Good Answers to Tough Questions about Faith
The Second Vatican Council called on us to live out our Faith in the modern world. Rather than just gather together as Catholics we have been encouraged to “get out there” and witness to our faith in the Lord Jesus and our Catholic way of discipleship. But there is challenge in interacting with people who understand Christianity differently or not at all. Sometimes we are presented with questions that are hard to respond to clearly. Listed below are 25 of the most asked questions along with solid Catholic answers with clear references to the official Catechism of the Catholic Church. (CCC refers to citations found in the Catechism itself.)
All of the responses below are firmly rooted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church but if you would like to consult the Catechism directly, go here: http://usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/
1. Why do Catholic pray to Mary and the saints? Isn’t this worship? First of all, Catholics worship and adore God alone. Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and human beings and no other person can ever take his place. But “to pray to someone” does not necessarily mean “worship”, it can also mean communication. We pray to the saints because they are still alive… they still live in the Lord. And God has encouraged the whole Church family to pray to one another. When we talk about the Communion of Saints we are talking about all those who have gone before us in faith, those who are alive and living their faith now and those who are to come. So, our praying to the saints is one way for us to stay connected and to allow their faith and their examples to encourage us in our lives of faith. We simply ask them to pray for us and our intentions just like we would ask one of our relatives or friends to pray for us as well. (See CCC 971, 2683).
2. What is Mary’s role in the Catholic faith? Mary is the model disciple, following Jesus from the moment of his conception. We believe her to be unique among all the creatures that God created and her role is the Catholic faith is a special motherly role given to her by God. As the mother of Jesus and the mother of the church, she has a special role of praying for the Church and interceding on our behalf. through prayer, we ask Mary to pray for our intentions and to lead us to her son, Jesus Christ.