Mary

Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation.

These pictures are over a hundred years old from Nazareth. Not much changed between then and the first century.

When you look at these old pictures and hundreds more I have in a book I purchased in Nazareth (written in Arabic), you can imagine Mary as she walked the dusty streets of Nazareth.

Who is this father, mother and child? Can you “see” Mary at the well of Nazareth where all the women came to collect water? I’ve included modern pictures of the Church of Annunciation built over the cave-house where Gabriel made the announcement to Mary and the altar inside the cave which reads, “The Word Became Flesh HERE!”.

Beautiful Tissott painting of Mary of Nazareth

 

Our Lady of Nazareth

Words on the altar: "The Word Became Flesh HERE"

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Jeremiah Condemns Worship of Queen of Heaven

by Steve Ray on February 15, 2014

I recently received an e-mail.  How would you answer this question?

Now if I could get past Jeremiah, chapter 44, I’d really be a happy camper, (LOL).  Stumbled on that passage this morning and wondered about the “Queen of Heaven” that the people of Judah were burning incense to.  God sure was mad! Who was this “Queen” they were venerating (worshiping?)?  I wonder if they were putting her ahead of God? The struggles continue….but the Lord is faithful!!

Mary2.jpgI had dealt with this argument and confusion before, so I thought I would wrote an explanation comparing the idolatrous worship of the pagan Queen of Heaven and veneration of Mary the legitimate Queen of Heaven.

15Be ready to defend your faith, and our Holy Queen. Click here for an explanation of Jeremiah 44 and his condemnation of Jews worshiping the pagan goddess and queen of heaven and why it is right and good to venerate our Queen Mother in Heaven.

If you haven’t heard the argument yet, you will some day. Be ready!

For more on Mary, get my documentary filmed on location. It is entitled Mary, Mother of God. You can learn more about it and order it here.

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Mary a Mediatrix? Isn’t there just One Mediator?

by Steve Ray on October 30, 2013

The Bible says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Yet Catholics refer to Mary as a Mediatrix (feminine form of the word mediator).

So, isn’t that prima facie evidence that Catholics make up doctrines, worship Mary and disregard the Bible?

I was again challenged with this the other day. Interesting how the same old, same old keeps coming up no matter how many times you answer it. Interesting how these same misconceptions keep coming up as though some contentious power keeps inserting them into gullible minds. Interesting how people love to twist the rubber nose to make it obscene, grotesque, and distorted.

So here was my short response — again!

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Cross in Woods smtIn 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul recognizes that there is a huge chasm between the holy God and sinful men. Paul states that there is only one mediator that can bridge that uncrossable gorge.  How do we sinners reach a holy God across such a chasm?

God has provided the solution. He has provided the-one-and-only Mediator (1 Tim 2:5), the bridge, the stairway between heaven and earth, (John 1:51 based on the ladder seen by Jacob). This one Mediator is the God-Man Jesus Christ and he is the only one that can bridge the gap–mediate–between heaven and earth to bring reconciliation between God and men.

Thus, there is one Mediator to reconcile God and man. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant as the writer of Hebrews informs us three times, for example: “Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb 8:6, 9:15, 12:24). No one else could have ever become such a mediator of the New Covenant.

However, after Jesus has accomplished such an act of redemption and mediatorship, he calls us to share in his ministry.

I remember my father saying to me before I joined the Catholic Church, “When you become Catholic you will pray to Mary and remember that Paul says there is only one Mediator between God and man.” I lovingly but sternly replied to my father, “Dad, never ask me to pray for you again!”

My father was shocked but understood my meaning. As soon as he asks me to pray for him — he asks me to be a mediator between him and God. I told him that to be consistent with his Protestant theology he should not ask me or anyone else to intercede for him, to be a mediator — one who stands in the middle — but he should pray directly to Jesus himself.

m74But Scripture constantly commands us to pray for one another, to intercede for our fellow humans. We are all “mini” mediators sharing in the mediatorship of Christ. And it goes the other way too. When God tells us to share the Gospel with lost sinners he is asking us to stand between himself and the sinner to share the Gospel, although he could have chosen to communicate with them directly.

Mary is not the infinite mediator, nor does she impose on the prerogatives of her Son. She, like us, intercedes for sinners and the people of God. Mediatrix is simply the feminine form of mediator. All of us share in the ministry of Christ, mediating and praying for our fellow man. In this sense, all of us are mediators and the females among us are mediatrixes.

I am frequently asked, “Where does the Bible say we should pray to dead saints?” to which I usually ask, “Where does the Bible say that saints are dead?”

Those of us, including most Protestants, believe that when a person dies in friendship with Christ they are still alive in Christ.

To prove that those who died in a state of grace were not dead, Jesus said to the Sadducees (who didn’t believe in the resurrection which is why they were “sad you see” — as my dad used to joke with us kids), “‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matt 22:32). Jesus said that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were still alive.

Those who say “Why do you Catholics pray to dead saints” need to understand that those who die in Christ are not dead. Catholics affirm that they are alive and in the presence of Christ and that they can intercede for us as much as my father or I can intercede for each other.

Mary and the saints do not answer our prayers, any more than I answer the prayers of my dad. Rather, Mary, the saints and you and I all are intercessors. We do not answer the prayers, we simply intercede with the Father through his Son Jesus.

When I take pilgrimage groups to Israel I always take them to the top of Mount Tabor where the Transfiguration took place. I always ask people how a “dead guy” like Moses could be talking to Jesus about things that are taking place on earth (Lk 9:31).

copelandWhen my father asks me to pray for him he asks me to stand in the middle — to be a mediator, an intercessor — and when God commands me to preach the gospel to the lost, he tells me to stand in the middle — to be an ambassador for Christ as Paul says,

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20).

(Opps, to the right is a Pentecostal preacher Kenneth Copeland acting as a mediator, interceding with God, standing in the middle as they pray for this man!)

I hope that helps explain why we call Mary a mediatrix and why all of us are mini-mediators sharing in the ministry of Christ — the one-and-only mediator of the New Covenant, but certainly not in any way claiming to be the one mediator of the New Covenant, nor in any way arrogating to ourselves or to Mary the unique prerogatives and ministry of Jesus.

One last thought on this matter. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding of the differences between prayer and worship. In the Catholic tradition they are very different things. In Protestantism prayer and worship are sometimes used as synonyms. Pray simply means to ask, whereas worship is to adore.

If a Catholic says he “prays to Mary” it’s perceived as worship by many Protestants, but the Catholic it simply making a request that Mary intercede for us — the same as when my dad asked me to intercede for him. In Catholicism there is a big difference between pray and worship.

DVD_Mary_01We honor, love and venerate Mary. We ask her to pray for us. But we worship God ALONE!

For more on this and other Marian topics, all filmed on location in the Holy Land, check out my documentary MARY, MOTHER OF GOD here.

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Queens in the Old Testament – They Were Mothers

October 24, 2013

While on the radio this morning a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother to Queen of the Kingdom was the ONLY case of a mother being queen in the Old Testament. [...]

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In Rome for Consecration of the World to Mary – Watch My Video

October 13, 2013

Watch my short video on-location below. VATICAN CITY, October 13, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Here is the translation of the prayer of consecration recited by Pope Francis in consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Holy Mary Virgin of Fatima, with renewed gratitude for your maternal presence we join our voice to that of [...]

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Eastern Orthodox Challenges the Immaculate Conception

September 22, 2013

An Eastern Orthodox Christian wrote to complain about, or to see how we Catholics explain the Immaculate Conception. He said he had asked many Catholics and none could answer. I find that hard to believe. After I answered his long and slightly edgy e-mail, I received his response – “Thanks.” Picture One: Statue of Mary [...]

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts

September 21, 2013

My non-Christian brother found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?” Here is my explanation. If you readers have anything to add, please post it in the Comments below. Thanks. Thanks. [...]

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“Why do you Catholics believe Mary ascended into heaven?”

August 15, 2013

Nice article from LifeTeen: About twelve years ago a teen named Billy asked me this question, “Why do you Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven, when it’s not even in the Bible?” He said “you Catholics” because he went to a local Bible Church but had been coming to a Life Teen Summer Bible [...]

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MP3 Monday: A new MP3 released every Monday this month.

August 5, 2013

MP3 Monday: A new MP3 will be released every Monday in August. THIS WEEK ONLY $1.99 for Steve Ray’s talk Mary: Real Girl, Woman of Mystery on MP3. All other MP3s are 30% OFF for the entire month! Steve goes through the life of Mary starting in Nazareth, the Visitation in Ein Kerem, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Cana, and all [...]

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Join Me on My Walking Tour of All of Fatima with Commentary, 21 videos, 147 pictures and an interactive map

July 27, 2013

Fatima is not just a shrine. It is the homes of the children, their parish church, the local cemetery, the places the angel met the children three times, the 93 year old niece of Lucia whom I prayed with, the well where they watered their sheep… …AND the gorgeous shrine with the apparition chapel, the [...]

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Joachim & Anna: The Birth of Our Lady, from a 2nd Century Document

July 26, 2013

Join us in September on a pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal, Santiago de Compostela in Spain and Lourdes in France. Visit http://www.footprintsofgodpilgrimages.com/upcoming-pilgrimages ************************* This document was written in the early 2nd century and known and loved by the first Christians. It is the source for the names of Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna. It is [...]

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Budding Young Apologist Convert Just 16 Years Old – What Do You Think?

June 3, 2013

I was quite impressed. He is far ahead of me when I was sixteen years old. Christian is a young man who just sent me his first apologetics video. I was only the second person to watch it. Take a look and leave a comment sharing what you think. By the way, do we Catholics [...]

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2nd Joyful Mystery, More Joyful than Most People Realize, Feast of Visitation

May 30, 2013

Friday is the Feast of the Visitation. I will be doing two radio shows on the Visitation of Mary when she traveled about 100 mile to visit her relative Elizabeth – pregnant! Very few Catholics (and almost no Protestants) understand the Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant with the Word of God inscribed [...]

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Mary and the Other Body of Christ; Visiting the Upper Room (Pentecost May 19)

May 12, 2013

The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal. They were also anxious about the promise. [...]

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Do Catholics Worship Mary?

May 7, 2013

In response to the show I did with Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio: I thought it would be a good time to respond to an e-mail I received a while ago. It was a questions from a friend wrote to ask me for my take on Mary. He was corresponding with someone that said Catholics [...]

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Steve Ray’s Radio Interview in Portland

April 17, 2013

You can listen to my interview with Dina Marie Hale on KVBM Portland by clicking HERE.  

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