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Virgin Mary Mother Of God | Catholicism vs Protestantism | The Rosary

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The Gospel Of Saint Luke 1: 26-38 | King James Audio Bible | King James Version | KJV

Do Catholics Worship The Virgin Mary?

Catholics do not worship Mary, the mother of Jesus. Rather, Catholics pray to and honour and venerate Mary as the mother of God, and hold Mary in highest possible regard. Catholics believe that Mary was a woman of faith who played a special role in the history of salvation, and that she is a powerful intercessor who can pray on our behalf to God. Catholics pray to Mary and to other saints as a way of seeking their help or intervention, though not in the same way that they/we would pray directly to God. Catholics believe that Mary and the saints can offer them/us spiritual support and encouragement as they/we strive to live lives of faith.

Is The Rosary A Prayer To Mary?

The Rosary is a devotion in the Catholic Church that involves the repetition of prayers using a string of beads. It is a prayer to Mary, and a way of meditating on the life of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. The main focus of the Rosary is on the mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary, and it is intended to help Catholics grow in their understanding of and devotion to Christ. The Rosary is made up of a series of prayers, including the ‘Our Father,’ the ‘Hail Mary,’ and the ‘Glory Be to the Father,’ as well as specific passages from the Bible. Catholics may pray the Rosary alone or in a group, and it is often seen as a way of deepening one’s relationship with God and growing in spiritual understanding.

Why Is The Prayer Hail Mary Repeated So Much?

The ‘Hail Mary’ is repeated many times during the Rosary because it is one of the main prayers of the devotion. Catholics may also say the ‘Hail Mary’ as a standalone devotion, asking Mary to pray and to intercede on their/our behalf with God.

Is There A Psychological Impact Of The Repetition Of The Prayer?

The repetition of prayers, such as the ‘Hail Mary’, can have a calming and centring effect on the person praying. The act of saying the same words over and over can help to clear the mind and focus the thoughts, allowing the person to enter into a deeper state of contemplation and connection with God. Repetitive prayers can also serve as a form of meditation, helping the person to quiet their thoughts and emotions and find a sense of peace and inner stillness.

In addition to the psychological effects, the repetition of prayers can also have spiritual significance for those who practice them. For Catholics, the repetition of the ‘Hail Mary’ and other prayers during the Rosary is a way of contemplating the life of Jesus and Mary and deepening one’s relationship with God. It can also be a way of expressing devotion and seeking the intercession of Mary and the saints.

How Are The Lives Of Jesus And Mary Recalled In The Rosary?

There are twenty mysteries of the Rosary, which are divided into four categories: the Joyful Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, and the Glorious Mysteries. Each mystery is associated with specific events in the life of Jesus and Mary and is accompanied by specific prayers.

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary recall events in the life of Jesus and Mary that are seen as sources of joy and celebration. They include:

  1. The Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:26-38).
  2. The Visitation, when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and greeted her with the words, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’ (Luke 1:39-56).
  3. The Nativity, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-20).
  4. The Presentation, when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to be presented to God and to be purified according to the Law of Moses (Luke 2:22-38).
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple, when Mary and Joseph lost track of Jesus and found him in the Temple, where he was talking with the teachers (Luke 2:41-52).

The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary recall events in the life of Jesus that are seen as particularly revealing of his identity and mission. They include:

  1. The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and the voice of God declared, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:13-17).
  2. The Wedding at Cana, when Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at the request of his mother, Mary (John 2:1-12).
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, when Jesus began his public ministry by preaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand and calling people to repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:14-15).
  4. The Transfiguration, when Jesus was transfigured on a mountain in the presence of Peter, James, and John, and the voice of God declared, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him’ (Matthew 17:1-8).
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist, when Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’ (Luke 22:19-20).

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary recall events in the life of Jesus and Mary that are seen as sources of sorrow and suffering. They include:

  1. The Agony in the Garden, when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and asked God to let the cup of suffering pass from him, but also declared his willingness to do God’s will (Matthew 26:36-44).
  2. The Scourging at the Pillar, when Jesus was scourged and beaten by the Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:26).
  3. The Crowning with Thorns, when Jesus was mocked and crowned with thorns by the soldiers (Matthew 27:29).
  4. The Carrying of the Cross, when Jesus carried the cross on which he would be crucified to Calvary (Matthew 27:31-32).
  1. The Crucifixion, when Jesus was crucified on the cross and died for the sins of humanity (Matthew 27:33-56).

The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary recall events in the life of Jesus and Mary that are seen as sources of glory and triumph. They include:

  1. The Resurrection of Jesus, when Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death (Matthew 28:1-10).
  2. The Ascension of Jesus, when Jesus ascended into heaven and seated himself at the right hand of God (Luke 24:50-53).
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples at Pentecost, empowering them to proclaim the gospel and to perform miracles (Acts 2:1-4).
  4. The Assumption of Mary, when Mary was taken up into heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly life (this event is not recorded in the Bible, but it is a traditional belief of the Catholic Church).
  5. The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth, when Mary was crowned queen of heaven and earth in recognition of her special role in the history of salvation and her intercessory power with God (this event is not recorded in the Bible, but it is a traditional belief of the Catholic Church).

As Catholics pray the Rosary, they meditate on these mysteries and seek to enter more deeply into the life of Jesus and Mary through the repetition of prayers and the contemplation of the events of their lives.

How Then Should I Pray The Rosary?

To pray the Rosary, Catholics follow a specific sequence of prayers and meditate on the mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary. Here is the basic structure of the Rosary:

  1. Begin by making the sign of the cross: ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’
  2. Say the Apostles’ Creed: ‘I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.’
  3. Say the ‘Our Father: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.’
  4. Say three ‘Hail Mary’ prayers, each one followed by the ‘Glory Be to the Father’:

‘Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.’

  1. Announce the first mystery and say the ‘Our Father’ prayer.
  2. Say ten ‘Hail Mary’ prayers, followed by the ‘Glory Be to the Father’ prayer after each one.
  3. After saying the ten ‘Hail Mary’ prayers, say the ‘Fatima Prayer’: ‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.’
  4. Announce the second mystery and repeat the sequence of prayers (Our Father, ten Hail Mary’s, Glory Be to the Father, and the Fatima Prayer).
  5. Continue this sequence, announcing each of the mysteries and praying the appropriate number of Hail Mary’s, until all twenty mysteries have been prayed.
  6. Conclude the Rosary with the ‘Hail, Holy Queen’: ‘Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.’
  7. Make the sign of the cross: ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’

That is the basic structure of the Rosary.

What Does It Mean That We Are Called To Imitate Mary?

Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is an example of faith, humility, and obedience, and that we are called to imitate her virtues in our own lives. This belief is based on the biblical account of Mary’s life, which portrays her as a woman of great faith and devotion to God. For example, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would give birth to the Son of God, Mary responded with great faith and humility, saying, ‘I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word’ (Luke 1:38).

Throughout the Gospels, Mary is shown to be a model of faith and devotion to God, and Catholics believe that she can serve as an example for us as we seek to grow in our own faith and relationship with God. For example, in the Gospel of John, Jesus says to the crowds, ‘Do whatever he tells you’ (John 2:5). This statement is often seen as a reference to Mary and an encouragement for us to follow her example of obedience to God.

In addition to being an example of faith and obedience, Mary is also seen as a model of maternal love and care. In the Gospels, Mary is shown to be deeply concerned for the well-being of her son, Jesus, and to be deeply involved in his life and ministry. Catholics believe that Mary can serve as an example of maternal love and care for all mothers, and that she can intercede on behalf of mothers and their children.

Catholics believe that Mary is a powerful intercessor and that she can pray on our behalf to God. We can ask Mary to intercede for us and to help us to grow in our faith and to follow the example of her own faith and devotion to God. By imitating Mary’s virtues and seeking her intercession, we can grow in our own faith and seek to follow the will of God in our own lives.

What Is Intercession?

In the context of the Catholic faith, intercession refers to the act of praying on behalf of someone else. Catholics believe that it is possible to ask for the prayers of the saints and of the Virgin Mary, and that these prayers can be powerful in helping to bring about the graces and blessings that we need in our lives.

The concept of intercession is based on the belief that the saints and Mary have a special relationship with God and that they can intercede with Him on our behalf. This belief is rooted in the biblical idea of the ‘communion of saints,’ which refers to the belief that the Church is made up of all believers, both living and deceased, who are united in Christ and who can support and pray for one another.

In the Catholic tradition, Mary is seen as a particularly powerful intercessor, and Catholics may ask her to pray for them and to intercede on their behalf with God. This belief is based on the role of Mary as the mother of Jesus and on the biblical accounts of her life, which portray her as a woman of great faith and devotion to God.

Does This Imply That God Can Change His Mind?

The concept of intercession in the Catholic faith does not imply that God can change His mind or that He is somehow swayed by the prayers of others. God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and unchanging, and His plans and purposes are not determined by the prayers of His people.

However, Catholics believe that God is sovereign and that He works through the prayers of His people to bring about His will. As the Bible says, ‘The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working’ (James 5:16). Therefore, Catholics believe that the prayers of the saints and of the Virgin Mary can be powerful in helping to bring about the graces and blessings that we need in our lives, even if this does not necessarily involve a change in God’s plan or purpose.

In the Catholic faith, intercession is seen as a way of participating in the work of God and of seeking His will for our lives. It is a way of expressing our dependence on Him and of acknowledging that all good things come from Him. By asking for the intercession of the saints and of Mary, Catholics believe that they can draw closer to God and seek His will for their lives.

What Are Protestant Perspectives On Mary And How Do These Differ From Catholic Faith?

Protestants generally do not believe in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin and was therefore sinless throughout her life. They may view Mary as a godly woman who was chosen by God to bear His son, but do not believe that she was free from sin or that she remained a virgin after the birth of Jesus. For example, the Westminster Confession of Faith, a statement of belief held by many Protestant denominations, states that ‘all men are conceived and born in sin’ and that ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus, being a human being, was conceived and born in sin.’

As a general rule, and this is at risk of over-generalization, Protestants also do not pray to Mary or ask for her intercession. They believe that it is important to approach God directly through Jesus Christ and that we do not need to go through Mary or any other intermediaries to communicate with God. This belief is based on the teachings of the Bible, which state that ‘there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 2:5).

Generally speaking, Protestants do not have the same devotion to Mary as Catholics. (The Anglican Church / The Church Of England constitutes a separate category in this regard.) While Catholics may honour Mary as the mother of Jesus and as a model of faith and devotion, Protestants generally do not have the same level of devotion to Mary and may focus more on the teachings of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in their worship and devotion.

While Catholics believe that Mary was sinless and a powerful intercessor and honour her with devotion, Protestants do not hold these beliefs and may view Mary as a biblical figure of importance, but not as someone to be prayed to or asked for intercession.

How And Why Do Catholics Believe That Mary Was A Virgin?

Catholics believe that Mary was a virgin at the time of the conception and birth of Jesus for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the main arguments and perspectives:

  1. Biblical evidence: One of the main reasons that Catholics believe in the virginity of Mary is because of the biblical accounts of the conception and birth of Jesus. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both describe the circumstances of Jesus’ birth and specifically mention Mary’s virginity. For example, the angel Gabriel tells Mary, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’ (Luke 1:35). This passage is seen as indicating that the conception of Jesus was a miraculous event that was brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than through natural means.
  2. Theological and spiritual considerations: Catholics also believe that Mary’s virginity is an important aspect of her role as the mother of Jesus and that it is a sign of her special relationship with God. They believe that Mary’s virginity reflects her total dedication to God and her willingness to be used by Him for His purposes. Some Catholics also see Mary’s virginity as a symbol of her purity and her spiritual consecration to God.
  3. Historical context: Catholics also point to the historical context of the time in which Mary lived as a reason for believing in her virginity. In Jewish culture of the time, it was highly unusual for a woman to be married and not have children, and it was seen as a sign of divine disfavor. For this reason, it is believed that Mary and Joseph would have had children if it had been possible.
  4. Psychological analysis: Some Catholics also point to psychological factors as a reason for believing in Mary’s virginity. They argue that Mary’s reputation as a virgin would not have been maintained if it had not been true, and that it would have been easy to expose her as having had children if she had not been a virgin. They also point out that Mary’s virginity is a key part of the Christian faith and that it would have been difficult for the early Church to maintain its beliefs about Jesus’ divinity if Mary had not been a virgin.

Catholics see Mary’s virginity as an important aspect of her role as the mother of Jesus and as a sign of her special relationship with God.

What Is Meant When We Say That Mary Is The Immaculate Conception?

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin and was therefore free from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception. This doctrine is based on the belief that Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus and that she was given a special grace that preserved her from the effects of the fall of humanity.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was declared a dogma of the Catholic Church in 1854, and it is widely accepted by Catholics as a part of their faith. According to this doctrine, Mary was preserved from original sin by the grace of God and was therefore able to bear the Son of God in her womb without any interference from sin. This belief is seen as a sign of Mary’s special relationship with God and as a reflection of her great faith and devotion to Him.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is based on the biblical accounts of the conception and birth of Jesus, as well as on the teachings of the Church and the writings of the Church Fathers. It is a central part of Catholic belief and is seen as an important aspect of Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus and as a model of faith and devotion for Catholics.

How Does This Relate To Original Sin?

Original sin is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that teaches that all human beings are born with a tendency to do evil and to turn away from God. This belief is based on the biblical account of the fall of humanity in the book of Genesis, in which Adam and Eve sinned against God by disobeying His command and were subsequently punished. According to this belief, the sin of Adam and Eve is passed down to all of their descendants and is present in every person from the moment of their conception.

The doctrine of original sin teaches that because of this inherited sinfulness, all human beings are in need of salvation and that we cannot achieve salvation by our own efforts or merit. We are dependent on the grace of God to be reconciled to Him and to be saved from the consequences of sin.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, on the other hand, teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin and was therefore free from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception. This belief is based on the belief that Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus and was given a special grace that preserved her from the effects of the fall of humanity. According to this doctrine, Mary was able to bear the Son of God in her womb without any interference from sin and was therefore able to fulfill her role as the mother of the Savior.

Was Jesus Rude To Mary?

The Gospels depict Jesus as having a close and loving relationship with Mary and as showing her great respect and honour.

For example, in the Gospel of John, Jesus is described as being present at a wedding where the wine runs out. Mary tells Jesus about the situation, and Jesus responds by performing his first miracle, turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). This passage shows that Jesus was obedient to Mary and that he was willing to use his divine power to help her in a time of need.

There is also the incident at the cross, where Jesus entrusts Mary to the care of the apostle John (John 19:26-27). This passage shows that Jesus was concerned for Mary’s well-being and that he trusted John to take care of her.

In the Gospel of Saint Mark, Mary and Jesus’ brothers come to see him while he is teaching and are unable to get to him because of the crowds (Mark 3:31-35). In this passage, Jesus is described as saying, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?… Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.’

This statement by Jesus has been interpreted in different ways by different people. Some see it as a rejection of Mary and Jesus’ brothers, while others see it as a reaffirmation of their relationship.

One possible interpretation of this passage is that Jesus is using it as an opportunity to teach about the importance of following God’s will and to emphasize that those who do His will are his true family. In this interpretation, Jesus is not rejecting Mary and his brothers, but rather is using the opportunity to teach a lesson about the nature of true family and the importance of obedience to God.

Another possible interpretation is that Jesus is using this opportunity to challenge the idea of family ties and to encourage his followers to see themselves as part of a larger spiritual family that transcends earthly relationships. In this interpretation, Jesus is not rejecting Mary and his brothers, but rather is reminding his followers that their ultimate loyalty should be to God and His will.

How Should I Pray When I Light A Candle To Mary?

There are many ways that you can pray when lighting a candle to Mary. Here are a few ideas:

  1. You could begin by expressing your intention for the prayer. For example, you might say, ‘Dear Mary, I am lighting this candle as a sign of my love and devotion to you. Please intercede for me and for all those who are dear to me.’
  2. You could then offer a specific prayer or petition. For example, you might say, ‘Dear Mary, please pray for the healing of (name of person) and for the strength and courage of all those who are suffering. Help me to trust in God’s will and to find peace and comfort in His love.’
  3. You could also offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings in your life. For example, you might say, ‘Dear Mary, I am grateful for your love and protection. Thank you for all the blessings that God has given me and for the many ways in which you have helped me to grow in my faith. Please continue to pray for me and for all those who are dear to me.’
  4. Finally, you could conclude your prayer with a traditional prayer to Mary, such as the Hail Mary or the Memorare.

Remember there is no one ‘right’ way to pray when lighting a candle to Mary. The most important thing is to be sincere and to express your love and devotion to her with a heart open to God’s will.