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.
*But someone may say, How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?
The Resurrection Body.
* You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.
And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind;
but God gives it a body as he chooses, and to each of the seeds its own body.
* Not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for human beings, another kind of flesh for animals, another kind of flesh for birds, and another for fish.
There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the brightness of the heavenly is one kind and that of the earthly another.
The brightness of the sun is one kind, the brightness of the moon another, and the brightness of the stars another. For star differs from star in brightness.
* So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.
It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful.
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.
Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.
So the same bodies we have in earthly lifebut our resurrection bodies will not die and, for the righteous, they will be transformed into a glorified state, freed from suffering and pain, and enabled to do many of the amazing things Jesus could do with his glorified body.
No. It is the same body we now have.
Thank you. My point was not about larger organization but that bishops rule their churches -- not any two individuals in them
So God does not need our works and for salvation they are not needed. Why then does the Bible urge us to do them? What happens if we don’t?
It helps to understand the question before commenting. You have no clue what the argument is about and I am tired of explaining everything to you when all you need to do is follow arguments and responses already there. Cynical Bear made that point, and I responded. Try to keep up.
Sorry forgot the link. Here it is.
Im sure those were all your own original words and thoughts since there is no attribution given.
“So the same bodies we have in earthly lifebut our resurrection bodies will not die and, for the righteous, they will be transformed into a glorified state, freed from suffering and pain, and enabled to do many of the amazing things Jesus could do with his glorified body.”
In your post of Paul’s words about the resurrection body he quite clearly says otherwise. and in fact says that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom.
So does this “glorified state” mean a body without flesh and blood? If “the same bodies we have in earthly life” then does that mean male and female bodies? Jesus said the heavenly ones would be as angels. (Luke 20:34-36)
>> My point was not about larger organization but that bishops rule their churches — not any two individuals in them<<
Rule ey? Do we need to go through that again? I thought daniel1212 covered that pretty well here http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2966953/posts?page=603#603
I am not arguing anything in that post. I am clarifying an explanation so that you are not left with a sense that I contradicted myself. I did not.
it remains that Prot baptism is a denial of Rome
Such that are, are of course not baptisms at all and converts need to be baptized properly. No Holy Spirit has entered such ant-baptized "Prot" (your expression).
For example, not using the Trinitarian formula.
we go to Prots being Catholic at baptism
Because plenty of time a Protestant baptism is done correctly and has the correct intention of entering the convert or a baby (that, rarely in your environment); it does not have the perverse intention of combating the Church. This is how my wife was baptized in a Baptist church and she did not need a conditional baptism when she came into the Church. Her baptism was already deeply felt, quite Catholic, and valid in the eye of God. I, too, was baptized in a Church outside of communion with Rome, but that church being Orthodox it was already fully valid universally.
Is it clearer now?
Because of the hysterical anti-"Rome" attitudes of the Evangelicals, more Protestant baptisms are brought into question when people thus baptized come into the Church. Those are baptized conditionally: that is, we ask God that the soul that was baptized be blessed in the full communion of Christ in the Catholic Church, and the soul not baptized be baptized. Understand, dear convert, that if you are asked to be conditionally baptized while you feel baptized in your heart onto the Church Universal, that is not done to deny your original baptism but due to the impossibility to know that it occurred for all the Evangelical noise.
The same body.....with missing limbs? What of those turned to dust? Those Chistians burned to a crisp in Roman times?
The very quote you made says those bound for heaven will not have a fleshly body, but a spiritual one, not one of flesh and blood.
Yeah, thats what I thought. Goes back to the idea that Catholics and Muslims serve the same God. My comments stand. Written by someone who really doesnt know scripture. Has admitted that he learned a lot from the RCC though.
In the early church, they were married. We have married priests today, but rarely.
So yes she did have a clue and obviously caught the obfuscation.
I explained his mistakes in here. However, Daniel's post was not on the topic of the authority of bishops at all; are you confused about what you are trying to argue here?
Wrong again. Sad that you do not recognize Holy Scripture, but then when you have such an odd worldview as yours, I guess anything is believable.
“But you obfuscated on the part ...”
Calling another FReeper a liar is bad form CB. Like when you called me a liar for posting the truth about your odd and unChristian worldview.
Both are true.
“We believe in the true resurrection of this flesh that we now possess” (Council of Lyons II: DS 854). We sow a corruptible body in the tomb, but he raises up an incorruptible body, a “spiritual body” (cf. 1 Cor 15:42-44).
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