Prior to my conversion to Catholicism, I had heard talk of how Catholics are thought of as worshipping Mary. I kinda just shrugged it off, but at the same time I promised myself that I would never do that if the situation came about. Well, here I am keeping to my word! But before I get into what has prompted me to write this, I am going to explain a little about what I DO believe in terms of Mary.
I believe that, due to her acceptance of the divine will of God for her to carry Jesus in her womb, that she should be thought of with great respect. Keep in mind that Mary was a young woman, living in a time when accused adulteresses were stoned to death, and she was betrothed to Joseph. It could have been a very terrible reality that Joseph left her and her pregnancy being discovered could have led to her own death. But she said “Do to me according to thy will.” With those words, our Lord was on his way to walk among us.
I firmly believe Mary to be the first follower of Jesus. She knew who he was and exactly where he came from. She nurtured, loved, respected, and believed Jesus above all others. She was with him from birth to the cross. Imagine how she must have felt seeing her beloved son beaten, spit on, and crucified! But she never waivered. She never said “I cannot watch this. I have to leave.” In this respect, she set the standard for all mothers. She displayed courage, love, and an enduring strength for women throughout the ages.
Now we come to what can be thought of as “controversial” by some. Praying to Mary or other saints. I have to admit that this one threw me as a new convert. But with time, I came to realize that the context in which it is done makes sense. I will explain. Have you ever been at church and or seen a friend on the street and asked them to pray for you? If so, praying to Mary or the saints is no different. As Catholics, we believe the souls of the living and the dead never die. We think of Mary and the saints as friends who are spiritually alive. When we pray to them, we are asking them for nothing that we do not ask from those on earth. We simply ask them to pray for us. Why them? Just think about where they are now and where we would like to be 🙂 Consider this: Mary and the saints have already walked on this earth. They even walked here after the time of Jesus. They have seen the trials and tribulations that we face daily. Some of the saints have already be slain for their faith. It is a very real possibility that we could face that ourselves one day.
I believe that Mary was the mother of God on earth. Why do I believe that? It is simple. I believe that Jesus was God on earth. I think that the following verses sum it up:
John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
I pray the “Hail Mary” prayer. As seen below, the 1st part is scriptural and the 2nd part, while added later, addresses Mary’s role as the mother of God and simply asks for prayer.
Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord is with thee. Luke 1:28 – “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
Blessed are you among women. And blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Luke 1:41-42 – “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”
Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Was Mary given to us by Jesus as a mother on earth at the time of his death? One could argue that she wasn’t. However, Jesus’ words on the cross were very clear. It has been thought by some that the man with Mary at the foot of the cross was Jesus’ brother. If that was the case, there would have been no need for Jesus to have spoken the following words. If Mary didnt have a special purpose among the disciples, why did Jesus want her to live among them? Did Mary have power or the ability to perform healing or miracles? No. She had an abundance of faith, grace, and love. Who better on earth could have helped the disciples on their mission than Jesus’ own mother?
John 19:26-27 – When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[a] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
Now we come to my purpose of writing this. This article was written and I read it. New Title For Blessed Mother. I went in length above telling what I do believe about Mary. This article is what I do NOT believe. Nowhere in scripture (and no, I am not Sola Scriptura) or in any other written article from history have I seen any evidence that Mary is to be thought of as a “Co-Redemptrix” She was a virgin through whom Jesus was born on earth. That is it. Mary was a faithful woman whose “yes” gave us Jesus to walk among us. Yes, she was special in that she was chosen to carry our Lord. Yes, she was a brave and faithful woman. Yes, she displayed strength during the life, crucifixion, and death of Jesus. But that was the extent of her. Even Mary herself told the others at the wedding of Cana to go to her son as written in the following:
John 2:5 – His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
I will never except any teaching such as what is thought in the above article. That is contrary to anything that I have ever read. I learned quite a few years back not to believe everything that I am told. I do accept that there are things that really did happen that were not included in the bible. Especially after reading this:
John 21:25 – And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
With this said, does this mean that I am going to fall away from Catholicism? Absolutely not! By me not agreeing with this, does this make me a non-Catholic? Some may think so. In my eyes, I am to follow the teachings of Jesus through the bible or any historically accurate and true documents on the faith. I am not to follow “ideas”. Anyone can have an idea. Anyone can read whatever they want to into the scriptures. I have been given the gift of discernment and conscience. If I read something that is contrary to my beliefs, it just doesnt feel right, and I cannot find evidence to support it, it will NOT believe it. It is just that simple.