Skip to comments.Catholics, Protestants, and Immaculate Mary
Posted on 12/08/2012 2:24:39 PM PST by NYer
Do Catholics worship Mary? This question is as old as the Protestant Reformation itself, and it rests, like other disputed doctrinal points, on a false premise that has been turned into a wedge: the veneration of Mary detracts from the worship of Christ.
This seeming opposition between Mary and Christ is symptomatic of the Protestant tendency, begun by Luther, to view the entirety of Christian life through a dialectical lens – a lens of conflict and division. With the Reformation the integrity of Christianity is broken and its formerly coherent elements are now set in opposition. The Gospel versus the Law. Faith versus Works. Scripture versus Tradition. Authority versus Individuality. Faith versus Reason. Christ versus Mary.
The Catholic tradition rightly sees the mutual complementarity of these elements of the faith, as they all contribute to our ultimate end – living with God now and in eternity. To choose any one of these is to choose them all.
By contrast, to assert that Catholics worship Mary along with or in place of Christ, or that praying to Mary somehow impedes Christ’s role as “the one mediator between God and men” (1 Tim 2:5) is to create a false dichotomy between the Word made flesh and the woman who gave the Word his flesh. No such opposition exists. The one Mediator entrusted his mediation to the will and womb of Mary. She does not impede his mediation – she helps to make it possible.
Within this context we see the ancillary role that the ancilla Domini plays in her divine Son’s mission. Mary’s is not a surrogate womb rented and then forgotten in God’s plan. She is physically connected to Christ and his life, and because of this she is even more deeply connected to him in the order of grace. She is, in fact, “full of grace,” as only one who is redeemed by Christ could be.
The feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception celebrates the very first act of salvation by Christ in the world. Redemption is made possible for all by his precious blood shed on the cross. Yet Mary’s role in the Savior’s life and mission is so critical and so unique that God saw it necessary to wash her in the blood of the Lamb in advance, at the first moment of her conception.
This reality could not be more Biblical: the angel greets Mary as “full of grace” (Luke 1:28), which is literally rendered as “already graced” (kecharitōmenē). Following Mary, the Church has “pondered what sort of greeting this might be” for centuries. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception, ultimately defined in 1854, is nothing other than a rational expression of the angel’s greeting contained in Scripture: Mary is “already graced” with Christ’s redemption at the very moment of her creation.
Because God called Mary to the unique vocation of serving as the Mother of God, it is not just her soul that is graced, as is the case for us when we receive the sacraments. Mary’s entire being, body and soul, is full of grace so that she may be a worthy ark for the New Covenant. And just as the ark of the old covenant was adorned with gold to be a worthy house for God’s word, Mary is conceived without original sin to be the living and holy house for God’s Word.
Thus Mary is not only conceived immaculately, that is, without stain of sin. She also is the Immaculate Conception. Her entire being was specifically created by God with unique privilege so that she could fulfill her role in God’s plan of salvation. “Free from sin,” both original and personal, is the necessary consequence of being “full of grace.”
Protestants claim that veneration of Mary as it is practiced by Catholics is not biblical. St. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). Paul is not holding himself up as the end goal, but as a means to Christ, the true end. And if a person is imitated, he is simultaneously venerated.
If we should imitate Paul, how much more should we imitate Mary, who fulfilled God’s will to the greatest degree a human being could. Throughout her life she humbled herself so that God could be exalted, and because of this, Christ has fulfilled his promise by exalting his lowly mother to the seat closest to him in God’s kingdom.
Mary is the model of humility, charity, and openness to the will of God. She allows a sword to pierce her heart for the sake of the world’s salvation. She shows us the greatness to which we are called: a life free from sin and filled with God’s grace that leads to union with God in Heaven. She is the model disciple, and therefore worthy of imitation and veneration, not as an end in herself, but as the means to the very purpose of her – and our – existence: Christ himself.
God’s lowly handmaiden would not want it any other way.
Sheesh, and that’s at the BEGINNING of the book!
If they AIN'T with us; they’s agin us
First Century Church is Catholic Church in hiding.
What the Protestants seek is not my concern. It is all foolishness, and mostly not done in good faith.
For half its history priests married
No, priests never married. Some married men are admitted into priesthood and some into monastic life. Once one becomes a priest, a monk or a nun, he or she is not free to marry.
They took vows. The vows precluded marriage. They "married" anyway. That is fornication.
The appeal to and intercession of the king’s mom is a record of a cultural practice which is not a sanction of it (nor that of Mt. 14:7), and here the request was refused and resulted in the death of the supplicant that day!
As for Mary now being crowned and reigning with Christ, this directly contradicts Scripture which teaches this rewarding and reigning does not happen until the Lord’s return. (Rev. 11:18; 20:6; 22:12; 1Cor. 3: 8-11; 4:5; 2Tim. 4:1,8)
These and far more attempts are dealt with here: http://peacebyjesus.tripod.com/marysc.html
I share your imagination on that, but I deal with what it posted. What is posted to me regarding Luther's "marriage" is plain stupid. Generally, it varies, and I treat the posters accordingly.
"Elder" could mean anything. Douay uses it when there is a mixed company, for example, of priests and bishops (compare Acts 20:17 and Acts 20:28). The ignorant (or mendacious) author you cite might fantasize about it all day long. Protestants use it thorughout because their religion is based on denying anything suggesting Catholicity.
"πρεσβυτερος" in the Timothys and Titus means catholic priest.
"ιερευς" is, depending on context, Hebrew priest or Catholic priesthood in its derivation from Melchizedek, like in Hebrews. "αρχιερευς" is "Super-priest", Christ in Hebrews and chief Jewish priest otherwise.
"επισκοπος" is, if course bishop, that is a priest who is also overseer of other priests. In the early Church, there were more bishops than priests since churches were geographically dispersed.
No; as exception we know of Mary and Noah. It is also possible that St. John the Baptist lived without sin, since Christ gave him the Holy Spirit while both were not yet born. Of course, in each case it is Christ alone who renders people sinless.
Thank you. Nowhere is the petty and lying nature of Protestantism as evident as in this dispute.
Correct; however both "bishop" and "priest" are derived from their Greek counterparts. For specifics and Greek references see my #409.
words *Catholic church* are not found in Scripture and your interpretation of *Church of God* as meaning the Roman Catholic church is nothing more than your interpretation
Many words with precise meaning are not found in scripture. True Church of God is Catholic because I recognize her catholicity from the Holy Scripture. However, it is Catholic, not necessarily Roman Catholic; it includes the Orthodox and a variety of Catholic Churches with rites other than Roman.
To sneak around to get it on. Most fornication is done deceptively.
Yes, God is completely in control of a Catholic man's life and the life of His Church. If you don't want it, don't consider Catholicism and please stay what you are.
And often they are remarkably consistent; Luther, for example, had nothing to say against polygamy since polygamy is in the Bible (thanks, Narses)
That seems a bit judgemental...
SURE it does...
Exactly. So Luther and his consort were not free to marry. They could, perhaps, seek dispensations and do it legally; they just didn't because they preferred fornication to propriety. This is your teacher: a jerk and a crook.
The Roman Catholic Church allows "annulments", do they not?
Yes -- if the marriage was imporperly conceived, but not in other cases. The Church allows proper dispensation from the monastic vows as well.
In the case of Martin Luther as well as his wife, they BOTH chose to annul their ordination vows and they have every right to do so - they are not slaves.
Luther may have gotten a dispensation from priestly duties but not from celibacy (as Danie11212 explained). His lover have not gotten any "annulment" -- this is why they snuck out in a fish barrel. Liars and crooks.
play judge and jury of a man who died five hundred years ago
He is an historical figure and his life is well researched. I do not judge his eternal damnation, but I can judge his acts. You should do the same.
You do whatever you please. I noticed there are several posts from you. I will respond to those of them that warrant it.
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