Catholics and the Rosary ________________________________________________________________
CATHOLICS AND MARY
Q. Who was Mary?
A. Mary was a Jewish girl, born of a human mother and a human father, but chosen by God to be the earthly mother of the "Son of God".
Q. Why is she "so special"?
A. The creature God chose to become the mother of His Divine Son would have to be "special"; in fact she would have to be "the most perfect" of all of God's creations, even more perfect than the Angels in Heaven.
Q. What does the Bible say about Mary's "being special"?
A. In all the Holy Scripture, she alone is honored by the statement "all generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1:48).
Q. Why do Catholics pray to Mary?
A. All things that Christ said and did were well planned to give us example and teaching. Performing His first miracle at the request of Mary was no accident (John 2:1-12). Here Christ showed respect for His Mother and that He has an ear for what she requests. When we pray to Mary, or any of the saints, we do one thing and one thing only; we ask them to pray for us. Mary, nor any of the saints, have no power or authority on their own. So we ask them to pray to Christ, for us in exactly the same way we ask a minister or priest to pray for us.
Q. Why should Mary care?
A. If Mary is the most perfect of all of God's creatures, then this perfection MUST include a perfect love. The most perfect human love is the love of a mother for her child. A human perfection of love IS that every human is loved AS HER OWN CHILD. In essence what Christ did was to share His Mother with us in His love and in her love. This is one reason why we call her "Mary, our Mother". With her in Heaven, we know that we have one who loves us as her own children - so we feel that in reality Christ gave us two mothers; our natural mother and His own mother.
We also honor her with the title, "Mary, our Mother" in much the same way as the Jews honor Abraham by calling him, "Abraham, our Father".
Q. What is the position of Mary in our salvation?
A. Mary's whole purpose is to lead us to Christ, our Savior. Her constant message to us is summarized in her last words in Scripture, "whatever Jesus tell you to do - DO IT" (John 2:5).
Q. In order to be saved, is it necessary to pray to her or the saints?
A. NO! NO! This is not necessary. We can be saved ONLY through Jesus Christ. Mary's whole being is dedicated to "bring us to Christ" and "for us to live Christ".
Q. What about her apparitions such as at Fatima?
A. In the Old Testament, God frequently sent a prophet to warn the Jews of their doom if they continued to sin against Him. If God warned the Jews before punishment, it stands to reason that He would warn us if punishment is due, only now in addition to sending the Angel Gabriel, He also sends His most Blessed Mother. That is what Fatima is all about. God performing a miracle witnessed by over 50,000 people at Fatima to prove that the message was from Him. And the message? Basically the same as to the Jews; i.e., a warning of chastisement if we did not repent and return to Christ, that there would be another War during the reign of Pope Pius XI - and that was World War II. Then, if we still did not repent, and return to Christ, God would allow Russia to chastise the world.
Q. How do we know that at Fatima it was not the devil impersonating Mary?
A. Mary's message was: "Repent, and return to Christ and His teaching." No matter what good is done, some people will call it the work of Satan, just as they accused Christ of being the devil. Christ's answer then certainly applies to this situation now (Matt. 12:22-37).
Q. What is the Rosary? Where did it come from?
A. In the dark ages of ninth century Ireland, the Monks recited or chanted the 150 Psalms of David day-after-day as a community prayer or "Praise to the Lord". The local peasants outside the monastery wanted to join in with the brothers in Christ in this praise but they could neither read nor write so they would instead recite the Lord's Prayer or the greeting of the Angel Gabriel when he announced to Mary that she was chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God. (Now called "Hail Mary".) (Luke 1&2) As peasants moved away from the monastery, they wished to continued this practice and so would stop what they were doing at that time of day and kneel in prayer and say 50 (50=bouquet or rosarium and thus the name Rosary) or 150 Our Fathers or Hail Mary's and count these prayers by small stones in a pouch or by knots on a string. In this way, they were joining in a "community of prayer" no matter where they were. It is believed by most Catholics that in the 12th century, Mary appeared to St. Dominic and told him that this was a pleasing form of prayer, but that instead of saying a repetitious prayer, we should incorporate a part of the life of Christ into EVERY Rosary. So that in actuality each time we say a Rosary, we should re-live a part of the life of Christ.
Therefore, whenever we re-live "The Joyful Mysteries" of the life of Christ we follow these events in the Holy Bible in Luke Chapter 1&2, and we meditate on the most meaningful moments of our salvation history: the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she has been chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God (The Annunciation); then re-live Mary's visit to her kinswoman, Elizabeth (The Visitation); then all of the events of the trip into Bethlehem and the "Birth of Our Lord"; then of Christ being "Presented at the Temple"; and finally His being lost for three days and being found in the Temple. Likewise, when praying the Sorrowful Mysteries, we re-live the Passion and Death of Our Lord. And when saying the "Glorious Mysteries" we re-live all the events of His Resurrection, Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, and then follow the death, assumption and re-uniting of Mary with her Divine Son in Heaven.
Can there be any form of prayer more meaningful than re-living the life of Christ and what He did for us?
Q. But why the repetition of prayer? Did not Christ Himself say we should not just repeat ourselves?
A. True, Christ said we should not just say words until they have no meaning. And the Rosary should NOT be just a repetition of words but rather a chain of prayer that encircles these important events in the life of Christ, Our Savior. In other words, it should not be just a repetition of prayer but also a sequence of events.
Q. So what does the Rosary help us do?
A. It praises Jesus, Our Savior, and forces us to learn more about His life and His teachings. It help to organize our thoughts and meditations on Jesus; it acknowledges and honors Mary as the Mother of Our Savior. It gives us a "liturgy" so that we can more closely join together as a "community" in prayer. It can be a great stimulus to the learning of doctrine, which is necessary to anchor, develop, guide and live our faith. (Matt. 7:21-27;John 12:48; John 14:23).
Q. Is it necessary to "Pray the Rosary" in order to be saved?
A. No, it is NOT. However, if Fatima is true, then God sent Mary as a messenger to warn us "that unless we repent and return to Christ, we will be chastised by Russia". And also we believe that Mary asked each of us to Praise Jesus and Honor Jesus and His Most Blessed Mother by praying the Rosary each day. Therefore, if Fatima is true, and we ignore the Rosary, then we are ignoring God's warning in our time.
"Jesus, Mary, I love You, Save Souls"