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Reply To: What are 3 tangible ways that you can personally improve your relationships with Christians from other traditions?

Ana Loera

Hi Erik, I appreciate you evangelizing and ministering to the Mexican indigenous community. I am a Roman Catholic and grew up in Mexico, so I understand why you might have observed what seem to be superstitious practices. Just to be clear, as Roman Catholics we do not worship saints or Mary. To Roman Catholics worship means “sacrifice”, we do that when we are at Mass, and relive the sacrifice of our Lord. We NEVER ever offer any worship (aka “sacrifice”) to statues or Mary. Mass is centered on Jesus always and the sacrifice He made for our redemption. However, Mexico has a close relationship with Mary and we often pray to her for intercession. When the Spaniards came to Mexico, the indigenous people were worshiping and offering human sacrifice to many Gods. The Spaniards were failing to bring Christianity to Mexico, the human sacrifice continued. It wasn’t until the Marian Apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Millions of indigenous people converted when she brought the message of Christ as savior and human sacrifice stopped. Therefore, Mexico has a special connection to Mary due to her intercession in bringing us to Christ, just like she did at the wedding of Canna. Catholics have statues, imagery of Mary, Jesus and saints, just like we have photos of our family members in our houses, and we pray to them for their intercession, much as we do here on earth when we ask Christians friends to pray for us. The Catholic Church does not believe any statue or image has any power in and of itself. The beauty of statues and icons move us to the contemplation of the Word of God. In Exodus 25:18-22; 26:1,31 – for example, God commands the making of the image of a golden cherubim. This heavenly image, of course, is not worshiped by the Israelites. Instead, the image disposes their minds to the supernatural and draws them to God. In Num. 21:8-9 God commands the making of the bronze serpent. The image of the bronze serpent is not an idol to be worshiped, but an article that lifts the mind to the supernatural. However, I do agree with you that some Mexicans do not read their bibles that often and their encounter with the gospels happens only at Mass.