Andrew Kurtz wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a Christian who is trying to learn more about the Catholic faith.

  • I wanted to know why you pray to Mary?

In the Bible, it teaches that when you die you are literally nothing until the Rapture when you are raised and spend eternity in Heaven with God. For that reason, I don't fully understand why Catholics pray to Mary.

  • Could you help me, by shedding some light on this?

Thank you.

Andrew

  { Why do Catholic's pray to Mary and do I have a correct understanding of the Rapture? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Andrew —

  • Where in the Bible does it say you are "literally nothing until the rapture" when you die?

What about the twelve elders in Revelation 6:10, which portrays martyrs impatiently waiting for the Second Coming when their deaths will be avenged?

  • Why does Hebrews 12:1 say that we are "surrounded by a cloud of witnesses", which include the Old Testament saints enumerated at length just before?
  • Why does Hebrews 12:23 refer to the presence among us during worship of the "firstborn in Heaven" and the "spirits of just men made perfect"?
  • Why does Jesus portray the dead as conscious and aware in Luke 16:19-27?
    (Lazarus and the rich man)

As for why pray to Mary, we've covered this several times if you do a search of our site.
Search for "prayer saints" or "prayer mary".
I also recommend the following:

Eric

Mike replied:

Hi, Andrew —

In addition to the comments my colleague has make, we have addressed the issue of the Rapture
in the past. Here are some postings from our knowledge base:

Mike

Paul replied:

Andrew,

Scripture has within it lots of symbolic language, understood better by ancient Semitic peoples than by us. What is certainly not symbolic is Jesus' Death and Resurrection, signifying that the disembodied soul rising to Heaven or Hell is not the end of the story.

The Resurrection of humanity will take place at the final judgment on the last day when Christ comes again to judge the living and the dead. There, as far as we know, the soul will be reunited to the body and the whole person (body and soul) will then spend an eternity in Heaven where there will be no separation between God's presence and His creation or Hell which is "eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). In the meantime, we know that Jesus and Mary are not simply disembodied souls but are already complete with their resurrected, glorified bodies because of the Resurrection and Assumption, respectively. It was sin, beginning with Adam, that caused death (body-soul separation and the decay of our body).  The new Adam and Eve — Jesus and Mary — whose mission it is to fix what the original representatives of mankind broke by their sin, were conceived without any stain of sin and lived in total obedience to God.

Catholics honor Mary and the saints in heaven by asking them to intercede for us because of their closeness to God in the economy of salvation. God set it up so that we may be secondary causes for each other's salvation; the ultimate cause, of course, being the sacrifice and grace of Jesus. In the process, until history is concluded, we can help each other with our prayers and sacrifices uniting them to the Cross as a body, the Church in Heaven and on earth, unites itself with its head, Christ.

If you notice, in John chapter two, Jesus Himself was prompted to perform a miracle at the request, or by the intercession, of His mother Mary on behalf of the bride in Cana.

Mary continues that role from Heaven of being chief intercessor to members of Christ's Bride, the Church.

Paul

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