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 iconography. As a matter of 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 claiming that they are merely giving honor to whom honor is due. On the contrary, the apologetic arguments advanced by Roman Catholics on venerating saintly figures in Christianity fail for the simple reason that their own words and actions testify against them. In other words, their behaviors toward Mary, saints, and angels so closely resemble worship that it is hard to believe that anybody would even try denying accusations of worshiping creations of God.
  • 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 we have transgressed against her and 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 said 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 (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.

          Roman Catholic Mariology has a bizarre developmental history, with there being various shrines and feasts established in the name of Mary during the Middle Ages. In fact, many bishops who had attended the First Vatican Council wanted "Immaculate Virgin" added to the "Hail Mary" prayer. Other attendees even wanted to add the immaculate conception of Mary to the creed. This undoubtedly reveals a gradual increase in Marian devotion throughout history. One cannot help but wonder whether the Church of Rome has a problem with idolatry.
  • 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)

          Despite the fact that advocates of this Marian devotion emphatically deny that they worship Mary (and are sincere in their attempts to serve God), their own words and actions testify against them. Roman Catholics ascribe completely unbiblical functions, titles, and traits to Mary. They basically place her in the same position as that of Jesus Christ. 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.

          The Scriptures emphatically contradict the notion of Mary participating in our redemption with Jesus Christ (2 Samuel 22:3; Isaiah 43:11; Hosea 13:4). He will not give His glory to another, which includes Mary (Isaiah 42:8). 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. Just as there is only one God, so there is only one Person who can reconcile us to God (1 Timothy 2:4-6). Mary cannot help us get to heaven in any fashion whatsoever. Roman Catholics could not be more wrong on this point, which is a terrible misfortune.

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