This month someone asked me, "Why do you Catholics pray to Mary?" I explained why we regard Mary as a mother and why the National Geographic once called her "the most powerful woman on earth." At the Annunciation, when Mary conceived Jesus, she also conceived us in a sense. Jesus became our brother and his mother became ours. This was confirmed on Calvary when Jesus said to John (who represented us) "Behold your mother." Mary was in the midst of the Church on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down on the first members (that's in the Bible)...and Mary has never left the Church. The Second Vatican Council gave her the title "Mother of the Church" and now some 2,000 years after she lived (!), a memorial Mass was proclaimed in honor of Mary, Mother of the Church, observed this year on May 21. We pray to our Blessed Mother because she is an effective intercessor. Remember the Wedding at Cana? Jesus did not intend to begin his public ministry then, but because of his mother's urging, he changed his mind and worked his first miracle! Just as we ask our family and friends on earth to pray for us, we can ask our heavenly mother to intercede for us with her Son. He tends to listen to his mother.
In my new book "Heart to Heart with Mary," she speaks to us as a loving mother each day of the year. The following entry is one that illustrates Mary's care for us. Click to continue
Christians are now dealing with a new obstacle to evangelism; we can no longer assume people know stories in the Bible or the basic tenets of the faith. Perhaps this dearth of spirituality in modern culture will serve to drive desperate people to the feet of Christ but more than ever seekers need basic catechism to lead them back into the arms of God and the Church.
A few decades ago, almost everyone knew the bible, even if they did not attend church because even public schools read the bible and prayed before classes started. I am a convert. As a Protestant kid who went to Sunday School from 3 years old, I grew up on the stories of Jesus, singing songs about His love and memorizing bible verses. I realize now that I was a prayerful kid; God was close to me. continue
When I learned who currently held the authority my Lord gave Simon Peter, recorded in Matthew 16:13-19, I didn't have much choice: I had to join the Catholic Church.
In a sense, I 'knew too much.'
I could either claim to follow Jesus and acknowledge the Son of God's authority, passed along in unbroken succession through the rise and fall of kingdoms, empires, and civilizations — or not. As Simon Peter said, it's a simple choice....