Praying To Mary As To God

How many times have ill-informed Catholic apologists assured me that Catholics do not worship Mary? How many drops of water in the sea?

Those who would speak for Rome are quick to point out that only God is worshipped with latria, while lesser adoration or veneration is rendered to Mary (hyperdulia) and the saints(dulia). No Christian theologian I have known or read would disagree with that. No Christian theologian I have known or read would argue that Catholics render to Mary or the saints the same level of worship as that rendered to God. It may be but a matter of degree, but worship is worship, by whatever name it is given.

Pope Leo XIII apparently understood the difference, for in his encyclical Augustissimae Virginis Marae, promulgated September 12, 1897, he wrote these words concerning prayer:

“We are taught by the Catholic faith that we may pray not only to God himself but also to the Blessed in heaven (Conc. Trid. Sess. xxv), though in different manner, because we ask from God as from the Source of all good, but from the Saints as from intercessors…Now, of all the blessed in heaven, who can compare with the august Mother of God in obtaining grace? Who seeth more clearly in the Eternal Word what troubles oppress us, what are our needs? Who is allowed more power in moving God? Who can compare with her in maternal affection? We do not pray to the Blessed in the same way as to God; for we ask the Holy Trinity to have mercy on us, but we ask the Saints to pray for us…Yet our manner of praying to the Blessed Virgin has something in common with our worship of God, so that the Church even addresses to her the words with which we pray to God: “Have mercy on sinners.”…For, so great is her dignity, so great her favor before God, that whosoever in his need will not have recourse to her is trying to fly without wings.”

A petition to Mary to have mercy on sinners surely presupposes that she has the power and authority to grant the petition. And, I would argue, having such power and authority must necessarily place her on the same plane as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Are we talking Holy Quaternary here? Father, Mother, Son and Holy Spirit? Kinda boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

How often have I marvelled at the Catholic obsession with offering prayers to created beings when Christ tore open the veil and made it possible for believers to enter into the Holy of Holies and approach the Throne of Grace directly.

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Look for God’s truth in the Scriptures, not in the imaginings of confused or deluded men.

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