the world testify to the marvels wrought by grace through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Lord and our Mother." (JOHN PAUL II, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Wednesday, May 7, 1997)
            *Nowhere does the Bible teach that Mary is the way that leads to Christ. Also, asserting that Mary is our mother is nothing but cultic superstition. God will not give His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8), which includes Mary. Christ plays an exclusive role in dispensing salvific grace (Acts 4:12; John 14:6). The only way for us to approach the Father is through the Son. Mary cannot help us get to heaven in any fashion whatsoever.

No comments:

Post a Comment