In this episode of No Apologies Fra. Joseph answers the common charge against Catholics that they worship Mary. Adoration belongs to God alone but this doesn’t exclude legitimate veneration of Mary and the Saints.

Ave Maria!

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  1. I think the problem is that while you may have two differing terms, “Adoration” and “Veneration”, there is only one definition for the “active” (practical) side of both terms: “worship”… I am just having a problem seeing the “functional” difference between adoration and veneration… both have actions of ascribing “worth” (worship) to the object, praying to the object, pledging obesience to the object, etc… So we pray to Mary to (wink wink) “intercede” for that which we are praying, often with no mention of actual intercesion, such that it really, for practical purposes, seems we are praying TO MARY.. or (wink wink)… Christ in Mary (or any Saint). So; Please tell me what is the PRACTICAL (not the “theoretical”) difference between adoration and veneration?

  2. The practical difference is clear – we HONOR Mary in as special way because she is an especially worthy human being. We do not worship her because love and veneration is enough. Just as Michael has great power in Heaven, so does she. She trampled on the serpent’s head from the very moment of her Immacualate Conception. So, she has enormous status in Heaven and more than any angel – is capable of intervening on behalf of whomever her son loves. No, she is not a God or deity. But she is a holy, heavenly being who wields as much or more power in Heaven as do the Arch-Angels Gabriel, Raphael and Michael.

    I never hear of anyone saying that it is wrong to distribute the Nobel Peace Prize or any other award – this is done to honor worthy men and women. Recipients receive around 1.5 million dollars. We honor those athletes who prevail at the Olympic Games. We honor our national leaders – presidents, senators and congressmen. They are all considered honorable and worthy and receive innumerable special privileges and distinctions.

    How then can anyone refuse to honor the mother of our Lord when it is clear that she was so special to God the Father (chosen by him), God the Son (she carried Him within her body for 9 months, nursed him, raised him, educated him and disciplined him (the Finding in the Temple), and God the Holy Spirit (she conceived by the Holy Spirit (the breath of God, the love of God)). Your resistance to venerating this Lady is regretful in the face of so many compelling factors is not a good sign.

    I have heard non-Catholics say she is just an ordinary woman. Even my husband’s mother is not just an ordinary woman – she gave birth to my husband so she holds a special place in my life. How much more should the mother of our Lord be special to those who love Him? How disrespectful to not honor and venerate her! Weren’t some of His last thoughts for her well-being and safety? (Woman, behold thy son). If he cried for Lazarus, how much more did He sympathize with His own beloved mother.

    In addition, this holy woman was personally chosen by God, our Father. How long will you resist the responsibility to love what God loves, honor what God honors – to be a friend to His friends and an enemy to His enemies?

  3. James,you bring up a good point. The answer is difficult because it’s hard to know what the average believer thinks. We can’t tell what is someone’s heart. I do believe that some Catholics go overboard.

    However, in the famous “Hail Mary” prayer, the words are clear, “Holy Mary, mother of God, PRAY for us sinners…” So there is one practical difference.

    The idea of asking for a practical difference between simple honor and full-out worship is difficult in many contexts, not just with Mary. For example, some Protestant Churches teach that Baptism isn’t “necessary” for salvation and yet they perform baptisms for all new members. How do we ever know what all the people in the congregation think?

    Some believers raise their hands when they listen to Christian music. Are they worshiping the music? It could certainly look that way. The only person who knows what a person believe is that person and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    That said, I think there are a fair number of Catholics who misunderstand their own faith. As a Catholic, I believe in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. Everything else is secondary.

  4. We should not forget that Mother Mary has been entrusted to take care of the apostles and that she was their teacher or adviser after the Lord was resurrected. She stayed with them. She is the New Arch, our refuge in this pilgrimage. Without her intercession, we can not see the Light.
    The Lord said: ” …….. son this is your mother!”…. telling us to love her as our mother.

  5. They are just wasting their time in a matter that doesn’t concern them. Even if we worship Marry, it is our choice, believe and heart desire. I will continue to do it till i die.

  6. What a beautiful video and clear explanation of the Catholic Church’s special veneration of Our Lady! God, Himself, would not be pleased if we did not honour His and Our Blessed Mother in a worthy manner as He does. This is the New Evangelisation! Ave Maria! Amen.

  7. 971 “All generations will call me blessed”: “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.”515 The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.”516 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this
    (Lumen Gentium, No. 66)
    “This cult [veneration of Mary], as it has always existed in the Church, for all its uniqueness, differs essentially from the cult of adoration, which is offered equally to the Incarnate Word and to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and it is most favorable to it. The various forms of piety towards the Mother of God, which the Church has approved within the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine, according to the dispositions and understanding of the faithful, ensure that while the mother is honored, the Son through whom all things have their being (cf. Col 1:15-16) and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell (cf. Col 1:19) is rightly known, loved and glorified and his commandments are observed.”
    (Etym. Latin hyperdulia, virtue of deep submission)

    Special veneration is given and due to the Blessed Virgin Mary because she was created by God to bear the Son in the salvific plan for man. However this veneration we give to her is inferior and can never be compared to worship reserved for God. No creature can be compared to the Creator. No man is like God. God can only be worshiped for Whom He is. Hyperdulia is substantially less than LATRIA (adoration), which is due to God alone. Hyperdulia is however superior to that which we give to the Saints and Angels, DULIA. Let us remember that the veneration of Mary is always subordinated to that of her Son. Mary is the handmaid of the Lord, and God’s most-humble instrument, ‘full of grace’

  8. Thank you all and i love you.
    I read a lot about this No Apologies and lot more of Catholic material.
    I am a Catholic since birth and pray to all of you Catholic or non-catholic..
    For one reason because God loves us and send his Love to all.
    We dont need to question everything about Catholic if we believe in God and love him. God sets everything to us including our Mother Mary.
    Why do you have to think twice.
    Remember we Catholic Loves and pray for you.


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