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25 replies, 14 voices Last updated by  Jennie1964 1 month, 1 week ago
Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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  • #22386

    Howard Hampson
    Keymaster
    @Howard the Pilgrim

    Different Christian groups each have their own dialect of Christian terminology.  Within a short period of time, I can often tell a person’s theological tradition by the terms and expressions they use.  They may even use the same word but mean something very different by it.

    #22387

    Howard Hampson
    Keymaster
    @Howard the Pilgrim

    Here is a link to a forum thread on it. Link.

    #22388

    astewart66
    Participant
    @Astewart66

    Bobby:

    I can offer only what I have come to know and believe about Mary from my own study this past year. This past year I started my journey back to the CC and in the beginning of that journey I wasn’t sure if I could get past the issue I was having about Mary. I had been led to believe many false ideas about Mary from my 11 years in a non-denominational church. The Bible talks about what faith is, it’s being sure of the things we hope for and knowing something is real even if we don’t physically see it. I started praying for the eyes to see. It was when I researched what the rosary was and the Biblical history that I started seeing her truly as our blessed mother. She wasn’t just a humble servant, she was chosen from the beginning to be the mother of God.

    The resources I used to study her life was the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a book titled This Is Our Faith by MichaelPennock. I also researched different sites on Google. I really don’t see  that the gap between what Protestants believe about Mary and what Catholics believe will ever come closer on the subject of Mary unless God would allow it to happen.  That’s how I view it from my experience.

    #25640

    Anonymous @

    I cannot find where to start a new topic so will add this here (and wonder if anyone will ever find it lol)

    This is something that bothers me:

    she is our life and hope because, without her, we would not have her Son, the Christ, through whom comes our hope of eternal life. On a third level, she is our advocate before the divine Judge, who is her Son, and in this sense, it is she who obtains for us both hope and life by appealing to him on our behalf.

    Jesus always ‘was’. He is the Great I AM

    i keep reading catholics saying that we need to be grateful to Mary because.. without her ‘ no Jesus’!

    As if God would have been left without a plan if she had not agreed. . or as if He didnt already know that she would agree. Nevertheless, Jesus did not come into existence on christmas day..He always was.Yes he was born as human but I feel sure the Father would have had a plan B if necessary.

    Anyway, as someone recently leaving Protestantism and living here in no man’s land trying to work thru my ‘Mary issues’, that is something that bothers me .. seems as if they are saying if not for Mary we would have no salvation!

    #25647

    David W. Emery
    Keymaster
    @David W. Emery

    Jesus always ‘was’. He is the Great I AM – Seeking

    This is true. It is also true that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). We cannot forget the Incarnation. Without that momentous entry into his own creation, God would not be able to take the name Jesus Christ, for it was in the act of the Incarnation that he became a man, visible in human history, and able to redeem mankind by his self-sacrifice.

    As if God would have been left without a plan if she had not agreed. . or as if He didn’t already know that she would agree. Nevertheless, Jesus did not come into existence on christmas day.

    God’s plans never fail. He is the almighty, he can do whatever he desires. He chose the manner of his entry into creation, the manner in which he would redeem mankind, and he accomplished it, according to his eternal plan, through a woman, so that just as it was through a woman (Eve, who gave the fruit to Adam, Genesis 3:6) that mankind fell from grace, so also it was through a woman (Mary, who fulfilled the promise of Genesis 3:15) that mankind was raised up to glory. This was done so that what Paul writes in Romans 5:12–15 might come about. It is all one plan; at both ends, both the man and the woman have a part in it.

    God knows everything — past, present and future — because he lives in eternity, where time does not exist. He knows what he is doing, and it will all work the first time. No need for a Plan B.

    It is true that Jesus did not come into existence on Christmas day. Rather, he came into existence when he was conceived in the womb of Mary (Luke 1:38), and he came into the world on Christmas day (Luke 2:7). The shepherds saw him (Luke 2:16), and in the course of time, the world saw him.

    David

    #26120

    jacksontran516
    Participant
    @jacksontran516

    This post hasn’t been answered in a while but I figured I would put in my two cents as a Protestant.

    If one reads through the Bible, one does not get the sense that Mary was venerated. Mary plays a negligible role in most of the Gospels, with the exception of Luke, where she plays a minor role at best. She’s not mentioned for most of the time during Jesus’ ministry. She and his brothers/cousins even tried to stop him at one point and claimed he was “mad.”

    I understand the arguments for the veneration of Mary from the Catholic prospective. But if one were to go sola scriptura, there is not much precedence for venerating Mary or praying to saints. Things like this prayer easily makes Protestants and myself uncomfortable:

    Mother of Perpetual help, thou art the dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery.
    For this reason He hast made thee so powerful, so rich, and so kind that thou might help us in our needs.
    Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come to thee.
    Come to my aid for I commend myself to thee.

    In thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul.
    Count me among thy most faithful servants. Take me under thy protection; that is enough for me.
    If thou doth protect me, I shall fear nothing: not my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me their pardon
    and remission; not the evil spirits, because thou art mightier than all the powers of Hell;
    not even Jesus, my Judge, because He is appeased by a single prayer of thine.

    I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so lose my soul.
    My dear Lady, obtainest for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance,
    and the grace to have recourse to thee at all times, Mother of Perpetual Help.

    #26127

    Jennie1964
    Moderator
    @Jennie1964

    It certainly raises the hair on the back of your neck if you are a Protestant, doesn’t it?  I remember having panic attacks over Mary. No, she isn’t much mentioned in Scripture, but the Catholic Church doesn’t solely rely upon Scripture. Tradition is equally weighted here and you cannot have one without the other. This IS Scriptural, believe it or not, and sola scriptura certainly isn’t. Scripture and Tradition were also equally weighted in Judaism and still are. It is only within the newly formed Protestant Church where this dynamic is suddenly denied.

    A good look at tradition as being equally weighted with Scripture can be found here. It is an article done by Dave Armstong.

    When we look at the traditions and also the practice of the early Church now that we’ve given them equal weight, we see Mary all over the place. The early Church revered and prayed to Mary. Her pictures were painted on their tombs and in their catacombs which doubled as places of worship. Her sinless nature was inferred as early on as 90 AD in the Ascension of Isaiah, and note that 90 AD was BEFORE the close of the New Testament era, or at the very least, just at the close because St. John was still around at that point. Her sinlessness was again inferred in Odes of Solomon, circa 125 AD, in the writings of St. Justin Martyr, 155 AD. St. Iranaeus of Lyon goes as far as to say, “And if the former did disobey God, yet the latter was persuaded to be obedient to God, in order that the Virgin Mary might become the patroness (advocata) of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so is it rescued by a virgin; virginal disobedience having been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience.” This was in 189 AD, and those are rather strong words.

    But perhaps more convincing is this; you can find references like this to Mary scattered all throughout the first 1500 years of the Church and you will never find the Church disagreeing about them. It was a status quo belief that Mary’s part in salvation history was worthy of veneration and great respect, not worship, no, but veneration, yes. The two do not mean the same thing in Catholic thought. Dulia is the term used for the veneration of the saints. Hyperdulia is the term used for the veneration of Mary. It is a bit more than the veneration for the saints, but of course never worship.

    Now let’s look at that prayer. She is thought of as the Mother of the Church because she is the Mother of Jesus who is God and we are His Body; ergo, she is also our Mother! She is full of grace. What does that mean exactly?  My favourite article to explain what that literally and technically means is here. And one of my favourite articles to explain why she is the dispenser of this grace is here.  It is part and parcel of the role which God chose for her. She literally brought grace to this world in the form of the incarnate God. He is grace embodied, but she carried the grace to us. This was and still is the role chosen for her by God. She said yes then, she still says yes now. (Oh, how I wish I were that single minded!). She is the Mother of Grace and is therefore also the Mother of all graces. Yes?  Makes perfect sense!

    In thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul.

    Isn’t that what Christ did when He was incarnate? He entrusted Himself, God entrusted Himself, vulnerable and unknowing as He was in His infancy and childhood, for He HAD lowered Himself to a mere babe, and he entrusted himself totally to Mary and Joseph. Can’t we entrust ourselves as He did? Has He not shown us this way? It doesn’t mean we are trusting in God any less anymore than He entrusted Himself to the Father any less. I know it is mind boggling. Becoming Catholic is a huge paradigm shift, but once you turn the corner, it opens up a vista unlike any other!

    #26156

    jacksontran516
    Participant
    @jacksontran516

    @jennie1964

    Thanks for your post, Jennie! I appreciate all the resources you point me to. I’m currently (trying to) make my peace with the papacy (reading a fantastic book called “Jesus, Peter, and the Keys.” I’ve read a few books on Mary (one by Scott Hahn who I normally really appreciate but didn’t agree with at all in that particular book). I was going to “tackle” this issue next in my research!

    Sola Scriptura is almost impossible to defend. It’s an untenable doctrine that is self-defeating and collapses on itself. The reason I brought up sola scriptura was simply because most Protestants go by that, and hence most Protestants find no reason to venerate Mary. I do believe that veneration of Mary was held by the early Church.

    However, the dogma (ex cathedra teachings) of Mary is a little more difficult to work through. Couple that with how often she seems to actually be worshiped by so many Catholics, and it makes it even more difficult. I think when there is anything that points to itself rather than Jesus, Protestants become very weary. I can see why. It seems completely understandable that there is a difference between veneration and worship. But how many Catholics around the world actually know this difference? How many actually worship Mary because they believe that’s what they’re supposed to do? I went to Catholic school for 5 years and never once heard that distinction. Moreover, I suppose Protestant also find it hard to believe that Mary would want the attention on her when Christians should be focused on God.

    I hope I’m not coming across polemical or argumentative here. I’m really no trying to be. I am just expressing my gut-reaction when I read something like that prayer mentioned above.

    If thou doth protect me, I shall fear nothing: not my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me their pardon
    and remission;

    This sounds eerily like it’s replacing Jesus, saying that Mary is the one who will obtain forgiveness, rather than Jesus who is interceding for us to God.

    I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so lose my soul.
    My dear Lady, obtainest for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance,

    Here it seems that if one doesn’t “recommend” oneself to Mary, one would “lose” one’s soul. Again, it seems a surface reading leads one to feel a usurpation of Jesus’ role as the one who we should commend our souls to, lest we lose it.

    I have, of course, read a lot of arguments for the Marian doctrines. I can understand them intellectually. I can even understand them theologically, although I still have difficulties and qualms. But the gut reaction, the “hair on the back of my neck” raising, seems to be a response I can’t help. When that is coupled with so many Catholics I knew not understanding the teachings about Mary and the Saints and not truly seeming to differentiate their worship and veneration, I just find it difficult to see how it all fits together.

    The one thing I will say is this. I see a fullness of communion and fellowship with praying to and venerating the Saints and Mary that I do not find in Protestant churches. I want that fellowship. I crave it. But at the same time, emotionally and sometimes theologically, my mind buck against it.

    Thanks again for listening to me. I know this response strayed a little from the original post, but perhaps this may help the original poster understand a little more why Protestants react the way they do.

    #26157

    Howard Hampson
    Keymaster
    @Howard the Pilgrim

    Hi Jackson,

    Most of us converts can identify with Protestant reactions and qualms because we used to be there.

    i can say that I have never met a Catholic who believes in a Quadrinty with Mary being on par with the other members of the Trinity.  They do draw a distinction between creator and creature.

    What distinguishes worship versus veneration perhaps has less to do with words than the type of beings being addressed in the person’s mind.  Whether the person actually believes Mary is the same as God in essence.

    Mary is a powerful intercessor who has been assumed into heaven and crowned with a crown of 12 stars.

    #26162

    airforcewife
    Participant
    @airforcewife

    I can understand the issues with Mary, coming from a Protestant background.  I recently got into an argument with my mom (Pentecostal) about me converting, and raising my daughter in the Church.  My mom has a huge hang-up with Mary.  In our discussion, she equated venerating Mary with worshiping a rock (her words). I know she won’t ever understand the Catholic view of Mary, and I’m still finding my own comfort with her.

    #26171

    Jennie1964
    Moderator
    @Jennie1964

    However, the dogma (ex cathedra teachings) of Mary is a little more difficult to work through. Couple that with how often she seems to actually be worshiped by so many Catholics, and it makes it even more difficult. I think when there is anything that points to itself rather than Jesus, Protestants become very weary. I can see why. It seems completely understandable that there is a difference between veneration and worship. But how many Catholics around the world actually know this difference? How many actually worship Mary because they believe that’s what they’re supposed to do? I went to Catholic school for 5 years and never once heard that distinction. Moreover, I suppose Protestant also find it hard to believe that Mary would want the attention on her when Christians should be focused on God.

    Sorry it has taken me a bit to get around to this. It’s been a busy few days. Anyway, a couple of things from what you mentioned above come to my mind. You mention that it seems like some Catholics worship Mary, or that perhaps many Catholics don’t understand the nuances between veneration and worship. You mention these things in the context of it possibly being a roadblock to you. But why would you let people’s misunderstandings be a roadblock to what you know and have studied to be true? That would be like tossing Protestant Christianity out in the trash because of the Health and Wealth crowd (or the Blab and Grab crowd as I like to call them). I cannot think of anything more reprehensible in Protestant belief today than the nonsense and greed those folks preach, but I will not throw the baby out with the bathwater just because some people are in error. We accept the Church on what she teaches and professes. You read the Catechism and agree or disagree. That is what you are asked about at your confirmation. Do you agree with what the Church teaches? (In fact Mary isn’t even mentioned. She is just included in the question about believing in the Communion of the Saints. Of course she is chief among the saints, but it isn’t specifically mentioned.)

    To throw out an entire institution because some of the members are in error is rather drastic, isn’t it? Do we become anarchists because our government, based upon sound principles, is being run by drug lords, or do we do our best to be a light in the darkness and help with the recovery of our country’s government? Surely it is the latter.

    The second point surrounds this assumption that Mary wouldn’t want the attention taken away from Jesus, or that Jesus is jealous because of the attention Mary receives. This is nonsense. If we bring them down to earth where both of them lived their lives for a time, we realize the for 30 years very little attention was on Jesus at all. He neither kicked nor complained, but instead he humbly submitted to his human parents. His Godhood was completely hidden from view to all except those who were given faith to see Him for who He was. There was no jealousy on his part. If He did not want to share His life with Mary and Joseph, he wouldn’t have. This is the amazing thing, isn’t it; that he lowered himself and submitted himself to humanity, “not considering equality with God something to be grasped”? God’s whole purpose in creating humanity was to have fellowship with us. God himself is a triune fellowship of Three in One. Christ said that if you give a cup of water even to the least of these, you give it to me. He prayed that we would be one as He is one with the Father. He prayed for us to be united.

    But you think we should totally ignore or only give intellectual lip service to his mother for fear of insulting Him? This is the woman who raised Him, cuddled Him, taught Him, whom he loved dearly as all good sons love their mothers. If you were an important personage, wouldn’t you delight in introducing your mother to those who came to speak with you? You would laugh and enjoy them as they enjoyed her company. She is part of you and a big part of who you are. If those guests fell in love with your mom because she was an amazing person, you would probably be rather impressed with their good judgement. And if they spoke to her and wanted to be in her company even when you weren’t there, wouldn’t it please you to share this wise and wonderful woman with the world? Wouldn’t you think it completely rude to have her ignored because they only wanted to speak to you and you alone? That just smacks of sycophancy to be honest. I want and need just Jesus, and I really want nothing to do with his family. No. That is no good. He loved his family dearly and trusted them with His life on earth. He wants nothing more than to hear their praises sung, because I can guarantee you that He sings them Himself!

    Go on and try having a little conversation with Mary. Tell her that it freaks you out. Tell her that you’re not sure about this. Tell her you have no intentions of worshipping her. And talk to Jesus about it too. “So Lord, what are we supposed to do about your mother. I am confused. I am Protestant and I am worried about offending you. Teach me Lord”. If you ask honestly, like I did, they will both do just that. They will teach you all about the Family of God and what loving His family looks like.

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