ANSWERS: 80
  • No, I don't believe.
  • No, I am a Protestant. We believe in Praying only to the Father Son and Holy Spirit, though we honour Mary as the godly woman she was.
  • I don't pray to her, I pray through her... I ask for her guidance in praying to god. I mean who knows Jesus better then his mother?
  • No... i don't. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says: “Mary is truly the mother of God if two conditions are fulfilled: that she is really the mother of Jesus and that Jesus is really God.” (1967, Vol. X, p. 21) The Bible says that Mary was the mother of Jesus, but was Jesus God? In the fourth century, long after the writing of the Bible was completed, the Church formulated its statement of the Trinity. (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. XIV, p. 295; see page 405, under the heading “Trinity.”) At that time in the Nicene Creed the Church spoke of Jesus Christ as “very God.” After that, at the Council of Ephesus in 431 C.E., Mary was proclaimed by the Church to be The·o·to´kos, meaning “God-bearer” or “Mother of God.” However, neither that expression nor the idea is found in the text of any translation of the Bible.
  • Yes aswell as to God, She was the Mother of Christ and is seen as a very important figure in our Religion
  • Nah, I pray to God.
  • No, I am Christian. I believe that it's not ok to pray to anyone but the Lord. The bible says that we are only supposed to pray to the Lord. Although Mary is the mother of Christ, I believe that she is not Godlike therefore I will not pray to her.
  • No, I don't. Mary was a person just like us, it's just that God planted His holy seed inside of her, and used her to bring forth Jesus Christ. I don't pray to any women or man; God is our answer.
  • No... I sing Ave Maria, but I worship God =)
  • No, why the hell would I? I'm athiest, I don't pray
  • of course not. But I do speak to Mary and do I ask her for help and I ask her to intercede with her son. Jesus revered Mary, his last act on earth was seeing to her care...why would any person feel it is right to accord Mary anything less then reverence?
  • I think that the main source of confusion comes from the word itself, "pray". As Catholics, we use "pray" and "intercede" interchangeably in reference to Mary and the Saints. We do not--nor has the Church ever taught us to--worship Mary or the Saints as God, because they aren't and will never be. They are part of the *family* of God, the Body of Christ, and not even the death of the physical body impedes our communication. So do I pray to Mary? You better believe it. I ask her intercession, right alongside of praying to Christ Jesus. The Early Church Fathers were big fans of her, as well as Jesus Himself, most importantly. I figure that if He, who was struggling for every breath and every word, kept the Fourth Commandment right up until His dying breath, then loving her and asking for her intercession is exactly what I should do. The mark of a Christian is imitation of Christ, and He was ever obedient to His wonderful Blessed Mother.
  • Nope. I pray like Jesus taught us: to our Father (his Father) who is in Heaven, not his earthly mother. He never taught us to pray to saints or his mother. That's something the Catholic Church came up with who knows when. Pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ. God, the Father, and Jesus, His Son and our Brother.
  • Of course. To pray is to ask humbly. I believe God wishes us to ask each other for help, those on earth and those who have gone before us. James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Certainly Mary is pretty high on the righteous scale!
  • No, I pray to God, through Mary. Everyone knows that Catholics have a prayer called "Hail Mary", however nowhere in the prayer do we actually pray to Mary. We call her blessed and full of grace but we simply ask her to "pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death." We do not ask anything of her but to pray for us, similar to asking a loved one to pray for us.
  • I don't think she was a virgin. I pray to God that she was.
  • The first Bible clearly teaches us what God’s will is on this matter, that prayer, or worshipful address, should be directed to Jesus’ Father, who is Jehovah. Nowhere does the Bible authorize us to pray to anyone else. The fact is that the Scriptures do not teach Christians to pray to Mary. All prayers should be directed to Jehovah alone, through Jesus Christ. See—Matthew 4:10; 1 Timothy 2:5. This article goes into further detail: http://www.watchtower.org/e/20050908a/article_01.htm
  • I'm not Catholic, so no.
  • Hail Mary is a convenient prayer. If it works for you then I say use it.
  • No, I pray to God only through HIS SON, whom told us, "asked in HIS(JESUS) name and it shall be given."
  • We ask her to pray for us: Our lady who was born without sin, pray for those who have recourse to thee.
  • no but i'm not catholic nor christian. for those who revere her, they don't worship her. let them pray as they see fit
  • Im agnostic, so I dont pray to anyone.
  • I do not. I pray to God thru his son Jesus Christ as commanded in the Bible. Mary was only human.
  • No, I pray to God, in Jesus's name.
  • No, no more so than to everyone else. I do pray for your and her intervention on my behalf. I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my deeds, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
  • Just for the record, 1st Timothy 2:5 says, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus....."
  • I have honestly had my prayers answered, that is why.
  • It's comes from the belief that Jesus is god, so in turn Mary is mother of Jesus. But Christianity during Jesus time did not teach that he was god. Matter of fact Jesus even said that after he was gone, many of his teachings would be corrupted. Notice: "I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among YOU and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among YOU yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves." - ACTS 20:29,30 "However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances..." - 1 Timothy 4:1 The Trinity Trinity (definition) – That the Father, the Son (Jesus), and holy ghost are all together god, each eternal, each almighty, and none greater of less than the other. The belief that Jesus Christ is god, is based on the idea of the trinity. But if you take a look at the history of this teaching: First the word trinity or the teaching is never found in the bible. Also the Encyclopaedia Britannica says that the belief of the trinity or that Jesus was god or was part of god did not even exist until two to three hundred years after the death of Jesus. The Encyclopedia Americana says - “Fourth century Trinitarianism was a deviation from early Christian teaching.” This teaching was adopted into “Christianity” from pagan religions from Egypt, Babylon, from Hinduism, and even from the philosopher Plato that taught the trinity belief 400 years before Jesus. Finally the trinity became the central teaching of the church not because of the bible but because of the order of the Roman Emperor Constantine who was pagan himself. He really couldn’t care less about bible teachings but only wanted to end the debate between church leaders to keep unity in his kingdom. After he made that decision in the year 381, anyone that openly disagreed with the trinity were violently persecuted or killed with the permission of the church. Back to the Scriptures After that history lesson In reading the bibles record of Jesus, Jesus never claimed to be God or any part of God. Everything he said about himself indicated that he did not consider himself equal to God in any way – not in power, not in knowledge, or age. The bible calls Jesus “the only-begotten Son” of God (John 1:14; 1 John 4:9) - First off, John 1:18 – “No man has seen God at any time…” (The bible says no man has ever seen god but thousands saw and interacted with Jesus during his earthly life.) - God has no beginning and no end. Psalms 90:2 – “…even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God.” But the bible says that Jesus was “the firstborn of all creation.” (Colossians 1:15) Also see (Revelation 3:14) Unlike God, Jesus was created and had a beginning. - Notice another scripture. When a man came to fall at Jesus’ feet and then called him “Good Teacher”, Jesus said to him at Mark 10:17, 18 “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God.” (If Jesus himself was god would that statement make any sense? Jesus always directed any praise to god, not to himself.) - John 14:28 – “The Father is greater than I.” (Jesus talking) - 1 Corinthians 11:3 - “…the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” (The bible always talks of God of being superior in power to Jesus.) - Philippians 2:6 – “…Jesus Christ, who, although he was existing in God’s form (as a spirit in heaven) gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God.” - Also 1 Timothy 2:5 Says that the disciples viewed Jesus as the “one mediator between God and men,” not as God himself. A mediator is obviously someone separate from those who need mediation, not part of one of the two parties that need mediation. ---That’s just a short list of the many accounts since I did want to make this to long--- But the bible is clear and consistent about the relationship of God to Jesus. Jesus Christ always distinguishes himself from God and showed that he never desired to be seen or worshipped as god. That he only wished to do the will of his father. Consider Psalms 83:18 – “That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the most high over all the earth.” Isaiah 12:2 – “Look! God is my salvation. I shall trust and be in no dread; for Jah Jehovah is my strength and my might, and he came to be the salvation of me.” Jesus stressed the importance of his father’s name at John 17:26 – “I have made your name known to them and will make it known.” Even in Jesus model prayer: - Matthew 6:9 – “YOU must pray, then, this way: “Our Father in the heavens let your name be sanctified…” Another thing Many people don’t know that when they say Hallelujah, it means “praise Jah” short for Jehovah. Even Jesus’ name itself means “Jehovah is Salvation” The mother of the prophet Moses was named Jochebed, which means “Jehovah Is Glory” The prophet Joel in the bible, his name means, “Jehovah is God” The prophet Elijah in the bible name means “My God Is Jehovah” Isaiah’s name means “Salvation of Jehovah” Hezekiah, Josiah, Nehemiah, Obadiah, Zechariah and Zephaniah all are well-known Bible names whose meanings involve Jehovah, or Jah, the shorter poetic form of Jehovah’s name. Even many people’s names today have Jehovah in their meaning: Johnson means “Jehovah has favored” The name Jonathan means, “Jehovah has given” Joshua means, “Jehovah is salvation” or “Jehovah rescues” Jacqueline, Jackie, Jacquelyn, John and Jack means, “Jehovah has been gracious” Chanya means “The Grace of Jehovah” Kayla means “Jehovah has given” Joey means "Jehovah increases" Jesse means “Jehovah exists” Jeremiah and Jeremy means “appointed by Jehovah” Josiah means “Jehovah supports” Joe or Joesph means “May Jehovah give increase” Jane, Jan, Janelle, Janet, Janice, Janie, Janine, Joan, Joanne, Jodie, Joni, Jonie, Joanna, Johannah all are variations that mean “Jehovah is gracious” One last thing: Also remember that “god” is not a name, it’s a title. Just like “boy” or “king”, “God” and “Lord” are titles, “God” is anything you choose to worship. Your money can be your “God”, your possessions can be a “God”, but the only God the bible points to is Jehovah, God’s name. ---Explanation of pictures--- -The "Christian" Trinity was just a pagan befief that was incorporated into the church hundreds of years after Christ. The pictures are of the Hundu trinity, then the ancient Egyptian trinity, and finally the "Christian" trinity. -An ancient painting of the scene in Nicaea when Emperor Constantine made his decision-
  • Occassionally. Sometimes I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray for me. Sometimes I also ask my spouse to pray for me. Catholics share the belief in the Communion of Saints with many other Christians, including the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Episcopal, and Methodist Churches. The Communion of Saints is the belief where all saints are intimately related in the Body of Christ, a family. When you die and go to heaven, you do not leave this family. Everyone in heaven or on their way to heaven are saints, you, me, my deceased grandmother, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. As part of this family, you may ask your family and friends living here on earth to pray for you. Or, you may also ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Andrew, or your deceased grandmother living in heaven to pray for you. Prayer to saints in heaven is simple communication, not worship. Asking others to pray for you whether your loved ones on Earth or your loved ones in heaven is always optional. For more information, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 946 and following: http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt3art9p5.htm#946 With love in Christ.
  • no she isnt the creator of me and doesnt control my life, so like y should i pray to her?? ya people say she's "holy" since she gave birth to Jesus, but she was like a sub character. she isnt the point..Christ is !!!
  • Many Catholics (myself incl.) believe that Jesus was entrusting us to His mother's care when He said from the cross to His mother and to the the beloved disciple: "Woman, behold your son... Son, behold your mother." Sorry, I can't give a scriptual reference to that quote, I don't have my bible in front of me. As many have said, we pray to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We ask for intercession by the Blessed Virgin and the many saints. People in this very thread have said they are praying for each other. This is exactly what Mary does for us, if we ask her. Pray the rosary, Catholic or Protestant or Muslim, or what have you. You will notice a change for the better in your life.
  • I pray to the baby Jesus and the baby Jesus exclusively.
  • No ... As a Tao-Zen Buddhist, I believe that God is everywhere, even inside each of us ... so when I seek to communicate with God, I seek the part of God that is within me, then I aim my prayers through myself and directly to the part of God that is within me.
  • GOD sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross so that we can re-unite with Him after sins that Adam and Eve committed separated us from GOD. Why would you want another sinner(Mary or any others) to talk GOD on your behave when GOD given you the privilege to speak to Him directly. Praying to GOD through Mary or the Saints is the same thing as asking your respectable friends or family to speak to your parents for you. I don't know about you, if I am your parent I would be very sad that my child needing someone else to speak for him/her. I want to have relationship with my child. I want my child to speak to me heart to heart without reservation. After all, I love my child very much(God sent Jesus to die for you, so that HE can have personally relationship with you)
  • nope i pray to God!
  • Not me. I pray to Jesus. He is the -only- Mediator. My 2 cents.
  • NO, Jesus said Noone comes to the Father but thru Jesus Christ. Jesus died for us not mary . Look at John 14:6. The truth shall set you free if you look for it in God's word. We have to be very careful to follow what Jesus Christ told us not church's.
  • I pray to Jesus. Jesus said "No one comes to the father but thru Jesus Christ" There is only one way the bible clearly states that.
  • I do not, and will not ever pray to anything or anyone except my father in heaven witch is taught to us in the scripture by Jesus himself...When i first met my girl friend 6 years ago her family was the only one that i knew that was catholic but i have met several sense then..... I knew nothing about the religion and started to find out things about it through them, and right off the bat it did not seem like what i have been taught me whole life and what i have interpreted from the bible my self... So i started to do my research and to this day i have not found purgatory, child baptism, praying to mother Mary and the saints, or confessing your sins to a priest in the bible... There are many more things like these that are man made traditions that im convinced are not the the word of God.... Since I have brought these things up to my girlfriend her cousin and her aunt it has got there attention as well and are currently going to a different church that does not take any focus off God himself.. So the things that are not in the bible that will not send me to heaven i choose not to waste my time with....
  • What you have to understand is the amount of admiration Catholics have FOR Mary. She was a young girl when God called her to be the mother of the savior, an unwed young girl at that. In her time she would most certainly be stoned to death for carrying a child out of wedlock. She was courageous, that is what catholicism is built on, we admire her strength to take on such an unparalleled burden through out her life. She gave birth to a son she is told is the king of all men and like a mother she watches him grow only to know that some day she will have to watch him die, hopeless. It is her courage to "fight the good fight" if you will that is astonishing to catholics, her wisdom far beyond her years. she is a true example of strength. i admire that being a female catholic.
  • I believe that catholic believers do not trust their prays to be heard by God, therefore they also ask Virgin Mary to present their prays to God.
  • Father Pope over road the commandment of God, but then Guess he'll have lots of company in Hell, and those who follow a man-made god, who's church has corrupted the very Word Of God so his flock can pray to and bow-down to the idols of Mary and the saints. Don't take my word for it, "READ THE KING-JAMES-BIBLE'S TEN COMMANDMENTS". And you can be sure that Jesus would never have been an idol worshiping Catholic. And I wonder why you are,if you belong to that Cult Of Mary
  • Well, Mag: I don't think that you fully understand who is your Religious Master.So I'll lay it out for you plain and simple. Catholicism is the Cult of Mary,and just like the Mother gods before her that were worshiped in many lands way back when,and also today in many lands. So the Popes of your Cult propagated a human earth mother, a female deity, who they call the mother of God and on a par with the Son of God. Ever hear of a baby being born before his or her mother. Jesus was before Mary ever was,so how could she be the mother of God. Now, Mary was the human birth channel by which God's Son,Jesus,came by, into this world. He was of her,but never was a part of her. How do I know? God is a Holy,Pure,Sinless Being, Therefore, Mary a sinful human being could not be a part of a Holy,Sinless God, nor could she ever be the mother of God. Only the Roman Catholic Church has kept this lie alive throughout the ages. And will Catholics be in heaven, No Way, For that would make God and Jesus,his Son,out to be liar. Get out of your corrupted Catholic bible, and read, "THE WAY", THE LIVING BIBLE ILLUSTRATED That's where your Salvation can be found, not in the paganism of Cathoicism that will only see you in Hell.
  • Absolutely not.
  • i dont worship Mother Mary, i only worship God. But i do always pray to Mother Mary to pray for me. I always let the angels and saints know my problems and hardships, therefore my network to God is much easier . All my prayer i always ask the angel/saints to bring it to GOd and beg God's mercy. And i always SUCCEED in my problems. I dont want to have hatred and dislike for ANY saints nor angels, because all negativeness is from the evil one. When we pray, the heart and mind must be clean and clear of any doubts and negative thoughts. God is sacred and therefore before we go to HIM we must be clean internally and externally. example if your home is dirty, we invite rats and all unwanted insects around and if we fail to take action then definetly the occupants are going to fall sick. When the house is clean everything looks clean and inviting.Therefore everyone feel free and comfortable to visit us. So therefore its the same with prayers, if we pray the with a clean and loving heart , our prayers will be taken up to GOD much easier rather then the ones who have hatred and all negativeness. remember the jews crucified jesus because of doubts and fear and they followed the old testament exactly. But when Jesus tried to changed their mentality and showed them the true meaning of God's love, the jew felt annoyed and considered it as blasmhemy. So lets open our hearts and mind and lets be a happy people of this earth with God our Father and Jesus our Saviour and the angels and saints as our protector.
  • I pray to God through Mary and ask her to pray for me to God as well. To pray doesn't always mean to worship but also to request or to ask.
  • Some one told me Mary is like the ark of the New covent. in the old testment the ark carred the Ten Commandmets that we obeyed and carried the old prmise God had for the world. The new covent(Jesus) was in Mary's pure body creating her holy and with out sin (she did not need to be baptized.) Jesus was also devot to her (wedding at Canna) Catholics belive that God wanted us tohave a mother and a father, plus in a weird kind of way Mary makes women equal in the CHurch. SHe is a women above preist, cardnals and the pope.
  • no. and she was not a virgin anymore. Jesus has bros. and sisters. she is not God. an instrument of God for purpose of bearing the Christ. u can be an instrument too for God purposes if u will let God.
  • this is my true experience when i was 14 years old. my buddy was a christian and he doesn't pray to Mary. So as he knows that i'm a catholic he always ask me to give reasons for me praying to Mary. All he knows is to condemn Mother Mary so badly. As you see he does a lot of reading and i cant even defend Mother Mary at that time mainly because i dont read much. Until one day i wanted to bash him up in school for that. But something made me weak and told me the truth will prevail. So i just ignored him, until end of that year he complained of a terrible pain at his groin. Had to go for an operation. Oh my, he really suffered and he told me the pain he went through. He became a very quite person after that. Lately i met him in a catholic church, thats after 20 years of losing contact. So i was wondering , this guy condemns Mother Mary to the MAX and what is he doing in a catholic church? I didnt ask him any past stories just that i dont know why the sudden change. I'M NOT TRYING TO SAY THAT IF U DONT BELIEVE IN MOTHER MARY SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO YOU "BUT BUT" PLEASE REFRAIN FROM SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT HAVEANLY SAINTS. THEY WERE ASSIGNED BY GOD FOR A CERTAIN PURPOSE HERE ON EARTH. WE ARE MEN/ WOMEN OF THESE TIME AND WE WERE NOT WITH GOD WHEN GOD MADE HIS PLANS FOR PEOPLE OF THESE WORLD.
  • Well, I'm not Catholic so no I don't. I am Pentecostal so in the same family of Protestant style houses of God. There are many things that I don't agree with when it comes to Catholicism, and the emphasis of Mary is one of them. She was/is highly favored by the Lord, but not the Lord herself...that would be the child that she would give birth to. Mary is someone that I wanna meet one I get to Heaven, also Mary Magdalene for very different reasons. So I'm not a Mary hater by any means. I'm just someone who is all for bible based theology. I have heard from a couple of people that the bible is a difficult book to understand. I'm not having problems. It makes me think that perhaps the word is getting twisted some by them.
  • Yes , I do pray to my heavenly mother. We catholics, don't worship Mother Mary. We ask her to interceed /pray for us to her Divine Son. May God Bless You all and may Mother Mary protect each one of us as her own child.
  • Catholics understand that mother mary is not Jesus (God)but catholics also believe Jesus wants us to think of her as our Mother like our brothers the Apostles did when Jesus was alive on earth over 2000yrs ago.Jesus told John the Apostle to take care of your mother before he died on the cross in calvery for our sins.We as Catholics honer her and believe she is the best Saint to pray too because she is the Mother of God.Dont u ask for people to pray for you why not ask the Mother of God? God uses his saints to help us be with him for eternity.Its a tradition Catholics have been doing for over 2000yrs. The first church established was the Catholic chuch,its been around for almost 2000yrs.Since Jesus came,their was a new testament along with a new Doctrin(teaching).The Catholic Church is the only church that existed since the time of Jesus.Evry other christian group is an offshoot of the Catholic Church.The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from unity with the pope in 1054.The protestant communities were established during the Reformation,which began in 1517.(Most of todays Protestant groups are actually offshoots of the origionas Protestant offshoot.Because of the terrible pope at that time It was Martin Luther in 1500s who started his owne religion and pulled people away from the Catholic Church.Hence the word Reformation. Only the Catholic church existed in the tenth century,in the fifth century,and in the first century,faithfully teaching the doctrines given by Christ to the apostles,omitting nothing.Why do we as humans except a church that was started by a mortal man?u might say well I believe as long as u go to church and believe in Jesus you will be saved.Well what about the Fullness of Truthe the church Jesus established why push it away?What about Tradition Doctrine and the Bible we are all responsible to seek out the truthe and live the truthe and not be satisfied with some of the truthe.
  • I don't pray "to" her; she may be the best human spiritual advisor.
  • No, When the disciples asked how they should pray, Jesus told them. Our Father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name...
  • even though i do believe in the virgin birth and mary as giving birth to jesus christ the Son of God. she is not the mother of God. the bible says that God himself has no creator. (psalm 90:1,2)he is "from time indefinite to time indefinite." his son was born of a virgin who later also gave birth to more children. mary had to be an exceptional woman to have been approved by God to be his son's mother. however, the bible also states that when we pray to God above we are to pray to him through this son Jesus Christ. 1timothy 2:5,6 says: "for there is one God, and one mediator beween God and men, a man, Crist Jesus, who have himself a corresponding ransom for all."
  • Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest? doesn't this contradict the bible? Being a Catholic I understanding why many people don't want to confess sins to a priest. Isaiah 43:25,Hebrews 3:1 and 7:22-27, I Timothy 2:5 these objections can serve to deepen our understanding of the One,True Faith established by Jesus Christ. Lets start with Isaiah 43:25, which teaches us that it is, in fact, God who forgives sins. But if you read Leviticus 19:20-22 also in the old testament "If a Man lies carnally with a woman...they shall no be put to death...but he shall bring a guilt offering for himself to the Lord, to the door of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. And the PRIEST shall make atonement for him...before the Lord for his sin which he has committed, AND THE SIN WHICH HE HAS COMMITTED SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM. All Christians agree God forgives our sins but as you here in Leviticus, also in the Old Testament, the priest has been given the ministry of reconciliation. He mediates God's forgiveness to the sinner. Obviously, this does not take away from the fact that it is God Who does the forgiving. God is the efficient, or ultimate, cause of forgiveness. The priest is the instrumental cause. So God indeed forgives us our sins, as Isaiah 43:25 teaches. However, that doesn't eliminate the possibility of using priests to mediate that forgiveness to the world as Leviticus 19:20-22 teaches. Hebrews 3:1 it seems that Jesus is our only Priest right? I Peter 2:5,9 "And like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ...But you are a chosen race,a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people..."If Jesus is the one and only priest in th New Testament in the strict sense that Protestants believe, then we have a contradiction in Sacred Scripture,because I Peter teaches that all believers are members of a holy priesthood. The key to clearing up this difficulty is in understanding the nature of the Body of Christ. Believers do not take away from Christ;s unique Priesthood, rather, as members of His Body, we establish His Priesthood on earth. We are His hands and feet. Christ being the true high priest does not eliminate the possibility of there being many priests. We are priests as believers inasmuch as we participate in the one priesthood of Christ,as members of His Body. I Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Yes, Jesus is the one mediator between God and men. However, Christians are also called to be mediators for Him. When we intercede for mediators of God's love and grace in the one true Mediator, Christ Jesus(cf.I Tim. 2:I-7,4:16,Rom. 10:9-14). Now what about I John 2:2? "He is the expiation [propitiation] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." How can we demonstrate from Scripture the existence of a priesthood with the power to forgive sins, within the universal priesthood of all believers? I Peter 2:5,9. When St. Peter teaches us about the universal priesthood of all believers, he refers to Exodus 19:6 where God speaks of ancient Israel as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation," a reference to the universal priesthood in the Old testament "church."But this did not preclude the existence of the Aaronic and Levitical priesthoods within that universal priesthood (cf, Ex.28 and Num. 3:1-12) In an anologous way, we have a universal "royal priesthood" in the New Testament, but we also have an ordained clergy who have priestly authority given to them by Christ to carry out His ministry of reconciliation(cf2Cor.5:17-21,Johm 20:21-23,James 5:16). Where does the Bible say there's a priesthood with the authority to forgive sins? John 20:21-23 Jesus said to them again,"Peace be with you.As the father has sent me, even so I send you."And when he had said this, HE BREATHED ON THEM,and said to them,"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Christ the High Priest of the New Covenant, ordained the apostles to continue His priestly mission. In John 20;22-23,Jesus them emphasizes this essential part of the priestly ministry of the apostles: forging men's sins in the name of Christ."If you forgive the sins of any,they are forgiven;if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." THIS IS CONFESSION. The only way the apostles can either forgive or retain sins is by first hearing those sins confessed, and them making a judgement as to whether or not the penitent should be absolved. Lets say a woman confesses adultery,"When the priest asks her if she's sorry for her sin and resolved to turn away from it, she says she's not. The priest would then be bound to 'retain' her sins. One has to be truly sorry for his or her sins in order to be forgiven". Do we see any examples of the apostles or church elders actually forgiving sins? 2 Corinthians 2;10: "Any one whom you forgive,I also forgiven. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ." James 5:14-16 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and lit them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore,confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. We must go to the "elders," not just anyone, to receive this "anointing" and the forgiveness of our sins. There are two reasons we know St. James is not saying we should confess our sins to just anyone. First, he's just told us to go to the elder, or priest, in verse14. Then, verse 16 begins with the word "therefore." The word therefore tells us that this statement depends on the verse(or verses) before it-in this case, it connects verse 16 back to verses 14 and 15. It's the elder to whom St. James is telling us to confess our sins. Catholics understand that it isn't easy confessing our sins to a man. "But when you understand what your doing you will walk out of the confessional felling like your walking on air. And remember when the priest says 'I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,'there are two people speaking at the same time; the priest, and Jesus Himself, Who loves you more than words could ever say."
  • What I know is The New Testament canon of the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible are the same with 27 Books. The difference in the Old Testaments actually goes back to the time before and during Christ’s life. At this time, there was no official Jewish canon of scripture. The Jews in Egypt translated their choices of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek in the second century before Christ. This translation of 46 books, called the Septuagint, had wide use in the Roman world because most Jews lived far from Palestine in Greek cities. Many of these Jews spoke only Greek. The early Christian Church was born into this world. The Church, with its bilingual Jews and more and more Greek-speaking Gentiles, used the books of the Septuagint as its Bible. Remember the early Christians were just writing the documents what would become the New Testament. After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, with increasing persecution from the Romans and competition from the fledgling Christian Church, the Jewish leaders came together and declared its official canon of Scripture, eliminating seven books from the Septuagint. The books removed were Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom (of Solomon), Sirach, and Baruch. Parts of existing books were also removed including Psalm 151 (from Psalms), parts of the Book of Esther, Susanna (from Daniel as chapter 13), and Bel and the Dragon (from Daniel as chapter 14). The Christian Church filled with the Holy Spirit did not follow suit but kept all the books in the Septuagint. 46 + 27 = 73 Books total. 1500 years later, Protestants decided to keep the Catholic New Testament but change its Old Testament from the Catholic canon to the Jewish canon. The books that were removed supported such things as • Prayers for the dead (Tobit 12:12; 2 Maccabees 12:39-45) • Purgatory (Wisdom 3:1-7) • Intercession of saints in heaven (2 Maccabees 15:14) • Intercession of angels (Tobit 12:12-15) The books protested dropped are sometimes called the Apocrypha.
  • No of course not. Mary was a normal human being and not a figure of worship. The Catholic Church, which is most likely the "great whore" of Reveltation, is just a foolish, church filled with evil and consperiacy.
  • No I do not. I believe that is forbidden by God Deuteronomy 18:10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a NECROMANCER. This is what the dictionary says about Necromancy, 1 : conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of revealing the future or influencing the course of events Catholics say they do not pray to Mary or saints, but they ask them to intercede for them. Let's see talking to dead people in the hopes of influencing the course of events. Sounds like necromancy to me.
  • Is that the Christian attitude that Jesus taught in your "Holy Bible"? This is a question about Catholic beliefs so don't you think it appropriate to give the teachings of the Catholic faith?? Oh well, have a good day.
  • So, let me get this straight. The Bishops at the Council of Ephesus (who could actually read Greek) and were 15 centuries closer to the start of the Church than you or I was got it wrong by proclaiming Mary to the the Mother of God? If this Ecumenical Council made a mistake, how do you know that the Ecumenical Council that decided what books would be in the New Testament and what books would not be in (i.e. Gospel of Thomas, Epistle of Barnabus, etc.) didn't get that decision wrong also? Incidentally, the Popes at those times declared that both Councils got it right, but you know better than they did a thousand five hundred years after the fact? And why should anyone believe you? Because of your personal interpretation of the Bible? BTW, why do you, as a Christian, use "C.E." (common era) instead of "A.D." (anno Domini)? Do you also have issues with the Incarnation? If everything to be believed is in Scripture, why did Christ promise the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth? Jn 16:1 Avatar jay Mar, 03 2009 at 04:17 PM I like that Im not the only Catholic trying to show these guys scripture and how to fully understand it. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 05 2009 at 03:14 AM Jay, I appreciate your zeal, but the only scripture he used, was a scripture that when taken out of context, some use to show that your teachings do not have to come from the Bible. It seems to me that any religion can use that line of reasoning to validate their beliefs. Avatar jay Mar, 05 2009 at 07:24 PM To fully understand the Catholic Church u need to understand history. Catholics cant take scripture out of context because our beliefs have existed longer than any other organization. The bible was created back when only one church worked together to form the bible through the holy spirit. The one church has kept those doctrins and has guided people from learning false doctrine. Avatar jay Mar, 05 2009 at 07:25 PM people like u Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 06 2009 at 04:58 AM I was not trying to offend you. Have you read the Bible? Avatar jay Mar, 06 2009 at 02:18 PM ? ok.... Avatar jay Mar, 06 2009 at 02:26 PM I will help anyone understand the Catholic Church and the reason behinde our Traditions. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 06 2009 at 03:15 PM I appreciate that. Offering your time to help others is self-sacrificing. If tradition and what the Bible says conflict, which one should take precidence? Have you read the Bible? Avatar Aldebaran Mar, 08 2009 at 08:45 PM Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture can never be contradictory. If one thinks there is a contradiction, then this is most likely a defect in the one's knowledge of Sacred Tradition, or of Sacred Scripture (i.e. "what [I think] the Bible says"). . Truth cannot contradict Truth. Avatar jay Mar, 16 2009 at 10:15 PM The problem with the bible itself is people can interpret it wrong. God wouldn't leave us confused about what scripture means. That is why Catholics have stuck to the Traditions of the church and haven't changed the church Jesus Christ created. No man has the right to create another Church and start preaching the Bible through his own earthly wisdom. We need a guide to interpret what was written by a Divine author. Tradition the Bible and Doctrine are the only way to find out the Fullness Of Truth. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 18 2009 at 08:17 PM You are right, Truth cannot contradict Truth, but some traditions contradict scripture, such as persecuting those who want everyone to be able to read the Bible in their own language and locking up those who have scientifically proven that the understanding of certain scriptures by the Church are in error. There are many who are not confused about what scripture means as they have read the Bible. Have ya'll read the Bible? Avatar jay Mar, 18 2009 at 09:33 PM I read the One Holy Universal Bible Jesus Christ established and I wont listen to any man that takes away from or changes the teachings of the church Jesus established. You want me to protest the Catholic Church and its teachings of the Bible like Martin Luther? I wouldn't dare. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 19 2009 at 06:27 PM Which translation did you read? Avatar jay Mar, 19 2009 at 07:26 PM Lets put it this way I read the same Bible you do plus the books that were protested against. Catholic means Universal. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 19 2009 at 07:56 PM I have over 20 translations that I have read parts of, but I have only read one from Genesis to Revelation. Catholic translations that I have are the Douay-Rheims Version, New American Bible, and the New Jerusalem Bible. Of those, I prefer the New Jerusalem Bible because it uses the hebrew form of the divine name Yahweh, instead of the traditional LORD, in the Hebrew scriptures. It also leaves Sheol as Sheol and Hades as Hades rather then trying to translate as Hell if someone good dies and grave if someone bad dies. http://bible.cc/psalms/110-1.htm http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ http://bible.cc/psalms/16-10.htm http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 19 2009 at 08:00 PM http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php Avatar jay Mar, 19 2009 at 08:47 PM I think a book you would like "Nuts & Bolts" by Tim Staples. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 20 2009 at 09:25 AM Did you look at the Bible links? Which translation do you use? Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 20 2009 at 11:34 AM Do you think that Galileo should have been arrested, or that William Tyndale should have been strangled and burned at the stake? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tyndale [Soon afterwards, he determined to translate the Bible into English and was convinced that the way to God was through His word and that scripture should be available even to common people. Foxe describes an argument with a "learned" but "blasphemous" clergyman, who had asserted to Tyndale that, "We had better be without God's laws than the Pope's." In a swelling of emotion, Tyndale made his response: "I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow in England to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope himself!"] Avatar jay Mar, 23 2009 at 04:24 PM I Read The Catholic Bible because it has other books that are not in other Bibles. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 23 2009 at 05:16 PM The three I listed up above are Catholic Bibles. Did the one you read have God's name in it? The New Jerusalem Bible has God's name, though in the Hebrew form. The other two mentioned follow the Jewish tradition of substituting LORD. Compare Psalms 110:1 in these three Catholic Bibles, the Douay-Rheims has it as Psalms 109:1. http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm110.htm http://www.drbo.org/chapter/21109.htm And several other Bibles. http://bible.cc/psalms/110-1.htm http://bible.cc/psalms/83-18.htm Avatar jay Mar, 23 2009 at 05:44 PM My personal opinion is... Men and Women in the Catholic church can sin and have sinned against God. I love Jesus and if I were to become a Priest or Pope, in the 1500s and Sinned against God, it doesn't change the fact that the church I'm in was established by Jesus Christ. Now if my brother, who doesn't like that I'm sinning, becomes angry and starts another religion changing doctrine to his likeness,takes out the traditions,is this church still the church Jesus established? People hate the Catholic church when the members of the church do wrong. Sin is not a Catholic thing it is a human thing. Look how many churches we have now. What happened? Why don't people open their eyes? Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 23 2009 at 05:56 PM Of course, we are all sinners. I have not seen anything about the Catholic Church or that reminds me of the Catholic Church in any Bible other than what is mentioned at 1Tim 4:1-4 and Matthew 23:5-10. I have not met any Catholics that have read the Bible, though I am sure that there are some. The Catholic teachings are so far from the Bible I wonder which translation is used by Catholics that read the Bible so I can figure out where they are coming from. Jesus made it clear that after his going away that there was going to be an Apostacy without a return to true worship until the time of the end. Do you think that the Catholic Church prevented his words from coming true? Avatar jay Mar, 23 2009 at 06:42 PM man, you have been brain washed. If you go to a Catholic mass its said that if one of the Apostles from Jesus were to come to present time he would know exactly what was going to happen. Avatar jay Mar, 23 2009 at 06:49 PM If you open up the Catholic Bible you will see for yourself all the leaders of the Catholic church from the time of Jesus to the present time. It is what it is. The one church. No other church can trace their church back to the time of Jesus Christ. Its so obvious this unbroken succession. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 23 2009 at 06:51 PM Brainwashed because I believe the Bible? Have you really read the Bible? Did you know that the Bible does not say that Priest should be forbidden to Marry to be a Priest or that certain foods should be forbidden during lent or that Priest should be "called Father" as a religious title? Avatar jay Mar, 23 2009 at 07:13 PM which one do you want me to answer? Avatar jay Mar, 23 2009 at 07:30 PM How about confessing your sins and calling the priest father? What does the bible say about confessing sins to a priest? Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 23 2009 at 07:35 PM Sorry. 1) Brainwashed - Bible? 2) Ever read Bible? 3) Priest forbidden to Marry? 4) Forbidden to eat certain foods? 5) Using religious titles such as Father? Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 23 2009 at 08:02 PM Sorry, we must have been typing at the same time. As far as religious titles - Matthew 23:5-10 http://bible.cc/matthew/23-9.htm http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php As far as confessing sins, we are suppossed to, but it was to be done in the presence of two or three. Matthew 18:18-20; John 20:22-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ Avatar jay Mar, 25 2009 at 07:33 PM What the Bible says about confession,is on the 5th page I think? If you want to know more tell me. Avatar jay Mar, 25 2009 at 07:58 PM We read the same scripture but we just read it with a different standpoint. Our mentality is different while reading the Bible. Catholics look to Tradition, Doctrine, and the Bible. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 25 2009 at 08:47 PM The fifth page of the Bible in my hand right now is chapter 4 of Genesis. Maybe you are referring to the fifth page of James, Numbers, or a Catholic theology book? http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ I was afraid that I had offended you. You seem like a nice and sincere person. My main thing is that I really try to encourage Bible reading, as I think that truth can be found there. How are you doing? Avatar jay Mar, 27 2009 at 09:33 PM no, on this I wrote on the fifth page click over other pages Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 28 2009 at 08:07 PM I'm sorry, I don't understand. 5th page of what? Can you post a link? Thanks Avatar jay Mar, 29 2009 at 08:43 AM It wouldn't fit on Post Comment tab, so I wrote it on the Add an Answer tab. It doesn't appear on this page so you will have to look for it on other page. It is under "Do you pray to "virgin Mary?" If so why?", but you need to look for it. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 29 2009 at 05:53 PM Thanks, I found it. I even looked up some of the scriptures cited. I agree with confessing of sins, just believe that it is to be in the presence of two or three, not just one man, as noted up above. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ What does 1Tim 2:5 mean to you? Avatar jay Mar, 29 2009 at 08:51 PM God is the the ultimate mediator, but scripture also shows how Jesus works through men (Priests) to forgive sins. If you read 1Tim 2:5, and believe what it means like you do, then the Bible contradicts itself. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 30 2009 at 03:19 AM No contradictions. There is one God, and there is one mediator, Jesus Christ. The Father is the only true God. To us there is one God, the Father, and one Lord, Christ Jesus. (1Tim 2:5; John 17:1-3; 1Cor 8:5,6) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ But I agree with you that those taking the lead, can forgive sins as noted up above. But since the time of Jesus sacrifice, all prayers are to go to God through Jesus name. Avatar jay Mar, 30 2009 at 03:44 PM The Father is the only true God? Avatar jay Mar, 30 2009 at 03:49 PM Catholics believe in the Trinity. God the Father God the Son God the Holy Spirit Avatar jay Mar, 30 2009 at 03:55 PM So you don't believe in the Bible when Jesus (God) "breathed on them and said to them. "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. or do you believe in this and in the presence of three your sins are forgiven. Avatar jay Mar, 30 2009 at 04:20 PM This statement that "all prayers are to go to God through Jesus name" sounds like you don't believe Jesus is God. In other words your saying I cant pray directly to God the Father. I think your thinking about the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ because the Bible says that they are both God. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 30 2009 at 07:49 PM Have you not been reading the Scriptures as we have been talking? Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 30 2009 at 08:10 PM "The Father is the only true God?" At John 17:1-3, Jesus called the Father the only true God and made it clear that knowing that was also needed for everlasting life. 1Cor 8:5,6 shows that their are many Gods, but to Christians, there is only one God, the Father. 1Cor 11:3 shows that the head of Christ is God just like the head of the woman is the man. 1John 4:9 shows that Jesus is God's only begotten son. Psalms 83:18 shows that God alone is the most high over all of the earth. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 30 2009 at 08:14 PM "So you don't believe in the Bible when Jesus (God) "breathed on them and said to them. "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. or do you believe in this and in the presence of three your sins are forgiven." Of course I do. That is why I posted the link to the Scriptures that say that on 3/23/09 at 8:02 Mat 18:18-20; John 20:22,23; Matt 18:15-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 30 2009 at 08:37 PM Jesus is God's son. Since his sacrifice, no one can come to the Father except through Jesus. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ Please look up the scriptures. I have even posted you links. If you tell me what translation you use, I can post links from that one for you. I have not lied, misled, or given my own opinion. I have provided you with the scriptures so that you can see who is telling you the truth. Not for money, not for glory, but because of love for God and neighbor. The Bible is the word of God. Jesus said to God "your word is truth". The Bible is like a letter from God. He expects us to read it. Avatar jay Mar, 30 2009 at 09:36 PM Before the world began God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit existed together as One. You need to remember Jesus is truly God and truly man. Jesus was also a man who had to constantly pray and fast because he had to fight temptations of the flesh. When he was in the desert Satin knew this, but Jesus fought these temptations with what was true and real. (holy scripture the word of God). Also when dieing on the cross Jesus the man cries out "God why have you forsaken me?" Jesus the man felt like he had been abandoned. What I'm trying to say is when reading scripture you need to remember that Jesus knew he was God but was also man. Avatar jay Mar, 30 2009 at 09:55 PM I am Just telling you what and why Catholics believe what they believe and to totally and fully understand everything you cant go by the Bible alone(Sola Scriptura). You should pray about this and look at The Catechism of the Catholic church. If you do seek the truth you will come to it. Avatar Texasescimo Mar, 31 2009 at 06:58 PM Have you ever spoken about the Bible with a Mormon or a Moslem? They say pretty much the same thing that the Catholic Church says about not having to use the scriptures for doctrine. Did you look up the Scriptures that I have been citing in this thread? Jesus held God's word as truth. (John17:17) Those who held to traditions outside of the Bible were condemned by him. (mark 7:13) He always looked at the Scriptures as an authority. (Mt 4:3-10) We are not suppossed to go beyond what is written. (1Cor 4:6) The scriptures are suppossed to be used for doctrine. (2Tim 3:16) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ Do you believe the Bible? Will you look up these scriptures? Avatar jay Mar, 31 2009 at 08:25 PM Take the simple phrase I didn't say I stole the money. Would you say from its face value this Phrase makes perfect sense? Now lets say it was said over 2ooo years ago, and the person that wrote this phrase meant to say I didn't say I stole the money I said I gave it away, or I didn't say I stole the money It just got lost, or I didn't say I stole the money I was just borrowing it, or I didn't say I stole the money I said it was burned. If this one phrase can be misinterpreted don't you think the Bible can be misinterpreted a lot more. I never once told you that Catholics don't use the Bible. I was trying to tell you that your interpretation of the Bible is wrong and the only way to find out who has the right interpretation is to go to the source. The only way to find out the source is to find out the Traditions of the first church established by Jesus Christ. You also need to remember that the church came before the Bible. Before the Bible their were the early Christians. Avatar jay Mar, 31 2009 at 08:33 PM The early Christians didn't have the Bible they had Tradition that was passed on by word of mouth. Avatar jay Mar, 31 2009 at 08:37 PM 2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. Avatar jay Mar, 31 2009 at 08:41 PM Its all connected but you need to first realize that the Catholic Church was the first Church and Tradition of the church was broken up by man. Avatar jay Mar, 31 2009 at 09:18 PM The Catholic Church is the only church that still has the same Traditions 1 Corinthians 11:23 Tradition of the Institution "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup. Avatar jay Mar, 31 2009 at 09:30 PM 1 Corinthians 11:2 PROBLEMS IN LITURGICAL ASSEMBLIES I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you. Avatar Texasescimo Apr, 01 2009 at 12:33 PM I consider the Bible the source. There is nothing wrong with tradition that is in line with scripture, but as someone else said, truth cannot contradict truth. It seems that if the Catholic Church was around before the the Bible, that there would have been some mention about the Catholic Church, the Pope, the Cathechisms, that is okay to mix truth with paganism, that Priest should be forbidden to marry, and many other such things. I am guessing that you have not read the Bible other than partial qoutes from Catholic books. It seems that the only scriptures that can be translated right are the ones that are used to show that the Bible cannot be used for the truth. I asked several times about your translation and and if you have read the Bible. Am I correct in guessing that you have not read it or even have one? Avatar jay Apr, 01 2009 at 05:08 PM All Catholics teachings are in line with scripture. I read the Bible almost every day. I told you I read the same Bible you do plus the books that were protested against. I also shown you scripture. Avatar jay Apr, 01 2009 at 05:38 PM The Pope The Bible does talk about when Jesus started the succession of his church and Jesus chose Peter to lead his church. He was the very first leader of the Catholic church. Jesus Christ is the one who wanted a leader for his church. The Catholic church didn't make this up. Its a Tradition that goes back to the time of Jesus Christ. Avatar jay Apr, 01 2009 at 06:15 PM The church has Biblical answers for all your questions and it also has much much more to offer than the Bible.
  • No, because nowhere in my Bible does it tell me to do so.
  • Why do Catholics pray to Mary? A saying that is well known among Catholics is, "To Jesus, through Mary." This does not mean, "To Mary, through Jesus." Nor does it mean, "To Jesus and to Mary." This saying affirms that Catholics do not pray "to" Mary as an equal to God. They pray "through" Mary as an intercessor who prays to God on behalf of mankind. If Catholics were to pray to Mary, this would imply that they are worshipping her as a god. But Catholics do not perceive Mary as a god. They perceive her as the greatest of all the saints that ever lived. Is there any Biblical support for the belief of Catholics to call upon Mary to intercede to God on their behalf? First of all, because Mary was the birth mother of the humanity of Jesus in who "the fullness of the deity (God) was pleased to dwell bodily," [Col. 1:19, 2:9] Catholics recognize the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. Secondly, because Mary was "favoured by God" [Lk. 1:30] when she was personally chosen by the Lord to become the mother of Jesus, God incarnated, Catholics believe that they have a greater chance of obtaining God's grace for their daily physical and spiritual needs by asking Mary to intercede on their behalf. Thirdly, the above mentioned belief is partially based on the fact that Jesus is the King of kings and Mary, as the mother of the King, is the "queen mother." Then, when studying Jewish history, it is discovered that the institution of the "queen mother" was established during the reign of King Solomon. In the Old Testament, we learn of the favoured position of the queen mother through the following words, "... then the king sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, 'I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.' And the king said to her, 'Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.'" [1 Kgs. 2:19-20] Following the reign of King Solomon, many of the kings kept this practice. The mother of the king, through who the king received his throne, was trusted as a confident and advisor. So important was the function of the queen mothers in the days of the Old Testament that their names were listed in the succession records of the kings of Judah. [See 1 Kgs 14:21, 15:13; 2 Kgs. 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, etc...] Similar to the intercession of the Queen Mother, when a child desires a favour and cannot obtain it from his/her parents, frequently the child will make the request to the grandparent to intercede on his/her behalf, therefore obtaining the favour that was being sought. This does not mean that the child is seeking the parental favour from the grandparent. Rather, the child is seeking the intercession of the grandparents before the parents. Furthermore, Catholics do not differentiate between the living (in this world) and the dead (those who departed) members of the Body of Christ (the fullness of the Church.) The fullness of the mystical Body of Christ is found in the union of all the saints, past and present, here below and those above in Heaven. In view of the aforementioned, it cannot be denied that those who were called to Heaven, including Mary, are still alive in spirit in the Kingdom of God that coexists with our world. As some non-Catholics pray through their deceased parents, grandparents or other biological relatives, asking these beloved departed persons to intercede before God on their behalf, Catholics pray through Mary to Jesus, taking advantage of her blessed position as the Mother of God. This Catholic action affirms the prophetic and Divinely inspired passage that is found in the Holy Bible where it states, "Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed." [Lk. 1:47] All generations could not call Mary blessed if she was not actively involved in the progressive Divine Plan that continues to develop before our eyes. Indeed, all generations have called the Blessed Virgin Mary blessed, including this one, because she has never stopped interceding on behalf of the world, her intercession obtaining endless miraculous cures and other favours. The role of Mary in the area of obtaining physical miraculous cures is well known and documented in Lourdes, France, this being only one of the many holy places where the grace of God has been manifested through the Virgin Mary at apparition sites.
  • Is Mary the Mother of God? 39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? I don't see how you can't see Mary is the mother of God when the bible say it clear as day and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit while talking to Mother Mary. Posting Comment... Add a Comment
  • AN UNBROKEN HISTORY Jesus said his Church would be "the light of the world." He then noted that "a city set on a hill cannot be hid" (Matt. 5:14). This means his Church is a visible organization. It must have characteristics that clearly identify it and that distinguish it from other churches. Jesus promised, "I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). This means that his Church will never be destroyed and will never fall away from him. His Church will survive until his return. Among the Christian churches, only the Catholic Church has existed since the time of Jesus. Every other Christian church is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from unity with the pope in 1054. The Protestant churches were established during the Reformation, which began in 1517. (Most of today’s Protestant churches are actually offshoots of the original Protestant offshoots.) Only the Catholic Church existed in the tenth century, in the fifth century, and in the first century, faithfully teaching the doctrines given by Christ to the apostles, omitting nothing. The line of popes can be traced back, in unbroken succession, to Peter himself. This is unequaled by any institution in history. Even the oldest government is new compared to the papacy, and the churches that send out door-to-door missionaries are young compared to the Catholic Church. Many of these churches began as recently as the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. Some even began during your own lifetime. None of them can claim to be the Church Jesus established. The Catholic Church has existed for nearly 2,000 years, despite constant opposition from the world. This is testimony to the Church’s divine origin. It must be more than a merely human organization, especially considering that its human members— even some of its leaders—have been unwise, corrupt, or prone to heresy. Any merely human organization with such members would have collapsed early on. The Catholic Church is today the most vigorous church in the world (and the largest, with a billion members: one sixth of the human race), and that is testimony not to the cleverness of the Church’s leaders, but to the protection of the Holy Spirit. FOUR MARKS OF THE TRUE CHURCH If we wish to locate the Church founded by Jesus, we need to locate the one that has the four chief marks or qualities of his Church. The Church we seek must be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13, CCC 813–822) Jesus established only one Church, not a collection of differing churches (Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, and so on). The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23–32). Jesus can have but one spouse, and his spouse is the Catholic Church. His Church also teaches just one set of doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2). Although some Catholics dissent from officially-taught doctrines, the Church’s official teachers—the pope and the bishops united with him—have never changed any doctrine. Over the centuries, as doctrines are examined more fully, the Church comes to understand them more deeply (John 16:12–13), but it never understands them to mean the opposite of what they once meant. The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8, CCC 823–829) By his grace Jesus makes the Church holy, just as he is holy. This doesn’t mean that each member is always holy. Jesus said there would be both good and bad members in the Church (John 6:70), and not all the members would go to heaven (Matt. 7:21–23). But the Church itself is holy because it is the source of holiness and is the guardian of the special means of grace Jesus established, the sacraments (cf. Eph. 5:26). The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10, CCC 830–856) Jesus’ Church is called catholic ("universal" in Greek) because it is his gift to all people. He told his apostles to go throughout the world and make disciples of "all nations" (Matt. 28:19–20). For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has carried out this mission, preaching the good news that Christ died for all men and that he wants all of us to be members of his universal family (Gal. 3:28). Nowadays the Catholic Church is found in every country of the world and is still sending out missionaries to "make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19). The Church Jesus established was known by its most common title, "the Catholic Church," at least as early as the year 107, when Ignatius of Antioch used that title to describe the one Church Jesus founded. The title apparently was old in Ignatius’s time, which means it probably went all the way back to the time of the apostles. The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20, CCC 857–865) The Church Jesus founded is apostolic because he appointed the apostles to be the first leaders of the Church, and their successors were to be its future leaders. The apostles were the first bishops, and, since the first century, there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral Tradition (2 Tim. 2:2). These beliefs include the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the forgiveness of sins through a priest, baptismal regeneration, the existence of purgatory, Mary’s special role, and much more —even the doctrine of apostolic succession itself. Early Christian writings prove the first Christians were thoroughly Catholic in belief and practice and looked to the successors of the apostles as their leaders. What these first Christians believed is still believed by the Catholic Church. No other Church can make that claim. Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth Man’s ingenuity cannot account for this. The Church has remained one, holy, catholic, and apostolic—not through man’s effort, but because God preserves the Church he established (Matt. 16:18, 28:20). He guided the Israelites on their escape from Egypt by giving them a pillar of fire to light their way across the dark wilderness (Exod. 13:21). Today he guides us through his Catholic Church. The Bible, sacred Tradition, and the writings of the earliest Christians testify that the Church teaches with Jesus’ authority. In this age of countless competing religions, each clamoring for attention, one voice rises above the din: the Catholic Church, which the Bible calls "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). Jesus assured the apostles and their successors, the popes and the bishops, "He who listens to you listens to me, and he who rejects you rejects me" (Luke 10:16). Jesus promised to guide his Church into all truth (John 16:12–13). We can have confidence that his Church teaches only the truth. THE STRUCTURE OF THE CHURCH Jesus chose the apostles to be the earthly leaders of the Church. He gave them his own authority to teach and to govern—not as dictators, but as loving pastors and fathers. That is why Catholics call their spiritual leaders "father." In doing so we follow Paul’s example: "I became your father in Jesus Christ through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:15). The apostles, fulfilling Jesus’ will, ordained bishops, priests, and deacons and thus handed on their apostolic ministry to them—the fullest degree of ordination to the bishops, lesser degrees to the priests and deacons. The Pope and Bishops (CCC 880–883) Jesus gave Peter special authority among the apostles (John 21:15–17) and signified this by changing his name from Simon to Peter, which means "rock" (John 1:42). He said Peter was to be the rock on which he would build his Church (Matt. 16:18). In Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, Simon’s new name was Kepha (which means a massive rock). Later this name was translated into Greek as Petros (John 1:42) and into English as Peter. Christ gave Peter alone the "keys of the kingdom" (Matt. 16:19) and promised that Peter’s decisions would be binding in heaven. He also gave similar power to the other apostles (Matt. 18:18), but only Peter was given the keys, symbols of his authority to rule the Church on earth in Jesus’ absence. Christ, the Good Shepherd, called Peter to be the chief shepherd of his Church (John 21:15–17). He gave Peter the task of strengthening the other apostles in their faith, ensuring that they taught only what was true (Luke 22:31–32). Peter led the Church in proclaiming the gospel and making decisions (Acts 2:1– 41, 15:7–12). Early Christian writings tell us that Peter’s successors, the bishops of Rome (who from the earliest times have been called by the affectionate title of "pope," which means "papa"), continued to exercise Peter’s ministry in the Church. The pope is the successor to Peter as bishop of Rome. The world’s other bishops are successors to the apostles in general. HOW GOD SPEAKS TO US As from the first, God speaks to his Church through the Bible and through sacred Tradition. To make sure we understand him, he guides the Church’s teaching authority—the magisterium—so it always interprets the Bible and Tradition accurately. This is the gift of infallibility. Like the three legs on a stool, the Bible, Tradition, and the magisterium are all necessary for the stability of the Church and to guarantee sound doctrine. Sacred Tradition (CCC 75–83) Sacred Tradition should not be confused with mere traditions of men, which are more commonly called customs or disciplines. Jesus sometimes condemned customs or disciplines, but only if they were contrary to God’s commands (Mark 7:8). He never condemned sacred Tradition, and he didn’t even condemn all human tradition. Sacred Tradition and the Bible are not different or competing revelations. They are two ways that the Church hands on the gospel. Apostolic teachings such as the Trinity, infant baptism, the inerrancy of the Bible, purgatory, and Mary’s perpetual virginity have been most clearly taught through Tradition, although they are also implicitly present in (and not contrary to) the Bible. The Bible itself tells us to hold fast to Tradition, whether it comes to us in written or oral form (2 Thess. 2:15, 1 Cor. 11:2). Sacred Tradition should not be confused with customs and disciplines, such as the rosary, priestly celibacy, and not eating meat on Fridays in Lent. These are good and helpful things, but they are not doctrines. Sacred Tradition preserves doctrines first taught by Jesus to the apostles and later passed down to us through the apostles’ successors, the bishops. Scripture (CCC 101–141) Scripture, by which we mean the Old and New Testaments, was inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16). The Holy Spirit guided the biblical authors to write what he wanted them to write. Since God is the principal author of the Bible, and since God is truth itself (John 14:6) and cannot teach anything untrue, the Bible is free from all error in everything it asserts to be true. Some Christians claim, "The Bible is all I need," but this notion is not taught in the Bible itself. In fact, the Bible teaches the contrary idea (2 Pet. 1:20–21, 3:15–16). The "Bible alone" theory was not believed by anyone in the early Church. It is new, having arisen only in the 1500s during the Protestant Reformation. The theory is a "tradition of men" that nullifies the Word of God, distorts the true role of the Bible, and undermines the authority of the Church Jesus established (Mark 7:1–8). Although popular with many "Bible Christian" churches, the "Bible alone" theory simply does not work in practice. Historical experience disproves it. Each year we see additional splintering among "Bible-believing" religions. Today there are tens of thousands of competing denominations, each insisting its interpretation of the Bible is the correct one. The resulting divisions have caused untold confusion among millions of sincere but misled Christians. Just open up the Yellow Pages of your telephone book and see how many different denominations are listed, each claiming to go by the "Bible alone," but no two of them agreeing on exactly what the Bible means. We know this for sure: The Holy Spirit cannot be the author of this confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). God cannot lead people to contradictory beliefs because his truth is one. The conclusion? The "Bible alone" theory must be false. The Magisterium (CCC 85–87, 888–892) Together the pope and the bishops form the teaching authority of the Church, which is called the magisterium (from the Latin for "teacher"). The magisterium, guided and protected from error by the Holy Spirit, gives us certainty in matters of doctrine. The Church is the custodian of the Bible and faithfully and accurately proclaims its message, a task which God has empowered it to do. Keep in mind that the Church came before the New Testament, not the New Testament before the Church. Divinely-inspired members of the Church wrote the books of the New Testament, just as divinely-inspired writers had written the Old Testament, and the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit to guard and interpret the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Such an official interpreter is absolutely necessary if we are to understand the Bible properly. (We all know what the Constitution says, but we still need a Supreme Court to interpret what it means.) The magisterium is infallible when it teaches officially because Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles and their successors "into all truth" (John 16:12–13). HOW GOD DISTRIBUTES HIS GIFTS Jesus promised he would not leave us orphans (John 14:18) but would send the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us (John 15:26). He gave the sacraments to heal, feed, and strengthen us. The seven sacraments —baptism, the Eucharist, penance (also called reconciliation or confession), confirmation, holy orders, matrimony, and the anointing of the sick—are not just symbols. They are signs that actually convey God’s grace and love. The sacraments were foreshadowed in the Old Testament by things that did not actually convey grace but merely symbolized it (circumcision, for example, prefigured baptism, and the Passover meal prefigured the Eucharist. When Christ came, he did not do away with symbols of God’s grace. He supernaturalized them, energizing them with grace. He made them more than symbols. God constantly uses material things to show his love and power. After all, matter is not evil. When he created the physical universe, everything God created was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). He takes such delight in matter that he even dignified it through his own Incarnation (John 1:14). During his earthly ministry Jesus healed, fed, and strengthened people through humble elements such as mud, water, bread, oil, and wine. He could have performed his miracles directly, but he preferred to use material things to bestow his grace. In his first public miracle Jesus turned water into wine, at the request of his mother, Mary (John 2:1–11). He healed a blind man by rubbing mud on his eyes (John 9:1–7). He multiplied a few loaves and fish into a meal for thousands (John 6:5–13). He changed bread and wine into his own body and blood (Matt. 26:26– 28). Through the sacraments he continues to heal, feed, and strengthen us. Baptism (CCC 1213–1284) Because of original sin, we are born without grace in our souls, so there is no way for us to have fellowship with God. Jesus became man to bring us into union with his Father. He said no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is first born of "water and the Spirit" (John 3:5)—this refers to baptism. Through baptism we are born again, but this time on a spiritual level instead of a physical level. We are washed in the bath of rebirth (Titus 3:5). We are baptized into Christ’s death and therefore share in his Resurrection (Rom. 6:3–7). Baptism cleanses us of sins and brings the Holy Spirit and his grace into our souls (Acts 2:38, 22:16). And the apostle Peter is perhaps the most blunt of all: "Baptism now saves you" (1 Pet. 3:21). Baptism is the gateway into the Church. Penance (CCC 1422–1498) Sometimes on our journey toward the heavenly promised land we stumble and fall into sin. God is always ready to lift us up and to restore us to grace-filled fellowship with him. He does this through the sacrament of penance (which is also known as confession or reconciliation). Jesus gave his apostles power and authority to reconcile us to the Father. They received Jesus’ own power to forgive sins when he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:22–23). Paul notes that "all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation. . . . So, we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us" (2 Cor. 5:18–20). Through confession to a priest, God’s minister, we have our sins forgiven, and we receive grace to help us resist future temptations. The Eucharist (CCC 1322–1419) Once we become members of Christ’s family, he does not let us go hungry, but feeds us with his own body and blood through the Eucharist. In the Old Testament, as they prepared for their journey in the wilderness, God commanded his people to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts, so the Angel of Death would pass by their homes. Then they ate the lamb to seal their covenant with God. This lamb prefigured Jesus. He is the real "Lamb of God," who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Through Jesus we enter into a New Covenant with God (Luke 22:20), who protects us from eternal death. God’s Old Testament people ate the Passover lamb. Now we must eat the Lamb that is the Eucharist. Jesus said, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life within you" (John 6:53). At the Last Supper he took bread and wine and said, "Take and eat. This is my body . . . This is my blood which will be shed for you" (Mark 14:22–24). In this way Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrificial meal Catholics consume at each Mass. The Catholic Church teaches that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross occurred "once for all"; it cannot be repeated (Heb. 9:28). Christ does not "die again" during Mass, but the very same sacrifice that occurred on Calvary is made present on the altar. That’s why the Mass is not "another" sacrifice, but a participation in the same, once-for-all sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Paul reminds us that the bread and the wine really become, by a miracle of God’s grace, the actual body and blood of Jesus: "Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Cor. 11:27–29). After the consecration of the bread and wine, no bread or wine remains on the altar. Only Jesus himself, under the appearance of bread and wine, remains. Confirmation (CCC 1285–1321) God strengthens our souls in another way, through the sacrament of confirmation. Even though Jesus’ disciples received grace before his Resurrection, on Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to strengthen them with new graces for the difficult work ahead. They went out and preached the gospel fearlessly and carried out the mission Christ had given them. Later, they laid hands on others to strengthen them as well (Acts 8:14–17). Through confirmation you too are strengthened to meet the spiritual challenges in your life. Matrimony (CCC 1601–1666) Most people are called to the married life. Through the sacrament of matrimony God gives special graces to help married couples with life’s difficulties, especially to help them raise their children as loving followers of Christ. Marriage involves three parties: the bride, the groom, and God. When two Christians receive the sacrament of matrimony, God is with them, witnessing and blessing their marriage covenant. A sacramental marriage is permanent; only death can break it (Mark 10:1–12, Rom. 7:2–3, 1 Cor. 7:10–11). This holy union is a living symbol of the unbreakable relationship between Christ and his Church (Eph. 5:21–33). Holy Orders (CCC 1536–1600) Others are called to share specially in Christ’s priesthood. In the Old Covenant, even though Israel was a kingdom of priests (Exod. 19:6), the Lord called certain men to a special priestly ministry (Exod. 19: 22). In the New Covenant, even though Christians are a kingdom of priests (1 Pet. 2:9), Jesus calls certain men to a special priestly ministry (Rom. 15:15–16). This sacrament is called holy orders. Through it priests are ordained and thus empowered to serve the Church (2 Tim. 1:6–7) as pastors, teachers, and spiritual fathers who heal, feed, and strengthen God’s people—most importantly through preaching and the administration of the sacraments. Anointing of the Sick (CCC 1499–1532) Priests care for us when we are physically ill. They do this through the sacrament known as the anointing of the sick. The Bible instructs us, "Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. . . . Is any one among you sick? He should summon the presbyters [priests] of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven" (Jas. 5:14–15). Anointing of the sick not only helps us endure illness, but it cleanses our souls and helps us prepare to meet God. TALKING WITH GOD AND HIS SAINTS One of the most important activities for a Catholic is prayer. Without it there can be no true spiritual life. Through personal prayer and the communal prayer of the Church, especially the Mass, we worship and praise God, we express sorrow for our sins, and we intercede on behalf of others (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Through prayer we grow in our relationship with Christ and with members of God’s family (CCC 2663–2696). This family includes all members of the Church, whether on earth, in heaven, or in purgatory. Since Jesus has only one body, and since death has no power to separate us from Christ (Rom. 8:3–8), Christians who are in heaven or who, before entering heaven, are being purified in purgatory by God’s love (1 Cor. 3:12–15) are still part of the Body of Christ (CCC 962). Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:39). Those in heaven love us more intensely than they ever could have loved us while on earth. They pray for us constantly (Rev. 5:8), and their prayers are powerful (Jas. 5:16, CCC 956, 2683, 2692). Our prayers to the saints in heaven, asking for their prayers for us, and their intercession with the Father do not undermine Christ’s role as sole Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). In asking saints in heaven to pray for us we follow Paul’s instructions: "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone," for "this is good and pleasing to God our Savior" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). All members of the Body of Christ are called to help one another through prayer (CCC 2647). Mary’s prayers are especially effective on our behalf because of her relationship with her Son (John 2:1–11). God gave Mary a special role (CCC 490–511, 963– 975). He saved her from all sin (Luke 1:28, 47), made her uniquely blessed among all women (Luke 1:42), and made her a model for all Christians (Luke 1:48). At the end of her life he took her, body and soul, into heaven—an image of our own resurrection at the end of the world (Rev. 12:1–2). WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE? Old catechisms asked, "Why did God make you?" The answer: "God made me to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next." Here, in just 26 words, is the whole reason for our existence. Jesus answered the question even more briefly: "I came so that [you] might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). God’s plan for you is simple. Your loving Father wants to give you all good things—especially eternal life. Jesus died on the cross to save us all from sin and the eternal separation from God that sin causes (CCC 599–623). When he saves us, he makes us part of his Body, which is the Church (1 Cor. 12:27–30). We thus become united with him and with Christians everywhere (on earth, in heaven, in purgatory). What You Must Do to Be Saved Best of all, the promise of eternal life is a gift, freely offered to us by God (CCC 1727). Our initial forgiveness and justification are not things we "earn" (CCC 2010). Jesus is the mediator who bridged the gap of sin that separates us from God (1 Tim. 2:5); he bridged it by dying for us. He has chosen to make us partners in the plan of salvation (1 Cor. 3:9). The Catholic Church teaches what the apostles taught and what the Bible teaches: We are saved by grace alone, but not by faith alone (which is what "Bible Christians" teach; see Jas. 2:24). When we come to God and are justified (that is, enter a right relationship with God), nothing preceding justification, whether faith or good works, earns grace. But then God plants his love in our hearts, and we should live out our faith by doing acts of love (Gal. 6:2). Even though only God’s grace enables us to love others, these acts of love please him, and he promises to reward them with eternal life (Rom. 2:6–7, Gal. 6:6–10). Thus good works are meritorious. When we first come to God in faith, we have nothing in our hands to offer him. Then he gives us grace to obey his commandments in love, and he rewards us with salvation when we offer these acts of love back to him (Rom. 2:6–11, Gal. 6:6–10, Matt. 25:34–40). Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. "Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?" (Luke 6:46, Matt. 7:21–23, 19:16–21). We do not "earn" our salvation through good works (Eph. 2:8–9, Rom. 9:16), but our faith in Christ puts us in a special grace-filled relationship with God so that our obedience and love, combined with our faith, will be rewarded with eternal life (Rom. 2:7, Gal. 6:8–9). Paul said, "God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work" (Phil. 2:13). John explained that "the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:3–4, 3:19–24, 5:3–4). Since no gift can be forced on the recipient—gifts always can be rejected—even after we become justified, we can throw away the gift of salvation. We throw it away through grave (mortal) sin (John 15:5–6, Rom. 11:22–23, 1 Cor. 15:1–2; CCC 1854–1863). Paul tells us, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). Read his letters and see how often Paul warned Christians against sin! He would not have felt compelled to do so if their sins could not exclude them from heaven (see, for example, 1 Cor. 6:9–10, Gal. 5:19–21). Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God "will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life for those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness" (Rom. 2:6–8). Sins are nothing but evil works (CCC 1849–1850). We can avoid sins by habitually performing good works. Every saint has known that the best way to keep free from sins is to embrace regular prayer, the sacraments (the Eucharist first of all), and charitable acts. Are You Guaranteed Heaven? Some people promote an especially attractive idea: All true Christians, regardless of how they live, have an absolute assurance of salvation, once they accept Jesus into their hearts as "their personal Lord and Savior." The problem is that this belief is contrary to the Bible and constant Christian teaching. Keep in mind what Paul told the Christians of his day: "If we have died with him [in baptism; see Rom. 6:3–4] we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim. 2:11–12). If we do not persevere, we shall not reign with him. In other words, Christians can forfeit heaven (CCC 1861). The Bible makes it clear that Christians have a moral assurance of salvation (God will be true to his word and will grant salvation to those who have faith in Christ and are obedient to him [1 John 3:19–24]), but the Bible does not teach that Christians have a guarantee of heaven. There can be no absolute assurance of salvation. Writing to Christians, Paul said, "See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness to you, provided you remain in his kindness, otherwise you too will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22–23; Matt. 18:21–35, 1 Cor. 15:1–2, 2 Pet. 2:20–21). Note that Paul includes an important condition: "provided you remain in his kindness." He is saying that Christians can lose their salvation by throwing it away. He warns, "Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall" (1 Cor. 10:11–12). If you are Catholic and someone asks you if you have been "saved," you should say, "I am redeemed by the blood of Christ, I trust in him alone for my salvation, and, as the Bible teaches, I am ‘working out my salvation in fear and trembling’ (Phil. 2:12), knowing that it is God’s gift of grace that is working in me." THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE All the alternatives to Catholicism are showing themselves to be inadequate: the worn-out secularism that is everywhere around us and that no one any longer finds satisfying, the odd cults and movements that offer temporary community but no permanent home, even the other, incomplete brands of Christianity. As our tired world becomes ever more desperate, people are turning to the one alternative they never really had considered: the Catholic Church. They are coming upon truth in the last place they expected to find it. Always Attractive How can this be? Why are so many people seriously looking at the Catholic Church for the first time? Something is pulling them toward it. That something is truth. This much we know: They are not considering the claims of the Church out of a desire to win public favor. Catholicism, at least nowadays, is never popular. You cannot win a popularity contest by being a faithful Catholic. Our fallen world rewards the clever, not the good. If a Catholic is praised, it is for the worldly skills he demonstrates, not for his Christian virtues. Although people try to avoid the hard doctrinal and moral truths the Catholic Church offers them (because hard truths demand that lives be changed), they nevertheless are attracted to the Church. When they listen to the pope and the bishops in union with him, they hear words with the ring of truth—even if they find that truth hard to live by. When they contemplate the history of the Catholic Church and the lives of its saints, they realize there must be something special, maybe something supernatural, about an institution that can produce holy people such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Mother Teresa. When they step off a busy street and into the aisles of an apparently empty Catholic church, they sense not a complete emptiness, but a presence. They sense that Someone resides inside, waiting to comfort them. They realize that the persistent opposition that confronts the Catholic Church—whether from non-believers or "Bible Christians" or even from people who insist on calling themselves Catholics—is a sign of the Church’s divine origin (John 15:18–21). And they come to suspect that the Catholic Church, of all things, is the wave of the future. Incomplete Christianity Is Not Enough Over the last few decades many Catholics have left the Church, many dropping out of religion entirely, many joining other churches. But the traffic has not been in only one direction. The traffic toward Rome has increased rapidly. Today we are seeing more than a hundred and fifty thousand converts enter the Catholic Church each year in the United States, and in some other places, like the continent of Africa, there are more than a million converts to the Catholic faith each year. People of no religion, lapsed or inactive Catholics, and members of other Christian churches are "coming home to Rome." They are attracted to the Church for a variety of reasons, but the chief reason they convert is the chief reason you should be Catholic: The solid truth of the Catholic faith. Our separated brethren hold much Christian truth, but not all of it. We might compare their religion to a stained glass window in which some of the original panes were lost and have been replaced by opaque glass: Something that was present at the beginning is now gone, and something that does not fit has been inserted to fill up the empty space. The unity of the original window has been marred. When, centuries ago, they split away from the Catholic Church, the theological ancestors of these Christians eliminated some authentic beliefs and added new ones of their own making. The forms of Christianity they established are really incomplete Christianity. Only the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus, and only it has been able to preserve all Christian truth without any error—and great numbers of people are coming to see this. YOUR TASKS AS A CATHOLIC Your tasks as a Catholic, no matter what your age, are three: Know your Catholic faith. You cannot live your faith if you do not know it, and you cannot share with others what you do not first make your own (CCC 429). Learning your Catholic faith takes some effort, but it is effort well spent because the study is, quite literally, infinitely rewarding. Live your Catholic faith. Your Catholic faith is a public thing. It is not meant to be left behind when you leave home (CCC 2472). But be forewarned: Being a public Catholic involves risk and loss. You will find some doors closed to you. You will lose some friends. You will be considered an outsider. But, as a consolation, remember our Lord’s words to the persecuted: "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven" (Matt. 5:12). Spread your Catholic faith. Jesus Christ wants us to bring the whole world into captivity to the truth, and the truth is Jesus himself, who is "the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Spreading the faith is a task not only for bishops, priests, and religious—it is a task for all Catholics (CCC 905). Just before his Ascension, our Lord told his apostles, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19–20).
  • I pray to God through My Lord Jesus Christ. My Lord Jesus Christ as Priest- Satisfies God's justice: Romans 3:24-28 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, now his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Deliver's from God's wrath: Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Justifies the sinner: Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctifies the believer: 1Cor 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
  • No, because Mary (virgin or not) is not my goddess of choice.
  • Being that Mary has no supernatural or devine powers to change our eternal destiny in Christ Jesus, I dont Biblically see why anyone would. She is absolutely a significant and blessed person of the Bible but she was never meant to be prayed to or through. That is blasphemy in and of itself, to pray to anyone except the Father. Mary did not die for our sins nor is she part of the trinity, it is only through the blood of the lamb(Jesus Christ) that we are saved.
  • No. I Don't Believe.
  • No as Catholic's we don't pray directly to the Virgin Mary we pray for her Intercession with her son, our dear Lord Jesus. I had trouble getting my head around this when I became a Catholic if I'm honest. So, now when I pray the Rosary or any other Marian prayer I have a mental image of praying along side of her if you like. She is more like a role model for me and I view her in a sisterly way and as a fellow mother. She is a great inspiration of faith and unquestioning devotion but she is not God nor is she meant to replace Him or be His equal. HTH's pax CC
  • I pray to Mary directly- as a fallen away Catholic I believe in God, and Mary- not much else. Through everything I feel closer to Mary in many ways that I do not by my own mother. I dunno- I know most religious people think I'm nutz but I don't care. The Bible states that if you are devoted religion you should do it in your quiet ways not necessarily by telling other people what they're doing wrong (No I don't remember where it is offhand but I can find it if I need to). The Bible also states "Do not judge lest you yourself be judged" To me, people who push their religion on other people as opposed to being open about it are very much in the wrong.
  • No, respectively Mary cannot intercede for us to the Father or the Son ~John 14:6~ Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Mary was a woman used by God and should be credited only as a servant of God which she states herself. How can we rely on Mary for anything when she herself was in need of a Savior as we all are? Mary speaking of Jesus... ~Luke 1:46-47~ 46 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. Mary is not the "Mother of God" because Jesus didn't originate in her womb. ~John 8:58~ "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
  • Only almighty God should be prayed to...and always via Jesus... (John 14:6) Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Praying to Mary is unscriptural...
  • were in the bible does it say to pray To the saints or Angels? Where does it say in the bible that Mary was taken into heaven after she Died? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (John 3:13 KJV)
  • all of you forget that mary was chosen by God to do his work. Her job was to bring jesus into this world. Every person in the bible had a job to do for God! Mary did not raise people from the dead, cure the sick, or cast out demons. All she did was bring him to this world & raise him like a mother should till it was time for jesus to do his work & save us. Ask yourself this question...Who created Mary? And remember this always worship the creator & not the things he created. No need to stop & ask mary to pray for us, when you can go straight to God.
  • No I don't...

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