8/4/13 Jaime about 35
What is the attraction of praying to Mary for so many Catholics? A conversation with yet another Latino Catholic gave me a little more insight. Jaime, a middle aged man from Mexico who was out riding his bike at the park this morning, told me he doesn’t believe in life after death, though he would like to, and he doesn’t believe in God. “Where is the evidence?” he shrugged. I explained that, although there is evidence all around us – we know there is a Creator when we see His creation – ultimately we must believe by faith. (Hebrews 11:6) Later on, though, I was puzzled when Jaime told me he prays almost every day. “If you don’t believe in God, who do you pray to?” I asked. “The Virgin” he said, referring to the Virgin Mary. I asked why. “Ever since my mother died, I’ve been praying to the Virgin. She reminds me of my mother. I know that she loves me and watches out for me. And besides, they say she is the Mother of God”. I’m starting to understand that the attraction to Mary is in the same category as the attraction to any idol – that man finds it easier and more comfortable to worship an object or a person whom they can relate to, rather than a God who is Spirit and can’t be controlled or manipulated. “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25) This also explains the many cults who teach that Jesus is merely a created being like a great prophet or an angel. Jaime also prays to Mary more for regular, everyday blessings, rather than such lofty or grandiose things as eternal life. He really doesn’t read the Bible for himself, so I explained that the Bible teaches that Mary was a human being just like ourselves. “She was the human mother of Jesus, created and chosen by God, and as a created being there was a time before she was created when she didn’t exist. But God- the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit –has always existed. He was never created by someone else. Wouldn’t it make more sense to pray to the Creator rather than the creation?” Jaime agreed. “And, we know that He loves us. He gave His own Son to die for us. He took our punishment on the cross for us. Jaime, God loves you very much, I want you to be sure of that.” Man has always struggled with idol worship. Even today, when we create our own imaginary ideas about God rather than trust God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible, we are creating our own idols. Maybe thats one more reason why Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. We need Someone we can relate to. And, as I told Jaime, “Mary herself would be the first one to tell you not to pray to her, but to pray to Jesus.. After all, He is her Savior too”.