Wednesday, February 06, 2013

And now, some slightly blasphemous prayers

While out at the abortion clinic, I've noticed that a few older Roman Catholic gentlemen come out as well for ~30 minutes, set out some pro-life signs, and pray what I was pretty sure was the Rosary.

Leaving aside the question of whether the Rosary has any effect on abortion (other than making demons laugh uproariously), last time I was out there, as they finished up their prayers and went back to their car, they passed my way and as we said hello, one of them handed me a pamphlet, saying, "These are the prayers we pray when we're out here."

I later flipped through it and found the following verses of sheer awesomeness, which I thought I'd share here. If you can pray these without wanting to throw up, you need to repent, and quickly.







77 comments:

Brigitte said...

You are right Rhology about this one. And also, though repetition need not at all be mindless but can drive things deeper, Jesus expressly said to not go on making long prayers and then gave us a nice and concise prayer which goes nothing like those above.

Rooney said...

I dont get it. Why do RCs insist that Evangelicals even need to pray such prayers?
I read some dialogue online involving RC apologist Mark Bonocore and he said that Evangelicals have the "bare minimum" needed for salvation.

Northwest SD Lutheran said...

Did they ask Bonocore if he had what was needed for salvation? If he prays like this I would say no.

James Swan said...

http://www.logosandmuse.com/rhology-strains-at-a-gnat/

enjoy.

James Swan said...

From the link:

"OVER AT BEGGAR’S ALL, there is a stu­pe­fy­ingly idi­otic post by Rhol­ogy, who uses the occa­sion of pro-life activ­ity at an abor­tion mill to take a few shots at the “blas­phe­mous” con­tent of prayers recited by some Catholics who were at the scene."

Godwin Delali Adadzie said...

Well I guess you would like to check out Is the Rosary Biblical? http://www.gadel.info/2011/03/is-rosary-biblical.html

God bless you all.

James Swan said...

I read that Logo & Muse link early this morning. the blogger asks,

"Doesn’t the mon­strous evil of abor­tion trump those the­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences?"

I consider the Roman perspective on Mary to be blatant idolatry. One need only skim through the Old Testament to discover its view of idolatry.

Rhology said...

Is stupefying like stupidifying?

Rhology said...

"Doesn’t the mon­strous evil of abor­tion trump those the­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences?"

Not if the Gospel is the solution to that monstrous evil and RCC doesn't preach it.

James Swan said...

Rome's Love below for Rho. Would Mary approve?

"Rhology is a twit."

"He really bugs me because he conceals who he really is. I am willing to talk in person at anytime with anyone. (I have told him this). He seems like a coward."

"disingenuous and/or stupid and arrogant."

"borderline obsessive-compulsive"...well, there's a classic instance of "projection."

"Here's a picture of our noble, know-nothing warrior"

"The pseudonyms are appropriate, because these people are all nobodies. If they weren't parasites off of the recognition that Catholics receive, they would be nothing."

Rhology said...

these people are all nobodies


*sob*

Brigitte said...

If it can be discussed with Hitchens somewhere, it can also be discussed here, can't it?

It seems like Roman Catholics have carried a large amount of work on the pro-life front and this does not come from nothing. It comes from the high view of human value especially since also our Lord took it upon himself to redeem it. But denominational differences do make it hard to work together on any front. And while Mary stands for the way in which the Lord took on human nature to redeem it, we just cannot pray to her in this way or say things about her that are not scriptural.

I would not say that RC does not have the gospel, as they also preach Christ and allow people to come to confession and receive absolution. So there are in the the prolife movement many Catholic women who have had abortions and have regretted them. They have received forgiveness and they have received the gospel.

Instead of going over and over the same prayers, though, I wonder if we could agree with St. Paul, and speak in ways that make cognitive sense, as in maybe don't speak in tongues to the congregation. In private you can pray what you want, how you want, but in public try to make some sense.

So keep speaking about the value of human life, keep speaking about forgiveness, keep offering hope and help to women, etc., make sense to the those who attend, those who work in the abortion mill, make sense to the passers by. Use the power of scripture and the words of God. Use them for exhortation and instruction, enlightenment, and proclamation of law and gospel. Convict the hearer... Use the best words and thoughts you have. Be the smartest, kindest and best-informed people around wielding the armor of God. We have no promise of God that praying the rosary over and over again will cause us to be heard by God or bring success to a cause. Let us have unity by speaking sensibly and seeking the truth.

Rhology said...

I would not say that RC does not have the gospel, as they also preach Christ and allow people to come to confession and receive absolution.

I seriously fear for your soul, Brigitte.

James Swan said...

Maybe instead of attacking Rho, these wonderful loving Romanists could work out a prayer to Mary for Rho... or maybe Mary is appearing to them and approving their comments before they post them?



Brigitte said...

Rhology, I know you do. Rest assured that my hope is in Christ and his word, which he sent out to release captives and forgive sins. So keep me The Lord in this faith by his grace. Amen. Not trusting in Mary's intercession, as there is no such promise, and not in the quality of my regeneration, as I as for forgiveness in Christ's name every day, --for which there is a promise: ask and it will be given and also pronounced, as the apostles were sent out to retain or remit as appropriate.

James Swan said...

Brigitte said...
I would not say that RC does not have the gospel, as they also preach Christ and allow people to come to confession and receive absolution.

Rhology said..
I seriously fear for your soul, Brigitte.

Here's my 2 cents. I obviously have a high regard for both of you. But, I disagree with both of you.

First, I disagree with the comment from Brigitte because Rome anathematized the Gospel at Trent. Certainly it is within the realm of possibility though that some Roman Catholics are born again, but this is despite Rome's official teaching. A good listen on this subject is the debate between James White and Douglas Wilson: Are Roman Catholics Members of the New Covenant?

http://store.aomin.org/are-roman-catholics-our-brothers-and-sisters-in-christ.html

I disagree with Rho, in that, simply because someone thinks Rome "has the Gospel" does not necessarily mean that their soul is in peril. For instance, however much I loathe some of the anti-Reformed stuff Geisler has put out, he makes the comment that "Rome is a true church with significant error." This is nonsense. Geisler though, I would consider, a Christian. Sure, I think he's quite wrong on a number of significant issues, including his view of Rome.

Love you both though... play nice.

JS

James Swan said...

More love from Rome:

"Rhology seems to be unusually privy to the doings of the demons . . . ."

Keep it coming guys. You are your own worst enemies.

James Swan said...

Godwin Delali Adadzie said...
Well I guess you would like to check out Is the Rosary Biblical? http://www.gadel.info/2011/03/is-rosary-biblical.html


This link had some sort of instant-spam-pop-up asking me to "like it" or wait 25 seconds. I chose neither and dumped the page. If you want your stuff read,at least by me, try to make it as painless as possible. I abhor pop ups. I'd rather have a pin stuck in my eye.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Alan, being a poor ignorant Catholic, I never heard of demons laughing. Certainly, no pope, council or early church father has declared that. Perhaps you can demonstrate where in the Bible demons laugh uproariously, chuckle, smile or even have a sense of humor.

BTW, if there is blasphemy that results from any of the prayers that you mock, it is due to your profane mockery of them. You may disagree with the theology behind those prayers. That's ok-discuss that rather than attack the purpose and goals of Catholic pro-life picketers as an abomination especially when whether something is an abomination as it is used in the verse you link to is based on the purity of one's motive unless you are telling all concerned that God has gifted you with the charism of discerning what is in one's hearts and you read into that man's heart. In the meantime, perhaps you should heed the advice of Gamaliel at Acts 5:38. Your verbiage will certainly will then offer less fodder for your detractors.

God bless!

Rhology said...


"Demons laughing" is a rhetorical device designed to call attention to how pathetic and useless against the powers of Hell a prayer to a dead human being is.


if there is blasphemy that results from any of the prayers that you mock, it is due to your profane mockery of them.

So Elijah's mockery of the prophets' of Baal blasphemous prayers was itself that which blasphemed God.
Yeah...no. The prayers are blasphemous and disgusting. I am merely pointing out how awful they are.



You may disagree with the theology behind those prayers. That's ok

It's not OK. We are to give no provision for evil.


rather than attack the purpose and goals of Catholic pro-life picketers

Saving babies is great. I don't attack that.
It's the blasphemous prayers and hatred of the Gospel I'm attacking.


God has gifted you with the charism of discerning what is in one's hearts

Of course that's not the case, but Matthew 7 talks an awful lot about fruits. So does James.


perhaps you should heed the advice of Gamaliel at Acts 5:38

Ripped screaming out of context. The apostles of the Lord were obeying their Lord. People praying these blasphemous prayers are grossly disobeying Him.


Pete Holter said...

“Rome anathematized the Gospel at Trent”

Hi James!

I wonder where you think we have anathematized the Gospel. I would really appreciate reading a post on this from you.

Rhology!

Looking good in that screenshot that Dave shared of you! I appreciate your struggle over these prayers to Mary.

Brigitte, I can’t wait till you’re Catholic. I know you’ve said that you already are Catholic, but you know what I mean. :) And you post some great stuff.

With love in Christ,
Pete

Rhology said...

Looking good in that screenshot that Dave shared of you!

LOL
I'm glad you said that. I was starting to take you seriously again.

What's really REALLY funny is that he got that shot from probably the vilest atheist I've ever encountered, and that's saying something. But you know, to Dave, none of that matters. As long as he can stick it to an "anti-Catholic". As if I've made any secret of my name and all that.
What a pathetic joke.

Rhology said...

I wonder where you think we have anathematized the Gospel.

http://hereiblog.com/trent-let-me-be-anathema


Brigitte, I can’t wait till you’re Catholic.

If someone like Pete can say that and think it might happen, I'd recommend you do some soul-searching on just how much you've given anyone any indication that you're glad the Reformation happened, Brigitte.

James Swan said...

More love from Rome:

"Maniacal Maricle is now getting hyper-ridiculous, as he always does"

These nasty comments must make Mary very sad.

James Swan said...

Mr. Hoffer:

Why do your buddies get a free pass mocking and calling Rho names? Explain to me why Mary would approve of this sort of behavior.

Rooney said...

You know what, some Traditionalists utterly rejects the new mysteries added to the Rosary by recent Popes/Anti-Popes.

So, how can we know if the modern set of mysteries is better than the traditional set?
If I had to choose using my private opinion, I'm going to have to choose the traditional set. I dont want any of the modern heretical stuff.

BTW, some RCs on CAF (or on some RC forum) are actually complaining about how modern rosaries are made of plastic rather than more "precious" materials, like gems.

BTW, How do the Orthodox view the rosary?

Rooney said...

"Doesn’t the mon­strous evil of abor­tion trump those the­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences?"

I dont know, mate. It doesnt look like most RCC blogs listens to that sort of message.

The vast vast vast majority of RC Apologetic websites look far more anti-Protestant than anti-Abortion.

Even the Sedevacantist websites dont listen to that message. They are fully fixed on their crusade against these modern anti-Popes.

So looks like the RC side also strains a bit at gnats.

In NZ, the two sides seem far more united against abortion/atheism etc. However you will hardly ever hear a preacher preach about the Reformation.

Rhology said...

"Doesn’t the mon­strous evil of abor­tion trump those the­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences?"

That's a great question to ask these bloggers who are mocking me behind their keyboards while I hit the streets to tell people about Jesus.

Rhology said...

From one of those blog comments:
I'll make sure to say the rosary for Rhology sounds like he needs some peace in his life. Perhaps Mother Mary will intercede for him.

HAHAHAHAHAHA.
What is doubly sad is that it is precisely that - a total lack of peace - that led me to the cross of Jesus, almost 20 years ago.
And Jesus gave me peace. Somehow I don't think I need anything from a dead woman.

Rhology said...

Yes Paul, we don't see that in Scripture directly.
Let me ask you this - the mockery, derisive laughter, and scoffing that I see so often in the blogosphere and out on the streets, did that come strictly from the human heart? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it came from the demonic. It's hardly out of the question.


I will mark this on my calendar as a true ecumenical moment.

Hahah, do that, yes. We can also agree on things like "what does 'is' mean?" ;-)


I take it then that you do not have knowledge of the notion of lex orandi, lex credendi

You'd be mistaken about that.


passages such as Rev. 5:8 and a number of the psalms where folks in heaven are offering intercessory prayers for us here on earth

Happy to, and I've never denied that ppl in Heaven pray for people on Earth. But the Scripture teaches that they intercede in some way AND ALSO that people living here on Earth are not supposed to talk to dead people and are certainly not supposed to offer to dead people or angels actions that are worshipful, no matter the intention and motivation behind them. Scripture teaches BOTH.



early Church fathers, in their writings, liturgies and prayers which indicate that intercessory prayer to saints, such as Mary, is proper and efficacious.

I know that people DO that. I'm saying they're wrong to do it, for they are violating Scripture. Mark 7:13



Saint Augustine for example wrote: "Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ.

Whoopie. Augustine also said this and I don't see you repenting of holding to Roman Catholic soteriology.
“If Abraham was not justified by works, how was he justified? The apostle goes on to tell us how: What does scripture say? (that is, about how Abraham was justified). Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3; Gen. 15:6). Abraham, then, was justified by faith. Paul and James do not contradict each other: good works follow justification.”

Since you don't feel the need to follow Augustine slavishly, I don't see why I should either.



perhaps then it is not unreasonable that folks who belong to the Church might engage in such intercessory prayers today.

Perhaps you've heard of Sola Scriptura and Mark 7:13.



perhaps rather than using hypocritical mockery and polemic to attack the practice of Marian intercessory prayer, you could have taken the time to educate us poor, stupid Catholics

1) I have already and you rejected it. That's on you.
2) I never said you were stupid. You are foolish, but that's not the same thing.
3) I only wish you were poor in spirit, that you would come to Jesus in total submission to everything He said, not just part of it, and that you would cease your blasphemous thought that you can partially merit your justification.
4) Your verbiage here is quite mocking and polemical and attacking. Physician, heal thyself.
5) And thus you're being hypocritical.
6) But you haven't shown how *I* am being hypocritical; you've merely asserted it.



your learned and infallible magisterial pronouncements

LOL
Right, see, 'cause that's not mocking, attacking, or polemical. Nosirree. It's only OK when you do it in defense of Holy Mother Church. It's not OK when I do it.
Who said anything about infallible? Neither you nor Augustine are infallible, and I don't see The Magisterium® commenting here. So why did you even say that?




the Scriptures rejects the notion of intercessory prayer with the communion of saints

Because "intercessory prayer with the communion of saints" is a simple euphemism for talking to dead people.



snark that you agree with is ok, but snark that you do not agree with is not ok.

That's rich. May the Lord judge between you and us.

Peace,
Rhology

Rhology said...

Saint Augustine for example wrote: "Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ.

By the way, where did Augustine say "...and so it's totally fine if you want to talk to dead people"?

Pete Holter said...

“LOL
“I'm glad you said that. I was starting to take you seriously again.”

No, I was being sincere. That was a good pic!

“As if I've made any secret of my name and all that. What a pathetic joke.”

Yeah, your name and where you are from were both mentioned in that debate that you had with that group of atheists, last year I think? Maybe these other Catholics should spend more time getting to know you better instead of attacking you. And besides, as I’ve said before, Rhology is a cool name.

And I can’t wait for you to be Catholic too, Rhology. If my fellow Catholics would stop trying to quench the Spirit with their insults, who knows what God might do? :)

With love in Christ,
Pete

James Swan said...

Mr. Swan: you take me to task for Mr. colorful use of literary alliteration and his choice of adjectives when you fail to correct one of your minions here is using similar literary devices of his own here! I see–snark that you agree with is ok, but snark that you do not agree with is not ok. Being duly chastened, I shall hasten to a mirror to remove the splinter from my eye while I suggest you seek the assistance of opthamologist to remove the beam from yours.

Mr Hoffer,

Thank you for at least answering one of my questions. I particularly appreciate that you at least admitted the comments of your friends were "snarky." I'd go a step a further and say they were downright nasty. Remember when you guys tracked down John Bugay's church to make him apologize? Perhaps I should contact some of your churches to do the same thing. Or, perhaps your priests are telling you folks to be snarky and nasty. Who knows?

You also avoided the other question I asked. Recall:

Why do your buddies get a free pass mocking and calling Rho names? Explain to me why Mary would approve of this sort of behavior.

If Mary were to appear to you right now, would she approve of saying of Rho:

"Rhology is a twit."

"He really bugs me because he conceals who he really is. I am willing to talk in person at anytime with anyone. (I have told him this). He seems like a coward."

"disingenuous and/or stupid and arrogant."

"borderline obsessive-compulsive"...well, there's a classic instance of "projection."

"Here's a picture of our noble, know-nothing warrior"

"The pseudonyms are appropriate, because these people are all nobodies. If they weren't parasites off of the recognition that Catholics receive, they would be nothing."

"Rhology seems to be unusually privy to the doings of the demons . . . ."

"Maniacal Maricle is now getting hyper-ridiculous, as he always does"

I await to see how apply your particular personal Mariology to this situation.

Rhology said...

I totally am a coward, though. Mary would be very pleased by that accusation.

James Swan said...

Rhology said...
I totally am a coward, though. Mary would be very pleased by that accusation.


Yeah, that's the silly part of this. You're out there street preaching on a university campus, something that takes a lot nerve and guts, and they think you're a coward.

Amazing.

Pete Holter said...

“Perhaps I should contact some of your churches to do the same thing. Or, perhaps your priests are telling you folks to be snarky and nasty. Who knows?”

We all have our blind spots, and my sin is crouching at the door to have me. If you would ever like to bring my sin to the attention of my pastor, you can find his email address at http://saintmarysonline.org/about-us/staff-parish-council. Father Collin Poston. He’s awesome! We love Father James Nirappel too.

Would you agree with Rhology on the canons from Trent that anathematized the Gospel? That was a pretty long list. Maybe we can chop that list down by a few.

In Christ,
Pete

Paul Hoffer said...
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James Swan said...

When I pray to Mary, I ask her to do only what you already agree she is doing–to pray for me.



Mr. Hoffer, I don't claim to be any sort of expert in the various strands and sects of Romanism. Time allowing, would you briefly clarify your statement?  Is this your own practice and particular interpretation of Romanism? As I wander across the Internet, I find such prayers as these from reputable Roman websites. You say you personally ask Mary to do one thing (pray for you), while this link requests far more. I'm sure I could find other similar links asking for much more.  Even in the prayers Rho posted in this link, one of the prayers says, "Mary, we trust that all the infants executed before birth are safely with you, enjoying the vision of God. They were not baptised with water, but neither were the Holy Innocents. Tell your Son that they are all martyrs of the modern Herods."

James Swan said...

Mr. Hoffer: Unfortunately, some of your posts have been deleted, for reasons you should be aware of by this point. If you would like, I'll gladly forward them back to you so you can edit them and re-post (if you don't have back up copies).


James Swan said...

We all have our blind spots, and my sin is crouching at the door to have me. If you would ever like to bring my sin to the attention of my pastor, you can find his email address at http://saintmarysonline.org/about-us/staff-parish-council. Father Collin Poston. He’s awesome! We love Father James Nirappel too.

I simply don't understand why Rho can make a post pointing out something that many of us see as totally wrong (Rho calls it blasphemy, I call it idolatry), and then he's got to have insults hurled at him.

That some of us still maintain the same views of the Reformers on this issue should not surprise any of you.

Rooney said...

Do RCs imagine Mary/Jesus/God by mental imagery during rosary?

Do they have to do that? do they have to do the same mental imagery when they pray to saints?

How do they know that their mental imagery does not misrepresent Mary/Jesus/God?

Thanks.






Rooney said...

Is it possible for us to know who was the first to pray the rosary?

What is the RC position on this? Do they teach that any specific apostolic person prayed it?

Thanks.

James Swan said...

One Roman Catholic blogger is now referring to this blog as "Butchers All."

I don't understand why this is supposed to be funny, especially since he cites this blog post that deals with the heinous sin of abortion.

Elsewhere he declares Rho and I "a cou­ple of besot­ted clowns."

Once again, I'd like to ask: for a religion that takes Mary so seriously, would Mary approve of these comments? Lest this sort of question / reasoning appear cryptic to Roman Catholic visitors, I'm simply asking you to be consistent in your Mariology. It's the same reasoning used above all the times I've mentioned Mary appearing to you, telling you things, etc. Why do insist on be insulting? I'm asking you where in your Mariology this sort of behavior is taught or approved.

Rooney said...

Consider this:

1. RCs get very angry over someone [Rho] speaking against the modern RCC's beliefs [prayer to saints].

2. Pre-Vatican II documents speak against many modern RCC beliefs (eg. Inclusivism, Separated Brethren etc).

3. If RCs are consistent, they should get a bit angry over the pre-Vatican II documents which contradict modern RCC beliefs, such as the following quotes [some ex-Cathedra]:

-"The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only… immediately descend into Hell"
-"They [Protestants] never had faith in Christ"
-"The lives of those men [Luther, Calvin etc] were evil, and it is only the devil that makes use of them to pervert the people still more"
-"No sensible man will assert such an absurdity [Protestants being saved]"
-"Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life."

Pete Holter said...

“would Mary approve of these comments?”

I don’t think so. God is witness to what is taking place, and He may make her privy to the exchanges taking place on these blogs right now. We Catholics need to realize that we are rightly being held to a higher standard as Catholics, and that we will be judged the more severely for how we have treated each and every person. We would not be far from the mark in thinking that the beam will always be in the eye of the Catholic because of the unsurpassable bounty of grace and truth received by us in the Church of Christ.

I shared the following on TurretinFan’s blog some time ago, but thought it might be worthwhile to share something similar here:

The difference between praying to the saints in Christ and necromancy is like the difference between prophecy on the one hand, and predicting the future through astrology or fortune telling on the other. Some of the same information that can be gained legitimately through prophets and dreams, can also come unlawfully through divination and consultation with demons. The Egyptians did through magical arts some of what Moses did through the power of God. What Saul engaged in with the medium of En-dor was forbidden by the law of God. But he sinfully resorted to her because “the LORD did not answer him” through any of the legitimate means, i.e., “either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets” (1 Samuel 28:6). […] Is there a difference between praying to the saints in Christ and divining “by a spirit” in order to “bring up” the dead (1 Samuel 28:8)? We do think so. Just as there is a difference between inquiring “by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD” (Numbers 27:21) and the use of a Ouija board; and Just as there is a difference between preaching Christ through a demon and preaching Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 16:16-18); so we believe that there is a difference between praying to our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ that “builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16), and necromancy “by a spirit.”

With love in Christ,
Pete

James Swan said...

Pete Holter said...
“would Mary approve of these comments?” I don’t think so. God is witness to what is taking place, and He may make her privy to the exchanges taking place on these blogs right now. We Catholics need to realize that we are rightly being held to a higher standard as Catholics, and that we will be judged the more severely for how we have treated each and every person. We would not be far from the mark in thinking that the beam will always be in the eye of the Catholic because of the unsurpassable bounty of grace and truth received by us in the Church of Christ.


I request that my detractors take a moment to print out this comment from Pete Holter, turn off their computers, read the comment, meditate on the comment, and then formulate a response to Peter explaining why he's wrong... or perhaps, just perhaps, maybe you'll see that he's correct according to your own Roman Catholic worldview. Mary, as far I understand modern-day Roman Catholic Mariology, would not at all pleased with many of the comments made about Rho.

I've focused mostly on the comments made about Rho in order to make the "what would Mary think of your comments" argument. Doing so has caused all sorts of slams against me as well- everything from saying I sound like Obama to stating I need an English class due to my poor reading skills- both of these comments from people that I've had minimal interaction with, if any. Yep- that's the Internet.

Paul Hoffer said...

Since Mr. Swan chose to delete some of my comments because they contained the name of a certain Catholic apologist who has been anathematized from this site, I waffled over whether to keep my other comments up or not. I reluctantly decided to edit them and re-post them together only because I felt what I had to say was important.

Rhology wrote: "Let me ask you this - the mockery, derisive laughter, and scoffing that I see so often in the blogosphere and out on the streets, did that come strictly from the human heart? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it came from the demonic. It's hardly out of the question."

Me: I agree that it is not out the realm of possibility that your mockery of the Rosary could be demonically spawned. I pray though that such is not the case and would hope rather that your mockery is a result of ignorance of Catholic teaching on that point.

You also wrote that I am mistaken about your knowledge of the notion of lex orandi, lex credendi. If I am mistaken on that account it would be because your statements belie an awareness of such.

You wrote: "I've never denied that ppl in Heaven pray for people on Earth."

Me: Another point of agreement-a second ecumenical moment.



You wrote: “[P]eople living here on Earth are not supposed to talk to dead people.

Me: Where do the Scriptures say that? Saul’s summoning of Samuel through the witch of Endor shows us that we are not to summon ghosts and spirits to talk WITH them to divine the future which I wholeheartedly agree with. When I pray to Mary or a saint, I do not ask them how tomorrow’s battle is going to turn out or whether I am going to smite any local Amalekites in combat, or for that matter what tomorrow’s Powerball numbers are going to be or even whether I am going to still be around when the Browns win a Superbowl. Catholic intercessory prayer is NOT the same as supernatural prognostication. When I pray to Mary, I ask her to do only what you already agree she is doing–to pray for me.

Moreover, I do not summon Mary or a saint to appear before me. Now there are instances of apparations in the history of the Church, but I am not aware of any instance where the individual blessed with such an appearance summoned/commanded Mary or that saint to appear before them. Have you made a study of such encounters? Are you aware of any instance where the Church approves of a Marian apparation where an individual summoned her to appear before them? Are you not able to see the difference between Catholic intercessory prayer to saints and Saul’s summoning of Samuel?

You wrote: [WE] are certainly not supposed to offer to dead people or angels actions that are worshipful, no matter the intention and motivation behind them. Scripture teaches BOTH.
Me: I agree that we are not to offer to dead people or angels actions that are worshipful. However, I disagree with your assertion that such is banned no matter the intention or motivation behind such. Our very intentions and motivations behind our devotional actions is what determines whether such constitute worship or not. God judges what is one’s heart rather than outward appearances ( See, Jn 7:24; 8:15; Is. 11:3, 1 Sam. 16:7) and that determines whether an act of devotion constitutes worship (latria) or honor (dulia). If you disagree, show me scripturally where I am wrong. TBC

Paul Hoffer said...

When I pray to Mary or any saint, I do not worship them. I honor them, I venerate them, I seek to imitate their example, but I do not worship them. As an attorney, I make a “prayer” to the Court every time I file a pleading in court, but in doing so, I do not worship or offer adoration to the judge. Prayer is a fancy word for petition, but the intent behind the words determine whether it is a request for relief or an act of worship. Worship is not merely an action; it is a profound acknowledgment of the supremacy of God. Prayer to Mary or a saint lacks that acknowledgment. I do not attribute to them any divinity whatsoever. If my prayers are answered because of Mary’s intercession, it is due solely to the generous action of God.

For that matter, I would suggest to you that like Paul, I believe that true worship requires a sacrifice. (Rom 12:1-2). Perhaps because you do not recognize the Mass as an act of worship because it is the commemoration of the one great sacrifice on the cross by Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ or the Church’s official prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, which is its great sacrifice of praise, you lack an accurate sense of what constitutes worship. Certainly, I would contend that if you conflate a prayer to Mary or a saint to the status of worship offered to God, One in Three, alone, then you do not understand the difference between worship which is due God alone and honor, veneration or devotion which may be given to anyone.

You wrote: “I'm saying they're wrong to do it [pray to saints], for they are violating Scripture. Mark 7:13.

Me: There is nothing in the pericope of Mark 7:1-13 (where Jesus condemns a Pharsaic notion
of sola scriptura, i.e. an interpretation of the Korban rule as set forth at Num. 30:1-3; Lev. 27:26-30; and Dt. 23:21-23 that refuses to allow a vow to be annulled because there is nowhere in the O.T. that permits such a vow to be annulled), that has any application to intercessory prayer to saints. Christians from the earliest times prayed to saints. There is nothing in the Bible that says such is wrong especially since prayer is not listed among the conduct proscribed at Dt. 18:10. Show me a passage that specifically says that praying to a saint in heaven is an abomination.

You wrote: “Whoopie. Augustine also said this and I don't see you repenting of holding to Roman Catholic soteriology.”

“If Abraham was not justified by works, how was he justified? The apostle goes on to tell us how: What does scripture say? (that is, about how Abraham was justified). Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3; Gen. 15:6). Abraham, then, was justified by faith. Paul and James do not contradict each other: good works follow justification.”

Since you don't feel the need to follow Augustine slavishly, I don't see why I should either.

Me: I love the above quote from Augustine. I love this one too:

“So the apostle gives the name of a free gift of God to eternal life itself, which is certainly a reward for good works, when he says For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ... But grace is not grace unless it is free. So it should be understood that even a person’s meritorious good deeds are gifts from God, and when eternal life is given in payment for them, what is that but grace given in return for grace?”

Enchiridion Chapter 107.

Given what you said above, you must not have read #2007-2009 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which holds twice that Augustine’s teaching on merit is the Church’s teaching on merit:

tbc

Paul Hoffer said...

III. Merit

You are glorified in the assembly of your Holy Ones, for in crowning their merits you are crowning your own gifts. Fn. 59.

[Footnote 59 states: Roman Missal, Prefatio I de sanctis; Qui in Sanctorum conciliocelebraris, et eorum coronando merita tua dona coronas, citing the "Doctor of grace," St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 102, 7: PL 37, 1321-1322.]

2006. The term "merit" refers in general to the recompense owed by a community or a society for the action of one of its members, experienced either as beneficial or harmful, deserving reward or punishment. Merit is relative to the virtue of justice, in conformity with the principle of equality which governs it.

2007. With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from Him, our Creator.

2008. The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of His grace. The fatherly action of God is first on His own initiative, and then follows man's free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man's merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.

2009. Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us "co-heirs" with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised inheritance of eternal life." Fn. 60. [Footnote 60 cites to Council of Trent (1547): DS 1546.] The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness. Fn. 61. [Footnote 61 states: Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1548.] "Grace has gone before us; now we are given what is due.... Our merits are God's gifts." Fn. 62. [Footnote 62 quotes from St. Augustine, Sermo 298, 4-5: PL 38, 1367. In the Latin, “Dona Ipsius sunt merita tua.” ] [Emphasis added]

And I thank you for the opportunity to show your readers the difference between polemics and apologetics.

You wrote: “Perhaps you've heard of Sola Scriptura and Mark 7:13.”

Me: Yes, not only have I heard of it, I have read it and have offered exegetical comments on this particular passage. Mark 7:13 is where Jesus condemns man-made oral traditions such as sola scriptura, or at least the way the Pharasaic School of Shammai practiced it in his day.

TBC

Paul Hoffer said...



You wrote: “perhaps rather than using hypocritical mockery and polemic to attack the practice of Marian intercessory prayer, you could have taken the time to educate us poor, stupid Catholics”

1) I have already and you rejected it. That's on you.

Me: Yep, I reject your mockery of it. Now offer something substantive to back up your “tun” of tennis balls.

You: 2) I never said you were stupid. You are foolish, but that's not the same thing.

Me: Thank you for the undeserved compliment (1 Cor. 4:10).


You: 3) I only wish you were poor in spirit, that you would come to Jesus in total submission to everything He said, not just part of it, and that you would cease your blasphemous thought that you can partially merit your justification.

Me: As the Catholic Church teaches, I believe I merit nothing but condemnation and damnation, but God’s grace has saved me, is saving me and will save me.

You: 4) Your verbiage here is quite mocking and polemical and attacking. Physician, heal thyself.

Me: How is my verbiage mocking? In contrast to your treatment of a brother in Christ, I do not treat you with scorn or contempt. I do not set up strawmen and misstate what you believe as you do. If pointing out the silliness of your position is mocking, I hope that you follow my example and adopt my style of “mocking” over yours. Discourse becomes possible and consensus can be reached, even if it is only to agree to disagree.

You: 5) And thus you're being hypocritical.

Me: You have failed to demonstrate the initial premise of your argument-that I hold you in contempt or treat you with scorn which I most certainly do not do in order for me to be hypocritical.

You: 6) But you haven't shown how *I* am being hypocritical; you've merely asserted it.

Me: I have shown that you used a nonbiblical notion to attack something you think (in error I am afraid) is unbiblical. You profess to sola scriptura and yet your post does not offer a single bible verse to refute the charge made against the Catholic pro-life gentleman for his use of Marian devotional prayer as a weapon against our national sin of abortion. Instead, you use mockery and evoke an emotional appeal that has no scriptural basis. There is no love there, nothing pastoral, no Jesus to be found anywhere in your post. I dare say that is hypocritical conduct, at least as any dictionary would define it.
You quoting me: “your learned and infallible magisterial pronouncements”
LOL
Right, see, 'cause that's not mocking, attacking, or polemical. Nosirree. It's only OK when you do it in defense of Holy Mother Church. It's not OK when I do it.

Who said anything about infallible? Neither you nor Augustine are infallible, and I don't see The Magisterium® commenting here. So why did you even say that?

Me: I do not claim infallibility. Augustine is a bishop and thus is a member of the Magisterium so at least his teachings carry some weight here. As for me, I repeat what my Church teaches and since its teachings are infallible, I have some assurance that my view on intercessory prayers to saints is correct since it mirrors the teaching of the Church. My opinions on such matters are immaterial except when they do not mirror the Church’s teaching and then humbly I stand ready to be corrected. On the other hand, your views are merely opinion since they recognize no authority higher than your own when it comes to determining what the Scriptures teach. In attacking the Catholic gentleman’s use of Marian prayer, you set yourself up in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church and thus in effect you are claiming that your views are on par with the magisterial teachings of Catholic Church. I was merely pointing out the tenuousness of your position here. TBC

Paul Hoffer said...



Finally, you wrote: “where did Augustine say "...and so it's totally fine if you want to talk to dead people?”

Me: A Catholic apologist friend has a book that contains material addressing that subject. Here are three quotes from it:

For, even when His angels hear us, it is He Himself who hears us in them, as in His true temple not made with hands, as in those men who are His saints; and His answers, though accomplished in time, have been arranged by His eternal appointment. (City of God, x, 12)

There was a fellow-townsman of ours at Hippo, Florentius, an old man, religious and poor, who supported himself as a tailor. Having lost his coat, and not having means to buy another, he prayed to the Twenty Martyrs, who have a very celebrated memorial shrine in our town, begging in a distinct voice that he might be clothed. . . . he, walking on in silence, saw on the shore a great fish, gasping as if just cast up, . . . on cutting up the fish, the cook found a gold ring in its belly; . . .(City of God, xxii, 8 )

. . . upon recollection of the place in which are deposited the bodies of those whom they love, they should by prayer commend them to those same Saints, who have as patrons taken them into their charge to aid them before the Lord. (On the Care of the Dead , 6)

I have a quote to add to the collection from Sermon 159:1:

'There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended."

I am glad to be of assistance!

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Swan, You asked, "Why do your buddies get a free pass mocking and calling Rho names? Explain to me why Mary would approve of this sort of behavior."

Me: Let me answer you the way Saint Paul would have answered you:

As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, "Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, "Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," nor again the head to the feet, "I do not need you." Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If (one) part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

If we are hurting each other with our words, then we are in reality hurting ourselves as it is a bedrock Christian truth that our shared baptism incorporates us into the Body of Christ, like it or not, regardless of our particular theological positions. If James Swan hurts a certain Catholic apologist with his words, James Swan is really hurting himself. If Paul Hoffer hurts Alan Maricle with his words, then Paul Hoffer is really hurting himself. We all too often forget this truth in our apologetic exercises.

Frankly, if each of us prayed before we posted our particular posts, comments and responses and remembered Christ’s words at Matt. 25:40 that whatsoever we do to the least of our brethren, we do unto Our Lord, we would be less insistent of using nasty language as part of our written discourse in contending for the faith in Jesus Christ that we share. Moreover, the purpose of our words is ennobled as our aim of argument is elevated. We should seek to recognize where we agree and build on that rather than exaggerating our differences. For example, Rhology acknowledged that he did believe that saints in heaven do pray for us. That is an area of agreement with a fellow Christian that frankly I was not aware of until today. And hopefully, what I have written today will give some Protestants pause to consider whether the Catholic position on prayer to saints may have some merit.

As for Mary’s feelings on the way Christian apologists debate issues, I imagine that she would feel sorrow over our divisive conduct as it is causing suffering to the body of her Son. Our words should offer comfort to others, not shame to ourselves. I realize that this is hard for each of us who are damaged by sin, but it is something that we nevertheless should strive to overcome.

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Swan, You asked: “You say you personally ask Mary to do one thing (pray for you), while this link requests far more.”

Here is my answer: What do you think this prayer is asking Mary to do? It seems to me that this prayer is more akin to a dedicatory prayer like the Canticle of Hannah or Zechariah. Here, the ‘pray-er’ solemnly promises to set himself apart and to associate himself to the best of their ability to lead a holy life and then gives examples of how he is going to do so.

Mary and the saints are held in Catholic theology to be models of moral exemplarity for Christians to emulate if they wish to become more Christlike. Mary is considered the highest human model for Christians to follow as she shows us how much a human being is capable of achieving by following Christ and placing one’s total faith and submitting oneself through their fiat in the promises of God.

Devotional prayers like this have been popular since the time of St. John Damascene who wrote, "To be devout to you, O holy Virgin, is an arm of salvation which God gives to those whom He wishes to save." Consecratory prayers like the one you reference were first made popular by Saint Anselm, whom Protestants like to cite to in support of penal substitution. The one you link to I believe is one that became popular after Fatima at the end of the First World War. Bl. Pope Pius XII wrote this about your particular prayer: "Consecration to the Mother of God is a total gift of self, for the whole of life and for all eternity; and a gift which is not a mere formality or sentimentality, but effectual, comprising the full intensity of the Christian life - Marian life. This consecration tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary."

The bottom line is this: all true Marian devotion at its heart points to and leads one to closer relationship with Jesus. If you were to really study Mariology in general and this prayer in particular, you would see the Christocentric nature of it. If one doesn’t understand that, then one is not ready to pray a prayer like the one you point to.


God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Rooney also asked about the Rosary. It is a prayer that developed in different religious orders as early as the mid to late 12th century and became popular among lay Christians at some point in the 13th-14th century. There are many different kinds of Rosaries/Chaplets and there are correspondingly a number of different devotional prayers. I think St. Bonaventure as head of his order that developed the prayer sequence you are most familiar with. It was standardized for popular devotion in the 16th century.

Mr. Rooney: Do RCs imagine Mary/Jesus/God by mental imagery during rosary?

Me: I don’t. I do contemplate the significance or meaning of the event (mystery) associated with each decade of the rosary as I recite them. Can’t speak for other Catholics.

Mr. Rooney: Do they have to do that? do they have to do the same mental imagery when they pray to saints?

Me: Do I have to say a rosary? No, it is private devotional prayer and is not a part of the official prayer of the Church which is the Liturgy of the Hours. (I do pray that at least twice a day.) If painting a mental picture helps one go deeper into the Paschal Mystery or using some other focus, like music or quietude, helps then I do not see anything wrong with it. Now you may ask about statues or icons...As far as mental imagery goes, a statue or holy picture is like looking at the picture on a baseball card which helps us remember something about that person. When I pray to a saint or Mary, I focus on their “stats” which are the virtues and events in their lives which I try to model in my life. I do not pretend that the statue or picture actually is Mary, saint, Jesus or God, but since we are all made in the image of God, a physical depiction is not per se idolatrous.

Mr. Rooney: How do they know that their mental imagery does not misrepresent Mary/Jesus/God?

Me: How does a Protestant know that the prayers they pray are not based on an improper interpretation of the Scriptures and misrepresent the Word of God?

Whether one is Protestant, Catholic or something else, does the efficacy of any prayer not come down to this: what growth in the purgative, unitive and illuminative aspects of our spiritual life comes from praying in the manner in which we do?

God bless!

Rooney said...

Ok, Paul, thanks for the info.

"It is a prayer that developed in different religious orders as early as the mid to late 12th century and became popular among lay Christians at some point in the 13th-14th century. There are many different kinds of Rosaries/Chaplets and there are correspondingly a number of different devotional prayers. I think St. Bonaventure as head of his order that developed the prayer sequence you are most familiar with. It was standardized for popular devotion in the 16th century."

So nothing infallible was declared about it? This was not one of those Traditions?

"I don’t. I do contemplate the significance or meaning of the event (mystery) associated with each decade of the rosary as I recite them. Can’t speak for other Catholics."

Well some Traditionalists say that we should use mental imagery in it. So looks like the mental imagery thing is optional?
BTW, do you use the Traditional set of mysteries or the modern set?

"As far as mental imagery goes, a statue or holy picture is like looking at the picture on a baseball card which helps us remember something about that person. When I pray to a saint or Mary, I focus on their “stats” which are the virtues and events in their lives which I try to model in my life. I do not pretend that the statue or picture actually is Mary, saint, Jesus or God, but since we are all made in the image of God, a physical depiction is not per se idolatrous"

In NZ, I saw a church with a MacKillop icon. She looked very similar to photographs of her. I also saw an Orthodox icon only of a soldier (Yevgeny Rodionov), complete with Russian Army Uniform and AK-74 rifle. Do you think that icons of modern saints are actually more "accurate" than icons of Christ/Apostles/Mary/God?

"How does a Protestant know that the prayers they pray are not based on an improper interpretation of the Scriptures and misrepresent the Word of God? "

I think that you were involved in that GreenBaggins discussion recently. We all have degrees of doubt/uncertainty on different levels.
I think that this entails that RCs when they use mental imagery of the Godhead, Mary etc, need to be quite certain that their mental imageries are accurate.

Some questions:
How do Orthodox view the rosary?
Do you think that plastic rosaries are ok or do you think that some CAF people are right in being dismayed that so many rosaries are no longer made of gems? Do you use plastic rosary?
Do you think that the vast majority of RCs abuse the rosary?
Paintings of Mary have depicted her holding a rosary. Does she pray it now? Do the apostles or saints pray it in Heaven?
Is it a sin for non-Catholics, like David Beckham etc to wear the rosary?

Cheers, mate.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Rooney:

Yoiu asked: So nothing infallible was declared about it? This was not one of those Traditions?

Me: I have a bit of trouble answering your question because there are many different kinds of rosary prayers. I will limit our discussion to the most common version of it. No, Catholics are not required to say rosaries, any version of that prayer. It is a private devotion.

Now, there is a fair bit of theology behind the prayers used in the Rosary, the sign of the Cross, praying to saints, the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Doxology, the Scriptures referencing the events behind the mysteries and the dogma of the Assumption that is part of the magisterial and infallible teachings of the Church. And structured prayer is part of the Church’s Deposit of Faith; it is just that using a rosary to pray is not part of the Tradition

You asked: Well some Traditionalists say that we should use mental imagery in it. So looks like the mental imagery thing is optional?

Me: And some teachers like to use a chalkboard and others Powerpoint to teach. The use of mental imagery to pray any prayer is a personal choice.

tbc

Paul Hoffer said...

You asked: BTW, do you use the Traditional set of mysteries or the modern set?

Me: I do not have any problem saying the Luminous mysteries. But, since the Rosary is a private devotion, we are not restricted to contemplating only Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous, or Glorious mysteries. I also sometimes say a rosary dedicated to priests, bishops and deacons, First Mystery: Jesus the Eternal High Priest, Second Mystery: The Paschal Mystery and the Priesthood of Jesus, Third Mystery: The Priesthood of Jesus in the Church, Fourth Mystery: Jesus - Priest and Shepherd, Fifth Mystery: Jesus Christ - Priest and Sacrament; a scriptural rosary where each bead has a bible verse associated with it; and even the Lutheran version of the Rosary in the format that has uses some pre-Trent versions of the prayers with some of my Protestant relatives.

tbc

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Rooney asked: Do you think that icons of modern saints are actually more "accurate" than icons of Christ/Apostles/Mary/God?

Me: As I understand iconography as well as Western pictures and statues, the physical depiction of the subject is idealized to reflect theology. The pictures reflect the artist’s inspiration, not necessarily what the person actually looked like. If physical accuracy is necessary, then most of the pictures of Jesus in bibles would have to be torn out because Jesus probably did not look like a Northern European male but more like a Mediterranean Jew. (BTW, at my parish, we have pictures of St. Augustine, both as a white man and as a Northern African.) I have seen Mary statues that show her fair-skinned young girl with blond hair, dressed up like a nun, like a Chinese girl wearing Han dynasty clothing with bound feet, and of course, Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appears to be a young Aztec maiden in traditional garb.

Mr. Rooney: I think that you were involved in that GreenBaggins discussion recently. We all have degrees of doubt/uncertainty on different levels.

Me: Nope, that wasn’t me. Sounds like an interesting discussion though.

Mr. Rooney: I think that this entails that RCs when they use mental imagery of the Godhead, Mary etc, need to be quite certain that their mental imageries are accurate.

Me: I am not quite sure I agree with you there. I would love to see anyone accurately depict the perichoresis or inner life of the Holy Trinity. Our imagery should reflect our best spiritual and theological values.


Now to answer your questions:

1) How do Orthodox view the rosary? They do say it (Three set of mysteries, not four and with the Jesus prayer stuck in for good measure) and might even claim (probably correctly) that the rosary originated in the Eastern Church and was copied by the West.

2) Do you think that plastic rosaries are ok or do you think that some CAF people are right in being dismayed that so many rosaries are no longer made of gems? Do you use plastic rosary? It is what is in our hearts, in our minds, and on our lips that matter when we pray. Whether a rosary is plastic, glass, gems, or wooden is not really important to me. My favorite one is simply knotted string and plain wood beads with a simple cross. I own several, including one that glows in the dark as well as one that could be worn as a ring and one that is big enough to be a belt.

3. Do you think that the vast majority of RCs abuse the rosary? I hope they don’t beat their rosaries or verbally assault them. That said I own a kitten that likes to steal shiny things and at least two rosaries I own were last seen being carried up the stairs to parts unknown by her. Like any prayer, people can pray a rosary with wrong intentions rather than ask that God work His will in our lives.

4. Paintings of Mary have depicted her holding a rosary. Does she pray it now? Do the apostles or saints pray it in Heaven? Nope, nope. But they do participate in the Mass if Revelation is an accurate picture of Heaven.


5. Is it a sin for non-Catholics, like David Beckham etc to wear the rosary? No, unless it is their intent to desecrate it. That said, he would get better use out of it if he prayed it as opposed to just wearing it.

Thank you for allowing me to share my faith and thoughts with you! I enjoyed interacting with you!!

God bless!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Yeeeeesh. (Head shaking, face grimacing).

I don't remember ever weighing in a Mariolatry discussion. They always seem to go like this to me:

Biblical Christian: "These Marian prayers are prayers of worship to Mary! Utterly horrible!"

Catholic: "We don't worship Mary, you silly! We venerate Mary. There's a difference."

So I'm reading Rho's post and I take the time to actually read the Marian prayers that Rho posted. OH MY GOODNESS! Oh my goodness. Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi. They totally buttress the Biblical Christian's claim of Mariolatry.

(These prayers are so wrong that I get to the point of feeling sorry for Mary, mother of Jesus.)

So I'm reading through the comment thread, and then I finally read what I expected to read from Paul Hoffer:

"When I pray to Mary or any saint, I do not worship them. I honor them, I venerate them, I seek to imitate their example, but I do not worship them. As an attorney, I make a “prayer” to the Court every time I file a pleading in court, but in doing so, I do not worship or offer adoration to the judge. Prayer is a fancy word for petition, but the intent behind the words determine whether it is a request for relief or an act of worship. Worship is not merely an action; it is a profound acknowledgment of the supremacy of God. Prayer to Mary or a saint lacks that acknowledgment. I do not attribute to them any divinity whatsoever."

Mr. Hoffer does attempt to make a case for the difference between worship and veneration. And it's the same one that I have frequently read before:

"the intent behind the words determine whether it is a request for relief or an act of worship."

Does this claim save the Catholic argument that their prayers to Mary are not worship prayers to Mary? But that they are instead prayers of veneration?

To me, Catholic arguments disclaiming Mariolatry look like "distinction without a difference", but Hoffer argues that "intent" is the difference-maker.

In such cases, I leave it up to God.

The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

Rhology and Mariology.

Paul Hoffer said...
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Paul Hoffer said...
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Paul Hoffer said...

Paul Hoffer said...
Mr. TUAD, You left out the point I made in my comment 2/9 at 8:43 pm that Catholic worship consists of offering God our lives, our souls, our minds and our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans. 12. 1-2) We do this pre-eminently through the sacrifice of the Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours. Prayer is not in and of itself an act of worship unless it is connection with that living sacrifice. If through my actions and my words, I intend to offer a sacrifice to Mary or a saint, I am guilty of idolatry; if it is intercessory prayer asking Mary or a saint to pray to God for me, it is not. That is pretty simple.

I am open to correction if you would care to show me where my understanding differs in anyway with 2000 years of Catholic teaching. However, the Bible is sufficient for my purposes here. At Rom. 12:1-2, St. Paul makes it clear what constitutes worship. Psalm 51:18-19 shows that it is intent rather than words or actions that determines what constitutes worship: "For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn." See also, 1 Chron. 29:20-21 which shows that true worship constitutes adoration and sacrfice.

Now you brought up a good point about addressing the theology in the prayers themselves that Rhology listed. I truly wish that was the focus of his article rather than mocking the rosary and then mocking the prayers listed without setting forth any thing that resembles an actual argument that would allow interaction and dialogue. I have addressed the general objection that prayer to Mary is not worship. One can accept it or not. I have addressed Mr. Swan's specific objection to a consecratory prayer he linked to. One can accept it or not. Perhaps you can state your objection to a particular phrase or word in the prayers above that caused you to go 'Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi' so I can do more than guess as to what about them that gives you pause.

God bless!

shahbaz shadani said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Paul Hoffer: "Prayer is not in and of itself an act of worship unless it is connection with that living sacrifice. If through my actions and my words, I intend to offer a sacrifice to Mary or a saint, I am guilty of idolatry"

Hmmmmmm. I read the following comment just this morning on another blog thread:

"I remember sitting in Mass, I was about 12, and hearing a priest scold the parishioners for praying so often to Mary, that they never prayed to Jesus and reminding them that Jesus is their savior. Now indubitably, either that priest or those parishioners were poor or ignorant catholics or both. Good thing you came along. But when many cradles [cradle catholics] and religious don’t recognize your piety, do you really believe the problem lies with them and not you?"

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Mr. TUAD, your wrote: Hmmmmmm. I read the following comment just this morning on another blog thread...

Me: I did not see a link to that other website, so I can only guess on the contextof the remarks. But if I had to guess the context of the good father's excoriation, I would say that the priest noted that the parishioners were engaing in Marian prayers during Mass which is not appropriate because as I pointed out, the Mass, being a sacrifice, is worship. Those folks were probably not participating in the liturgy of the Mass like they should and instead were engaged in their private devotional prayers. Private devotions should not be said during Mass when people are supposed to be participating in the liturgy because that does send a mixed message and would tend to cause confusion for Christians who are not Catholic. The Mass is not a spectator sport but calls for the active participation of the entire congregation.

That said, in my 53 years as a Catholic, I have not witnessed Catholics straying from dulia or hyperdulia to latria in regards to saints or Mary, but I imagine that somewhere someone has done so otherwise we would not have provisions in magisterial documents cautioning against such practices. I am also aware that the early Church strongly anathematized the heresy of Collyridianism, which involved the worship of Mary, as well as the heresy of Antidicomarianitism, which refused to accord the honor which Christians are to accord Mary. If some Catholics stray into the former heresy on occasion, one could point back and show how many Protestants engage in the latter.

I hope my answer helps you in understanding Catholic teaching, but if you still have questions about the priest's conduct that you mentioned, would you be so kind to provide a link so I can attempt to verify the facts of the situation which you referenced so I can offer a better answer? I would be obliged to you as would be the folks following this thread.

Blessings and much regards!

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello TUAD, I found the blog you took that from "Old Life" Reformed Faith and Practice and saw that "sean" offered no other facts nor provided a way of contacting him to get the background facts. The comment was offered as polemic to Mr. Cross comments on Marian prayer. Until more facts are provided, I stand on my answer.

Blessings!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hi Mr. Hoffer,

The post is Called to Call the Mother of God.

You may interact with "Sean" on that thread or with him on his blog that he partially contributes to as one of the authors:

http://confessionalouthouse.wordpress.com

sean said...

Paul,

TUAD informed me of your blog and reference to the remark the priest made during service. I haven't read the article you guys are discussing or tracked along with the comments here. I can tell you the admonishment wasn't in regard to pew practice during mass, but was a confusion and obscuring of Jesus he was witnessing in the piety of RC's in his parish. I understand the attempt at distinction Rome desires to make in these regards, my response at Old Life was that in spite of Rome's efforts, you often have an obscuring of Jesus in favor of mediation of the saints. As a former RC, I don't think there is anything particularly remarkable about this observation. It happens often and even the more attentive clergy know it's a problem.

sean said...

Paul, Now that I've read a little more, I guess it's not your blog but you're commenting on an article at this blog.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Paul Hoffer: "I hope my answer helps you in understanding Catholic teaching, but if you still have questions about the priest's conduct that you mentioned, would you be so kind to provide a link so I can attempt to verify the facts of the situation which you referenced so I can offer a better answer? I would be obliged to you as would be the folks following this thread."

In obliging you I'm obliged to Sean for coming over to this thread to provide further verification of what he witnessed. Thank you Sean.

To recap:

Paul Hoffer: "Prayer is not in and of itself an act of worship unless it is connection with that living sacrifice. If through my actions and my words, I intend to offer a sacrifice to Mary or a saint, I am guilty of idolatry"

Sean being quoted: "I remember sitting in Mass, I was about 12, and hearing a priest scold the parishioners for praying so often to Mary, that they never prayed to Jesus and reminding them that Jesus is their savior. Now indubitably, either that priest or those parishioners were poor or ignorant catholics or both."

Paul Hoffer: "But if I had to guess the context of the good father's excoriation, I would say that the priest noted that the parishioners were engaing in Marian prayers during Mass which is not appropriate because as I pointed out, the Mass, being a sacrifice, is worship. Those folks were probably not participating in the liturgy of the Mass like they should and instead were engaged in their private devotional prayers."

Sean: "I can tell you the admonishment wasn't in regard to pew practice during mass, but was a confusion and obscuring of Jesus he was witnessing in the piety of RC's in his parish. I understand the attempt at distinction Rome desires to make in these regards, my response at Old Life was that in spite of Rome's efforts, you often have an obscuring of Jesus in favor of mediation of the saints. As a former RC, I don't think there is anything particularly remarkable about this observation. It happens often and even the more attentive clergy know it's a problem."

-----

In closing I do appreciate learning this history lesson from Paul Hoffer:

"I am also aware that the early Church strongly anathematized the heresy of Collyridianism, which involved the worship of Mary"

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello sean, I appreciate your remarks. I do wish you would have provided me with examples illustrating what practices that the pastor was disapproving and a ball park figure of the year. That said, given the priest's recognition of undue devotion and his disapproval of same, I hope that we can agree that the priestly admonition you referenced shows that official Church teaching does distinguish between proper devotion to saints and improper devotion.

If one's personal devotional practices, regardless of whether one is Protestant or Catholic, fail to lead one deeper into relationship with Christ, then one should examine whether they understand their utility and purpose or whether such practices are even appropriate for them. Prayer only works when one has the proper disposition towards it. After all, we pray only after God disposes us to do through grace. Our praying is our response to that grace working within us. Since the Catholic experience of prayer is built on community, I am aware through devotion to saints and Mary that I am always praying in community. Even when I am alone, there are two or three gathered in His name by virtue of their intercessory prayer.

I shall count my blessings that my spiritual life has been enriched by my devotions to Mary and the saints and has brought me much closer with Christ. I am sorry that your experiences in your prayer life to date have been different.

Hi TUAD, I am glad that I did offer you something of value in our discussions. You may be interested to learn that Collyridianists were condemned for offering conducting a Mass-like sacrifice to her. The antidicomarianites, who were also regarded as heretics, refused to give any devotion to her whatsoever.

I also appreciate you putting my comments in comparison with sean's which I think helps prove my point. To recap, Catholics, like Protestants believe that worship and adoration is reserved to God alone.

We do not agree that all forms of prayer constitutes an act of worship.

We all agree that intercessory prayer can be efficacious.

We all agree that it is entirely proper to ask others to pray for us and that such intercessory prayer may be efficacious.

Based on Rhology's remarks, I think it is safe to say that we also can agree that saints and Mary do engage in intercessory prayer for us in heaven.

Where we disagree is whether one can ask a person who is in heaven to pray for us.

Despite our differences, real headway has been made. All one needs to do now is show me that the Scriptures or the witness of the early Church demonstrate that ALL prayer is to be considered an act of worhip worship and that when a saint dies, we can no longer ask that one to engage in intercessory prayer.

God bless!

PeaceByJesus said...

Despite our differences, real headway has been made. All one needs to do now is show me that the Scriptures...

1. Just one example among the multitudinous prayers in Scripture of anyone praying to anyone in Heaven but the Lord, unless they were pagans.

"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Mama, Mother." (cf. Galatians 4:6)

2. Any instruction on prayer to Heaven that addresses anyone but the Lord, such as "Our Mother who art in Heaven...," (cf. Mt. 6:9) For this cause I bow my knees unto the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, (cf. Eph. 3:14)

3. Any insufficiency in Christ as mediator btwn man and God, such as regards access, compassion, power etc., that would require or advantage another intercessor in heaven between Christ and man, besides the Holy Spirit, so that believers are told in the context of heavenly intercession,

"For in that She himself hath suffered being tempted, She is able to succour them that are tempted. (cf. Heb. 2:18)

"Seeing then that we have a great mother that is passed into the heavens, Mary, the Mother of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a Queen which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. " (Hebrews 4:14-16)

"Wherefore She is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Her, seeing She ever liveth to make intercession for them. " (cf. Hebrews 7:25)

4. Anywhere that access into the holy of holies meant meeting with a saint secretary.

"For through Her we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. " (cf. Ephesians 2:18)

"And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, through Mary thy mother " (cf. Exodus 25:22)

5. Show where departed souls in heaven are taking prayer requests addressed to them.

6. Show where the departed are given the Divine attributes that enable them to hear and process an infinite amount of prayer.

7. Show where anyone else is called "Queen of heaven" other than Jer 44:17.

8. Since none of the above can be provided, and prayer to the departed must be extrapolated out of personally asking others to pray for you on earth, though this is not to be done telepathically, then why not ask the departed for salvation? Or to take up offerings, etc.?

And show where any personal communication between believers on earth and heavenly beings besides God took place apart from a personal visitation, either by men being caught up to heaven or by angels coming to earth. (Jdg. 13; Mk. 9:2-9; Rev. 4:1ff;)

9. Show where another basic spiritual practice has zero positive examples, and the only example of praying to someone else in Heaven is pagan.

10. As there is no real Scriptural support for the tradition of praying to the departed (and is contrary to what is shown as re prayer to heaven) thus arguing from silence (the Bible does not actually forbid it) is employed, then show why consensual cannibalism (we agree to have whoever dies first for dinner) is wrong as a practice.

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