Google’s Most-Searched Questions
Why do Catholics “Worship” Mary?
Hi! I’m Patrick Ginty, and welcome to Catholic NC TV, in this installation of Google’s Most Searched Questions: Catholic Edition. In this episode, we’re going to be looking at the #1 and the #6 most asked questions about Catholics on Google. They are “Why do Catholics pray to Mary?“, and, “Why do Catholics worship Mary?”
The first thing we need to clarify about Catholics and their prayer to Mary, is that question #6 should not even exist. We do NOT worship Mary. We only worship God. We are monotheists. Mary, the saints, and everyone else are not God. Only God is God. He is the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So number six, let’s just get that out of the way.
Let’s get to the real question: “Why do Catholics pray to Mary?” We already know that it’s not worship, so we know we’re not being idolatrous, and we’re not putting gods before God. Mary is not a god to us. But why do we pray to her? First of all, you have to understand what our prayer actually includes. It includes praise, it includes petitioning Mary, and it also includes honor. The reason we do this, and the reason that it’s not sinful and it’s not against our Christian faith, is because we already do all these things with human beings here on earth! We praise people all the time! I just went to my girl’s kindergarten graduation, and they gave her a diploma, and everyone clapped and everyone praised her for getting such good grades in kindergarten. Praising other humans is not against our faith!
Also, let’s look at honoring. You know, we are actually told in the ten commandments to honor our mother and to honor our father (Exodus 20:12, KJV). And so honoring other human beings, that’s also not against our faith.
And then asking for intercession, petitioning the Blessed Virgin Mary, it’s another thing that we also do here on earth all the time! I’m a sinner! I am very far from being where I’m supposed to be as a Christian, and I people to pray for me all the time, and people ask me to pray for them all the time! This is a very Christian thing to do! And this is what we do with Mary.
The next thing you might say is, “Hey, but Patrick, you know, you’re talking about people on earth; Mary’s dead! So why can you do all those things with someone who is dead? That’s what makes it wrong!” And I’ll just say this: first of all, when you say Mary is dead, you have to remember that as Christians, we believe that even though we die, we are still alive in Christ; that we are with him in heaven, especially if we are “saved”, if we’ve accepted Christ, if He’s living in us, and we die in a state of grace. Even Romans 6 talks about Christ being alive in us, and us being alive in Christ. My question to you is: is Mary more dead, or is she more alive? Was she more alive here on earth, or is she more alive now that she’s fully with Jesus Christ in heaven? And if she’s still alive in Christ in heaven, then we can treat her as any other human being on earth! Honoring her, praising her, and asking her for petition. The second imagery that we can use for people who are in heaven, but that are still alive in Christ, is John 15, where Jesus says, ‘I am the vine and you are the branches’, and then he talks about us as the ones who produce the fruit. I ask you one question about that, too. Mary, who is in heaven with Jesus, is she, all of a sudden, cut off from the vine? Is she no longer a branch? Can she and the people that are in heaven no longer produce fruit? And if you say that they can’t, show me where that’s in Scripture.
What we know about heaven and the people that are in heaven is this: St. Paul says, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard. It hasn’t even entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.’ (1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV). We believe that the people that are in heaven are still united with us in Christ. They help us because they want us to be there with them. It’s not against Scripture.
It’s not against Christianity. It’s not against our faith. It’s something that Jesus wants for us, and that’s why we pray to Mary.
I’m Patrick Ginty, and from all of us here at Catholic NC TV, may God bless you and your families.