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Good morning father Angelo.
I have strong doubts as to how to relate to Jesus.  Let me explain… Jesus teaches us the Our Father, and invites us to turn to the Father with confidence, and maybe even “insistence”.
Well, I do pray to the Father, but also address Jesus directly, as well as Mary, my guardian angel etc, as everyone does.
Today I was told that it is not properly correct to address Jesus directly.  In short one ought to address Jesus through Mary and that Jesus could have done nothing other than teach us how to pray to the Father, but since Mary is the Mother of God she must act as a “filter” (I summarize) between us and Jesus.
Granted that I believe everything the Church teaches about Mary, given that in Fatima Mary said that she could not obtain certain graces, I now have the following doubts:
1.Should I consider Mary as equal to Jesus and/or God the Father?
2.Can I address Jesus directly to ask for a grace, or would this “direct” channel be less efficacious than if I had prayed to Jesus through Mary? In other words, does the Catholic Church recommend not to address Jesus directly, because a believer’s prayer would have a better chance of being answered if it went through Mary?
3. Can I address God the Father directly, as Jesus taught us, or would, as I mentioned in my last question, my prayer to God the Father bypassing Mary be less acceptable?
I am asking this because I am told that my praying directly to God the Father and/or Jesus bypassing Mary (whom I pray to every day anyway), goes to show that I am not marian, and therefore not christian.
Thank-you.
Stefano


Priest’s answer

Dear Stefano,
1.Do not let yourself be confused.
The criteria on how to behave in prayer is that offered by the Church.
Now the Church in its prayer addresses Jesus directly. Just think of the prayer that the priest says in the liturgy of the Eucharist: “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles “peace I leave you, my peace I give you”, look not to our sins but to the faith of your Church, and give her unity and peace according to your will, who live and reign forever and ever”.

2.Moreover, the Holy Spirit Himself urges us to address Jesus directly.
The last personal dialogue in the Holy Scripture is a dialogue between the Church, presented as the Bride, and her Bridegroom Jesus: “The Spirit and the Spouse say: “Come”. Let the hearer say, ”Come” (Rev. 22,17).

3.Why then would the Church not address Jesus directly?
Isn’t She his Spouse?
Since when should Spouses have to use an intermediary to communicate with each other?

4.The question you asked allows us to better clarify the role of Mary.
Our Lady is not outside the Church, but she is its most beautiful part, highest and most pleasing to God.
She is Mother of the Church and at the same time she is her daughter.
Every time we pray together with the Church, without thinking about it we pray together with Our Lady.

5.Saint Thomas reminds us that Jesus, as he teaches us to pray by saying “Our Father”, and not “My Father”, wants that what we ask for we do not ask just for ourselves, but also for the whole Church.
He actually wants us to pray in his name. Among other things praying in his name means praying “in charity”, that is in communion with the whole Church.
Now when we pray in communion with the whole Church, we pray with Our Lady, even if we do not invoke her expressly.
And she maternally accompanies our prayer by making it her own and presenting it to God the Father along with her immaculate heart.

6.During the apparitions in Lourdes, when Bernadette prayed the rosary, she saw that Our Lady did not move her lips, but just let the rosary beads run through her fingers, and this meant that Our Lady was with her as she prayed, made Bernadette’s prayer her own and presented it to the Father with her pure, holy, immaculate heart, most  pleasing to Him.

7.This is why when we pray it is not necessary to explicitly invoke the mediation of Mary: because it’s already there, even if we do not think of it.
Our Lady always precedes and accompanies us in the prayer: whenever we pray she prays with us and for us.

8.Of course sometimes we do explicitly invoke and exalt Mary’s mediation. The first one to do so was her cousin Elisabeth, when moved by the Holy Spirit she exclaimed: “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord  should come to me?”.
Therefore it is right to address Mary directly.
9.However we address her in a different way than we would address Jesus and the Father, because we say to her: “pray for us” asking for intercession, whereas we address Jesus and the Father saying “have mercy on us”, because Jesus and the Father are the source of all graces.
Therefore it is not an equal prayer.  Mary is on a subordinate plane, one of intercession and mediation

10.Therefore when someone objects that you shouldn’t go to the Father and Jesus without Mary’s mediation, you should respond that Mary’s mediation is already there, because we pray as children of the Church, and as children of Mary, who is herself the highest expression of the Church.

I bless you, wish you the best and remember you in my prayer.
Father Angelo