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Listen to Mary: “Do whatever He tells you.”

February 10th, 2006
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Mary did not become Superwoman when she died. She has been given no
miraculous powers to hear the prayers of humans on earth. Our Lord told
us where to place our hope. Recall the time a woman cried out, nearly
in a swoon. " ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you! Blessed are the breasts that you sucked!" [Luke 11:27]. What did Jesus say? "Yes, blessed indeed and worthy of all praise, glory and honor. Beseech her kindness! Implore her mercy! Flee to her protection in the hour of your need!" No, rather, our Lord said, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!" [Luke 11:28]. The Dear
Lady who bore the Word of God, herself tells us what we are to do, "Whatever
he says, do it." [John 2:5]. Christ never said, "Pray to my mother" or "Put your hope in my mother’s prayers."
Let us truly honor Jesus’ mother by keeping our eyes fixed firmly on
her beloved Son! Forget her? Never. Honor her? Always. Remember her? Absolutely. Follow her example of devotion to Christ? Yes. But pray to her? Never.

The next time you hear a person who has embraced Eastern Orthodoxy, or Roman Catholicism, tell you that prayers to Mary are "no big problem" and suggest they are but expressions of devotion to Christ….well, here are several examples that refute that claim, these all happen to be from EO sources, but one can easily find hundreds of similar examples from RC sources as well.

First, a prayer at the Icon of the Theotokos.


Prayer at the Icon of the Theotokos

Tenderness springs forth from you, O Theotokos, make us worthy of compassion. Look upon sinful people, reveal your power for ever as we hope in you and cry aloud: Hail! as did the Archangel Gabriel, Chief Captain of the Bodiless Powers. Amen.

Or…note this explanation of why the Orthodox pray to Mary. This is so patently absurd, it boggles one’s mind that anyone would confuse asking a fellow Christian to pray for you and praying to the Blessed Virgin, who is now enjoying her eternal rest, awaiting with all the faithful departed our Lord’s return on the Last Day, praying to her to save us.

Not that we think she or any of the other saints have magical powers or
are demigods. When we sing "Holy Theotokos, save us", we don’t mean
"save" in an eternal sense
, as we would pray to Christ; we mean
"protect, defend, take care of us here on earth," Just as we ask for
each other’s prayers, we ask for the prayers of Mary and the other
saints as well. They’re not dead, after all, just departed to the other
side. Icons surround us, in part, to remind us that all the saints are
joining us invisibly in our worship.

One can find dozens of examples of the heretical prayers offered to Mary by the Eastern Orthodox. Let’s look at one example, this from a book from the Russian Orthodox Church. Is this prayer "no big deal"? It is benign? Is it merely asking Mary to put a good word in for us with her son? Setting aside for the moment the assumption that Mary now has super-human powers, just look at this prayer and ask yourself if this is merely asking Mary to mention us to her Son.

With divine workings dost
Thou preserve and shelter from incursions of the enemy those that
lovingly celebrate Thine all-glorious (name of the event) and
call unto Thee: Thou art our strength and stablishment and Thy Son our
God is the God-becoming delight, Whom adoring we say: Jesu
all-powerful, save our souls as Compassionate One! To-day being divinely
gathered together let us praise the Theotokos. most holy Virgin, many
are thy grandeurs and abyss-full are thy wonders, for thou art holy
protection, praise and glory and source of healing unto us also that
celebrate thy holy
(name of the event); wherefore praying we say: O Jesu all powerful, save our souls as Compassionate One. Do thou, O most holy one,
with thy honourable supplications both shelter and preserve, and unto
the enemies — as fearful and unsubduable shew those that make a
festival of thy (name of the event), that we may call unto thy Son: O Jesu all-powerful, save us as Compassionate One !   [Glory ...Both now ...Tone 6.As with a most brilliant circle, with thy (name of the event),
O most holy Theotokos, the Church of God bath been surrounded and
shining for joy and secretly exulting doth to-day call aloud unto thee,
O Sovereign-Lady: Hail thou — O precious diadem and crown of God’s
glory ; hail — the only fulfilment of the glory and the eternal
gladness ; hail – the haven unto those that flee to thee, mediatrix
and the salvation of our souls.

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Categories: Eastern Orthodoxy
  1. Frank Marron
    February 10th, 2006 at 10:53 | #1

    I was born and raised in a loving Roman Catholic home. The reason I am not Roman Catholic today is because I have read the Holy Scriptures. As your post addresses, special emphasis in Roman Catholicism is on the mother of Christ. This was one of the most difficult concepts for me to correct. It took time, but eventually through the power of the Word everything took on a Christocentric emphasis. Looking back in time I believe Satan knows our human weakness and natural inclination for the feminine, and he uses this tendency to take our eyes off of Jesus Christ – the author and perfecter of our faith.

  2. February 10th, 2006 at 16:02 | #2

    Oh, Paul, come now. EO’s and RC’s don’t say “It’s like asking a friend to pray for you” because they actually believe that, as you yourself have observed. They only say that because it’s a pretty good apologetic tactic to confuse Protestants and make us shut up.
    Response: Well, there I go again, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. It is a great argument for them, unless anyone actually stops to think about it. “Wait a minute, how is that the saints can hear the prayers of millions of people? Where did they get such superhero powers?” And…”How come just the people the church says are saints can hear my prayers and not my dead Uncle Joe?”

  3. Chi Chi
    February 13th, 2006 at 16:48 | #3

    I told my my Roman Catholic priest buddy I’d believe that Mary could hear my prayers made on earth when he’d believe that she could also taste the steak on my plate.
    What other material senses, normally ascribed to the living and requiring specific bodily organs, do the dead possess?

  4. James
    February 16th, 2007 at 02:26 | #4

    “Rather, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!” — “Let it be done unto me according to Thy word.” Hmm.
    “Wait a minute, how is that the saints can hear the prayers of millions of people? Where did they get such superhero powers?” — Communion with God, maybe?
    “What other material senses, normally ascribed to the living and requiring specific bodily organs, do the dead possess?” — So I guess prior to the incarnation, God couldn’t hear our prayers either, since He is incorporeal.

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