I want to begin tonight by having you open your Bible to the first chapter of the book of Galatians, Paul’s letter to the region of Galatia. Just a focal point, a starting point, Galatians chapter 1. Paul begins in that first verse, “Paul, an apostle not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead, and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia.” And then this, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out from this evil age according to the will of our God and Father to whom be the glory forever more. Amen. I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him,” that is God, “who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel which is really not another, only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Even though we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed. Or, am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Rendering service to God and rendering service to Christ demands that we forsake all efforts to please men to gain the favor of men and that we speak the truth.
Any other gospel is a false gospel. Any preacher of any other gospel is a false teacher. Any other system that advocates a false gospel is a false system, and all of it is accursed by God. It has to be a false gospel if it calls for worshiping a false god. This chapter opens reiterating the due glory forevermore given to Jesus Christ and God the Father. Anyone else stepping in to usurp that glory which belongs to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is accursed. In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, they have created a false goddess who has blasphemously been given the name of “the Mother of Jesus, Mary,” but who has absolutely nothing to do with her. The Roman Catholic Church leads the world in pagan goddess worship, blasphemous idolatry pretending to be Christianity. In Catholicism, it is the false goddess named Mary through whom all graces, all blessings, all divine works pass to people. No one can be saved; no one can be blessed unless Mary intercedes. She is presented as all-knowing, all-wise, all-merciful, everywhere present, and all-powerful, attributes which belong only to God.
For two weeks now, we have considered what the Catholic Church says about Mary, this goddess that they worship. We have looked in particular at the historical record of the worship of Mary accumulated by St. Alphonsus de Liguori who wrote “The Glories of Mary” in the year 1745, which has been since translated into English and printed again and again and again with the full affirmation and imprimatur of the official Roman Catholic Church. In this book there is the sum of all the glories of Mary which has been vouchsafe to the Roman Catholic Church and the Church itself calls upon all its constituents to give Mary that honor she is due. She is identified as Mary, our Queen; Mary, our mother; Mary, our life; Mary, our sweetness; Mary, our hope; Mary, our help; Mary, our Mediatress; Mary, our advocate; Mary, our guardian; and Mary, our salvation. It is said that Mary delivers us from hell, Mary delivers us from purgatory, and Mary leads us to heaven. And it should be said that de Liguori, who collected all the Marion dogma and devotion, was himself one of the most celebrated and revered authorities in the Roman Catholic Church. De Liguori was himself a cardinal in life, and a saint in death.
I told you that Mary worship is not to be treated as some low-level popular movement only among the poor. Mary worship is never rebuked by the Church hierarchy. It is rather taught by them. It is encouraged by them. Bishops, cardinals and Popes themselves have been among the most devoted to Mary, none more so than John Paul II who recently died. It was to Pope John XXII that Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared and gave the Sabbatine Privilege in 1322. Mary was confirmed by Popes Alexander V, Clement II, Pious V, Gregory XIII, and Paul the V, and many more. She has been and is relied upon by tens of millions of Catholics. It is said that Mary promises to assist us at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation. “I promise,” she says, “this assistance to all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the rosary with the intention of making reparation to me and who die wearing my brown scapular.” Salvation is through Mary and that salvation comes by her assistance at the hour of death when one has on a series of five consecutive Saturdays gone through the rosary and dies wearing a brown scapular, brown cloth.
Despite denials by Roman Catholic apologists, Mary is worshiped. In fact, Mary is the main god in Roman Catholicism, which is nothing more than the worship of a non-existent goddess who usurps the glory and the worship that is due only to God and Christ and the Spirit, the true worship of the true God. Catholicism is then as Mary is: a false god a false religion, as demonic a deception as any non-Christian religion or any unbiblical cult. And such assessments are the result of what the Catholic Church says about Mary. This is not our words; this is really their words.
Recently in the city of Los Angeles, the Roman Catholic Church erected a massive new cathedral called The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Some of you have known about it, perhaps seen it. The entrance to this expensive massive cathedral are some great bronze doors. On those doors are multiple images of the Virgin. Symbolically, she is the way in to God. In a series of depictions on that door there is the Virgin of Pomata. Pomata is a village in the Andes where supposedly Mary appeared. There is the ex voto to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Ex voto is a Latin phrase meaning “out of a vow.” There is there a picture of a devotee making a vow, at a shrine in gratitude and homage to Mary. In fact, it shows a mother and a child kneeling before the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. And then, there is an actual image of the Virgin of Guadalupe as the virgin stands framed by the rays of the sun in the typical Guadalupe replication of the supposed vision. Above and below the image are bouquets of thorn-less roses, which is a beloved part of the supposed appearing of Mary to the Indian, Juan Diego, whom, by the way, no history records ever existed. There is also on that same door, the apocalyptic virgin in extremely flamboyant image. The virgin is shown with the mighty wings of Revelation chapter 12 crushing Satan’s head between her foot and a huge lily seen at the bottom. And the lily, we are told, is the symbol of her own sinlessness and that is the source of her own invincibility.
There is another image on the doors of the cathedral that depicts the divine shepherdess. The virgin supposedly once appeared to a pious Spanish monk dressed as a shepherdess. There is another image on the doors of the Virgin of the Cave, supposedly an old Spanish legend that the virgin appeared somewhere. The appearance of the virgin was replicated in an image, the image was buried accidently in a cave, miraculously recovered, and since recovery has had the power to do miracles, particularly popular in the Spanish Caribbean. You look again at the door and you will see another image and it is the image of the Virgin of Montserrat, Catalonia, home to the authentically black virgin, the most authentic of all supposed black Madonnas of Europe. In this case both the mother and the child she holds is black. You look again and there is the Virgin of the Candlestick with other virgins of Belen, Spanish for Bethlehem, another appearance of the Virgin supposedly in Peru. You look again, and there’s another image of Mary on the door as she is the Virgin of Mercy, and she is spreading her cloak protectively over the souls that are suffering in Purgatory. And these suffering souls are reaching up as if to clamor for her intercession to get them out. You look again and there is the Virgin of the Rosary of Chiquinquira, which is a town in Columbia. And in this picture, the virgin is flanked by St. Anthony and St. Andrew and she is traditionally adorned by the rosary. You look again, and you will find a depiction of Pieta, Mary strong, beautiful, holding the emaciated and weak Christ. This door is typical; it is representative of what you find in Catholicism all over the globe. It is the worship of Mary. No other conclusion is possible or even conceivable.
Now, as we look at this, I want to review what we’ve said in the last two weeks, and then get us into tonight’s discussion. Number one, part one: we considered the history of Roman Catholic devotion to Mary. From the Church’s own statements through all the centuries of its existence, we looked at the attributes of Mary; we looked at elements that belong only to God, that belong to her. We considered prayers to Mary, hymns to Mary, all manner of expressions of devotion and worship to the one who is called “The Queen of Heaven,” which is the name of a pagan goddess in the book of Jeremiah which the children of Israel were forbidden to worship under the penalty of divine judgment, which when they did worship, the judgment fell. And so in our first look, we looked at devotion to Mary through the history of the Catholic Church. In the second we considered not so much the devotion but doctrine, dogma regarding Mary. None of which, by the way, is found of Scripture; none of which is found in Scripture. And the Church of Rome acknowledges that to be so, but that does not matter, because there is another source of revelation. The other source of revelation is the Church itself, the true interpreter of Scripture and the ongoing source of revelation. When the Pope speaks ex cathedra, that is as if the Word of God has been uttered from heaven itself. When the councils make a determination; that is the Word of God. When the Church determines something to be true, it is true because the Church says it is true. End of argument. The Church is the continuing channel of divine revelation and the only infallible interpreter of Scripture.
Just this last week when I was on Larry King program, some of you may have seen it, with a whole handful of priests, I was the only Protestant in the building, believe me, or on the program, and I tried to engage them off the camera in a discussion about Scripture, and I was really again amazed at the absolute ignorance of what the Bible says. They don’t even know the content of the Bible, let alone what it means. And the repeated statements, particularly by one of the young men who was on that program called “God or the Girl,” that follows the path of some young men considering the priesthood but having trouble with celibacy, who kept saying to me, “But the Church has said, but the Church has said, but the Church has said.” Ignorant of Scripture, basing everything on what the Church has said because the Church is infallible. Any religion that has a source of divine revelation other than the Bible, or a source of revelation equal to the Bible, or a source of revelation which is the only true interpreter of the Bible is a false religion. God has spoken He has spoken only in His Word. He has not spoken outside of His Word. To say that God has spoken when He has not spoken is to add to Scripture, and to add to Scripture is to bring upon yourself, according to Revelation 22:18 and 19, the plagues that are written in the Bible.
Still, the Roman Catholic Church affirms this corollary and in fact superior source of revelation that comes to the Church in an ongoing sense. The French Roman Catholic George Tavard wrote, “Tradition was the overflow of the Word outside sacred Scripture. It was neither separate from nor identical with Holy Writ. Its contents are the other Scriptures through which the Word made Himself known. Tradition and Scripture.” So they don’t need the Bible for anything, and all the doctrines regarding Mary come from their tradition.
Thomas Aquinas, the favorite theologian of all scholastic Roman Catholics who lived from 1225 to 1274, and the most renowned theologian of Roman Catholic history, states in the first question of his “Summa Theological” that sacred Scripture consists of “The Biblical texts and the theology of the fathers and the doctors of the Church.” The Council of Trent in 1546 produced the official view. The discussion began on February 8th, 1546, didn’t finish until April 8th, same year, several months. The bishops debated long and hard and the first draft of the decree did not appear until a special meeting on March 23rd. Finally, the summary said this, “The purity of the gospel of God promised by the prophets was promulgated by Christ. It was preached by the apostles as the rule of all saving truth and of all moral discipline. This truth is contained partly in written books, partly in unwritten traditions. These traditions are ascribed to Christ Himself or to the apostles to whom the Holy Ghost dictated them. They have reached down to us transmitted as though by hand. The council, Council of Trent, therefore acknowledges the books of the Old and New Testament and these traditions as dictated orally by Christ Himself or the Holy Ghost and kept in the Catholic Church in continuous succession.” Then, this statement. “Equal adhesion of faith is due to both. The Council receives them as sacred and canonical. It will use both to constitute dogmas and restore the morals in the Church.” End quote. So, you don’t need the Bible because you have the Church’s own pronouncements as the very word of Christ. And all the components of Mariolatry, all the elements of devotion and dogma related to Mary come from tradition, and they admit it.
Now, let me remind you of the doctrines we looked at last time. The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception; that is, Mary was born without original sin. She is holy, sinless, stainless, undefiled and pure. That became dogma under Pious IX in 1854. Corollary to that, Mary’s permanent sinlessness, a consequence of that absence of original sin: she was her whole life sinless, called the All-holy One, worthy of worship and worthy of praise.
The third doctrine, the Doctrine of Perpetual Virginity was established in 649. It said that she not only was a virgin before Jesus was born; she even remained a virgin during the birth so that the child never passed through the canal at all but came out miraculously, and all her life she was never touched by her husband. She was a virgin perpetually. Those who are called her children were not her children at all; they were nieces and nephews.
The fourth doctrine came in the year 1950 under Pious XII; it is called the Doctrine of Assumption. That is that Mary was assumed into heaven when she died, she ascended into heaven. And at the moment she ascended into heaven, she emptied Purgatory. De Liguori gives a bizarre account of her death, even in his period, a couple of hundred years before this was made dogma. And in that bizarre account of her death, you have this kind of strange death of a sort of paranormal kind of person. De Liguori says that on her deathbed, all the holy apostles were weeping around the bed, throwing themselves on their knees around her and kissing her holy feet. And Jesus appeared in the room carrying His cross and she says to Him, “My son, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” That’s a brief summary of several pages of the most wacky, wild, screwball description of the death, supposedly, of Mary who was then assumed into heaven intact.
The fifth doctrine we looked at is Mary as mother of God, Queen of Heaven, the sovereign reigning monarch who is, practically speaking, superior to God and superior to Christ since, as we pointed out, they always do whatever she asks them to do, and they don’t do what she doesn’t ask. That’s how Catholics are held to Mary. If you want to get saved, you have to go to Mary. If you want blessings, you’ve got to go to Mary. You’ve got to love Mary. If you love Mary hard enough and long enough and faithfully enough, you’ll get what you want.
The sixth area of doctrine regarding Mary are apparitions. She descends to earth frequently to visit people, lowly people, outcast people, peasant-type people, even children and the suffering people. This goes on all the time. There was a very interesting special this weekend on the History Channel; some of you may have seen it, on Mary and apparitions. And it went on for several hours, telling the story of her supposed appearance in Zeitoun in Egypt in 1968 where one million people saw her on the top of a Coptic dome. Her appearance in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal, her appearance in 1981 in Medjugorje. The details go on and on. Fascinating details, some that I would just rehearse to you. On occasions when Mary comes and you have a collective group of people who see the apparition, they are all silent at the same time, they all speak at the same time, and all they say the same thing when they speak. They are in a trance at the time, in a semi-state of consciousness. All of this is indicative of demonic activity. And the last message that Mary gives in all of these appearances is a message of horror and hell, a horrific fearful message that seems, to me, to be just the kind of thing that demons would want to say to people is going to happen to them if they don’t worship Mary. When the truth is: it’s what’s going to happen to them if they do.
The seventh in these doctrines is the Doctrine of Mary as Mediatrix, to say that she is the source and channel of all graces to us, even salvation grace. No grace is conferred on anyone without her actual intercessory cooperation. She is called the Mother of Grace, the Mother of Mercy. People tap into that grace, into that mercy through loving and worshiping her and by the prayers of the rosary, which came in about 1090. Here’s a good summary that comes from Pious IX, who actually ruled the Vatican from 1846 to 1878. Pious IX, here his “Ineffabilis Deus,” this is a summary about Mary. “Let all the children of the Catholic Church who are so very dear to us, hear these words of ours. With a still more ardent zeal for piety, religion and love, let them continue to venerate, invoke and pray to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin, let them fly with utter confidence to this most sweet Mother of Mercy and Grace and all dangers, difficulties and needs, doubts, and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared. Nothing is hopeless. Because while bearing toward us a true motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of Heaven and earth and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. What she asks, she obtains; her pleas can never be unheard.” That from Pope Pious IX is Catholic dogma.
Now, that brings us to the final two doctrinal deceptions regarding Mary. Number eight, that she is Co-Redemptrix, that she is Co-Redemptrix. And I will say at the beginning, this has not yet been formalized into a final official dogma. The delay in doing so is due to ecumenical concerns. This would be a final blow to Protestant reconciliation for some, and even to Eastern Orthodox reconciliation. So, they are reluctant to make this official dogma, but it is unofficial reality, nonetheless. For example, in the 1990s a petition came to John Paul II with which he agreed, calling for the Church to officially dogmatize what the Church believes, quote: “Mary is Co-Redemptrix with Jesus Christ.” 4.4 million signatures from Catholics around the world, many nations, were on that petition. In the St. Peter Catechism, one of the most familiar of all Catholic Catechisms, we read this, “Did God will to make our redemption and all its consequences depend on the free consent of the Blessed Virgin Mary?” Answer, “God willed that our redemption and all its consequences should depend on the free consent of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Pope Leo XIII said, “Every grace to man has three degrees. One, by God it is communicated to Christ. Two, by Christ it is passed to the Virgin. Three, from the Virgin it descends to us.” That includes, of course, the grace of salvation. “No amount of verbal gymnastics can evade the fact that Mary saves in the Roman system. All gifts, all virtues, all graces, says Catholic theology, are dispensed by the hands of Mary to whomsoever when and as she pleases. O Lady, since thou art the dispenser of all graces and since the grace of salvation can only come through thy hands, our salvation depends on thee.” Mary plays the key role in salvation. St. Bernard said, quote, “All men past, present and to come, should look upon Mary as the means and negotiator of salvation.”
Let me give you a sample of what the chief Catholic saints have said about Mary’s role as co-redeemer, co-savior. St. Bonaventure says, “The gates of heaven will open to all who confide in the protection of Mary.” St. Ephrem calls devotion to the divine mother, quote: “The unlocking of the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem.” Blosius also says, quote: “To thee, O lady, are committed the keys and the treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven, therefore we ought constantly to pray to her.” In the words of St. Ambrose, “Open to us, O Mary, the gates of paradise since thou hast its keys.” The Church even says, quote: “Thou art its gate,” the gate to paradise, hence the gates into the cathedral are the gates of Mary. St. Fulgentius says, and I quote, “For by Mary, God descended from heaven into the world that by her man might ascend from earth to heaven.” St. Athanasius said, “And thou, O lady, was filled with grace that thou mightest be the way of our salvation and the means of ascent to the heavenly kingdom.” St. Bonaventure again, “Blessed are they who know the O mother of God, for the knowledge of thee is the high road to everlasting life and the publication of thy virtues is the way of eternal salvation.”
Now, could Catholic people understand anything other than that they’re saved by honoring and praying to Mary? Richard of St. Lawrence said, “Mary is the mistress of heaven, for there she commands as she wills and admits into heaven whom she wills.” Abbot Guerric said, “He who serves Mary and for whom she intercedes is as certain of heaven as if he was already there, and those who do not serve Mary will not be saved.” St. Bonaventure again, exclaims, “Give ear, O ye nations, and all you who desire heaven. Serve, honor Mary and certainly you will find eternal life.” The whole Roman Catholic system is filled with people who believe if they worship Mary, they’re going to heaven. That is a false god, and a false and damning gospel. Even St. Anselm, “It suffices, O lady, that thou willest it and therefore our salvation is certain.” The Church and the saints greet her thus: “You, O Mary, together with Jesus Christ, redeemed us. O Mary, our salvation is in your hands.” She is the Co-Redemptrix, because with Jesus she ransomed mankind from the power of Satan. “Jesus, says Catholic theology, redeemed us with the blood of His body, Mary redeemed us with the agonies of her heart, suffering in her heart what was lacking in the passion of Christ.” Really? Something was lacking in the passion of Christ?
A popular tract is titled, “Heaven opened by the practice of the three Hail Marys.” That’s the title of it, “Heaven opened by the practice of the three Hail Marys.” Here’s what it promises, and I quote, “One of the greatest means of salvation, one of the surest signs of predestination is unquestionably the devotion to the most Blessed Virgin. A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” “She it was,” says the Mystici Corporis, another Catholic document, “She it was who offered Christ on Golgotha to the eternal Father.” She offered Christ on the cross to the eternal Father? My Bible says, “God offered His Son.” John Paul II said this, “Mary participates in the redemption achieved by her Son and all graces are granted only through her intercession with her Son.”
In a bizarre kind of thing, the II Vatican Council says this, “Not only did Mary offer her Son to God, but she remained at the cross to suffer with Him,” as we heard, “to sort of fill up what was lacking in His passion,” I guess. Here’s a quote from II Vatican Council, “Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associated herself with His sacrifice in her mother’s heart and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her.” In some strange way, they have Mary somehow suffering in an efficacious manner for the very sins which had placed her Son there. According to the Church, Mary’s sufferings were so intense that they brought her to the very threshold of death herself.” She, says the Church, and I quote, “Participated with Jesus Christ in the very painful act of redemption.” So, the suffering of Mary at the cross was redeeming sinners.
Mary suffered, says Inter Sodalicia, another document, “Mary suffered, and as it were, nearly died with her suffering Son. For the salvation of mankind she renounced her mother’s rights. And as far as it depended on her, offered her Son to placate divine justice, so we may well say that she with Christ redeemed mankind.” She had to give her will and her consent and offer her Son to God for God to place Him on the cross as a sacrifice. Mary had a part with Christ in the redemption of the human race. She is therefore called by the Church the Co-Operatrix in man’s redemption. She is even called, “Our Co-Redemptor.” It is said at the cross that Mary triumphed over the ancient serpent. Another document says, “It is no exaggeration to say that it is due chiefly to her leadership and help that the wisdom and teachings of the gospel spread so rapidly to all the nations of the world, in spite of the most obstinate difficulties and most cruel persecutions, and brought everywhere in their train a new reign of justice and peace.”
And now, Mary is the Holy Spirit. She’s the one spreading the gospel. She’s the one converting sinners. De Liguori said, “She cooperated in our redemption and became the mother of our souls.” De Liguori writes, “A person deprived of Mary’s help falls first into sin and then into hell.” He says, “God will not save us without Mary’s intercession.” He writes, “In Mary we find life and eternal salvation. She is the happy gate of heaven.” De Liguori writes, “Since a man and a woman cooperated in our ruin, Adam and Eve, it was proper that another man and another woman should cooperate in our redemption, and these two were Jesus and Mary. There is no doubt that Christ alone was more than sufficient to redeem us,” he writes, “yet it was much more becoming that the two sexes should work together to repair the evil which the two had worked together to bring about. So, we call her the co-helper of redemption.” In fact, on page 402 in de Liguori’s book he says, “The divine mother can be called the savior of the world.”
It’s painful to read this, by the way, to me, as I’m sure it is to you, so I’m going to skip some of it. Finally, just one last comment from de Liguori, equally bizarre and blasphemous, page 26, “Mary merited to conceive the Son of God in her virginal womb.” She earned the right to have God in her womb. “Our blessed lady gave the consent which the eternal Word was waiting for before He would become her Son. At the same time, she not only agreed and gave consent, but she asked with all her heart and obtained the salvation of all the elect.” Mary is the savior.
A final doctrine. Now, let’s just call it The Treasury of Merit. One of the most strange things in Catholicism, but one that really makes the system work, is the idea of the treasury of merit. Probably the most important doctrine to Roman Catholicism is Purgatory because that’s a safety net. And if all goes bad here, you can land there and you can get out. Catholicism is a tough thing. It’s a hard sell because it’s legalism, right? You’ve got people trying to live virtuous lives. Even the priests can’t do it. Thousands upon thousands of them in our modern time, and tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands through history have been immoral because false religion can’t restrain the flesh, right? So, if the priests are as wretched as they are, and some of you heard one of the priests say the other night when Larry King said to him, “Have you been celibate all your life?” And he answered, “I’ve been celibate as far as I’m able.” Well, I know the answer to that. If you have been celibate as far as you are able, you haven’t been celibate, because you’re not able. So nobody can live up to the standard. So everybody is going to fall short, so therefore nobody can know they’re saved. And so you’d say, “Well, I’m going to walk, I mean, this is too much, I can’t handle this.” But there’s a safety net there. If you just don’t do the really bad stuff, you’re going to end up in a waiting place and eventually you’ll get out of there. But the question is: how do you get out? How get good enough to get to heaven? How do you become righteous enough to get to heaven?
Since most people aren’t going to earn heaven in this life, they’re going to end up in this place called “Purgatory,” which is from the idea of purge where you get purged, where whatever still remains of your wretchedness gets burned off by some kind of punishment for a period of time, hundreds or thousands of years. This is the place where the sinners almost all of them go. They fall short of the merit. They are there, they are purged, and how does that happen? It happens one way: by having somebody else’s merit applied to you, and by being purged by pain. Pain gains merit. So, if you have enough pain for enough millennia, your pain earns you merit. But to speed the process and get you out sooner, somebody else’s merit can be applied to you, and there happens to be in the Catholic world a treasury of merit.
God has at His disposal, excess merit. Some of it is His, and asked the priest the other night before we went on the television program. I said, “Now, I don’t understand about this treasury of merit. Whose merit goes in there? Does Mary’s merit go in there?” Oh yes, because, you see, Mary had more merit than she needed. Whoa. She had more righteousness than necessary. You tell me what kind of a system that is. Instead of saying, like the Bible says, that no man’s righteousness can earn him a relationship to God, Mary had more than she needed and so Mary’s excess merit and the excess merit of other beatified saints and some of the very righteousness of Christ all gets deposited in this treasury of merit. And you can get it. You can get it. In fact, you can get it before you die. In fact, you can buy it. That’s what indulgences are. You pay a fee, you get your forgiveness purchased, punishment canceled, merit applied, Purgatory shortened, and you avoid temporal punishment.
It was the year 2000. we were traveling around Italy doing a conference over there. It just happened to be a Jubilee year, when certain doors to certain cathedrals were infused with indulgences. If you walked through that door, you received an indulgence. That is, you had certain sins of the past forgiven. I’m telling you, those were crowded places. all you had to do was go through the door. And there were certain doors, not all doors but certain doors, spotted all over the place in certain cathedrals where you could go and get an indulgence. And here’s what happened. When you got that indulgence, you had the merit that was in the treasury of merit, the excess merit of Mary applied to you, credited to you. If you’re already in Purgatory, people who pray to Mary for you, people who light a candle to Mary or to the saints can accumulate merit that can be applied to you. That’s why when you go into a Catholic Church you see all the candles everywhere? Certain people praying for certain people. As long as the candle burns, the prayer goes on. And as long as the prayer goes on, the merit in the prayer is accumulating on the benefit of the person in Purgatory and the merit is being drawn out of the treasury of merit which merit essentially belongs to Christ, belongs to the saints who have excess merit and to Mary.
The most effective means, by the way, of helping the dead in Purgatory is to have a priest say a Mass. So you pray, you pay the priest a fee, and he says a Mass for the dead, and merit is transferred to that person’s account, Purgatory is shortened. You go to the church, you light the candle, you pay the priest to say the Mass. All of these things are intended to shorten up Purgatory. So, you can borrow from the treasury of merit by paying for an indulgence; that’s what launched the Reformation, remember? Tetzel coming along selling indulgences outraged Luther. Luther confronted the issue of indulgences and that launched the Reformation, the Protestant Reformation.
So, Mary has far more merit than she needs, and she is the source of this merit that can be purchased. Indulgentiarum Doctrina, post Vatican II, November 1st, 1967: “The Treasury of the Church,” it says, “is the infinite value which can never be exhausted which Christ’s merits have before God. They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. In Christ the Redeemer Himself, the satisfactions and merits of His redemption exist and find their efficacy. This Treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are immense, unfathomable, and pristine in their value before God.” So you have there the righteousness of Christ, the righteousness of Mary. And it goes on to say, “In the Treasury also are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ and by His grace made their lives holy, carried out the mission their Father entrusted to them. In this way, they attained their own salvation and at the same time cooperated in saving their brothers in the unity of the mystical body.” Is this a salvation by works system or what? You attain your salvation, and not only yours, but if you have excess merit you can attain the salvation of somebody else. That’s not old stuff, that’s II Vatican Council in ‘67. This system is called Thesaurus Meritorium: the Treasury of Merit.
Mary’s merit is unfathomable, part of the Treasury of the Church. She has earned the right to deposit it there. She has earned the right to dispense all the treasures to those who honor her. Careful how you treat Mary. Mary saves you. Mary’s merit is applied to you. Mary gets you out of Purgatory. Mary gets you into heaven. Pious X said, “She is the supreme minister of the distributions of grace.” There’s another quote. I’m not sure where this quote came from, “Through her merits, the torments of souls in Purgatory are not only softened but shortened.” Illustration in a Papal bull attributed to Pope John XXII who died in 1334, “We learned that our Lady Mary wished to make it known to all that on the Saturday after their death, she would deliver from Purgatory all who wore the Carmelites scapular.” The same promises were afterwards confirmed by several other Pontiffs, notably Paul V who in a bull of the year 1613, that’s what they call a Papal Declaration, set down the conditions which must be fulfilled for the gaining of the singular mercy. That is, the Saturday after you die you can get out of Purgatory if you wear a Carmelite scapular. According to what was written in the solemn office of our Lady of Mount Carmel, “We may piously believe that the Blessed Virgin comforts the members of the Scapular Confraternity in Purgatory with maternal love and that she soon delivers them,” the next Saturday, “by her intercession and takes them to heaven.
Besides the scapular of Mount Carmel, those of the seven dollars, the blessed Trinity and the Immaculate Conception, those are orders in the Church, have been enriched with indulgences. The Pope Paul V said, “For my own part I have been careful to receive them all. Give me all of Mary’s stuff,” he said, “to get me out of Purgatory.”
Well, all these are lies, obviously. All are lies, patently lies. And my time is gone. What that means is, painful as it is, one more. But you’re going to like this one, because next week we’re going to look at what the Bible says about Mary. Amen? Now, you better be there, I heard that amen. All right, let’s pray.
It’s important for us, Lord, to be discerning, discriminating, understanding the truth, because we have such a critical mandate to proclaim this truth, to deliver souls who are in bondage to Satan’s kingdom. O Lord, how the god of this world has blinded the minds of Roman Catholics all over the world who worship a non-entity, who worship demons impersonating a goddess. It’s a grief that they’ve named her after the mother of our Lord. It would be a horror to her if she ever knew it. It’s good that she’s never known it, never heard a prayer from anybody, never come back to this world, never appeared, never spoken, never seen anything, but is lost in the wonder, love and praise of heavenly glory. Would be horrified to the worst degree if she thought someone was worshiping her. Father, not for her sake is this sad, but for the sake of those who are caught in this satanic deception and who turn from Christ to another god; from the true gospel to another gospel and are accursed. Help us, Lord, to be bold, and loving, and gracious, and clear in the proclamation of this truth, that these souls may be delivered and liberated. And we know it can’t happen until they know the truth, and so we have to tell them the truth. Give us opportunity to do that with frankness and with love, that You might truly deliver those who are in bondage, damning bondage, to this idolatry. In Christ’s name. Amen.