Why I, a Protestant, Pray the “Hail Mary” and use a rosary

Why I, a Protestant, Pray the “Hail Mary” and use a rosary April 23, 2015

7814469788_23b0e32421_zAs part of this year-long effort to better understand what we mean when we talk about following Jesus, called My Jesus Project, I’ve been making a more concerted effort to pray every day. Even though my tendency is to focus on more silent, contemplative reflection, I’ve actually taken on a number of prayers that I do several times each, over a half-hour period or so.

Some, like the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father/God, who art in heaven…), the Jesus Prayer (Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner), the Serenity Prayer (Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…) and the Prayer of St. Francis (Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…), I also practice the “Hail Mary.” Not only that, but I use a rosary to go through my prayers.

I’ve shared this with some folks, and inevitably someone is surprised by this. I’ll get something like, “I didn’t know you’re Catholic,” or “Why pray to Mary? After all, she’s not actually God.”

Or is she?

Not that I think she personally was “God with skin on,” like we sometimes talk about Jesus. But like her son, I do tend to think that she point us toward God, which seemed to be the one of the most important things Jesus did. In fact, when I’m asked what’s different about Jesus, as compared with other prophets and miracle workers in the Bible, I tend to respond that he, unlike others who preceded him in the biblical narrative, was more like the needle of a compass, pointing us in a common direction, rather than making himself the “X marks the spot,” or the ultimate destination.

For me, Mary does this as well. There’s no story about her in the Gospels that suggests anything other than total devotion to God and to Jesus. In fact, in her conversation with God about becoming Jesus’ mother sounded much like Jesus prayer to God in the garden of Gethsemane, just before he was handed over to be crucified.

Both offered humble submission: not my will, God, but yours be done.

Also, like many of us, I struggle with the pervasively male God imagery that dominates the protestant religious landscape. Until very recently, all protestant churches focused principally – if not exclusively – of God the Father. But for me, at least, this feels woefully incomplete. If God is alpha and omega (beginning and ending), and in God, there is no distinction between male or female, why are we so hell-bent on defining God as such in our religious practices?

Not only that, but if you’re like me, you have a fairly complicated relationship with “father” being synonymous with “love.” Some may argue that our less-than-perfect father figures beg re-imagining, and that God the Father offers that opportunity. But for me, understanding God as all-encompassing and unconditional love calls out for a maternal understanding of the Divine. And mary offers this: a path to the Divine Feminine that I have sought for so many years.

As for the rosary, I’m sure I don’t use it “correctly” according to Catholic doctrine, but it grounds me, helps me focus, gives me a sort of prayer “routine,” and connects me more physically to my prayer practice.  In experiencing this grounding embodiment, it occurs to me that, in breaking free from the hierarchy of Catholicism in the Protestant Reformation, we threw out many proverbial babies with the Catholic bathwater.

This is yet another example of how I have found a new spiritual future by reaching back many centuries into the past. And as someone who wrestles with the very idea of some metaphysical existential “other” somewhere out there, operating above and beyond humanity in some way, these ancient icons, practices and methods of engaging in spiritual discipline connect me to a more full, more embodied and even a more transcendent experience of God than I’ve ever had in my faith journey in the past.

So thanks, Mary for helping lead the way to humble acceptance and a more perfect experience of selfless, unconditional love. I owe you one.

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  • This is very sweet. Thanks for sharing your journey, Christian.

  • otrotierra

    Great commentary, Christian Piatt. Thank you for sharing!

  • Bro AJK

    Dear Chris,

    It sounds to me that you are using the Rosary well if you are using it to ponder the Life of Christ better.

  • Rust Cohle

    But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Matthew 6:7

    • Eva

      What about the Our Father. Is that vain repetition? It is hard to classify vain repetition. Furthermore, you do not pray the rosary in front of others you pray at home with your family so it is hardly compatible with the verse you provided. ” But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” However, if you are a Protestant I can understand why you might feel this way because the rosary involves praying to Our Lady and therefore would be considered wrong by many Protestants. God Bless.

      • Rust Cohle

        // It is hard to classify vain repetition.//

        The authors behind the Jesus character weren’t all that clear of teachers; in fact, they contradicted themselves constantly.

    • Aggie

      What about Psalm 136? Saying “His love endures forever” 26 times…

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20136&version=NIV

      • Rust Cohle

        Yeah, I guess his “love” for human sacrifice of 32 virgins endures forever. LOL

        http://www.awkwardmomentsbible.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/32_virgins_for_the_lord.jpg

        • Jennifer P

          You miss the whole context with your comic. The midianitish women had forfeited all claims to mild treatement because of their earlier conduct. Had they been offered mercy they would have begun killing. See chapters 25-30.

          The allegation of the author of the comic that the Lord wanted the 32 virgins for His own sexual pleasure is silly, and not supported by the evidence. Given the very young age of marriage in that era (15-ish) the young virgins would have been likely under the age of 12-13. They would not yet be trained to kill or lead people away from the Lord. As to raping them, it is more logical that the typical custom in war would prevail – they would be taken and used as slaves. See Joshua 9 (where the Gibeonites lived in servitude) and Deuteronomy 22:25 (where rape is stated to be abhorrent to God).

          Man can hardly blame the Lord for the awful consequences of sin. But I see that you have no problem using things that are obviously false.

          • Rust Cohle

            You think female war captives should be raped because of their, ahem, “prior conduct?” Your moral compass is askew. You are the perfect example of this quote:

            Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

            ~Steven Weinberg, Address at the Conference on Cosmic Design, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C. (April 1999)

            The 32 virgins saved for “the Lord” were offerings. Human sacrifice. As it says in Numbers 31:24, the victims were “the LORD’S tribute.”

            As to your harping about context, you don’t know what the word even means. You’re using the word as a lame excuse for the horrors within the Bible. This is how moronic you sound:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK7P7uZFf5o

    • Oldgeezer

      It’s not the repetition that is the problem. It’s “vain” repetition; which means useless. Jesus prayed the same prayer more than once in the Garden and he never said pray the “Our Father” once and never again.

      • Rust Cohle

        “All is vanity.” ~Ecclesiastes 1:2

        All repetition is vain, unless you reckon your imaginary friend is forgetful, or enjoys playing head games with you.

        • OldGeezer

          Repetition takes place throughout the bible in prayers and psalms. And I ask you again why did Jesus pray the same prayer more than once in the garden?

          “All repetition is useless.” That is a meaningless statement.

          • Rust Cohle

            There are contradictions in the Bible, and you’re trying some lame excuse-making to avoid that fact.

          • OldGeezer

            There is no contradiction about Jesus praying in the garden. And why can’t you answer a simple question? Why did he pray the same prayer. You have made some statements that you simply cannot back up. I’ve asked you a legitimate question about that and you refuse to answer. I’m done.

          • Rust Cohle

            I answered your question: there are contradictions in the Bible. Jesus says one thing in once place, and does the opposite in another place. Can you understand English?

        • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

          What an absurd statement. Do you tell your spouse once and only once that you love them? When you pray, do you only say each petition once? How about the name of Jesus, do you only say that once? I’ve heard so many protestant people praying something like this:

          Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you, Father, so much for this day. Lord, we do ask that you bless Joe because Lord, you know that he’s been very sick, Heavenly Father and we earnestly ask, Lord, that you heal him, O Lord, of this illness that, Lord, seems to be crushing him……etc….

          Now THAT is vain repetition!

          • Rust Cohle

            Do you imagine that your imaginary friend needs constant reaffirmation of your love? Now that’s absurd.

    • Jennifer P

      A “vain repetition” is one done from pride or for show.

      Matthew 6:6-9 MEV – But you, when you pray, enter your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.

      “Therefore pray in this manner: Our Father who is in heaven…

      • Rust Cohle

        Luckily, no Christian prays or talks about their praying in public, right?

        http://www.awkwardmomentsbible.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/public_prayer.jpg

        • Jennifer P

          Corporate worship is a public act and different than private prayer. The point of Matthew 6:5-7 that is in your image is not that public prayer is prohibited it is that those who pray for appearance (that is, vainly) in public are reciprocates. Prayer is a way of life for Christians, of which there are public and private prayers. Whoever designed that graphic does not really understand the Gospel according to Matthew.

          Hebrews 10:24-25 MEV – And let us consider how to spur one another to love and to good works. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching.

          1 Timothy 2:8 MEV – Therefore I desire that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or contentiousness.

          • Rust Cohle

            Jennifer: not that public prayer is prohibited
            Jesus: don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly [MT 6.5]

            Who to believe? Oh, we already know who you believe, between these two characters:

            Jesus: Call no man your father. [MT 23.9]
            Paul: You have only one spiritual father. For I became your father… [1CO 4.15]

            Jesus: Rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. [MK 10.42]
            Paul: So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us… [1CO 10.8]

            Jesus: You have received without payment, so give without payment. [MT 10.8]
            Paul: Those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. [1CO 9.14]

            Jesus: Follow me. [MT 9.9, MK 2.14, LK 9.59, JN 1.43]
            Paul: Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me… [1CO 4.16]

          • Onos

            It is very easy to say these verses contradict each other. It appears that way when you throw out all context and all other things spoken by these men.

            Rather than disprove you on each case, I challenge you to actually search the Bible and uncover for yourself whether these verses are absolute in the things each man taught, or are they part of a bigger theme, which read within context, make perfect sense with each other.

          • Rust Cohle

            I didn’t throw out all context. You use the word “context” falsely, as a means to rub away all meaning so that there are no contradictions.

            Here is how ridiculous you sound using the word context falsely:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK7P7uZFf5o

          • Onos

            Humorously enough I have actually had that video thrown at me before. It fails to apply now as it failed then. You didn’t actually address my argument that you fail to understand the context. Context does not wipe away meaning, but rather it allows us to apply correct meaning.

            I’m curious though what faith, or non-faith background do you originate from? Perhaps an atheist or pseudo-scholastic persuasion?

          • Rust Cohle

            It applies to you, so quit tossing off the word “context” when you don’t have the slightest clue what it means in an academic sense.

            Talking about “pseudo-,” that’s your laughably contrived holy book.

            “There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.

            Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says
            religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/13/half-of-new-testament-forged-bible-scholar-says/

          • Onos

            The word context applies absolutely, it’s just your YouTube clip that doesn’t. See, you failed to understand the contents of the statement I made before which characterizes the statement following about it not applying. That’s how context works in part! Glad we could get this far.

            As for your article, I read through it and the arguments Ehrman makes are little more than speculation based off of literary analysis and lack of the authors’ signature. Please excuse me if I accept 2000 years of consistent tradition instead.

          • Rust Cohle

            Context applies in everything; however, you’re using the term dishonestly to try to smooth over contradictions and embarrassing passages by appealing to more favored passages. You call your dishonest scheme “context.” It isn’t.

          • Onos

            Hold on now, let’s at least refrain from calling opinion fact. If you recall, in my opinion the context supports my claims about the cohesiveness of the scripture. In your opinion, the verses contradict each other. I’m using the term correctly, you simply disagree with my conclusion.

            Don’t sell me a goat and tell me it’s a car.

          • bkalafut

            The point of Matthew 6:5-8 is a bit clearer if not using the MEV, which used the KJV as a reference and thus maintained some of its errors and ideological commitments.

            The RSV has “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

            Douay-Rheims has “And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard.” which of course comes from Jerome’s “orantes autem nolite multum loqui sicut ethnici putant enim quia in multiloquio suo exaudiantur”

            And in the NIV: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words”

            This isn’t to say that the KJV or its offspring the MEV, if accurate, have Christ forbidding the praying of psalms or the Rosary. That isn’t internally consistent. But certain translations do lead to misconceptions. The NAB and KJV are almost paradoxically popular despite this. KJV may have had some introduced deliberately, like the NRSV.

          • Rust Cohle

            //That isn’t internally consistent.//

            So what? The Bible has many contradictions.

          • bkalafut

            Which is why it must be interpreted as a whole, in light of apostolic tradition and the Gospel. Precisely what the KJV crowd didn’t do with Matthew 6:7, leading to heteropraxis unique to the English-speaking world.

          • Rust Cohle

            Wrong. Interpreting it “as a whole” is premised on your false premise that its a magical book somehow “transmitted” from your imaginary friend.

            No, it’s not. It’s a contradictory book written by humans with a bunch of conflicting ideas.

            //apostolic tradition//

            Who gives a rip about that? No me.

            //the KJV crowd//

            Don’t give a rip about them either.

          • bkalafut

            “Wrong. Interpreting it “as a whole” is premised on your false premise that its a magical book somehow “transmitted” from your imaginary friend.”

            No, sorry, you fail. The question of whether or not to use this hermeneutic does not depend on

            (1) having an imaginary friend (I don’t think anyone here does…)
            (2) the belief that the Bible is magical (orthodox Christians don’t believe this) or
            (3) the belief that the Bible was somehow “transmitted” by either a deity or an imaginary friend instead of written down for various purposes. (orthodox Christians don’t believe that one either.)

            “//apostolic tradition//

            Who gives a rip about that? No me.”

            Then you’re not a Christian and moreover don’t care to even have an intelligent discussion about Christianity, because Christianity is the apostolic tradition. So why are you here? Trolls gotta troll, but aren’t you supposed to get back to watching the Daily Show or web porn now?

          • Rust Cohle

            No, you fail. One doesn’t have to believe in a particular religion’s holy book to know the context in which it was written; in fact, I’ve got my blinders off.

            //aren’t you supposed to get back to watching the Daily Show or web porn now//

            Liar. Christians just can’t help but lying to protect their belief system. Lying for Jesus is your ancient tradition, bkalafut.

            “There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.

            Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says
            By John Blake, CNN, May 13th, 2011
            religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/13/half-of-new-testament-forged-bible-scholar-says/

        • Aggie

          I’ve enjoyed this dialogue. No one asked, but I’ll give my thoughts!
          I think most people respond to insult with defensiveness– so in my experience that makes a discussion less fruitful.
          I think fallible, finite people are on very shaky ground when they confess to know metaphysical doctrines with certain (or even confident) knowledge. How little we understand about earth– much less about a supposed mystical and spiritual realm. Who knows how much more we have to learn about the universe? Maybe “atheism” will seem as absurd as “theism” in the millenia to come (if we don’t kill each other off by then).
          Catholicism, IMO, has had some great members of the human family and some profound ideas. But the system I think is problematic– in part because of its changing nature, in part because of its prior brutality. Slavery, capital punishment, usury, torture, freedom of conscience, and Crusading concepts, for example, have gone through dramatic changes– many prior popes, Councils, and saints standardly advocating practices that today are considered grave sins. It is easy to see how other aspects of Catholic morality could change in the future. The concept of “no salvation outside the Church” has also evolved to the point where it seems very much at odds with the early and especially medieval and Counter-Reformational Church. It is clear that papal claims evolved in history– the doctrine of papal infallibility is at the same time both very slippery and seemingly very unlikely. Has not Roman Catholicism capitulated to many of the ideas of “modernism” that it once held to be anathema? Could not a “Vatican III” repeal a Vatican II and send things in a very different direction?
          Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Assyrian Church of the East all have claims to apostolic succession. They also seem to have (arguably) changed less than Roman Catholicism through the ages. Why not accept just councils that all of these Church bodies have accepted? How does a person decide who to allow to make such decisions? Can it be done without pride or gross speculation?
          The doctrine of eternal conscious torment seems to be a total and complete violation of the golden rule. Should not God, who supposedly made us with our weaknesses and commanded us to forgive seventy times seven times, not resort to such brutal vengeance with such weak beings? (Why not just throw people in a “Limbo” instead?) Why would he pass along original sin and such a weakened “free will” to Adam’s descendants in the first place? Is that not both unjust and cruel? (And to quote Diderot, does he care more about apples than his children?)
          Should we not admit that Scripture is often difficult to interpret– of course many both within and outside the thousands of different church bodies and Jewish groups have so many different interpretations. How many interpretations of Aquinas, or Augustine, or Ireneaus, or Athanasius, or Chrysostom are not acceptable now?
          Francis de Sales does have some great things to say. One of my favorite Catholic saints. Although very much mired in the stricter Catholic dogma of the day, he was in many ways a man before his time…

  • Eva

    When we say the Scriptural Rosary (which most Catholics pray), we concentrate on much of the life of Jesus daily. We pray to Our Lady to bring us closer to Jesus (we don’t worship her). This is a beautiful article and reminds me that there are many prayers that Catholics and Protestants can pray together. I also pray the Divine Mercy rosary which does not involve prayer to Mary and focuses on the passion of Jesus. You can say or sing this prayer and it is also said using a rosary beads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYtxixBnVGg

  • Martin

    An interesting post. I am a Baptist Deacon and have been praying the rosary for the last 2 weeks to experiment.
    For me I have prayed the creed on the cross, the our father, the hail Mary’s and the Glory be to start with and then the 10 Hail Marys, followed by a meditation on the theme and then the our father.
    My experience to date has been an intensive difference in my prayer life.
    I have found that it has nothing to do with praying to Mary but rather a praying with her and the host of heaven.
    I find the Hail Marys are like the pulling of a bow string backwards that release the prayer of faith as part of the meditation.
    A holy rosary can take an hour, the meditations are normally passionate and intense. I have found by the time I recite the Our father at the end of it, it is like firing an arrow into the heavens. A sense that I have often experienced when simply praying directly to God on my closest days.

    More importantly I have found that my thought life has been totally changed. Something’s that have effected me for years are not even thought about.

    For me I have found that I can say that Mary is extremely untrustworthy, the more I have focused on her, the more she directs me to her son. The more I am drawn to love her as a mother, the more she directs me to love her son.

    I can understand that this will upset a lot of people but from a tested position I do believe Mary is praying with me through the Holy Spirit.

    I think one huge thing that protestants have missed. The church is a family, it is made up of those in heaven and those on earth. It is not so much of having to constantly pray to God on your own, but the benefit of having all of heaven praying with you. We are a family, we pray together, love together and succeed or fail together. The rosary has opened my eyes to that.

    Blessings

    • Falcon 78

      The ‘meditations’ he is referring to are–for Catholics–meditations on the Joyful, Luminous Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries. Each and every one of the ‘mysteries’ is an account from Scripture, most of events of Jesus’ time on earth. Our Blessed Mother is there for us to help bring us closer to her son.

    • Jennifer P

      >>I have found that it has nothing to do with praying to Mary but rather a praying with her and the host of heaven.<<

      Beautiful!!

    • drohan

      And remember my Baptist friend that the Hail Mary and the Magnificat are both recitations of Luke’s Gospel. Keep meditating on the mysteries of Christ through the eyes of the Blessed Mother.

      • Without Malice

        Would that be the blessed mother whom, along with the rest of his family, thought Jesus was insane? Jesus said whoever does the will of God is the same as his brother, his sister, and his mother.

        • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

          And his Mother said, “Do whatever he tells you.” No one thought Jesus was insane.

          • Without Malice

            Mark 3:21 clearly states that his family thought he was insane.

    • Carolyn C

      Beautiful. A Few quotes to help you with your meditation. “It is through Mary that the salvation of the world began, and it is through her that it will be consummated.” (St. Louis de Montfort).”Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is a privileged means “of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, of serving Him faithfully” “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
      –Saint Maximilian Kolbe

      • Eva

        Well said.

    • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

      You hit the nail on the head….Catholics never pray TO Mary, which is often very misunderstood. We are asking her to pray WITH us (same with ‘praying to the saints–we are asking for their intercession, and since they are ‘alive’ in heaven and part of the ‘communion of the saints’ of course they can still pray. She will always lead us to her son, as she did in Scripture–Do as he tells you. (And i’m a former protestant! 🙂 )

      • Without Malice

        So when you petition Mary to pray on your behalf, that’s not a prayer? But if you use the same terminology in addressing God, that’s a prayer? Jesus taught his disciples to pray only in one way, and that was to your father in heaven. Not to his mother, not to his brother (James), not to Peter or anyone else.

        • CJ Munno

          “Jesus taught his disciples to pray only one way” – wow! bold statement. The gospel according to John tells us that all the books of the world would not contain the many other things Jesus did. Certainly scripture also tells us to pray for one another. Additionally, Hebrews Chapter 11 describes a cloud of witnesses (none with heartbeat or respiration) that surround us. Isn’t it at least possible that Jesus taught this type of intercessory prayer, but that’s one of the many things that wasn’t recorded in a book?

          • Without Malice

            Using your reasoning it could be that Jesus later said the whole thing was just a joke but it didn’t get put into the book. Or that he taught that you should pray to Mary on Mondays and Wednesdays, the other saints on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and to the Father on the other days. Since everything in the gospels is made up anyway, sure, why not just pretend he might have said some other stuff to.

        • Alexander Rullo

          When you have someone close to you that is ill, and you ask your friends and family to pray for them, are you in fact praying to your friends and family? Intercessory prayer is about the power of prayer in numbers and a relationship with our brothers and sisters in eternal rest. We are all called to a personal relationship with our Lord, but we are also called to a community relationship with our Lord (we ARE all brothers and sisters with a common Father of course). “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. We were never taught by Him that prayer is something we do by ourselves and should not do with others. So do we stop praying WITH our loved ones once they pass on? If God has prepared a place for each one of us, loves us deeply, and calls us to a personal relationship with Him, then why can we not maintain a prayerful relationship with our family that have passed over to His Kingdom? Can we not ask them to pray for us and our needs, just as we did when they were here in earthly form? There is no one (educated and knowledgeable) Catholic that would tell you they pray to anyone other than God. It is absolutely forbidden by Him and Church doctrine. But asking those we love, to pray for us on our behalf has never been forbidden

        • Anna

          Praying is the way of communicating with God, his saints and his angels. Prayer is NOT worship. We are commanded in the Bible to pray for one another. Why wouldn’t the saints pray for us? Their souls are alive in heaven with God. “The prayers of a righteous man availeth much”. Saints are, by definition, righteous.

          • Without Malice

            Hey, Anna, pray away. You can pray to Shiva, or Kali, or Mithra, or Odin, or any imaginary being your heart desires. I’m just saying that praying to dead saints is a lot different than asking other church members (saints, in the beginning, always referred to all church members) to pray for you. There is no instance in the bible where anyone is exhorted to pray to the dead or does so themselves. Not only do Catholics pray to dead people for intercession with God, they also pray to them to take action on their behalf, to help them find their car keys, to cure their sickness, etc. But no matter whether you pray to the saint or directly to God the results are the same . . . nothing fails like prayer.

          • Anna

            I haven’t seen where all church members were called saints. Where is that exactly? And praying to the dead is in the Bible. It’s in Tobit and Maccabees 2.

          • buricco

            Tobit and 2 Maccabees are in the Catholic Bible, true.

            I know of no Protestant church that has them considered as authoritative (though I believe the Anglicans might reference them from time to time).

          • Anna

            Luther didn’t like them so he got rid of them. They didn’t fit in with his theology. Where did he get the authority to do that?

          • buricco

            One could be a devil’s advocate and ask the opposite question: where did the Greek and Roman churches get the authority to add to the Old Testament (which in its original Hebrew form is just the Protestant canon in a different order)?

          • Anna

            The Old Testament in the Catholic Bible is the Septuagint which is the Greek OT that Jesus and the Apostles quoted from. They did not add anything.

          • Leonard Martinez

            Sola Scriptura, Anna. Protestants do not accept tradition as the Word of God. Only Scripture, not including the questionable books of the apocrypha. God bless you.

          • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

            Interesting that protestants don’t accept ‘tradition’ as the Word of God. The Bible itself denies that it is sufficient as the complete rule of faith. Paul says that much Christian teaching is to be found in the tradition which is handed down by word of mouth (2 Tim. 2:2). He instructs us to “stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess. 2:15).

            This oral teaching was accepted by Christians, just as they accepted the written teaching that came to them later. Jesus told his disciples: “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). The Church, in the persons of the apostles, was given the authority to teach by Christ; the Church would be his representative. He commissioned them, saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).

            In addition, the The Catholic church made up the canon as it is now. Why keep some and reject others?

          • Anna

            Protestants do accept Tradition although they do not realize it. The Bilble and the Trinity are examples of Tradition. So is giving Communion to women. None of these are found int he Bible. Jesus never says be sure to read the New Testament when you have a problem, we are told to take it to the Church. Jesus never put one word into writing, everything he taught was by word and action. So the Apostles, who were witnesses, knew what those actions were and also everything that he said. The NT did not come into existence until hundreds of years later so how was the Faith passed on in the meantime? Sola Scriptura is a novelty, a new idea, thought up by Luther. It is not even scriptural.

          • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

            And, of course, all of these books were in the Septuagint, the Greek Bible that Jesus would have used. If you have ever seen quote where Jesus said, “you have heard it said..’ and then go on to quote something you’ve never heard of before, check out those ‘other books’…the ones that the protest-ant church took out. The references are in there…because those are the scriptures that Jesus used. 🙂

          • buricco

            While I don’t doubt that the gospel authors used the LXX, if the apostles used anything, I would figure they used the Targums or the Peshitta. The former didn’t contain the Apocrypha to my knowledge; the latter had it though not in the same form as the LXX. (The Vulgate also does not have the Apocrypha in the same form as the LXX, even in pre-Sistine editions.)

            As for what was considered canon, that remained in flux, even among Catholics, until the mid-16th century (Council of Trent). Among mainline Jews it was determined earlier; it was mostly in its current form as early as around 100 AD when 2 Esdras (4 Esdras in the Vulgate Apocrypha) was written, and possibly earlier. (The tripartite division of the Tenach, for example, was known to the Greek translator of the book of Ecclesiasticus/Sirach. The LXX had a different grouping.)

          • Anna

            It boils down to authority. Jesus Christ founded his Church on the Rock – Peter, he promised he would be with them always and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. If Christ’s Church in Council determined that these are the books of the canon then these are the books of the canon. Otherwise, Jesus is a liar.

          • buricco

            It depends on how you interpret the verse – the “rock” as Peter (Petros, masculine form of the Greek word for rock) or the “rock” as his confession. As I understand, Catholics use the former interpretation, while Protestants generally use the latter.

          • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

            That’s like saying that the word ‘piano’ mean ‘chair.’ Jesus said it Rock. Then he handed over the ‘keys.’ As can be seen in Isaiah 22:22, kings in the Old Testament appointed a chief steward to serve under them in a position of great authority to rule over the inhabitants of the kingdom. Jesus quotes almost verbatum from this passage in Isaiah, and so it is clear what he has in mind. He is raising Peter up as a father figure to the household of faith (Is. 22:21), to lead them and guide the flock (John 21:15-17). This authority of the prime minister under the king was passed on from one man to another down through the ages by the giving of the keys, which were worn on the shoulder as a sign of authority. Likewise, the authority of Peter has been passed down for 2000 years by means of the papacy

          • Anna

            You are correct. However,The Greek word for Peter is meaningless because Jesus spoke Aramaic and the word for Rock is Cephas, no masculine/feminine problem there. Jesus was speaking directly to Peter, changed his name and explains why he changed it. To say the rock is his confession is an interpretation of scripture. Whose interpretation? Luther? Calvin?

          • buricco

            And yet you call on Greek canon primacy. (Also, Cephas is a Latin transliteration of a Greek approximation of the Aramaic name, and has the Greek and Latin masculine -s suffix!)

          • Anna

            Yes. OK take the Greek, Jesus is still speaking directly to Peter, changes his name and explains why he is doing that. Peter – the man – is the rock, foundation of the Church. If that was not Jesus’ point then why did he bother to change Simon’s name to Rock? Jesus does not do anything without a reason.

          • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

            Most serious theologians agree that the canon was closed by the fourth and possibly even the second century. It did not remain in flux except for issues that Luther had with it.

          • Leonard Martinez

            It’s hard to understand what you’re saying, but Jesus never quoted from the Apocryphal writings. He quoted from the Law, the Prophets and the Writings, which were written in Aramaic in his time. The New Testament writers quoted the LXX when quoting from the OT. I’ve never read, “You have heard it said…” where Jesus is quoting from something I’ve never heard before. He quotes from the OT. However, the Evangelist who records that incident may be using the LXX in his gospel. Please see Luke 4:16-21, in which Jesus quotes from Isaiah, almost certainly from a scroll in Aramaic, but wherein Luke records the Isaiah verse as it is written in LXX.

          • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

            There are many references to deutero-canonical books in the New Testament (that is what the ‘other’ books in Catholic Bibles are called–different than the apocrypha. Here are just a few:

            Matt. 6:19-20 – Jesus’ statement about laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven follows Sirach 29:11 – lay up your treasure.

            Matt.. 7:12 – Jesus’ golden rule “do unto others” is the converse of Tobit 4:15 – what you hate, do not do to others.

            Matt. 7:16,20 – Jesus’ statement “you will know them by their fruits” follows Sirach 27:6 – the fruit discloses the cultivation.

            Matt. 9:36 – the people were “like sheep without a shepherd” is same as Judith 11:19 – sheep without a shepherd.

            Matt. 11:25 – Jesus’ description “Lord of heaven and earth” is the same as Tobit 7:18 – Lord of heaven and earth.

            Matt. 12:42 – Jesus refers to the wisdom of Solomon which was recorded and made part of the deuterocanonical books.

            Matt. 16:18 – Jesus’ reference to the “power of death” and “gates of Hades” references Wisdom 16:13.

            Matt. 22:25; Mark 12:20; Luke 20:29 – Gospel writers refer to the canonicity of Tobit 3:8 and 7:11 regarding the seven brothers.

            Matt. 24:15 – the “desolating sacrilege” Jesus refers to is also taken from 1 Macc. 1:54 and 2 Macc. 8:17.

            Matt. 24:16 – let those “flee to the mountains” is taken from 1 Macc. 2:28.

            Matt. 27:43 – if He is God’s Son, let God deliver him from His adversaries follows Wisdom 2:18.

            Mark 4:5,16-17 – Jesus’ description of seeds falling on rocky ground and having no root follows Sirach 40:15.

            Mark 9:48 – description of hell where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched references Judith 16:17.

            For a more complete list, see

            http://www.scripturecatholic.com/deuterocanon.html

          • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

            We are ALIVE IN CHRIST. That’s the the ‘communion of the saints.’ Maybe you should know what you believe.

          • Anna

            Is this what you mean? “The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head…”

          • Leonard Martinez

            Prayer is a form of worship. Read Psalm 25, which is a prayer. You will also find that it is worship. The two are not mutually exclusive. God bless.

          • Anna

            Hi I just read it. Yes it is a prayer to God and includes adoration. But that does not mean prayer and worship cannot be mutually exclusive. When I pray to a saint I do not include such language. I talk to them as a friend because that is what they are.

    • Eva

      Martin, that is beautiful and thank you for sharing that. I am a Catholic and what you have said inspires me. In Irish we say, ‘Dia duit’ (God with you) and ‘Dia is Muire duit’ (God and Mary with you). The English translation means ‘hello’, but I prefer the literal translation as listed above. God Bless.

    • Debra Anderson

      I just wanted to thank you for your post. I am a catholic who has never “gotten into” the rosary, and your humble reflections have given me good reasons to explore this form of prayer.

      • Martin

        Hi Debra, one thing I did before starting the rosary was consider Pope John Paul II’s words about daring to abandoning yourself to Mary seriously. This thought had terrified me for years. I always had considered it almost worshipping her. What I actually concluded was that abandoning only meant placing my trust fully in her. And I was able to do that because she is in Heaven. Whilst that may sound obvious, for me it was an eye opener. If she was in heaven, she had got there by grace and faith, if she was there, nothing she could do would be outside the will of God and most importantly nothing in the way of Grace she could offer me was anything other than the Grace of God who she pointed to through her Son.

        I also had a very powerful witness of the Catholic Church and I have read as much as I can about the apparitions and the messages themselves. They glorify Christ. And so I responded to the Popes challenge asking that God forgive me if I was doing anything wrong and awaited the fruit.

        The fruit has been Amazing.

        But here’s the thing, if the church is right about this, Mary also says so much that should challenge a protestants position on a lot of other positions.

        My life has got really interesting

        Dare to trust and by its fruit you will receive all the evidence you need.

        In love

  • chipsquirgirl

    I’m glad you’ve found the beauty of the rosary! (full disclosure i’m a catholic) some protestants think that when we pray the rosary we are praying to mary, but what they don’t realize is that although you repeat the Hail Mary out loud as you pray the rosary, you are also supposed to be contemplating one of the 4 sets of mysteries,(the Luminous, Sorrowful, Joyful, or Glorious Mysteries) or events in Jesus’s life that can teach us how to live like Him, as you pray. And I too believe that the rosary is a wonderful way to keep in mind that the feminine is sacred, beautiful, important, and just as much a fruit of God’s love as the masculine qualities are!

    • Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck

      And the words of the Hail Mary are just scripture anyway, so you are reciting scripture while meditating on the life of Jesus.

  • Keith Crosby

    Experiment? Experiment with what, polytheism? We have the Bible, isn’t this enough for you (or a Baptist Deacon)? And struggling with male imagery? I’m reminded that the Greek (Koine) has neuter, female, and male gender case endings… so God could render Himself as neuter, female, or male. Let’s give God credit for anticipating our needs, being omniscient (unless you are into process theology or open theism and God is more like us than like, well, God.

    The thought process behind your “this is why a protestant prays to mary” why not this is why a protestant prays 5 times a day to Allah to have a more structured prayer life… or this is why a protestant uses a hindu prayer wheel…

    You’re not a Protestant at all.

    • Martin

      Hi Keith, your right, I’m a follower of Christ first and always will be (God willing). My reasoning for attempting the rosary was due to my reading of history, the fact that the Rosary was never talked about in the negative and it always seemed to lead the person closer to Christ than away from him.

      I accepted that my understanding of Christianity may be less than the giants of faith that have gone before me.

      Again I emphasise that it is praying with someone who is alive and active in heaven rather than praying to someone as to a God or dead person. All the prayers are direct forward to the father, through the son, by the power of the Holy Spirit standing alongside Mary.

      As for the bible being enough for me, of course it is but it doesn’t record anything after the Acts and we have to rely on the works of the church fathers and their successors if we want to find out what the church accepted as acceptable.

      There is definitely objections to worshiping Mary, but nothing negative about asking the intercession of the saints.

      Why do you object to intercession?

      Please offer a view more advanced than we must only go to God on our own. There is nothing in the bible that says we cannot go to the Christian family to ask their assistance. Likewise, for a Christian there is no such thing as dead. We are either alive here or alive in heaven. There are no indications that the saints do not know what is going on down on earth.

      In fact the transfiguration could be argued to be God’s use of two people who by all rights should be dead to strengthen the apostles…. Intercession’s in reverse. If they were fully ok, why not other Christians who now see the father face to face?

      And just to test a concept about sola scripture …. If you say there is nothing explicit in scripture that allows for it. Can I ask you whether you accept divorce for any other reasons than Jesus mentions and whether it is ok to remarry regardless?

      I have found that a load of people who argue sola scripture don’t actually mean it.

      All the best

      • cathblax

        Martin and Christian, you need to watch “the Journey Home” on EWTN.

        • Martin

          I believe you would be refering to the fullness of the faith. And I think I would agree with you…. But and there always is a but… Whilst I have read the CCC back to front, the compendium to the CCC more times I can remember, the majority of church fathers and the CTS booklets I always come back to the same place. My love of the catholic church seems to be a romantic one. I see the same problems in it as the protestant churches but on a larger yet more hidden level. I can defend all of the catholic doctrine from scripture, but, if I “came home” I’m not sure that I would be of any use to anyone. Where I am there are many people I love and I stay for them. I also find I can offset a number of the false perceptions of Protestants about the Catholics and dispel falsehoods. I can do more for unity outside than inside. In a way it’s a bit like the story of Soufanieh

          • cathblax

            God Bless you, Martin. I love your humility and love for your flock. I am a ‘PK’ convert Catholic who has struggled from time to time with accepting certain aspects. In the long run I find my strength in Her true teachings, of which you seem (in this small space) to have quite a wonderful understanding-most likely, more so than a great number of Catholics. As to “not being of any use” that is exactly why the Coming Home Network would be such an encouragement to you. (chnetwork.org) As for the problems=The Roman Church is made up of humans and that is Her strength and Her downfall.

          • Martin

            Thank you for your nice reply. I’m afraid I’m going to sound ignorant as I don’t know what PK stands for, can you expand?

            As to struggles you have had, I believe you should take great encouragement in staying on the road you are travelling.
            I believe the greatest strength of the Catholic Church is that it has the capability to love others without feeling itself threatened.
            I know I am not a Deacon of your church but use that gift the church has offered you to love as many people as passionately as you can. We need people who preach with their body (and hearts), more than their mouth and whether we are family in union with Rome or simply family members that hold out the hand of friendship, let’s take every opportunity to love each other where we can. Especially those who are looking for our Lord.

            Peace and blessings (didn’t mean to get preachy – apologies)

          • cathblax

            Thanks Martin,
            PK=commonly, preacher’s kid. in my case, (Episcopal) priest’s kid.

    • Lee Mattix

      Yes indeed Keith, you are a proud, presumptuous protestant, perish the thought that one can be contrite and confessional in prayer. “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”

  • Jennifer P

    >>Both offered humble submission: not my will, God, but yours be done.<<

    John 2:5 – His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

    There are several points to make:
    1. There is value in repeating a simple prayer. It allows you to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thes 5:17) while being able to other things (wash dishes, cut the grass, talk with the Lord).

    2. There is a value in intercessory prayer. Why is it that we have no issue asking our friends from church to pray for us while not asking those who have gone before us to pray for us? After all, we are all one in the "communion of saints" (Heb 12:1).

  • osu84

    A wonderful insight. It is inconceivable to me that some protestants understand intercessory prayer if the intercessor is alive but that the intercessor loses the ability to pray for us when he dies. I ask my grandparents to pray for me every day. They are with God and know God’s will better now then when they were alive. Does death mean they no longer care for us? That they no longer pray for us?

  • T_Ford

    Many thanks to the author! As a Protestant myself I’ve been amazed and disappointed as I learn more and more about the riches of the early Church and the wisdom of the Fathers discarded by the Reformers and their followers. My personal prayer routine includes reciting the Angelus in the morning and evening.

  • Onos

    I think your theological view on this matter does agree with what Catholics believe.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/do-catholics-pray-to-mary

  • Onos

    Haha I do enjoy a good childish insult, I really do. But fair enough, you are completely free to dissent from my opinion as I do your’s.

    Primarily rationalized* I know adverbs can be tricky sometimes

  • JTLiuzza

    Mary is not divine. She is totally human. She is also the most powerful intercessor there is. Jesus listens to His mother. He showed us that at the wedding feast at Cana.

    And God is FATHER, period, full stop. Jesus (God) said so. Any further discussion is just protestant confusion.

    And Jesus doesn’t “point” towards anything. He is all.

  • Onos

    Whoa whoa, where was I a hypocrite? I was serious, goat boy was funny. And “what I had” was demonstrating your opinion carries no weight more than my own.

    Essentially yes that’s all I got.

  • Onos

    Yes, yes it was. I found humor in it. I really don’t understand how you think there is a dispute here. I laughed quite a bit.

    And you can read the Bible in its proper context? Alright let’s break down its proper context:

    Do you have extensive knowledge of first century, second temple Judaism?
    Do you have extensive knowledge of the Old Testament and an insight into the minds of the Israelites of that time period?
    Do you have any degrees or history of study in Koine Greek?
    How about Latin at least?
    Have you studied the works of the Church Father who, living within a century or two of the time, provide significantly clearer insight into the letters of the evangelists?

    Lastly, if you have none of these credentials, on whose authority do you base your claims?

    Are they stronger authorities than modern day apologists and exegetes like Scott Hahn, Jimmy Akin, or Tim Staples?

    Do your authorities have more historical credibility than men like Athanasius, Jerome, Thomas Aquinas, or (my avatar) Francis de Sales?

    You see the reason I don’t think you can read the Bible in its proper context is because you don’t have the high shoulders that come from centuries of brilliant minds and previous interpretations on which I can stand as a Catholic.

    Furthermore, your logic simply hasn’t been convincing.

    Is that all you got?

    • Rust Cohle

      Logic can never convince somebody who places their supernatural beliefs outside the realm of evidence and logic, so I’m not surprised you aren’t convinced.

      So is name-dropping all you’ve got?

      • Onos

        Just a couple more than I’m done:

        Georges Lemaitre
        René Descartes
        Gregor Mendel
        Blaise Pascal
        Louis Pasteur
        Francesco Maria Grimaldi

        • Rust Cohle

          You’re already overdone.

          I was convinced that our beliefs are based much more on custom and example than on any certain knowledge.

          — René Descartes

          • Onos

            As overdone as cheap ground beef.

            “Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.” -Louis Pasteur

          • Rust Cohle

            So what? Are we doing trade-a-quote now? That’s a fun game.

            Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. — Blaise Pascal

          • Onos

            No we’re not playing that game. I just wanted to use that quote because it directly attacks your position. I agree in part with the first quote and wholly with the second.

          • Rust Cohle

            So what if you quote a scientist from the day that anybody who dared speak out was punished severely? Today, 93% of elite scientists don’t believe in your imaginary friend.

          • Onos

            Really, you are quite immature. I can almost assure you that I am younger than you as well. You fail to understand the implications of my evidence and instead just try to cover it up with more evidence. And suspect evidence at that.

            From what I can find, the most recent Pew survey found 33% of scientists believe in a God and 18% further believe in a higher power.

          • Rust Cohle

            //Really, you are quite immature.//

            It’s not surprising to find the “Defensor” is using a “defense mechanism” called psychological projection. wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

            //suspect evidence//

            Looks like Mr. Paranoid Defensor is rather clueless; maybe you should read some of your “catholic” literature some day.

            …93 percent of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most elite scientific organizations in the United States, do not believe in God.

            catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/does-it-matter-that-many-scientists-are-atheists

          • Onos

            Oh but sir you fail to see that I totally admit I am immature. I have no problem acknowledging that, however when I argue I aim to maintain the highest level of respect and class.

            At the least I don’t go look for psychological issues to accuse my opponents of. That is absurd.

            Also go actually read that article. Trent is quoting Sam Harris and then goes on to DISPROVE HIM USING THE SAME SURVEY I CITED. You realize you just blew away all credibility you had for interpreting things in context right?

          • Rust Cohle

            Do you have even the slightest grasp of logic? I don’t have to agree with the catholic article I linked to, to make you aware that even catholics are aware that 93% of elite scientists (in the American Academy of Science) don’t believe in your imaginary friend — even if they hate those scientists’ position and try to discredit them.

            And it is hilarious that you are so thin skinned about trading barbs. Here’s a lesson you never learned from your mother yet:

            If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.

            Boy, it’s time you learned it.

          • Onos

            Oh please, you’re trying to back track because I clearly caught you with your pants down. Horn completely discredits that statistic as a load of crap. He isn’t recognizing it; he’s pointing out how misrepresentative it is.

            And now you’re trying to say I got offended cause it makes you look better. Unfortunately I’m not offended and I’ve already disproved you time and time again. You can keep trying to come up with more to get me, but I’ll shoot it down every time.

            You’re being out argued by someone who is both younger and believes in God. But hey, I’m in no rush. Keep trying by all means.

          • Rust Cohle

            I’m not trying to backtrack at all. You said my 93% figure was “suspicious.” I showed you that it was legitimate, using a catholic article that was attempting to discredit it.

            In fact, it is you who is trying to backpedal.

            //You’re being out argued//

            You’re winning, eh? A real Adonis complex there. Are you gonna “right every wrong” like this fellow? LOL

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QS0q3mGPGg

          • Onos

            Did you know there is a difference between quoting someone or acknowledging someone makes a claim, and agreeing with it?

          • Rust Cohle

            You don’t seem to know the difference. Do I have to teach you, boy?

            Below is the original data from a survey of “517 members of the [U.S.] National Academy of Sciences from the biological and physical sciences (the latter including mathematicians, physicists and astronomers). The return rate was slightly over 50%.

            Personal belief
            1914 27.7%; 1933 15%; 1998 7.0%

            Personal disbelief
            1914 52.7%; 1933 68%; 1998 72.2%

            Doubt or agnosticism
            1914 20.9%; 1933 17%; 1998 20.8%

            Edward J. Larson and Larry Witham: “Leading Scientists
            Still Reject God.” Nature, 1998; 394, 313

            If you can refute the data, give it a try. If you want to continue on your path of insults and incoherent rage, then you’re welcome to do that also, cuz itz so funny.

          • Onos

            Point A: This is from 1998. (And appears to be citing data from 1914? I can’t tell)

            Point B: Return rate of 50% from a non-randomized group selected from only members of the National Academy of Science? Do you understand sampling?

            Point C: Pew is more current and fully reputable source.

            I don’t disagree with this data for what it says, however it is not nearly as meaningful as the Pew Survey. In fact it is largely useless to characterize all scientists’ beliefs today.

          • Rust Cohle

            That’s really funny if you think the journal Nature just doesn’t “understand sampling.”

            But your lack of intellect is not surprising, given that your dear leader demands you retard your intellect to child-like credulity, to become Santa Claus eligible, like Jesus says one must do to swallow make-believe:

            LK 18.17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.

            MT 11.25 At that time Jesus said, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

            1CO 1.18-26 For the message about the cross is nonsense…the nonsense of our preaching…Not many of you were wise by human standards…

            So how long are you going to accept nonsense, while still trying to paint yourself as something wise?

            godlessindixie.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/russell.jpg?w=300

          • Onos

            Haha what is funny is how you keep trying to take my words and spin them. The journal fully understands it I’m sure, but what they were doing is not characterizing the entire scientist population; they were surveying a specific group. You were trying to apply it incorrectly.

            Also you can keep avoiding the obvious flaws I point out in your data or points, it’s fine. I know you will not admit I win, but that really is okay.

            I’ll say a few prayers for you, and I’ll continue being a child. Children are the happiest creatures on Earth after all.

            Safe travels Rust.

          • Rust Cohle

            not characterizing the entire scientist population

            Read what I said; I have said many times “elite scientists,” , and never, ever referred to “the entire scientist population,” as you falsely purport.

            Can you read basic English? Or are you just another Liar for Jesus? Seems to be quite the tradition.

          • Onos

            Ah I stand corrected. Fair enough. In that case I still state my survey is simply more credible than your’s. Sorry for the mix-up.

          • Rust Cohle

            Your survey isn’t “more credible.” The Nature survey is from elite scientists in the National Academy of Science, and the Pew survey is from a wider pool of scientists. They’re both informative; and neither help your position.

          • Onos

            I have the more recent by 20 years at least, and the more characteristic of the population. Mine is better.

          • Rust Cohle

            1998 wasn’t “20 years” ago. Can you even do basic math?

            Enjoy your delusions. The surveyed population is different, and, if Nature did their survey of Academy scientists again, it would probably be an even higher rate of non-belief. Disbelief has been the trend, and confirmed by other surveys.

  • DomineNonSumDignus

    The Holy Rosary is a prayer for all and an effective weapon against evil. All the prayers of the rosary are scripturally-based and allow one to meditate on the life of Christ which could possibly be the best prayer of all. Our Blessed Mother will help anyone draw closer to her Son through this beautiful devotion.

  • Guest_august

    Here is a wonderful piece for insight about Mary ever-Virgin. I think all protestants should fully embrace her.
    http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/05/20/category-archive-message-board-41-mary-ever-virgin/

  • Leonard Martinez

    …[Jesus], unlike others who preceded him in the biblical narrative, was more
    like the needle of a compass, pointing us in a common direction, rather
    than making himself the “X marks the spot,” or the ultimate destination.

    It’s difficult to believe that the person who wrote this is a Christian. Jesus Christ IS the “X marks the spot” or “the ultimate destination.” He is God, the one through whom everything has been created and through whom everything holds together and for whom everything exists. What are you talking about? Only an ungrounded or immature Christian would find the need to experiment with the Rosary. The writer sounds as if he’s lost in space, searching for a landing zone. After having read this article and the comments below it, I get a better understanding of why evil has been advancing so quickly in our world over the past several decades. There is no firm grounding in the faith. There is no rock-solid conviction. Christians are not reading their Bibles. They’re probably too busy staring zombie-eyed at their cell phones to work Bible reading into their schedules. If you consider yourself a Christian, get into the Bible furiously and immediately. Read it from Genesis to Revelation. Then read it again. And again and again. From Genesis to Revelation. Study it. Read it. Live by it. Pray by it. Pray in God’s will (see the Bible) on your knees every day. After five years read this stupid article again and ask yourself if you feel the same way about it. You won’t.

    • jessej

      There were plenty of Christians before the bible Leonard.

      The idea that scripture was to be used outside of the Catholic community as a sole source of revelation is akin to reading a family journal and believing you have entered fully into that family by your own merit and dedication to the journal.

    • Phoenix_Lion

      What about all the Christians that read the Bible, as you recommend, and see that Catholicism is Truly the Church Jesus founded? It was my reading of the Bible and learning the History of the early church that convinced me.

  • Jerry Rhino

    The relationship of Mary to Jesus is more intimate than you may have imagined. Here is one aspect you probably never heard of, Microchimerism, which is the harboring of small numbers of cells that originated in a genetically different individual.
    During pregnancy some cells traffic from the mother to the fetus and from
    the fetus to the mother.
    Surprisingly, a small number of the mother’s cells persist in her offspring,
    including into adult life.
    And a small number of cells from prior pregnancies persist in mothers many
    years later.
    Mary truly is the Ark of the Covenant, God’s Tabernacle, for she continues to hold living cells from Jesus within her.

  • Billiamo

    Ad Iesum per Mariam: To Jesus through Mary.

  • Without Malice

    Did Jesus, when he taught his disciples to pray, say to first ask my mother or my brothers and sisters or anyone else to intercede on your behalf? Not that I recall. Did not Paul say that there was “one” intercessor between God and man, the man Christ Jesus? Did not Jesus teach that there is a great gulf between the living and the dead? To pray is merely to lay a petition before God and to give him praise, and laying a petition before anyone else but God is something that was never taught in the early church. Show me one time in the NT where Peter, or James, or Paul ever mentioned Mary as some kind of intermediary between man and God. Do you think God will ignore your prayer unless Mary or some other saint asks on your behalf, as if God himself is not more compassionate than the entire human race – including Mary. If Mary was of any importance in the plan of salvation, don’t you think the apostles would have made that plain?

    • CJ Munno

      “Did not Jesus teach that there is a great gulf between the living and the dead” – where is that? Not the story of the Rich man and Lazarus – they were both dead. The “gulf” kept them from crossing over from one side to the other. But clearly it didn’t prevent petitions. After all, the rich man did ask for water. Moreover, Abraham didn’t say that the gulf blocked the way to the living. Just that the testimony of the dead wouldn’t convince anyone who doesn’t believe scripture. Amen to that!

      “He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive” (Lk 20:38). I’m sure you ask people to pray with you. Don’t let their absence of heartbeat and respiration stop you from asking someone to pray with you. For to Him, all are alive, even if you don’t see it that way.

      Let’s agree on this much. There is one intermediary between God and humanity, Jesus. All these people we ask to pray with us … they are not intermediaries; no more than your friends and family that pray for you (or with you) are intermediaries. We don’t look at them that way.

      “Show me one time in the NT where Peter, or James, or Paul ever mentioned Mary as some kind of intermediary between man and God.” – No. It’s not in scripture because it would be bad theology. But they certainly did pray with Mary … or Mary prayed with them, depending on your perspective.

      “Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” [NIV Acts 1:12-14]

      • Martin

        See my post above for a reply – blessings

        • Martin

          Sorry CJ was directing that to Wm apologies

    • Martin

      Blessings WM. I think you are getting a little confused with the Reverlation of scripture which is our rock which we build our faith on, and the long years of mining that Rock for all the precious gems it contains.

      We all agree that only God can answer prayer. Hopefully we agree that Jesus is the only intercessor between God and man…. Yet hang on a minute, that is not scriptural

      Romans 8:26-27New International Version (NIV)

      26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

      So now we have two intercessors. The Holy Spirit is one too. So that’s fine… Yet hang on a minute:

      Matt 18:10 now Jesus warns us not to despise children because their Angels are before his father in Heaven….doing what? Representing them? How…. I would argue interceding for them

      So that 3 ok that’s that then….oh no I’m wrong

      We also have Paul interceding for onesimus who had died 2 Tim 1 16-19

      So that’s 4.

      Oh and there is Rev 5: 9 where the angels present all of the saints prayers to God (living saints).

      And then there are loads of accounts after the bible was complete of people praying at the tombs of martyrs, and many accounts of answered prayers. Then there are many accounts of angels appearing to people and saints speaking to people, let’s use Joan of Arc as a famous example.

      Then there are of course the accounts of apparitions of Mary that the church has confirmed.

      What is missed by those who struggle with the idea of God using saints to intercede for his church is that if God Glorifies a saint by allowing them to intercede for a person, what in fact happens is that God is glorified ten fold.

      Why?

      The saint could only intercede if God is real. It confirms the truth of eternal life, heaven and the gospel itself. If destroys the fear of death and encourages a holy life. The saint can only offer what he/she has received from God and nothing of themselves. Everything has it’s source in God. Infact if saints could not intercede, it would actually support the arguement of atheists who say there is no such thing as these heaven and eternal life anyway.

      Hopefully this is something to consider.
      Blessings

  • neslszy

    Just want to clarify things out here, I respect the idea of the rosary because it does not tell you to withdraw your faith from Jesus, but it seems to me that rosary is a vital prayer tool when you do praying to God. Is it really necessary to practice that rosary thing? Second, if the idea of rosary or any kind is too significant, why Jesus or the rest of the apostles did not teach us an ancient version of rosary, except the Catholic heroes? Lastly, about Mary, I don’t get the idea that you ask Mary to lead you to his Son, how about Joseph? John 3:16 says God sent his son for the forgiveness of sin, not Mary. Is there a problem if one could pray directly to God thru Jesus and not to bother Mary because she was like us, sinners, who depends on God’s grace. Good day to all.

    • Tracy

      Let’s see if I can’t help answer some of your questions.1. Is it necessary to practice the rosary thing? No, but it sure helps. The rosary is a tool to help you concentrate, think about, ponder and bring you closer to our Lord. It is one of the most powerful prayers you will ever experience. I find for me it’s the most powerful when I pray it with other people. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is one that moves me to tears. You won’t be able to understand unless you experience it. Praying the rosary has been a tradition of the Catholic church for a long time but it’s pretty fuzzy as to who made it more formal . Some believe it was St. Dominic but others say, no. It’s not important who started it or whether it says we do it in the Bible or not. It’s a beautiful, powerful practice to bring you closer to God. 2. Why do we ask Mary and not Joseph. Well this question is two fold. 1. We ask Mary because Mary is Jesus’ mother. God called on her to have Jesus , not Joseph. Joseph was Jesus’ adopted father , or foster father (which ever term you’d like to chose). He was not Jesus’ biological father. So though he had a wonderful role in bringing Jesus up. He was not part of Jesus like his mother was. He did not carry Joseph’s DNA. We as Catholics do honor Joseph in a special way, and can pray to him in intercessory. He is just not the one to lead us to Jesus. Mary, like any mother knew him the most. Any good and devoted mother will know her child more than anyone else. As for Mary being a sinner? Well, you may want to check your Bible again. Did the angel Gabriel not tell Mary ” Hail, Mary , full of Grace.”? If you are full of grace, that means you are free from sin. First stop and think, God was sending a message that Mary was about to have His Son. Nothing that is with sin can be in the near presence of God. God doesn’t send sinners to Heaven. He sends them to Hell. So why would God want to bring His Son into the world with a sinner? God knew , because he knows us before we ever know ourselves, what Mary’s plan in life was going to be from the very moment of her conception. Meaning she was born without Original Sin. God always has a plan. He has a plan for each and every one of us. He already knew Mary’s purpose and prepared her from the time of conception for what she was put on this earth to do. I hope this helps. I encourage you to keep asking questions. It’s how we all learn.

  • TIM

    “to experiment” Ah the protestants — everything is religious entertainment to them !