Mind boggling questions (to me at least)

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  • #1887

    Karyn
    Member

    My basic question is do and why (if Catholics do) do Catholics pray to Mary? It’s been bothering me greatly not knowing the truth. I’ve been to quinceneras and I noticed that the quiceanos prays to Mary and gives an offering (or would “gift” fit better?) to her. Why do they do this?

    And another thing, why do Catholics confess to the Father? Why can they not just confess to God, he’s the one who really matters when openly admiting you’ve done something wrong. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

    What’s the point in holy water? We already arn’t holy as is, and no amount of water is going to change that, unless you’re talking water that only God can give.

    That’s all I can come up with right now, I’m sure I’ll have more later though

    God Bless and thanks,
    Karyn

    #9253

    LARobert
    Participant

    Thanks for starting out easy. As Catholics we believe that death does not exclude one from membership in the Church. The Church is composed of all believers, both those here on earth and those who have died in Christ. Just as we can ask those our brothers and sisters in Christ here on earth to pray for us, we also can ask Mary, and the other saints, who are now in heaven with God to pray for us. Writings and archaeological evidence from the earliest days of the Church (when Christians still met in secret before 330 AD) show us that this practice is an ancient and accepted practice back to the time of the Apostles.

    One of the problems that non-catholics have when they see Catholic practices they are not familiar with, or hear Catholics talking about something like praying to Mary, is that the Catholic Church is 2000 years old, and some of the terms we use are derived from older language sources. If you read the King James Version of the Bible, or Shakespeare, you will here old English, terms, if you read something like, “I pray thee good sir” It is not a form of worshiping that person, “pray the” is an old way of saying “ask you”. So when we pray to Mary, we are asking her to pray for our intentions along with us.

    Another problem that Protestants have with the Catholic practice of the intercession of the Saints, is that they have been told that Catholics “Worship” Mary, the Saints, and Statues. Catholics believe that only God is worthy of Worship, (The technical theological term is Latria) the Saints because they have lived lives of great devotion to God, and are great examples of Faith, and are members of the Church now in heaven, are honored, but not deserving of Worship, (the theological term is Dulia) And Mary, because she lived a life of such great devotion to God, and gives us an example of one who gave total devotion to God, is honored as the human being who gave the greatest of devotion to God, (the theological term for the great honor she is given is called hyper-dulia)

    Any graces we receive through the intercession of any other members of the Church, be they someone here or in heaven are given by God. The Church does not command that we pray to Mary or the Saints, but recommends it as an acceptable way of honoring God by honoring his saints. I’ll answer the other questions separately.

    #9254

    LARobert
    Participant

    You would be correct, confessing to a priest would make no sense if Jesus had not established the practice. However if we read the Scriptures, we see that Jesus was condemned by the priests in the temple for forgiving sins. They did not know or see what we know and see in Jesus, that He is the second person in the Trinity. He is God incarnate. Before Jesus ascended into heaven He told His Apostles,

    “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Mtt 28:18-19

    He also said to the Apostles,

    “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 20: 21-23

    I’ll limit myself to these two passages for now. But in commenting on them I’d like to point out a couple of things. In both, Jesus had spoken to a large following of believers just prior to taking the Apostles aside, and giving them special commissions or commands, and along with these commands special authority. When Catholics confess our sins to a priest, we are simply following the plan laid down by Jesus Christ. He forgives sins through the person who He has commissioned, at first it was the Apostles, but as they being men died, the commission, or authority was passed on to other men, through the offices in the Church of Bishops and Priests…it is God’s power, but He exercises that power through the ministry of the priest. In order for the sins to be forgiven by a priest under normal circumstances, one must tell him his or her sins, be sorry for having offended God, and have the desire, or intention to not sin again. If we are not sorry for our sins, and have no intention of reforming our lives, the confession is not magic, and does not absolve us of our sins.

    The Catholic Church does believe that if someone is in danger of death, and a priest is not available, or if one lives somewhere where they do not have access to a priest that person can be and is forgiven simply by going directly to God, admitting his sinfulness, and his sorrow for sinning, and asking for pardon, or forgiveness. But since Jesus gave the authority to forgive sins, why not use all that he gave us to grow spiritually?

    #9255

    LARobert
    Participant

    Holy Water, and other blessed items do a couple of things, first they remind us of the graces we received when washed in the waters of Baptism. Like other items that are blessed, or set aside for sacred use they act as reminders in our daily life of God’s presence. The water itself has no real effect on us, if we do not use it properly, if we use it as a magic potion or in a supersticious manner, it does not help us spiritually.

    Ex. 29:4; Lev. 8:6 – Aaron and his sons were washed in holy water in their consecration to the priesthood. Thus, we see the use of holy water during the beginning of salvation history.

    Ex. 30:18-19 – the Lord requires Aaron and his sons to wash their hands and feet in holy water before they offered sacrifices to Him. The Church uses holy water for various purposes, and holy water fonts are generally located at the entrance of Catholic churches to be used before we enter into worship God.

    Num. 5:17 – here again, the priest uses holy water. God uses natural matter to convey the supernatural, just as God who is Spirit became flesh in Christ Jesus.

    Num. 8:7 – the Lord says to “sprinkle them with the water of remission.” The Lord uses water, a physical property, to convey His supernatural property of grace.

    1 Kings 7:38-39 – in King Solomon’s temple, there were ten large basins of holy water. Holy water has always been used in the context of worship.

    John 9:6-7 ‚Äì Jesus uses clay and spittle to heal the blind man’s eyes, and ordered him to wash in the pool of Siloam to effect the cure. Jesus did not need to use spittle, clay and water, but He does to demonstrate that God uses the material things He created to give graces and heal us.

    John 13:4-10 – the Lord uses water to wash the apostles’ feet to prepare them for their sacramental priesthood.

    #9264

    James
    Member

    To sum everything up using my finite knowledge:

    -Roman Catholics believe that Mary plays a huge role in Christianity (she does. She accepted the request of Gabriel the Archangel, who was sent by God, to conceive Jesus.) They do not worship her. Rather, they praise her for her accomplishments. This also applys to Saints.

    -Yes, Roman Catholics to confess their sins to a priest who forgives their sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The priest is a human just like you and me and will fall in sin just like you and me.

    -Holy water is blessed in the name of the Holy Trinity. Just plain water cannot wash away the spiritual scares sin leaves behind but if it’s blessed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, only then does it preform such actions.(At least so I think.) Holy Water next to the door is supposed to remind us of our baptism when making the sign of the Cross.

    #9267

    LARobert
    Participant

    As a followup to James posting, and priests falling into sin. Every practicing Catholic goes to confession, from the Pope down. The devil attempts to trip all of us up, and his efforts are greater against those who attempt to do God’s will, clergy and laymen alike.

    #9268

    James
    Member

    Well put LARobert <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    Not only is Satan tempting us to go against God’s will, but also the World and our Human Nature.

    #9270

    Deeown
    Member
    "LARobert":1relvvak wrote:
    Thanks for starting out easy. As Catholics we believe that death does not exclude one from membership in the Church. The Church is composed of all believers, both those here on earth and those who have died in Christ. Just as we can ask those our brothers and sisters in Christ here on earth to pray for us, we also can ask Mary, and the other saints, who are now in heaven with God to pray for us. Writings and archaeological evidence from the earliest days of the Church (when Christians still met in secret before 330 AD) show us that this practice is an ancient and accepted practice back to the time of the Apostles..[/quote:1relvvak]
    true you can ask Mary to pray for you as well as others but how do you know Mary is in heaven right now? dont we all go to heaven or hell AFTER the final judgement? in this idea then no one is in heaven until Christ returns to judge the world. 1st thessalonians tells us the dead in Christ will rise first. well that would mean no one has risen yet since Christ has not returned yet. so doesnt that mean Mary is still dead? how can she pray for you if she is still dead?

    id like answers too please i am thinking of becomming a Catholic

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