8 months ago #22379
David W. EmeryKeymaster@David W. Emery
It’s a matter of definitions, DebbieT. Evangelicals, along with most Protestants, define “prayer” as worship. But Catholics do not.
In the history of the English language, the word “prayer” did not acquire its current Evangelical meaning (as “worship” only) until the rise of Evangelicals in the United States in the 19th century. Previous to that, it simply meant “asking,” of anyone — human beings included — in a general sense. (If you doubt this, you haven’t read Shakespeare, Dickens and many of the other classic authors. Even today, this usage is accepted in legal language.) This is what Catholics mean when they speak of prayer: simply “asking,” whether of God or man, indifferently. Therefore, theologically, from their own standpoint, Catholics asking (“praying to”) a saint, such as Mary, to pray to (“ask”) God for us should be seen as legitimate.
Praying to (or “asking”) saints does bring up an additional issue for Evangelicals, concerning the Communion of Saints, and whether it isn’t better to go directly to God. But that’s a different topic for another thread, if you would like to discuss it.
David8 months ago #22382
This is definitely something I struggled with- there are a couple of aspects to this, or at least there were for me.
8 months ago #22386
- I found that because “Praise and Worship” were a single genre of music in Protestant circles, I was using the two terms interchangeably. Praise honors what God does, worship honors who He is, to put it oversimply. We praise all kinds of people for things they’ve done, but worship is for God alone, because only He alone is worthy of it in Himself.
- As Jennie pointed out, prayer always has God as its object. Therefore, even if you pray to the saints (although it’s better understood as praying “through” the saints), you’re asking them to go to God with you, just like you’d ask any holy person on earth to pray for your request with you. Even the Hail Mary is a request for Mary to go to God for us (“Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death”). And if, as we’re told in James 5:16, “The prayer of a righteous man has great power,” then the communion of saints, that body of righteous believers who have gone ahead of us, should make for pretty solid intercessors.
There are a thousand other aspects to this, but those were two thoughts that helped me as I was wrestling with the concept.
Howard HampsonKeymaster@Howard the Pilgrim
Different Christian groups each have their own dialect of Christian terminology. Within a short period of time, I can often tell a person’s theological tradition by the terms and expressions they use. They may even use the same word but mean something very different by it.8 months ago #223878 months ago #22388
I can offer only what I have come to know and believe about Mary from my own study this past year. This past year I started my journey back to the CC and in the beginning of that journey I wasn’t sure if I could get past the issue I was having about Mary. I had been led to believe many false ideas about Mary from my 11 years in a non-denominational church. The Bible talks about what faith is, it’s being sure of the things we hope for and knowing something is real even if we don’t physically see it. I started praying for the eyes to see. It was when I researched what the rosary was and the Biblical history that I started seeing her truly as our blessed mother. She wasn’t just a humble servant, she was chosen from the beginning to be the mother of God.
The resources I used to study her life was the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a book titled This Is Our Faith by MichaelPennock. I also researched different sites on Google. I really don’t see that the gap between what Protestants believe about Mary and what Catholics believe will ever come closer on the subject of Mary unless God would allow it to happen. That’s how I view it from my experience.
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