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.
No, the scripture cannot err. My post 321 was addressed to you. In it those who have a habit of reading before posting, could read:
If you read Romans 3:23 (your likely prooftext for the sinfulness of Mary) in its context it is clear that St. Paul writes in generalities. For example, he also says that "none seeketh God", but that clearly is not true of every one.
Regarding the Book of Psalms, the next one after the one St. Paul is quoting says: "He that walketh without blemish, and worketh justice", etc. Is that one, you think, in error? They make a distinction between righteousness and sin; taken together they do not teach that everyone has sinned.
Those who pray to and love Virgin Mary are God's elect, as she herself is.
There was a time when one could have a somewhat reason-able exchange with you, but that has now passed. Resorting to attacking Luther as if we follow him as a pope, and having Luther and Kathrina driven by sexual so that they snuck out in a fish barrel and whose marriage was no different than homosexual marriage, because you must defend the church they dissented from - which was a church that ordained known sexual active priests (and was rife with such) and is guilty of spiritual idolatry - places you in league with cultists who are bound to do the same due to their sola ecclesia basis.
Well, the fact is that despite being told to get a lawyer when faced with Rome’s inconsistencies, it is clear that RCs engage in much interpretation of Rome and of Scripture trying to defend her, as they made a fallible decision to submit to a self-declared infallible church.
Thanks for trying to reason with them, but as more than one has shown, they are bound to defend their object of devotion as whatever cost of credibility.
Not so; in James 5:15 πρεσβυτερους της εκκλησιας are called annointing the sick; in Acts 20:17 St. Paul μετεκαλεσατο τους πρεσβυτερους της εκκλησιας; in 1 Timothy 4:14 we see that priesthood carried a special grace and that ordainment of a priest is a memorable event "μη αμελει του εν σοι χαρισματος ο εδοθη σοι δια προφητειας μετα επιθεσεως των χειρων του πρεσβυτεριου"; in Titus 1:5 Titus is instructed to "καταστησης κατα πολιν πρεσβυτερους". All these are usages, often further defined as "priests of the church", that do not apply to non-clerical roles. Other usages at least point to the select status of priests, such as "ο πρεσβυτερος γαιω τω αγαπητω" (3 John 1:1) points to priests being assigned to lay folks, themselves Christian; in 1 Timothey 5:19 priests are said to have a certain legal privilege.
The condition on the religious is to properly leave the convent (not in a barrel) if they wish to marry and otherwise stay celibate. Luther I accuse of fornication, not of being an imposed condition. I am sure your post makes sense, but it escapes me.
That's your Catholicism talking! Some named themselves so NOT to be associated with Catholicism. They protested the lie that was Rome. Good for them!
I know you don't. I believe that the so-called reformation has been a disaster for the Western civilization and the low morals of the founding fathers of Protestantism bear me out in this conviction. The arguments in defense of Luther indeed at times are the same that could be used, and are used to justify gay "marriage", polygamy, bestiality or what have you. In all of these perversions the perverse side argues that freedom to marry cannot have a constraint. Further, gay "marriage" is very much the last nail driven in the coffin of our civilization, so the regression from Luther's shenanigans to today's bathhouse is rather a straight line. If that is unreasonable to you, I don't see how I can make it any plainer.
So Luther did not start Protestantism? Ho about the Lutheran Church, — no relation as well?
Just take look at this wonderful prayer Blessed Augustine wrote and you will understand his great devotion to Our Lady...
Prayer to our Lady of Mercy by Saint Augustine
Blessed Virgin Mary,
who can worthily repay you with praise
and thanks for having rescued a fallen world
by your generous consent!
Receive our gratitude,
and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins.
Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven
and enable them to make our peace with God.
Holy Mary, help the miserable,
strengthen the discouraged,
comfort the sorrowful,
pray for your people,
plead for the clergy,
intercede for all women consecrated to God.
May all who venerate you
feel now your help and protection.
Be ready to help us when we pray,
and bring back to us the answers to our prayers.
Make it your continual concern
to pray for the people of God,
for you were blessed by God
and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world,
who lives and reigns forever.
Wait! What??? I thought Catholics didnt pray to Mary. Now you say they do? Im going to copy that post and save it!!
How many times does it need to posted it for you to 'get it'? Ignoring God's Word has it's consequences and you can't blame Luther for it!
"Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth." 1 Tim 4:2,3
People are not tricked into monastic vows, -- they undertake them freely,
Yes they are tricked - by a lie. Once they learn the Truth they leave - like MANY parishioners are doing today because the hypocritical liars still exist and will as long as satan/evil exists.
They can also get out, -- it is not a prison sentence.
Anyone can get out - just leave and never look back! But we know from Luther, it can be a death sentence. They hunted him and they still have their dresses bunched up their butt over it. He left but that wasn't good enough - Rome wanted blood! It's good to see their angst still over Luther while he's in heaven and heard 'well done, good and faithful servant'. Luther is HOME!
It’s all spelled out through typology,dear sister, but we have been down this road before and you don’t want to believe this even though it’s historically backed up throughout Christian history by the Church Fathers
Anyway, here it is again from a post of mine in 2010 from a project I did for a group of Marian Franciscans from Syracuse to use for their new postulates .
(I don’t have the time to go round and round again on this with you)
From my 2010 post...
Here is some examples from an older post of mine....
Old Testament Ark verses New Testament- Mary who is the Immaculate(Sinless) Ark of the NEW COVENANT
A cloud of glory covered the Tabernacle and Ark (Exodus 40:34-35; Numbers 9:15) = Type is And the angel said to her: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you (Luke 1:35)
Ark spent three months in the house of Obededom the Gittite (2 Samuel 6:11) = Type is Mary spent three months in the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:26, 40)
King David asked How can the ark of the Lord come to me? (2 Samuel 6:9) = Type is Elizabeth asked Mary, Why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke 1:43)
David Leaped and danced before the Lord when the Ark arrived in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14 - 16) = Type is John the Baptist leaped for joy in Elizabeths womb when Mary arrived (Luke 1:44)
Even the Early Christians saw this. Some examples....
Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296373) was the main defender of the deity of Christ against the second-century heretics. He wrote: O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O [Ark of the] Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides (Homily of the Papyrus of Turin).
Gregory the Wonder Worker (c. 213c. 270) wrote: Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary. For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary).
Mary is the Daughter of Zion .
The important thing point out is that in the OT (esp. Isiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, etc..) there are Messianic prophecies known as the Daughter Zion prophecies which tend to have a similar form. They begin with something like, rejoice, O Daughter of Zion, for the Lord your God is in your midst.. and continue on with Messianic prophecy. The form of Gabriels Annuniciation to Mary matches the form of the Daughter Zion prophecies. This indicates on the one hand that these prophesies are fulfilled with the words of Gabriel which announce the Messianic expectation as being fulfilled at that time.
The prophets words were a foreshadowing of the Annuniciation. Gabriel called Mary Kecharitomene, which I believe captures the essence of Daughter of Zion and points beyond it. Basically Mary is being presented in Luke I & II as representing not just the perfect embodiment of the virtues of what it means to be Israel, she is presented as a certain personification of Israel. She stands in as Israel proper, and the language used throughout the narrative suggests the concept of corporate personality which is part of Hebrew thought. There are allusions and types in Luke I & II which further support this (themes and structure in the Magnificat, allusions to Abraham to which this concept of corporate personality applies, Simeon, Judith, etc..). Also, this understanding of what Luke I & II presents about Our Lady is an interpretive key to understanding certain passages in a deeper way (for example Simeons prophecy).
It also ties in with themes in Johns writings and sheds light upon them. The thematic parallels between John-Rev & Luke-Acts are many so its no surprise that this aspect of Luke I & II would mesh well with John.
The Importance of Kecharitomene
Kecharitomene (Luke 1:28), is Mary,s purpose ,it is Her essence and being in the divine supernatural order, the virgin from Nazareth is the woman of the Father. As the spouse of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20), in the divine supernatural order, the virgin from Nazareth is the woman of the Holy Spirit. As the mother of the Son (Luke 1:31), in the divine supernatural order, the virgin from Nazareth is the woman of the Son. The virgin from Nazareth, clearly then, is woman to all the three divine Persons who is GOD. She is aptly the blessed among women (Luke 1:42). The Blessed Virgin Mary is the woman of GOD. The Son of Man never called her mother, not even once while He interacted with humans, because it will not be in keeping with His divinity or with the Oneness and Indivisibility of the Holy Trinity. The virgin from Nazareth is not the mother of the Holy Spirit and she, obviously, is not the mother of the Father
Luke 1:28 Uses the word Kecharitomene: to describe Mary,s function,essence and being
The original Greek was kecharitomene, the perfect passive participle of charis, grace. St. Jerome translated it into Latin as gratia plena, full of grace. In Greek the perfect stem denotes a completed action with a permanent result. Kecharitomene means completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace. The Protestant Revised Standard Version translates Lk 1:28 as highly favored daughter. This is no mere difference of opinion but a conscious effort to distort St. Lukes original Greek text. Had Mary been no more than highly favored, she would have been indistinguishable from Sarah the wife of Abraham, Anna the mother of Samuel, or Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist, all of whom were long childless and highly favored because God acceded to their pleas to bear children. But neither Sarah nor Anna is described as kecharitomene in the Septuagint, a translation by Jewish scholars of the Hebrew Scriptures for Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt. Nor does Luke use it to describe Elizabeth. Kecharitomene in this usage is reserved for Mary of Nazareth.
The word kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of the verb charitoo.
Some have argued that this says nothing unique about Mary since Saint Stephen, just before he is martyred for the faith, is said to be full of grace in Acts 6:8. However a different word form is used to describe Saint Stephen. In the Greek the conjugated form of charitoo that is used to describe him is charitos not kecharitomene that is used in reference to Mary.
Saint Luke does not use Mary as her name in Luke 1:28 He Changes it to Kecharitomene this is a new name , and we all know that name changes in Scripture are significant - Abram (Hebrew father) to Abraham (father of multitudes), Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul, Simon to Peter, etc.
This describes her very essence and being.
Mary, is named kecharitomene - because she is full of grace-full of perfection
Mary was chosen to be the Mother of God, because she was perfect in obeying the will of God. She would not betray her divine husband for the sake of a man. The marriage between Joseph and Mary took place in the divine plan in order to protect the publicity of the holy virgin announced in the Holy Scriptures who would give birth to Emanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14)
Joseph was a chaste man, who respected Mary highly since he was given revelations about Mary and Jesus by the angel of God (Matthew 1:20), he accepted the special holy mission to help the promised Messiah and his mother.
Mary is the New Eve(More Typology)
Old Testament Eve- Verses New Testament Mary
Created without original sin, Gen 2:22-25 = Created without original sin, Luke 1:28,42
There was a virgin, Gen 2:22-25 = There is a virgin, Luke 1:27-34
There was a tree, Gen 2:16-17 = There was a cross made from a tree, Matt 27:31-35
There was a fallen angel, Gen 3:1-13 = There was a loyal angel, Luke 1:26-38
A satanic serpent tempted her, Gen 3:4-6 = A satanic dragon threatened her, Rev 12:4-6,13-17
There was pride, Gen 3:4-7 = There was humility, Luke 1:38
There was disobedience, Gen 3:4-7 = There was obedience, Luke 1:38
There was a fall, Gen 3:16-20 = There was redemption, John 19:34
Death came through Eve, Gen 3:17-19 = Life Himself came through Mary, John 10:28
She was mentioned in Genesis 3:2-22 = She was mentioned in Genesis 3:15
Could not approach the tree of life Gen 3:24 = Approached the Tree of Life, John 19:25
An angel kept her out of Eden, Gen 3:24 = An angel protected her, Rev 12:7-9
Prophecy of the coming of Christ, Gen 3:15 = The Incarnation of Christ, Luke 2:7
Firstborn was a man child, Gen 4:1 = Firstborn was a man child, Luke 2:7, Rev 12:5
Firstborn became a sinner, Gen 4:1-8 = Firstborn was the Savior, Luke 2:34
The mother of all the living, Gen 3:20 = The spiritual mother of all the living, John 19:27
The Early Christians saw this very clear...
He became man by the Virgin, in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin. For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, Be it unto me according to thy word. And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 100 (A.D. 155)
In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin (for in Paradise they were both naked, and were not ashamed, inasmuch as they, having been created a short time previously, had no understanding of the procreation of children: for it was necessary that they should first come to adult age, and then multiply from that time onward), having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race. And on this account does the law term a woman betrothed to a man, the wife of him who had betrothed her, although she was as yet a virgin; thus indicating the back-reference from Mary to Eve, because what is joined together could not otherwise be put asunder than by inversion of the process by which these bonds of union had arisen; s so that the former ties be cancelled by the latter, that the latter may set the former again at liberty Wherefore also Luke, commencing the genealogy with the Lord, carried it back to Adam, indicating that it was He who regenerated them into the Gospel of life, and not they Him. And thus also it was that the knot of Eves disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3:22 (A.D. 180).
For as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against His Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former was seduced to disobey God, but the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. As the human race was subjected to death through [the act of] a virgin, so it was saved by a virgin. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:19,1 (A.D. 180).
Mary was PRESERVED from all stain of original sin at her creation so that she would be a New Creation, the New Eve
Lastly,It is NOT fitting that the Mother of God should bring shame to Her divine son.Therefor.God preserved Mary from any personal sin,whether mortal or venial. Through the Grace of God,which was infused into her soul at the moment of her conception,at the very instant He created her soul and united it to her body. He did it in virtue of the merits of Christ.
No descendant of Adam receives the Grace of God except through the merits of Christ.
The Mother of Christ was no exception to this law of Grace.
Like every other human being who is descended of carnal generation from Adam,the blessed virgin Mary need to be redeemed by the blood of Christ,But wheras every other human being needs to be cleansed from the stain of original sin-which has contracted by way of carnal generation from Adam-the Virgin Mary did NOT need to be cleansed from original sin.Through the Grace of Christ she was preserved from the stain of sin.
Mary is closer to Christ than any other human being,because He took flesh from her and dwelt in her womb.The closer one is to Christ,the source of all Grace,the greater degree of Grace one receives from Christ. Mary,therefor,received from Christ a fullness of Grace not granted to any other creature.
Her Immaculate Conception made her worthy to be Mother of God
Of course we do. what is sometimes pointed out is that a prayer to a saint is a prayer of praise or of intercession, so that the saint being prayed to intercedes for you before Jesus. In that sense it is different than a prayer addressed to Jesus, which asks directly for His mercy and for salvation. I pray to Mary, as well as to Jesus my Savior every day, a complete rosary prayer:
Hail Mary, full of graceThat is prayed 50 times, in "5 decades", and an Our Father between decades, and an Act of Contrition, and the Creed (different people do it somewhat differently). It is a prayer that works miracles.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
And blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and in the hour of our death.
Please copy and save this, and may God bless you and bring you to His Truth. Contemplation of all-holy Mary and her divine Child is the best Christian formation you can get. I know you will respond with some silly Protestant slogan, but let these words sink in, please. "And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother [...] thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed" (Luke 2:35).
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the woman of GOD
She is second Eve whose seed crushes Satan; Gen 3:15.
He became man by the Virgin, in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin. For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, 'Be it unto me according to your word.' [Luke 1:38] And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.
This was the faith of the Church in early 2c.
Well, there's your problem right there... Scripture would do you more good.
Psalm 119:11 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
annalex:He sure did; it's called Protestantism. There as a whole denomination named after him.
annalex, you are way too funny.
If that's your grasp on history, that gives me less reason than ever to put the smallest iota of stock in ANYTHING you have to say, which already dropped several degrees of magnitude since your invectives against Luther for his marriage.
I'm sure that explains those nuns method of departure from THEIR convent.
The reason I pointed to patristic writing was to prove the Catholicity of the First Century Church, which was the question another poster raised. Of course I read the scripture every day as well, — check, for example, my daily Mass gospel originals on FR.
Scripture alone is not telling me how the holy Apostles understood the scripture. Luther, poor idiot, thought polygamy was OK because the scripture taught it. That is the peril of Sola Scriptura.
Unless you read the fathers of the Church alongside the holy Scripture, you do not understand the Holy Scripture.
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