“Venerating a mere woman? Praying to her? Speaking of her as the ‘Mother of God’? Believing her to have been without sin, assumed into heaven, the ‘Queen of Heaven’? Here is where you Catholics have clearly gone off the cliff!”
This is without doubt the area of Catholic teaching converts from Protestantism have the hardest time with. And it’s not so much that what Catholics believe about Mary contradicts anything taught in the Bible but that it seems to go so far beyond what could be known from the Bible alone.
Sure, Protestants will say, God could have “saved” the mother of Jesus from the moment of her conception, preserving her from the stain of original sin. And sure, Mary could have remained a virgin all her life and been assumed body and soul into heaven at the end of her earthly existence. Sure, it’s possible that Christians can ask Mary to intercede for them in heaven — even as Christians ask friends and family to intercede for them on earth. But where’s the scriptural evidence for these beliefs?
As we answer this question, it’s crucial that we keep in mind that while Catholics take Scripture to be inspired and authoritative, the very “speech of God as it was put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit” (Dei Verbum), we also believe that Christian doctrine develops as the Holy Spirit leads the Church over time to draw out and understand more deeply the implications of what God has revealed in scripture.
There are many, many great resources out there for learning about Mary. Here are some of our favorites.
A FEW GREAT VIDEOS
A FEW GREAT TALKS
by Scott Hahn
Drawing on his roots as a Protestant minister, Dr. Hahn responds to key misunderstandings about the Virgin Mary. This captivating presentation explains the biblical and historical basis for the Church’s teachings that the Virgin Mary is the New Eve and the Queen of Heaven.
by Mark Miravalle
Ever wonder why so many people pay so much attention to Mary, the Mother of Jesus? In this talk, Dr. Mark Miravalle, a well-known expert on Marian theology, covers all the major Church teachings about the Blessed Mother in a way that speaks to those with little or no background on the subject but also those looking to renew their their existing knowledge and love for the woman who Jesus gave personally to every human being.
by Blessed Mother Teresa
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is known throughout the world as a woman who was totally committed to Christ. In this inspiring talk, she shares her insights on the Blessed Virgin Mary as a model of womanhood and perfect discipleship. She shows us that we, too, can do the will of God by saying “Yes” to the Lord in the big and little things in our lives; nothing is too insignificant.
A FEW GREAT BOOKS
by Scott Hahn
As Fr. Bertrand de Margerie comments, “It is a remarkable presentation of the biblical texts on Mary. They should be the soul of Catholic Mariology and it should help Protestant readers toward a better understanding of Holy Scripture.” This a wonderful and simply written biblical study of Mary.
by Tim Staples
Using Scripture, the early Church Fathers and the official documents of the Church, in this rich resource Tim Staples, Director of Apologetics for Catholic Answers, gives a beautifully clear presentation and defense of the six major Marian doctrines.
by Fr. Juan Luis Bastero
Fr. Bastero is a professor of theology at the University of Navarre, Spain. Revealing a deep comprehension of Catholic tradition on the subject, Father presents here a clear and comprehensive treatment of the Catholic teaching on Mary — her Divine Motherhood, Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Assumption into heaven and Queenship.