Our Lady of Fatima...pray for us...save a soul
question about Our Lady of Fatima..."pray for us...save a
<< My [quick] questions to you are as follows: >>
All right, I'll give these a shot. Perhaps not so quick. Complex questions require complex answers.
<< a) How do you reconcile a prayer for the salvation of a soul to any other but Jesus-Christ? >>
Pray for me that I might be able to answer this question, and pray for me again that I might be saved through Jesus Christ, if you don't think I am saved, and pray for me again that I may work out my salvation with fear and trembling through Jesus Christ (Phil 2:12-13). That is how. And that is what is meant by pray for us...save a soul....etc. Salvation is past (Eph 2:8 "have been saved"), also present (1 Cor 1:18 "are being saved"), and future (Matt 24:13 "will be saved"). The body of Christ prays for other members, we work out our salvation within that body with Christ as head (1 Cor 12; Eph 4; etc). And Catholics know the biblical texts you refer to:
430. Jesus means in Hebrew: "God saves." At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, "will save his people from their sins". in Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.
432. The name "Jesus" signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke his name, for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation, so that "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
<< b) Isn't Jesus the only way to the Father? And if so, why pray to someone ("Our Lady of Fatima"), who is not the Messiah and cannot save your soul? >>
Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) in the sense that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, and by his death on the cross for us and glorious resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-4), we have salvation. Change "pray to" to "pray for..." Why ask for the prayers of anyone? Because we are members of the body of Christ, and the Bible commands we pray for one another, without ceasing, etc. That is what we are doing when we ask for the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her prayers are powerful, along with the saints, since they are in heaven, and "the prayer of a righteous person avails much..." (James 5:16). Saints are perfectly righteous in heaven, so their prayers for us are most effective. The Bible says constantly to pray for one another:
We are only saved through Jesus Christ, but as members of His body, we pray for each other, and work out our salvation within the body of Christ. Mary the Mother of God was saved by Jesus as well, rejoiced in God her savior (Luke 1:47), and indeed was saved prior to falling into sin (Luke 1:28 says she was fully graced or full of grace, Greek "kecharitomene" or Latin "gratia plena"), as Catholics believe. We are saved by Jesus after having falling into sin (original and personal sin Rom 3:23; 5:12; 6:23), and as sinning Christians within the body of Christ, need help and can ask for that help of other members of the body. That help comes in the form of physical help ("serve one another") and prayer ("pray for one another"), etc. On Mary and the communion of saints, see this:
<< c) If Christ is the ultimate example, and that Christ only prayed to the Father, how can you address a prayer to a human being, notwithstanding all the great deeds they might have accomplished while alive? Isn't that a form of idolatry? >>
No, because we aren't worshipping that individual. Idolatry is worshipping someone or something other than God, to put something or someone in place of God. Catholics (and Orthodox and millions of other Christians too) do not do that. We know who God is, who Jesus is, and who the saints, along with the Blessed Virgin, are. The error is to equate "asking for prayers" with "worship." We don't make that equation. We worship God, and we honor the saints, those in heaven and those on earth. We also ask others for help in the form of prayer (which is all the saints and Mary can do in heaven). Again, see the Catechism and its distinction between worship (latria in Latin) and honor (dulia or hyper-dulia in Latin).
<< d) How can a dead person pray for you? >>
Because the saints and Mary are not unconscious. To be "dead" physically is not to be unconscious with no awareness whatever. We do not believe the soul is dead or dies at the death of the body. (See my article on "Conditional Immortality" and the articles on the "Communion of Saints" for more). In one sense, the saints, Mary the Mother of God, and the rest in heaven who don't deal with the "trials" and "troubles" we have on earth, are more alive than we are (e.g. 2 Cor 4:17).
<< e) Where in the Scriptures do we see any indication of prayer to "patrons"? >>
The concept of "patrons" is just another way to honor special people, like the saints. We do not need a Scripture text for everything. That brings up the concept of "sola scriptura" (or Scripture alone) which Catholics (and Orthodox and millions of other Christians too) do not believe is a biblical concept.
(good article on the topic)
<< "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:4-5) >>
Quoted in the Catechism many times. We know the meaning of that text. I cite it above in my articles on the saints. We need to remember the context of that verse is because Jesus is the one mediator between God and man, this gives us the ability to be "small" mediators for one another within the body of Christ. The first verses of 1 Timothy 2 read:
The meaning is: Jesus is the Mediator, and because of that, we are able to help our fellow Christians through prayer, and we are commanded to pray always, etc. That is what the saints and Mary in heaven do.
<< I love Jesus, I love the Bible, but I'm afraid praying to "Our Lady of Fatima" cannot coexist with praying in the name of Jesus, don't you think? >>
I do not think so and I have a very large Catholic apologetics site that demonstrates why. Our Lady of Fatima is the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she had a special appearance to three children there in Fatima, Portugal (near Spain) and gave evidence of several miracles of God there in the early 20th century. It is an approved Marian apparition by the Church. All to show God is God and Jesus is his Son and we are in need of salvation by the Son. Mary is his mother, the Mother of God, and "all generations will call her blessed" (Luke 1:48), therefore she deserves a special place in the life of the Christian. Mary is also a messenger and follower of Jesus, as are all apostles and disciples (which is the meaning of those words).
A from my site wrote that little recommendation and devotion for "our Lady of Fatima" for my About page about 10 years ago. It makes perfect sense and is perfectly biblical and Christian to me. Thanks for your questions. Please spend a few hours reading beyond the "About" page and check out some of the articles for more detailed answers.
I do not doubt you love Jesus, and you probably love the Bible, but I'm afraid you aren't reading that Bible very carefully, nor are you understanding Catholic doctrine carefully enough. I suggest you continue to read the Bible, perhaps with a little more context and good commentaries (whether Catholic or Orthodox or Protestant, etc) and read the Catechism if you want to understand Catholic doctrine. My massive apologetics site is a big help as well. Here are some of the prayers from Fatima:
Pardon Prayer: O My God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love you! And I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love you.
Prayer of Reparation: O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners.
Eucharistic Prayer: Most Holy Trinity, I adore you! My God, my god, I love you in the Most Blessed Sacrament!
Sacrifice Prayer: O my Jesus, it is for love of you, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners.
Rosary Decade Prayer: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.
For a true account of the story of Fatima, see The True Story of Fatima by Fr. John de Marchi
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