DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     October 9-11, 1998     vol. 9, no. 198

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE


    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she reminds us that October is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and then points out the misconceptions Protestants have of Mary and her role as intercessor as we see in her column THE CHURCH’S LOVE FOR MARY .

         Her column, along with columns by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. and Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


THE CHURCH’S LOVE FOR MARY

          The month of October is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. Out of love for her I write the following:

          On occasion I receive a nasty e-mail from a Protestant brother or sister who is very blaming with regard to Catholics and their “worship” of Mary. Unfortunately, many of our Protestant accusers are very misinformed with regard to our relationship with Our Blessed Mother. It is not all their fault because they have been deceived by someone else and in good will have believed their instructors. The truth is that Catholics do NOT worship Mary, but we DO honor her for the simple reason that Jesus did.

          Jesus, we know, kept the Ten Commandments perfectly and the Fourth Commandment is: “Honor your father and your mother.” If Jesus did NOT keep the Fourth Commandment, He would have offended His Father Who had given all Ten Commandments to be obeyed. If Jesus then DID keep the Fourth Commandment, and we are to imitate Jesus, then who are we NOT to honor Mary. I said “honor” not “adore” or “worship,” which Catholic teaching clearly proposes belongs to God alone.

          Catholics believe that Mary is a creature of God, therefore NOT EQUAL to God. However, she was and is a very specially chosen one of God, because she was chosen for the great honor of bringing Jesus into the world. No other human woman can claim this.

          The Bible says that when the angel appeared to Mary, she was instructed that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her. How can anyone treat with contempt this chosen woman who had such an experience?

          Many of our good Protestant brothers and sisters seem to overlook the Gospel passage where Mary, when visiting her cousin, Elizabeth, proclaimed: “All generations will call me blessed, for He Who is mighty has done great things for me.”

          Anyone who does NOT call Mary “blessed,” is not keeping the Word of God and living out that above passage.

          Catholics DO live out that passage for we DO HONOR Our Lady, love and respect her and treat her with special regard. But we do NOT place her EQUAL to God nor do we adore her. That would be idolatry.

          Dear Protestant brethren! Please be lovingly reminded that the Eighth Commandment is: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” When you accuse Catholics of worshipping Mary, you are offending against that Commandment because you ARE falsely accusing. Furthermore I’d like to ask: Did anyone ever ask you to say a prayer for them? If they did, and you consented to pray for them, you were acting as an intercessor.

          The CATHOLIC CATECHISM (paragraph 969) states: “This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to Heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation ... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”

          Happy month of October - Our Lady's month - and God bless you!


October 9-11, 1998       volume 9, no. 198
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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