Much thanks to all who came out to our first Mass on 4/8/18. We had 70+ and a good showing at the reception for a question and answer session. All glory be to God.
"Lady Day," aka The Annunciation, was this past Monday. Our Lady can be a stumbling block for our Protestant brethren. I thus present some common claims and some Scriptural responses to help you evangelize those whom you love, for in loving our Lady, she directs us to love her Son all the more.
7 Marian Myths
1. "The Hail Mary" was made up by Catholics
"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" (Luke 1:28) compare "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee"
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" (Luke 1:42) compare "Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus"
2. The last section of the Hail Mary is not Scriptural [and therefore wrong].
"Mother of my Lord" (Luke 1:43) consider "Lord" in Greek is Kyrie, which in Hebrew is YHWH, who is God, thus when Elizabeth says to Mary, "Mother of my Lord" it is equivalent to "Mother of [my] God" One will find a strange absence of "Athens, Georgia" in The Scriptures, surely we don't conclude it's wrong to live here do we?
3. Saints can't pray for you, including Mary. "smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev 8:4)
John's vision of heaven seems to openly contradict this claim.
4. Jesus did it all so I don't need saints, I go straight to him with my prayers.
"We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if any one is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him." (John 9:31) and again:
"The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous" (Proverbs 15:29)
The degree to which we miss the mark, is the degree to which our prayers are 'off.'
5. Even if saints can pray for you, why not go straight to Jesus?
"...pray for one another, that you might be healed. The prayer of a righteous one has great power in its effects" (James 5:16)
St. James tell us righteous people's prayers have great power. Asking for prayer from a family member or friend is like asking the guy running next to you in a marathon for help. They can encourage you to keep up, but they haven't finished the race yet. Asking the saints for prayer is like asking the Olympian with a gold medal how to run. Who can help you finish the race?
6. Why does Mary get inordinate attention compared to other saints?
"all generations shall call me blessed." (Luke 1:48 cm. Magnificat from Evening Prayer)
To return to Luke's Gospel, she is "full of grace." You can't be "more full" than full, and if you're less than full of grace than you're imperfect. Thus she's a perfect person.
The shorter answer is, "Because God chose her to be His Son's mother," something no other saint or prophet ever did. Her role in the Economy of Salvation is unique.
7. Devotion to Mary detracts from Worship of Christ.
"My soul doth magnify The Lord." (Luke 1:46)
The holiness of Mary's soul works like a magnifying glass, it amplifies the witness to Christ's greatness. To say otherwise puts Christ and his People into competition. By this rationale anytime someone is saved or made holy they become a "threat" to Christ's glory.
Does marveling at the the meager tools Michelangelo used to sculpt his famous Moses statue detract from its beauty? No, because the lowliness of the tools makes the work that much more amazing!
We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts: that, as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an Angel, so by his + Cross and Passion we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.