Destiny of non Christians
#21
Porkncheese, I can relate to your hesitance to pray to Mary.  When I first became Catholic, I thought it was odd, even though I didn't think there was anything wrong with it.  I just couldn't understand when I should ask her to pray for me when I could go right to Jesus with my concerns. The priest at my parish occasionally talks about the importance of Marian intercession in his homilies.  He always brings up that of all the villages in the Middle East that had a monastery in it, the ones dedicated to the Mother of God remain Christian to this day.  All the others fell to Islam.

I still don't really pray to any other saints.  I don't feel any particular need to.  But I've adopted regularly asking the Theotokos to pray for me.  I can't really explain why, but praying to Christ is even easier and more natural now, even though it was always easy before.  The only thing I can compare it to is having children.  Your family is never missing anything before you have another kid.  Your love for your family is always full, complete.  But somehow, with each new child, your family becomes fuller.  So it is with prayer to the Mother of God.
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#22
Quote:I'd rather just pray directly to God. Faster connection with God. Closer connection with God.
My middle man is Jesus Christ. Is there any wrong in that? 
It shouldn't be a problem, Mary's intercession isn't demanded by the church
What is the benefit of praying to Mary to intercede anyway?

I'll follow up with what Melkite said. I can relate with the sentiment as well.

I entered the Church coming from a Baptist protestant background. Mary was only discussed at Christmas time, and very little at that. I got baptised in the Baptist church, and never really had much "fire" or the "personal relationship" that all my evangelical friends described. It never happened. God seemed really distant, but I knew I needed Him.

When I entered the Church I noticed that Marian devotion was emphasized strongly. I started reading Alphonsus de Liguori's The Glories of Mary and praying the Rosary.

I think this might get at what Melkite is mentioning, that his parish priest says that the villages that had a Marian devotion stayed Christian. I find that I can't really have a strong devotion to Christ unless I have a strong devotion to Mary. In fact, I don't separate the two. St. Louis de Montfort says something to the effect that Marian devotion (particularly the Hail Mary) waters the soul, so that Christ can grow in the soul. 

I've found this to be the case in my own life. Every time I have relapsed back into bad habits, I kept up a devotion to Mary. I've always come back. She isn't in competition with Christ. She wants us to love Jesus Christ and she does everything she can to do that. She is a good mother. 

I think that protestants are uncomfortable with Marian devotion because they view love as a competition. If I love Mary, I can't love Jesus as much. That is the wrong way to look at it. The more I love Mary, the more I love Jesus.
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#23
(08-22-2019, 09:11 AM)Porkncheese Wrote: Over 3 billion people just in Asia are born into another religion
On one hand some people say that it's just bad luck that these people were born without any chance of salvation and will burn in the lake of fire. On the other hand some people say that God has too much mercy and love to cast people into hell without them ever having a chance to be saved.

Catechism 847 states "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation."

As Sanctifying grace is given to us at baptism isn't it true that all Christians receive it and not only Catholics?

It's not bad luck, and it is not that they have/had no chance of salvation.  God knows the souls of those peoples.  The moment any of them acted according to the lights of their conscience and cooperated with the graces God was giving them, He would send someone to give them Eternal Life.

The Japanese asked of St. Francis Xavier when he was preaching in Japan, what became of their ancestors:

“The principal trouble of those men of good will before they received the light of faith was inability to reconcile the infinite goodness and mercy of God with the fact that He had not made Himself known to them and to their ancestors before the coming of St. Francis. If it was true, as Francis taught, that all those who did not adore the true God went to Hell, then their ancestors must have gone there, even though they had been given no opportunity by God of realizing their duty to Him.....One of the things that most of all pains and torments these Japanese is, that we teach them that the prison of hell is irrevocably shut, so that there is no egress therefrom. For they grieve over the fate of their departed children, of their parents and relatives, and they often show their grief by their tears. So they ask us if there is any hope, any way to free them by prayer from that eternal misery, and I am obliged to answer that there is absolutely none. Their grief at this affects and torments them wonderfully; they almost pine away with sorrow. But there is this good thing about their trouble---it makes one hope that they will all be the more laborious for their own salvation, lest they like their forefathers, should be condemned to everlasting punishment. They often ask if God cannot take their fathers out of hell, and why their punishment must never have an end. We gave them a satisfactory answer, but they did not cease to grieve over the misfortune of their relatives; and I can hardly restrain my tears sometimes at seeing men so dear to my heart suffer such intense pain about a thing which is already done with and can never be undone.......

“‘Our Lord helped us to deliver them from this terrible misgiving [said Francis]. We gave them very good reasons for holding that the law of God was imprinted on men’s hearts from the beginning. Before even the law of the Buddhists came from China to Japan, the Japanese, their ancestors, knew that it was wrong and wicked to commit murder, to steal, to bear false witness, or to break any other of the Ten Commandments, and their consciences smote them if they did so, proving that they knew the commandments of God without having been taught them except by the Creator of all peoples.'” Fr. James Broderick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier , The Wicklow Press, New York, 1952, pp. 437, 438; n. 1, Schurhammer, Epistolae S. Francisi Xaverii, 2:262-267.

St. Francis de Sales on the fate of the Japanese before Francis Xavier came:

“But concerning them that remain in the sleep of sin: Oh! what good reason they have to lament, groan, weep and say: woe the day! for they are in the most lamentable of cases; yet they have no reason to grieve or complain, save about themselves, who despised, yea rebelled against, the light; who were untractable to invitations, and obstinate against inspirations; so that it is their own malice alone they must ever curse and reproach, since they themselves are the sole authors of their ruin, the sole workers of their damnation. So the Japanese complaining to the Blessed Francis Xavier their Apostle, that God Who had had so much care of other nations, seemed to have forgotten their predecessors, not having given them the knowledge of Himself, for want of which they must have been lost: the man of God answered them that the divine natural law was engraven in the hearts of all mortals, and that if their forerunners had observed it, the light of heaven would without doubt have illuminated them, as on the contrary, having violated it, they deserved damnation. An apostolic answer of an apostolic man, and resembling the reason given by the great Apostle of the loss of the ancient Gentiles, whom he calls inexcusable, for that having known good they followed evil; for it is in a word that which he inculcates in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. Misery upon misery to those who do not acknowledge that their misery comes from their malice.”  Treatise on the Love of God , translated by Fr. Henry Benedict Mackey, O.S.B., The Newman Book Shop, Wesminster, MD, 1942, p. 178.

God has and is mercy, and gives every one a chance.
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#24
(08-23-2019, 09:36 AM)Alphonse il Segundo Wrote:
Quote:I think that protestants are uncomfortable with Marian devotion because they view love as a competition. If I love Mary, I can't love Jesus as much. That is the wrong way to look at it. The more I love Mary, the more I love Jesus.

I think protestants are uncomfortable with Marian devotion simply because it doesn't conform to scripture as a prayer.
Anyway my parents are Portuguese and have a devotion to our Lady of Fatima so most of the prayers from my family go through her and always have.

josh987654321 Wrote:Well, Christ is God so your still praying directly to God, nothing wrong with that, but snubbing the mother of God and thus our Queen and our mother there could be an issue

Just because I pray according to the teaching of Jesus doesn't mean I'm "snubbing" Mary. 
By that logic we are then snubbing all the saints because we don't pray to them to intercede. Obviously not true.

BC Wrote:It's not bad luck, and it is not that they have/had no chance of salvation.  God knows the souls of those peoples.  The moment any of them acted according to the lights of their conscience and cooperated with the graces God was giving them, He would send someone to give them Eternal Life.

The Japanese asked of St. Francis Xavier when he was preaching in Japan, what became of their ancestors:

“The principal trouble of those men of good will before they received the light of faith was inability to reconcile the infinite goodness and mercy of God with the fact that He had not made Himself known to them and to their ancestors before the coming of St. Francis. If it was true, as Francis taught, that all those who did not adore the true God went to Hell, then their ancestors must have gone there, even though they had been given no opportunity by God of realizing their duty to Him.....One of the things that most of all pains and torments these Japanese is, that we teach them that the prison of hell is irrevocably shut, so that there is no egress therefrom. For they grieve over the fate of their departed children, of their parents and relatives, and they often show their grief by their tears. So they ask us if there is any hope, any way to free them by prayer from that eternal misery, and I am obliged to answer that there is absolutely none. Their grief at this affects and torments them wonderfully; they almost pine away with sorrow. But there is this good thing about their trouble---it makes one hope that they will all be the more laborious for their own salvation, lest they like their forefathers, should be condemned to everlasting punishment. They often ask if God cannot take their fathers out of hell, and why their punishment must never have an end. We gave them a satisfactory answer, but they did not cease to grieve over the misfortune of their relatives; and I can hardly restrain my tears sometimes at seeing men so dear to my heart suffer such intense pain about a thing which is already done with and can never be undone.......

“‘Our Lord helped us to deliver them from this terrible misgiving [said Francis]. We gave them very good reasons for holding that the law of God was imprinted on men’s hearts from the beginning. Before even the law of the Buddhists came from China to Japan, the Japanese, their ancestors, knew that it was wrong and wicked to commit murder, to steal, to bear false witness, or to break any other of the Ten Commandments, and their consciences smote them if they did so, proving that they knew the commandments of God without having been taught them except by the Creator of all peoples.'” Fr. James Broderick, S.J., Saint Francis Xavier , The Wicklow Press, New York, 1952, pp. 437, 438; n. 1, Schurhammer, Epistolae S. Francisi Xaverii, 2:262-267.

St. Francis de Sales on the fate of the Japanese before Francis Xavier came:

“But concerning them that remain in the sleep of sin: Oh! what good reason they have to lament, groan, weep and say: woe the day! for they are in the most lamentable of cases; yet they have no reason to grieve or complain, save about themselves, who despised, yea rebelled against, the light; who were untractable to invitations, and obstinate against inspirations; so that it is their own malice alone they must ever curse and reproach, since they themselves are the sole authors of their ruin, the sole workers of their damnation. So the Japanese complaining to the Blessed Francis Xavier their Apostle, that God Who had had so much care of other nations, seemed to have forgotten their predecessors, not having given them the knowledge of Himself, for want of which they must have been lost: the man of God answered them that the divine natural law was engraven in the hearts of all mortals, and that if their forerunners had observed it, the light of heaven would without doubt have illuminated them, as on the contrary, having violated it, they deserved damnation. An apostolic answer of an apostolic man, and resembling the reason given by the great Apostle of the loss of the ancient Gentiles, whom he calls inexcusable, for that having known good they followed evil; for it is in a word that which he inculcates in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. Misery upon misery to those who do not acknowledge that their misery comes from their malice.”  Treatise on the Love of God , translated by Fr. Henry Benedict Mackey, O.S.B., The Newman Book Shop, Wesminster, MD, 1942, p. 178.

God has and is mercy, and gives every one a chance.

Thank you BC for that information along with it's references.
The conversation got a bit off topic so I appreciate your input.
I know people who are Buddhists, Hindu, Muslim and Taoists and was thinking about them.
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#25
(08-30-2019, 08:17 AM)Porkncheese Wrote: I think protestants are uncomfortable with Marian devotion simply because it doesn't conform to scripture as a prayer.

Many Protestants might claim this, but the Hail Mary and Marian devotion are very Scriptural.

The Our Father is straight from Jesus Himself. Oddly, Protestants then change it, but adding to the end of it phrases which are not in Scripture.

The Hail Mary is also Straight from Scripture. Luke 1.28 is the first phrase ("Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee"). The second part comes from Luke 1.42, when Elizabeth exclaims, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb". Catholics, then add to this a doxology, much like the Protestants add to the Our Father, but we borrow from the early Church councils. "Holy Mary" is an objectively true title (if she is "full of grace"). "Mother of God" is just logic, and it comes straight from the Council of Ephesus in the 5th century. Then we ask the Blessed Virgin to "pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death".

That last addition is entirely scriptural as well. We are called to pray for each other. There is nothing in Scripture which suggests that those who are in heaven cannot still pray for us. In fact, they would be in an even better position to do so.

We also know that Mary interceded for people on earth already. That is found at the Wedding of Cana, where she interceded for the married couple asking Our Lord to fix their dilemma. He does so. Marian devotion is something that Our Lord Himself, and the Holy Ghost promote in Scripture.

Marian devotion is highly Scriptural, but Protestants don't like it, so they claim it is not. That's simply false.
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#26
(08-30-2019, 10:02 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(08-30-2019, 08:17 AM)Porkncheese Wrote: I think protestants are uncomfortable with Marian devotion simply because it doesn't conform to scripture as a prayer.

Many Protestants might claim this, but the Hail Mary and Marian devotion are very Scriptural.

The Our Father is straight from Jesus Himself. Oddly, Protestants then change it, but adding to the end of it phrases which are not in Scripture.

The Hail Mary is also Straight from Scripture. Luke 1.28 is the first phrase ("Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee"). The second part comes from Luke 1.42, when Elizabeth exclaims, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb". Catholics, then add to this a doxology, much like the Protestants add to the Our Father, but we borrow from the early Church councils. "Holy Mary" is an objectively true title (if she is "full of grace"). "Mother of God" is just logic, and it comes straight from the Council of Ephesus in the 5th century. Then we ask the Blessed Virgin to "pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death".

That last addition is entirely scriptural as well. We are called to pray for each other. There is nothing in Scripture which suggests that those who are in heaven cannot still pray for us. In fact, they would be in an even better position to do so.

We also know that Mary interceded for people on earth already. That is found at the Wedding of Cana, where she interceded for the married couple asking Our Lord to fix their dilemma. He does so. Marian devotion is something that Our Lord Himself, and the Holy Ghost promote in Scripture.

Marian devotion is highly Scriptural, but Protestants don't like it, so they claim it is not. That's simply false.

Fair enough. I'm not debating or judging anyone for praying Hail Mary. 
I didn't know about this extra line the protestants use in Our Father. 
Considering they swear by sola scripture it is very hypocritical of them.

I took a closer look at Christian Orthodox differences.
I'm finding the different denominations quite confusing the more I learn about them. 
How many are there? And how can I get a basic understanding of it all without being too caught up in minor details?
I come across explanations that are way too complicated and others that are too brief.

The only other denominations I had contact with were Jehovah's Witness as they would come around my parents house trying to convert them.

Another friend of mine had Russian parents and were orthodox though I never discussed it with them.

Then when I was in my late 20s a friend of mine became a Mormon. Until then I just thought Christians were all basically the same. I might actually start another thread to recount that story.

Thanks for the info
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#27
I guess prayers to saints and the Theotokos have always come easy to me,  but than again I've always been a bit eccentric. I feel like they are all our friends in Christ, and that they help us in our needs for the sake of God and with God's permission.  The same applies to the Theotokos. 

I guess I've always just tried to carry on a conversation with them,  as in telling them my worries, asking for help etc. It feels natural to me, although aside from this forum or amongst the few likeminded friends in daily life i keep this to myself because i don't think many would understand. 

It sounds crazy but I feel like Christianity would be that much poorer a religion without the Theotokos and the saints.  When Jesus said "Woman, behold thy son" to St. John I've heard it said that St. John could be a type of "everyman", and that in a certain sense He was bequeathing us His mother to watch over us.

As for the saints, they are our brothers and sisters in this path that have gone before us,  and they are alive in Christ and present to help guide us on that narrow path. 

I don't have any particular Marian devotion outside trying to keep the feasts or praying the prayers in my prayerbooks though.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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