~ Catholic Faith ~
QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT MARY
(from: "Begining Apologetics" - How to Explain and Defend The Catholic Faith
By: Father Frank Chacon & Jim Burnham)
Why do Catholics adore Mary, who is just a human being?
Catholics do not adore Mary, we venerate and honor her. Why? The angel calls her "full of grace," and one who has "found favor with God" (Lk 1:28, 30 RSVCE); Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit calls her "blessed among women" (v. 42); and Mary herself declares that "all generations shall call me blessed" (v. 48). Catholics, following Scripture, always call her blessed. Do you?
Why do Catholics call Mary the "Mother of God"? Wouldn't this mean Mary existed before God, or that she is older than God?"
We call Mary Mother of God because she gave birth to Jesus, who is God. We follow the Spirit-filled Elizabeth who declared in Luke 1:43: "how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Jesus is true God and true man: two natures in one undivided Person. By being the Mother of Jesus, Mary is also the Mother of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Mary did not give birth merely to a human nature, but to
a person, the Son of God who took from her flesh a pure human nature. Lk 1:35: "the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." Gal 4:4: "God sent His Son, born of a woman." If Jesus is truly God-made-man, the Mary is truly the Mother of God. Obviously, Mary did not exist before God. Jesus is the Son of God from all eternity, who became also the Son of Mary in time.
Why do Catholics believe Mary was immaculately conceived? Roman 3:23 says that "ALL HAVE SINNED and are deprived of the glory of God."
Luke writes that Mary is full of grace, highly favored. Lk 1:37: "For with God nothing shall be impossible." She is the "woman" of Gen 3:15 whose enmity with Satan and sin is absolute. She is the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 25:11-21) made to hold the living Word of God: a holy tabernacle made not of the purest gold, but
of the purest flesh. St. Paul is emphasizing the universal aspect of sin extending to Jews and Gentiles alike. Babies have not sinned; Adam and Eve before the fall had not sinned; Jesus never sinned. These are some exceptions that fall outside St. Paul's condemnation. Mary is another.
If Mary never sinned, she doesn't need a savior. So why does Mary say in Luke 1:47: "my spirit rejoices in God MY SAVIOR."
Mary was saved by the merits of Christ, just as we are. The difference between Mary and other Christians is that her salvation from sin was more perfect. While we are freed from original sin at our baptism, Mary was preserved from original sin at her conception. But Jesus is the Savior in both cases.
Why do Catholics believe that Mary was a Perpetual Virgin? Matt. 13:55-56 says that Jesus had brothers and sisters.
Catholics are not alone in this belief. Protestant Reformers Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli also defended the perpetual virginity of Mary. The Hebrew and Aramaic languages spoken by Christ and His disciples do not have separate words for "brother," "cousin," or "near-relative." For example, in the original Hebrew, Lot is called Abraham's "brother" (Gen 14:14). Yet we know that Lot was Abraham's nephew (Gen 11:27). The Jews used the word "brother" for any near relative, without necessarily meaning "blood-brothers."
Why do Catholics believe that Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven?
Scripture does not record the Assumption of Mary, so we depend on Apostolic Tradition for our belief. owever, the Assumption is not anti-scriptural. In fact, Scripture gives every indication that such a thing could occur. Consider the unusual ends of certain righteous people: Enoch, was taken to heaven without dying (Heb 11:5); and Elijah was whisked into heaven by fiery chariot (2 King 2:11). Matthew 27:52 suggests a bodily assumption before the Second Coming, and most Protestants believe in the "rapture" based on the events described in 1 Thess 4:17 and 1 Cor 15:52. Mary is simply the first to be "raptured."