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David Will wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm a new convert to Catholicism. I have been raised a Protestant and have found a beauty and fullness with the Catholic faith. I have been struggling with the Holy Mother's relationship with the Church. That being said, I pray the Rosary almost daily and have found a real freedom in it's practice. I understand the praying to Mary and the saints as intercession however today I came across this from Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Know my son, my much beloved, that I am the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God who is the Author of life, the Creator of all things, the Lord of heaven and earth, present everywhere. And it is my wish that here, there be raised to me a temple in which, as a loving mother to thee and those like thee, I shall show my tender clemency and the compassion I feel for the natives and for those who love and seek me, for all who implore my protection, who call on me in their labors and afflictions: and in which I shall hear their weeping and their supplications that I may give them consolation and relief. That my will may have its effect, thou must go to the city of Mexico and to the palace of the bishop who resides there, to tell him that I have sent thee and that I wish a temple to be raised to me in this place. Thou shalt report what thou has seen and heard, and be assured that I will repay what thou has done for me in the charge I give thee: for I will make thee great and renowned. Now thou has heard, son, my wish. Go in peace . . . employ all of the strength thou art able.

To me, this doesn't sound anything like an intercessory relationship. It points out that she is the Mother of God, etc.

I have a real concern at the appearance of Mary worship. She is asking for a temple in her honor!

Help me out here if you can and . . .

Please be nice about it as I'm still learning.

David

  { Can you explain what appears to be Mary worship instead of intercession in this dialogue? }

Bob replied:

David,

I understand your concern. On its face it sounds like build a temple to worship me. While the language gives that impression, this is not the case.

Every Catholic Church has a patron who is honored:

  • St. Peter's
  • St. Andrew's
  • the Holy Family
  • etc.

Here, Mary is requesting that this shrine be built in her honor so that her special role as Mother be known:

  • to these particular people and the Church, and
  • so the whole Church may recognize her Heavenly role.

Mary is not simply our intercessor, but our Mother. Her position is so great because God is great. God is so great that He wants us to lack nothing — and having a spiritual mother was part of His Plan. Consider Mary with respect to Jesus. She was not a baby incubator, but His mother — a guide, mentor, care-provider, and lover in the most chaste way and something more . . . which only mothers could possibly understand. When He gave her to His Church, it was because the Church needs the best mom ever made — and that is beyond dispute. So her intercession is extraordinary. It is a mother's love.

Keep this in front and center and everything else will make sense.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

David replied:

Thank-you for your help!

That is a beautiful response! As a new convert, there is a certain vigor for finding the right answers.

Much like Scott Hahn, I spent most of my Protestant life mocking Catholics. (Sorry.) I even felt the need to try and convert Catholics so they could know Jesus! (Boy do I feel silly now!) So, for obvious reasons I have a passion to find answers to some of these questions.

The Peace, Love, Joy, and Freedom that I have found is unparalleled! Don't get me wrong, I experienced great things in my past faith but I've always felt like a spectator. The Catholic faith is like a back stage pass to Christianity! I can't wait to be conformed and sit down at the Lord's Table with you all!

God Bless You!

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

David Will

Bob replied:

David,

Thanks for your uplifting response. It made my day.

Have a blessed Christmas and Advent, and welcome to the family!

Bob

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