Skip to comments.Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part Two
Posted on 01/01/2013 1:17:14 PM PST by Salvation
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part Two
In my last column, I remarked that the surprise for many Evangelical converts to the Catholic faith is how much smaller Mary is to the Catholic than she is to the Evangelical. For the Evangelical, "the Catholic Mary" looms large as a kind of ur-goddess. The fear that pre-occupies the Evangelical imagination is that, say what Catholics will, once the convert is safely inside the Church, the priest will produce the brain chip implant and you will be reprogrammed to adore and worship Mary by the Vatican's Mind Control Laser Platform in Geosynchronous Orbit above North America.
But the reality, when you finally get past the irrational terror of Mary and enter the Church is that nobody thinks she's another God, as you feared. Instead, you find that a small minority of Catholics think she's another Pope.
It's funny really. Each religious tradition has its own genius and its own pathologies. On the pathology side of Evangelicalism, particularly charismatic flavors, one sees (in a peculiar minority of Evangelicals) a frequent anointing of "prophets" who have the End Times mapped out in one way or another. Usually, this involves heavy doses of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation, as well as ingenious interpretations of events in Israel, bar codes, and numerical evaluations of some world leader's name.
But lest Catholics clap themselves on the back too much, it must be noted that the convert is tempted to mutter "different religion, same pathologies" when he enters the Catholic communion only to be greeted by a small but earnest cadre of apocalypse-minded Catholics who center exactly the same sort of prognosticating, not around Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation-after all, we're Catholics, we don't read the Bible more than we have to-but around some alleged revelation of Mary involving chastisements, asteroid impacts, Three Days of Darkness, and weird commands issued to the Pope or the bishops of the world.
The queer thing about this particular subculture in the Church is that it appears to hold to the notion of "Church Governance by Apparition". A certain sort of Catholic can get the notion in his head that the Church is governed, not by the bishops in succession from the Apostles and in union with the Pope, but by a series of private revelations from Mary. Such Catholics are often not particularly cautious about distinguishing between public and private revelation, still less about whether a Marian apparition has been approved by the Church. Indeed, the creepier and more apocalyptic the "revelation" the more such a Catholic will be certain that its rejection by the Church is a sign of apostasy and imminent judgment on the Sinister Masonic/New Age/Jewish conspiracy at work in the hierarchy. So if an alleged Marian apparition starts claiming that the Pope must define this or that teaching as dogma, or starts telling Catholics to save up beeswax candles to prepare themselves for the Three Days of Darkness that are just around the corner, the apparition enthusiast will often regard it as a judgment on the Pope--not on the reality of the "vision"--if the Pope does not salute smartly and do whatever the latest visionary is demanding.
This is, however, to fundamentally fail to grasp what the Church has always taught with the authority of Christ. A Marian private revelation is no more binding on the Pope than it is binding on any other Catholic. The governance of the Church remains the task of the Church's Christ-appointed governors, the bishops. Mary does not supercede them in their proper and Christ-appointed role and authentic Marian apparitions never try to do so. If the Magisterium judges a Marian revelation to be authentic, the Holy Father or the bishops may well act in obedience to it (as, for instance, when Our Lady of Guadalupe requested the building of a Church and Our Lady of Fatima requested the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart). But in such cases, the Magisterium is still left to act in freedom. It is not obliged to practice government-by-apparition and apparition enthusiasts overstep their bounds when they declare a Pope or bishop "apostate" if they fail to live up to the apparitionist's level of enthusiasm.
This basic counsel to trust the Holy Spirit in leading the Church comes hard for many people. The spectrum can be wide in such matters. Some people are the type who immediately rush off to start praying the Rosary and light candles to water stains on a highway underpass in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Others don't find even Church-approved apparitions and private revelations particularly helpful to them and therefore don't bother with them much. That's their right (the Church doesn't say you must have a devotion to, say, Our Lady of Fatima or Guadalupe, just that you may) but the sensible thing to do is to trust the Holy Spirit to guide the Church as he promised he would. Otherwise, we can find that our passions become so engaged in defending our views that, should the Church rule against us, we end up placing our view of private revelation over the Church's and condemning the Church for its "erroneous" approval or disapproval.
Copyright 2005 - Mark P. Shea
Catholic and Orthodox Ping!
Just because I do not believe that Mary is a deity and does not have more power than Jesus or God, I am Mary-phobic?
I pray to God is Jesus’ name, because that is Christian.
The very idea that praying to dead, mortal humans to intercede for Jesus tells me you think all your human-appointed Saints (10,000 or so?) have more power than Jesus.
They have no power to “intercede”. It is blasphemy to think that poor widdle weak Jesus needs others to intercede. Nothing in the bible supports this idea.
You use that word “intercede” to apply to Catholic teaching.
I do not think it means for us what you think it means...
Love it! Every year I put up a Catholic calendar entitled “Our Lady in Art” in my workplace & it drives my Calvinist coworkers nuts:
“You call her the `Mother of God’, that means she’s a goddess, right? And depicting Jesus as an infant belittles His ministry, doesn’t it?”
In 1998 I asked them, “Who would you rather led this nation, John Paul II or Bill Clinton?”
“That’s not fair!!”
What you posted is not true - what Evangelicals believe Catholics believe is nowhere near the truth. But - as the article says Evangelicals insist on telling Catholics what Catholics believe, instead of listening to the Catholics when they tell them what they actually believe.
Here's the issue in the article: WHY do you spend so much time hyperventilating over Mary-as-goddess (something no Catholic believes), when it would seem to be a lot more rational to be having fits over the fact that we do believe that the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus - body and blood, soul and divinity. (Jack Chick has periodic fits over it, but nobody on FR seems to ever mention it.)
He (gives; permits; allows) them to intercede. Nothing like "needing" them to intercede. Surely you can see the difference.
Hope Walmart's pharmacy is open today. I'm off to pick up my RX. Note that although Jesus didn't NEED for WMRT to fulfill the prescription (he could have made the drug magically appear in my veins), He allowed them to intercede (because that's the way the world normally works).
This Evangelical grew up Catholic: baptized, confirmed, first communion... Also happened to be National Catechism Champion in High School in Spain. And I do feel uncomfortable, to say the least, with the degree of reverence given to Mary in the Catholic church. You say that praying and lighting candles is not worshiping... I think you are splitting hairs here!
How does a dead mortal human do that?
BTW, nice to see that you learned from the homosexuals and others to claim victimhood if someone does accept your ideas as gospel fact, “Mariaphobic”... lol. That is not a defense of your idea.
Sigh...they might not grasp that the title Mother of God has a always been an important illustration of the union between Jesus’ humanity and divinity.
If God was not man enough to be born in flesh, he was not consequently dead enough to have truly died in the flesh either.
Therefore the title given to Mary has always defended the identity of Jesus Immanuel.
Amen GeronL. But it will be lost on the Papists.
Walmart is open but they don’t have rotisserie chicken. Me and Mr. M are recovering from the flu and were hoping for some. Don’t know about the pharmacy.
On topic - I pray the rosary every day. It’s very Biblical. It’s a useful meditation for me and helps me center my day. The Hail Mary is a combination of the words of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth “Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee, blessed art though among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb....” The second half is a request to Mary that she pray for us, “now and at the hour of our death.” I ask others to pray for me. I’m asked by others to pray for them. When someone asks me to pray for a person, I get that person’s first name and I do pray for him/her. I lift them up to Jesus. Some of the confusion may be the “how many angels dancing on the head of a pin” debate of whether those who have died are aware and in the presence of God or do they have to wait for the second coming. I’m not sure of much but I am sure that neither God nor prayer are bound time. With that in place, I don’t worry about whether the time line is right. I just keep praying anyway I can find.
Where in the Bible is that and who is "them"? Show me their names listed in the Bible.
When I pick up my RX I am going to down it with Holy Water just to get a reaction out of the Prottie pharmacist (not really).
For example, in the Rosary, the portions addressed to Mary request that she "pray for us sinners" -- but when a prayer is addressed directly to God, we say, "Let us pray" -- e.g. at the end of the 5 decades, addressing "Almighty and eternal God, who by the life, death and resurrection of thine only-begotten Son, didst gain for us the fruits of everlasting life . . . . "
Do you see the difference?
That's not splitting hairs, that's a real and valid distinction.
Also, many high-schoolers' religious growth stops at Confirmation. If you were confirmed as a high-school sophomore or junior (as my daughter was), you are hardly done with learning - in fact, you have just begun. Certainly there are few high-school age religious education leaders or theology teachers, or teachers of any kind, because most young people are still learning and not ready to teach. And the last I checked theology was not a championship sport, kind of an odd concept in itself - "when I was a child, I thought and spoke as a child . . ."
But if you were taught in Confirmation class to worship Mary, I am really worried about your Religious Ed instructor.
At the Transfiguration, Our Lord was conversing with Moses and Elijah. Were they "dead mortal humans" while conversing with Christ?
And Christ himself said the Father is not the God of the dead, but of the living, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Are they "dead mortal humans"?
I pray the Rosary daily also although not always perfectly (# of prayers, etc.) One time I was so sick with Norovirus I could only get out a word or two for each mystery, but I tried. Never a missed day since inception if you allow the truncated ones. I am quite sure all these prayers will be quite important at the moment of death.
Probably because Jesus Christ is alive in each Christian through the spirit we receive from our Baptism.
Through the Holy Spirit anyone can intercede on a persons behalf. When we pray in the spirit, Christ within intercedes on our behalf. Read these passages carefully Jas 5:13-15; Eph 6:18; Rom 6:26-30.
If Christ is alive within us, what we pray for is done through Jesus through the Holy Spirit. How much more is Christ alive in a person than in the saints in heaven? How much more is Christ interceding than in the bonfire created by the Holy Spirit among many?
I was not taught to "worship" Mary, but instead I learned the Marian devotions, from the Rosary to the Novenas. I lit candles, prayed to Mary on my knees... it was only later that I started questioning such activities.
Let's not forget that the main point of the article is that there are more important differences between Evangelicals and Catholics, such as the Eucharist. And, in that point, I wholeheartedly agree.
Yes. I was taught that the title was an acknowledgement of who Jesus was (is). It ensures a correct understanding of the Savior's nature. It is about Him, not her. That being said, I have to believe that Mary was a very special person to play such a unique role in the Plan of Salvation. (I'm not Roman Catholic, by the way).
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