I received a post (which had to be deleted due to its belligerent nature) from a catholic stating that my view on catholics praying to Mary was distorted. He stated that there are many catholics who do pray to Mary. However, he continues to say that the catholic church’s teaching is that prayer is to be directed only to God and that the catholic can also request that Mary intercede for them.
I will answer you, Sir, with the teachings from your own church and let’s see how the catholic church answers you. You said that catholics do not actually pray to Mary. One of the catholic church’s most famous prayers is the “Hail Mary.” Every good catholic can quote this prayer from memory. Let’s take a look at it:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
This prayer does not start off, Heavenly Father or Hail Father – it starts off with “Hail Mary.” So the prayer is directed to Mary, not the Father as you stated to me in your post. As you go through the Hail Mary, you can see that the catholic is petitioning Mary to pray for them. Therefore, Sir, your theory does not coincide with what the church teaches.
I am also reminded of another prayer, maybe not as popular as the Hail Mary, but one that is taught by the catholic church: The Consecration to Mary:
O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart. We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To thee we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls; to thee we give our homes, our families, our country.
And then we have: Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, Our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, To thee do we send up our sighs, Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
I could post prayer after prayer listed at any of the catholic sites devoted to Mary but the end result would be the same. All are directed to Mary. Do you notice that not only are the salutations to Mary but they also refer to giving of our very souls to Mary. Our soul can only be given to Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, your own catechism states that prayers to Mary are doctrinal:
2675 Beginning with Mary’s unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries…
2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.
I am sure you can see from this that it is a matter of doctrine in the catholic church to direct prayers to Mary. Despite your belligerent note to me, cursing me, I’m sure you are a decent person and you reacted this way because the topic is a sensitive one to you. But I beg you to understand that catholicism is more based on traditions of men rather than the Word of God. I am not asking you to change your religion, Sir. I am asking you to compare what you have been taught with God’s Word. This is what I did after I was born again. I struggled with how my family would react once they heard. I pleaded with God to show me the way. He was faithful and He showed me through His Word.
I would rather stand before God and admit to Him that I did what I did in my life because I obeyed His Word rather than because I obeyed what my pastor told me to do. If I am wrong, Sir, what have you lost but hours of Bible reading? But if I am right, you will have lost much – possibly your very soul to an eternity of burning in the Lake of Fire! The price is too great!