Worshipping Mary - The sin of superstition
A whirlwind of memories came flooding through my mind when I saw the above illustration taken from My Catholic Faith. I was conditioned, at a very early age, to believe that I had to go through Mary to get to Jesus. I can remember kneeling and praying before her image, singing songs that praised Mary as "Queen of Heaven", and watching movies like "The Song of Bernadette" and "The Lady of Fatima".
This worship of Mary continued into my adulthood. I can remember when my first born son had a very high fever, I was so afraid he would die that I went begging Mary on hand and knee. I confessed she was the Mother of Jesus and, understanding what being a mother was all about, I cried, saying, "Please Mary, ask God to let my baby live". When my son lived, I truly worshipped Mary.
Yet for all these things, if a Christian confronts a Catholic on his/her worshipping of Mary, the reply is always the same: "We don't worship her! We just give her honor that is due her as the Mother of God." But is this true? I practiced Catholicism for 30 years and I can, from experience, tell you that we prayed to her, through her, by her and for her as taught by the Roman hierarchy.
Yet the Bible tells me:
So why worship Mary? How did Jesus' offer to "Come to me..." (Jn.7:37) turn into "Go to Mary"? In the same book, "My Catholic Faith", on page 204 we read: "WHEN DOES A PERSON SIN BY SUPERSTITION? - A person sins by superstition when he attributes to a creature a power that belongs to God alone."
Catholicism has admitted by her own writings that it is a sin to attribute to a creature a power that belongs to God alone. Now we know that God possess the following attributes:
We know that the angels are not Omni-present as God is. Notice that after Daniel prayed, the angel sent by God was detained: "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days" (Dan.10:13-14). (Emphasis mine)
When the Lord asked Satan: "Where comest thou?", Satan answered, "From going to and fro in the earth and walking up and down in it."
This Scripture verifies that even Satan is not Omni-present. Psalms 139 speaks of the Omni-presence of the Lord. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." (v.7-8)
Elijah, knowing that only God is Omni-present, mocked those who called on Baal saying,
"...Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked."
Their reaction? The prophets of Baal cried even louder and cut themselves "till blood gushed out", but still "there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded." (I Kings 18:20-40)
God and God alone is Omni-present. God, and God alone, is the only one who can dwell in every man's heart because He alone is everywhere. Therefore, when we call upon the Lord, we know He hears us. He is even at our hearts knocking at the door. (Rev.3:20) God alone can read the hearts of men and know their intent (Rev.2:23, Jer.17:10)
But what about Mary? Isn't she omni-present? After all, you have millions of prayers a second being offered to her. People in Mexico, Russia, Europe, America, and all over the world, are praying the Rosary, asking Mary to be there at the hour of their death, asking her to guide them, help them, teach them, secure for them eternal redemption (something a Catholic believes that even Jesus did not do) and imploring her to come dwell in their hearts as though she were able to fulfill all these requests! A Catholic may deny that Mary is a god, but by asking all these things of her, she would have to be God to do them. She has powers and capabilities that even the pagan gods of Greece, Rome and Egypt did not possess, yet men called them gods.
Keeping this is mind, I would like to share with you some of my Catholic memories, and let our Christian readers decide if the Church of Rome has committed the "sin of superstition" (as they interpreted it - by attributing to a creature a power that belongs to God alone).
The following song, "Daily, Daily Sing to Mary", I learned in 2nd grade. It was one of my favorites, and as a child, I sang it with all my heart.
"Daily, daily sing to Mary Sing, my soul, her praises due;
All her feasts, her actions worship, With the heart's devotion true.
She is mighty to deliver; Call her, trust her lovingly;
When the tempest rages round thee, She will calm the troubled sea.
Gifts of heaven she has given, Noble Lady, to our race;
She the Queen who decks her subject, With the light of God's own grace." (Baltimore Catechism No.1, 63)
If Roman Catholics do not worship Mary, then why does line three say to worship her? Take in consideration that in Rev.19:10, it says, "And I fell at his feet to worship him [the angel of God], And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God:"
Would the Catholic Church have me believe that Mary would accept what the angel of God rejected? Mary was a Hebrew woman who was acquainted with the book of Psalms 89:9 which says, "Thou [God] rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them". But, she is now presented as telling the Catholic people that SHE can calm the troubled sea!
When Jesus calmed the raging sea, the disciples said, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" Mary is not God to command the sea, Jesus is. Line 8 of this song, above, says, "Gifts of heaven she has given" which for a Catholic means that Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces! This is truly the spirit of idolatry, for by "ONE SPIRIT" we have access to the Father, not two! (Eph.2:18, 4:4, I Cor.12:13)
As you may recall from the debate, the Catholic Church teaches that all graces flow through Mary; therefore, she is present in all the sacraments. That means, if a Christian attends mass or prays with a Catholic, he must join with the spirit of idolatry, who claims to be able to give the grace that God alone can give. Now we have Mary taking the place of the Holy Spirit! What blasphemy!
What more proof do we need that the Roman church has given to Mary the attributes that belong to God alone? Even Archbishop Paul Hallinan, in 1964 said that devotions and prayers to Mary were so exaggerated that they were a "blasphemy to the Son, an embarrassment to the memory of the mother and a pathetic deviation".
There is a Catholic organization called "Legion of Mary" which has an "Apostolic Blessing" from Pope John XXIII, and from Pope Pius XI, "We give a very special blessing to this beautiful and holy work - the Legion of Mary." On page 225 of their book, "Legion of Mary", we read:
"Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chains. Bow down thy shoulder and bear her; and be not grieved with her bonds. Come to her with all thy mind; and keep her ways with all thy power...Then shall her fetters be a strong defence for thee, and a firm foundation, and her chain a robe of glory. For in her is the beauty of life: and her bonds are a healthful binding. - Ecclesiasticus vi, 25-31, applied to Our Lady by the Church. Applicable by Legionaries to the Legion system and especially to the meetings."
But, Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden [to overburden with ceremony] and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." (Matt.11:28-30)
A Catholic reading this quote from Legion of Mary would find nothing offensive, but a Christians mind would be flooded with Scriptures rebuking such powers as belonging to anyone but God. A Christian would believe that he should go to God, for God Himself has said:
"For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?" (Deut.4:7)
But a Catholic doesn't have the confidence to approach God, so he depends on Mary to mediate for him. I remember when the nuns would tell us that Mary could get for us what God refused to give us. In one book, Catherine Laboure and the Modern Apparitions of Our Lady, page 237, Mary's apparition at LaSalette is reported to have said, "'Ah, if you knew what it costs me to withhold his avenging arm.' It is costly; she must sometimes plead, but in the end she always prevails."
Again, does the Catholic Church expect us to believe that Mary is more just than God? If God refused me something in His divine wisdom and perfect will, could Mary override His decision and attain for me a more just or superior course of action? That's exactly what St. Alphonso Liguori says in Glories of Mary, page 149-150. Mary is "more prompt to answer than God or Christ". This blasphemous statement means that the Catholic considers God and Jesus Christ to be less than perfect! They can make mistakes, and need Mary present to set them straight!
Job 4:17-20 says: "Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?...Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?"
I have barely touched the surface of the attributes of God that Romanism has unabashedly given to Mary. They go so far as to call her the following names that should belong to God or His Kingdom alone:
Many of our Christian readers are undoubtedly shocked at the unwarranted usurpation of our Lords titles. We suggest that the next time youre by a Catholic bookstore, stop in and thumb through a few books on Mary. Were sure youll be able to find even better examples of titles and attributes blasphemously misappropriated to an unscriptural Mary by the Catholic hierarchy.
The Scriptures use marriage to liken our relationship to Jesus (Eph.5:23-32), telling us we are espoused to "one husband" (2 Cor.11:2) I understand this, having had one husband for almost 25 years. Our relationship is based on intimacy shared in confidence. I would not go to my husbands mother to ask her to speak to him for me. I am close enough to go to him myself.
I read in Legio Mariae, on page 158, "What, Mary not know in advance?" Quite a deceiving statement in light of Luke 2:48, where Mary sought Jesus for three days "sorrowing". If she had foreknowledge, then why did she sorrow? Didnt she know that, since it was the Passover, Jesus was only going to be missing for three days to foreshadow His own death? Why didnt she know she would find him in the temple going "...about the Fathers business?" (Lk.2:41-50)
For my Catholic readers, I would like to leave you with one final thought concerning God: "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee."
by Rebecca A. Sexton
If you have any questions specifically about Catholicism, you can email Rebecca Sexton, Former Catholics For Christ.
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