Q43: Does the Bile sanction such prayers to Mary?
A: Yes. All through the Bible you will find God conferring favors through the prayers of others. In the Old Testament we read of the prayers of Abraham, Mosses, and of the various prophets. In the New Testament, St. James 5:16 tells us to "pray for one another," in the text I have just quoted ["...the prayer of a just man availeth much"]. If we must always pray directly to God and may not ask the prayers of others why did St. Paul write to the Thessalonians, "Pray for us that we may be delivered from importunate and evil men"? 2 Thess. 3:2. Why did he not ask directly of God, instead of asking the prayers of the Thessalonians? Or would you be more scriptural than the New Testament itself?
Q44: There is but one mediator; there is no place for Mary.
A: Christ is the principal mediator in His own right, Mary is the secondary mediatrix, through, with, and in Christ. Without Him she would have no power, and therefore He is the source of all mediation with God on behalf of men.
Q45: How can you blend the mediation of others with that of Christ?
A: It follows from the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Remember that, by Baptism, every Christian is incorporated with Christ. St. Paul says, "Christ is the head; ye are the members." 1 Cor. 11:3 , 12:27. So close is this union that Christ says, "Whoever gives you to drink a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ; amen, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward." Mark 9:40. Every Christian is Christ in a mmost intimate way. St. Paul tells us that if a baptized person sins, he takes the members of Christ and makes them the members of inquity! When that same St. Paul was persecuting the Christians before his conversion, Christ appeared to him and said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest Thou Me?" Acts 9:4 He did not say, "Why persecutest thou My disciples?" He could equally say, when we pray to Mary or to the Saints, "What asketh thou of Me?" When we honor Our Lady or the saints, we honor Christ in them according to the doctrines of Scripture. The Catholic Church is the only completely scriptural Church.
Q46: Do Catholics believe that Mary is omnipotent?
A: No. God alone is omnipotent. But through Mary we have access to the omnipotence of God.
Q47: How do you know that Mary hears you?
A: The Catholic Church guarantees that, and she is here to tell us the truth about such things in the name of Christ and with His authority. Reasons also assures us that, as she could know our prayers in this life and pray for us in turn, she can do so in the more perfect state in Heaven. Finally, experience proves it, for she has manifested her power in thousands of concrete instances in answer to prayer.
Q48: Why should Mary be recognized as being greater than any other woman?
A: She was picked out by God to be the sacred repository of God's own Son, to furnish, so to speak, the human texture, flesh, and blood from which was to be woven the garb of divinity. If before birth we could have the privilege of choosing our own natural mother, and if we ever had the power of making that mother whatever we choose, would we ever make her short of anything but the loveliest lady in the world, or would we ever have endowed her with those qualities which would make us apologize to men either for moral blemishes or physical weaknesses? No. I think we would give to her the qualities and virtues which would make all men lover her eternally. If you and I then, with our natural natures would have done all this to the woman who gave us life, who meant so much to us, should we not suppose that God would do he same and more for the Mother of His Son? This He did do. He arrayed her in peerles jewel of Divine Grace, a grace that was higher than any grace given to any saint, angel, or archangel. Angels were created to serve God. Mary was created to be the Mother, the shrine, the tabernacle of God-made Man. Mary is to be honored above all women as the prophecies of the Old Testament declare, precisely because of the royal role she plays as Co-Redemptrix with Christ in the Divine Redemption.
Q49: I don't see the necessity of hailing her as the Co-Redemptrix with Christ.
A: See then what is happening to the non-Catholic world for denying that role of Mary. In Catholicism, they tell us, there is too much emphasis and the wrong emphasis on the Mother of Jesus. If we ever begin a religion by eliminating the Mother, we shall eventually wind up by eliminating the Son. Thus when the Reformers did away with the Mother, they paved the way for doing away with the Son. If we get rid of the one, we will soon get rid of the other. Germany began by putting the mother in the tomb of oblivion or on the dusty pages of history and after four hundred years Germany is now trying to get rid of the Son. If we can judge correctly the attitude of the American Federation of Churches, our Blessed Savior is being rapidly brought down to the mere status of a man. We can reasonably be suspicious that religions that have taken Mary out, have slurred this wonderful Lady, and when we insult the Mother we insult the Son. We can never have a Son without a Mother in the natural order of things; in the Divine order of things we can never have a Christ without a Mary. If we smash her statues and white-wash Our Lady's Chapel or chisel the Child from the Mother, we run the risk of smashing the entire statue of Christianity, for those two holy heads of Jesus and Mary are too close together for their halos not to mingle and to cross.
Q56: Christ said, "Use not vain repetitions as do the heathen, who think in their much speaking to be heard." St. Mt. 6:7.
A: Vain repetition in manner of heathens is forbidden, but not useful repetition which is not in the manner of heathens. Vain repetition relies mechanically upon the mere number of prayers or formulas uttered. But Catholics do not rely on the mere repetition of prayers, nor upon their multiplication, but on the intrinsic worth of each prayer and upon the fervor and earnestness with which it is said. Two prayers said well, one immediately after the other, are as good as the same two prayers said well with twenty-four hours between them. Time is nothing to God, in whose sight 1,000 years are but as a day. He does not mind whether there be two seconds between our prayers or two years; the prayers themselves are just as pleasing to Him. If you take the principle behind your objection, and push it to its full conclusion, you could say the Our Father but once in your life. If you said it once each year, it would be repetition. How often may you say it? Once a month? Once a week? Once a day? If daily, what would be wrong with saying it hourly? If you have just concluded one Our Father, why may you not begin it again at once? Does it suddenly become an evil prayer?
Your Bible has a faulty translation of these words, "Use not vain repetitions as the heathens do." The Greek verb "battologein" of the original does not mean such a thing at all. The Douay version translates correctly when it said "speak not much." St. Matthew wanted action and less talk.
-- Next post: Why the Saints.
Adapted from the booklet Virgin and Statue Worship: Quizzes To A Street Preacher by Fr. Chas. M. Carty & Rev. Dr. L. Rumble. You can also order a copy from TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC., P.O. Box 424, Rockford, Illinois 61105.