I was just wondering why the Catholic Church seems to put so much emphasis on the the Virgin Mary. I have several Catholic friends, all who know the "hail Mary" thing, but none of them seem to know why they worship Mary. Just wondering if any of you (Catholic or not) could enlighten me.
I am a Catholic, so I will try to tell you what the Catholic Church believes instead of what non-Catholics think the Church believes. (And I'm not sure what all this Teresa business is...)
First of all, we do not worship Mary. All official Church documents that deal with the Blessed Virgin are explicit in that regard. We do, pray they Hail Mary, but that is not worship. I will explain that shortly.
We believe that the Virgin Mary was the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth, God incarnate. Because she was Jesus' mother, he honored her according to the commandment "Honor thy Father and thy mother."
As Christ's mother, she had "pull" with Jesus. One notable example is the Wedding feast at Cana. Jesus and Mary are at a wedding; the wine runs out; Mary tells Jesus that the wine ran out. Jesus responds, "Woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4; some people think that Jesus was rebuking her, but watch what happens next.) Mary turns to the servants and says, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). When the servants do what Jesus tells them, he miraculously turns the water into wine, even though his time had not come. That is the type of "pull" that Mary had with Jesus.
Furhtermore, when Jesus was dying, he spoke to Mary and the Apostle John at the foot of the cross. He said to her "Woman, behold your son!" (John 19:26). And he said to John "behold your mother" (John 19:27). The Church believes and professes, that Christ gave his mother Mary to be the Mother of the entire Church universal. For those who think that this is a bit of a stretch, allow me to explain differently.
Mary is the Mother of the Lord, Jesus Christ (see Lk. 1:43; Gal 4:4). The Universal Church is the bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-32). Because the Church is his bride, we are also his body (see Col 1:24; Rom 7:2-4). If then we are one with Christ through marriage, then we are one flesh indeed (see Gen 2:24; Mt. 19:5-6). It follows then, then Mary, as Christ Jesus' Mother will also be our mother because of the marriage of the lamb with his bride (Rev. 21:9).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) professes:
"Jesus is Mary's only Son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: 'The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first born among many bretheren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formulation she cooperates with a mother's love'" (CCC 501; internal quote from Lumen Gentium 63; see also Rom 8:29; Rev. 12:17).
We do not woship Mary because Mary is not God; she is a creature. (we believe that she is the most perfect creature that God ever created, and is only second to God himself (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in the heirarchy of beings, but she is a creature none-the-less.) We honor her as Christ's mother, because Christ honored her as his own mother. As the Body of Christ, we honor our Mother in Christ.
Some people say that by honoring Mary, we take away the glory and honor that we should give to God alone. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The only reason that she is what she is is because of God. She did not deserve anything that God gave her. She is God's masterpiece. When we honor and appreciate the masterpiece, that only gives greater honor to the artist that fashioned her.
The Hail Mary, and why we pray to Mary:
When we pray to Mary, we are actually asking her for her prayers. We ask her because we believe that she is alive in Christ, like the rest of the Saints in heaven. ("[God said], "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." He is not God of the Dead but of the living" (Mt. 22:32).) "The prayer of the righteous man has power in its effects" (James 5:16, and remember Mary has pull with Jesus).
So Why the Hail Mary? The words of the Hail Mary are taken almost entirely from Scripture:
"Hail [Mary] full of grace, the Lord is with you!" (Lk. 1:28)
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb [Jesus]!" (Lk. 1:42)
Holy Mary, (Lk. 1:48 "henceforth all generations will call me blessed").
Mother of God (Lk. 1:43 "why is it granted that the mother or my Lord should come to me?"; see also Gal. 4:4-5 "God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law").
Pray for us sinners (James 5:16 "The prayer of the righteous man has power in its effects")
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen. (Alright, this part is not scriptural. However, if you're going to ask someone to pray for you, "now and at the hour of death" would be good times for them to do it.)
Mary was the earth Mother of Jesus. She is honored above all women on earth for this. Like all earthly people, Mary is "sleeping" and she "knows nothing". When Jesus Christ returns at His second coming, He will awake the dead (and Mary too) by calling them out of their graves to meet Him in the air. What a glorious day that will be! AMEN!
Mother Teresa came long after Mary dear. rnealw gave the best answer. Originally, the Catholic Church was supplanting the pagan religion. In doing so they needed to find a way to get the pagans to accept them. Pagans believe in a goddess as their god.
Well, I don't know why they worship Mary and pray to her but, it seems odd.
I'm not Cathlic but, my sister is and, I truly think that they do pray to Mary and, I don't understand the hale Mary thing either.
MARRY TOOK TERESA'S PLACE AND 4 THAT WE SHALL B THANKFULL AND THAT why WE SAY HAIL MARRY ALSO IM NAMED AFTER MOTHER TERESA SO I NO A LOT AND IM CATHOLIC
The Catholic virgin Mary was originally a replacement for a goddess in pagan religions.
Orion, we really don't want to get into this discussion on this thread too, do we?
I learned something new about Catholic doctrine today. . . thanks aarthur001
The Scripture states, No man can come unto the Father but by Jesus.
Who was Teresa? What place did she have that Mary took over?