Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Why do Catholics do that?
I love it when little opportunities to defend the Catholic faith crop up in everyday situations at work. This usually happens when one of my co-workers discover I am a Catholic. One evening, while driving in the ambulance, the sky was a beautiful red, with the sun disappearing into a haze of amber clouds. I made the comment, "Red sky at night, sailor's delight." My work partner told me that was a comment from the bible. I responded yes, but many people were not aware of that. (see Matthew 16:2-3) He then told me he was a Christian who had grown up reading the bible, and I took the opportunity to let him know I was a Catholic. That piqued his curiosity, and he asked me if it was true that Catholics really do pray to Mary, since the only way to God was through Jesus. (see 1 Timothy 2:5)
What a wonderful opportunity to correct one of the most common misunderstandings that protestant Christians have about the Catholic faith!
I told him that just as Jesus in the mediator between God and man, so is Mary the mediator between man and Jesus. I started by telling him that we pray for Mary's intercession, that she, who is already in heaven, and very close to God, might beseech God to bestow graces and spiritual favours upon us, so that our prayers will have more merit through her asking.
He asked me why we don't just go directly to Jesus. I asked him if he ever gets his church community, family or friends to unite their prayers to his for a special intention. He replied, "Of course! All the time!"
I told him that is exactly what Catholics are doing when we pray for the intercession of the saints. I asked him to imagine the saints in heaven beseeching God for his own special prayer intentions, and how eager God would be to grant those graces, because the elect were uniting their prayers to his.
Jesus gave his mother to us at the foot of the cross, (John 19:26) and she will intercede for us if we only ask. He will most certainly hear the requests of His holy mother, and just as God will deny nothing to Jesus, so Jesus will deny nothing to Mary, because her will is always in perfect conformity to the holy will of God.
We had a great conversation over this topic. Now there is one more Bible Christian who understands why Catholics pray to Mary.