CAGAYAN DE ORO City, Feb. 25, 2014—With a theological karate chop of sorts, a Mariologist tackled what is a lingering question for many: Why are Catholics devoted to Mary? The answer is simple and traces back to God’s own love for her.
“Love is not retail, it is wholesale. If I love Jesus, then I have to love whomever He loves, that includes the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Catholic apologist Atty. Marwil Llasos told some 200 Singles for Christ International Conference (SFC ICON) 2014 delegates attending the workshop “Defending Mary” last February 15.
According to Llasos, a very human, yet also divine way of looking at Catholics’ relationship with Mary will help many understand Marian devotion.
“Can you pray at night, saying, “I love You, Jesus, but I cannot stomach the face of your mother!”? he asked in rhetoric.
It is just proper, Llasos pointed out, that if God truly loves Mary, so should Catholics.
Telling the story of his own journey of faith, Llasos said, it was trying to reconcile a Protestant ‘Jesus alone’ belief with his childhood devotion to Mary that pushed him to seriously study Catholics’ beliefs about the Blessed Virgin.
He eventually left the Born Again church after joining in his younger years and returned to the Catholic Church, becoming a true blue Catholic apologist.
His brief separation from the Catholic Church only seemed to draw him to seek the truth more.
“You will really see the beauty of the Church if you see it from the outside. Love is lovelier the second time around,” Llasos said.
According to Llasos, knowing how Protestants think and use the Bible specifically helps him as an apologist because he knows how to debunk their arguments.
Apparently, Llasos said, the key to understanding the role of Mary in the Church is God Himself.
“This is my advice [to those who question Mary], never disassociate the Blessed Virgin Mary from God. The greatness of Mary lies in her relationship. Without God, she is nothing, but because she is with God, she is something,” he explained.
The SFC ICON 2014 was held from February 14 to 16 with 6,000 delegates in attendance. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]