Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why do Catholics honor Mary?

Catholics place a lot of honor and respect with Mary and that’s hard for some people to understand. After all, we’re all created equal, no one is greater than anyone else; we’re all brothers and sisters underneath a loving God, right?

True, but what about the 3rd commandment of “Honor thy father and mother”? I thought we were all equals, but now I’m supposed to honor my mother? That makes sense, she did give me life, take care of me, change my diaper, and all that. I guess I can honor my own father and mother, but why Mary?

We read in the Gospels that Jesus says, from the cross no less, to John, the beloved disciple, that Mary is now his own mother.

“When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. “ (John 19:26-27 NAB)

As believers in Apostolic Succession, Catholics pretty much try to do whatever the Apostles did (the good things, anyway). One of the things they taught us through tradition is to honor Mary as if she were our own mother, citing Jesus words from the cross. As the 3rd commandment teaches we are then obligated to honor her. She isn’t equal with Jesus, she’s not part of the Trinity, but she is to be honored as the mother not just of individuals, but as the Mother of God.

If any mother deserves to be honored (and they all do) I think Mary should be at the top of all our lists. Besides, where in the Bible does it say not to honor her?


The Wife said...

Mary is an unbelievable woman to want to emulate!!! I ask her for prayers and wisdom everyday! Go Mary!!!

Great blog!

Anonymous said...

come on, we all know many catholics cross the line of church teaching and do much more than honor her. Put it this way ,whatever they do with Jesus they do with Mary. It is splitting hairs between honor and worship. There is no historical, biblical, 1st century evidence of praying to her or to any one who has died(except Jesus). No, jews did not pray to or thru,or ask for prayers from David or Moses or Abraham after their death....So please, her elevation is extrabiblical, way above honor.

dave r said...

was it not the fifth commandment to honor parents ? It seems so spiritual, to do like the apostles, but you have really paganized this beautiful, personal scene to mean she is our mother. You and I are not apostolic successors. At best the pope is for you, then let the pope honor Mary as mother, but not you and I. Did Peter honor her as mother ? No. He did not take her in to his household. So I'll follow Peter but you follow John, howbeit incorrectly.....I am glad you mention TRADITION, for that is what Marionism is .It is extrabiblical and some of it unbiblical (that she had no sin,contrary to scripture). Just like it may be, it may also not be. Indeed, many of such stories were declared heretical by early popes. Suffice it say, Marionism has had a bumpy ride, with deaths and murder between differing groups of monks, to early church fathers having differing views(Jerome, Aquinas). Indeed there is also hints of paganism influencing this dogma. As C.S. Lewis wrote, "those ignorant of history are slaves to the most recent past". So this rosy picture of Mary and all her exploits and positions has not always been.THERE IS NO CLEAN LINK OF MARIONISM TO THE APOSTLES ........At the very least, reread again and again this beautiful account by John ,at the foot of the cross. See if it is not so, that Jesus was speaking symbolically of a spiritual reality, that according to the spirit of jewish law ,provision is made for the person left behind. Tell me, if you were surrounded by unbelief to the point of possible death, would you entrust your mother to a non believer? If there were only a few believers around ,and your mother were one of them, would you not entrust her to one who has loved you in the faith ? Remember Jesus said I come to bring division in families ,in people over this faith ? Remeber He said he who does the will of my Father is my mother ,brother ,sister ? Spirit is thicker than blood . That is why Jesus had to say this to John, and NOT entrust her to other existing family blood members as provided by jewish law(wether you believe them to be sons or cousins or step sons)...I know we love and need beautiful stories,and forgive me if I seem to be knocking yours(on Mary), but may it be that I am pleading for you to see "mine".