De Montfort: Mary is the means we must use to come to Christ


#1

Dear All, I would appreciate help in understanding this idea of de Montfort’s about Mary.

First, I should say that I have no problem with the four dogmas about Mary, otherwise I wouldn’t have (recently) become Catholic. I also really like praying the Rosary, and for about a year I just prayed it on the weekend and now I do it as part of my morning prayer on a daily basis.

However, I have just been reading about Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” I’m going to be very honest and say I am really upset about his statements. They are not Scriptural at all, for one thing. I am beginning to think that people can write all sorts of things about Mary and get away with it; the same flagrancy and liberty about the person of Jesus Christ would probably get them branded heretics by the Church. Why is this? Or am I wrong that the standards are quite different? For example, why are there so many apparitions of Mary and so few of Jesus?

“The Blessed Virgin is the means used by Christ to come to us; and she is also the means we must use to go to him…it is the most decided wish of her Son that we should come to him through his blessed mother.” (de Montfort)

How does he know that this is Christ’s wish? This is a really far out claim! I realize de Montfort’s book is considered a classic, but that makes it all even more mind-boggling to me. I wonder if all these different paths in Catholic spirituality are a bit protestant in nature. There are so many that I am totally confused. (I just finished reading Cameron’s Classics of Catholic Spirituality).

Thanks for your help.


#2

Hi Grace :slight_smile:

I’m a recent convert to Catholicism, like you, and I’ve also struggled with De Montfort’s book. Eventually though, I began to agree with it, and now it’s one of my favourite books :slight_smile: I don’t think there’s anything unScriptural there at all, and it’s approved by the Church, which means that there’s nothing there against faith or morals (so there’s nothing against Scripture and Tradition.)

I think what might help is seeing it this way;

there’s no competition between Jesus and Mary. Sure, we can come to Him without her help and intercession. But although God’s ways are always perfect, ours are not. Often we don’t come to God with a pure heart and a perfect love for Him. So although He would always accept us, no matter who we are, still because of our sinfulness and flaws we might not find a close union with Him here on earth (I mean like what the Saints had.) If we could, we’d *all *be as the Saints :slight_smile:

what De Montfort says, is that Our Lady can help us with that. That instead of “climbing the rough stairway of perfection” (St Therese), we can let her take us by the hand and lead us surely to Jesus. De Montfort calls this the easier method. That’s because Mary can give us what we’re lacking in our relationship with God…she can help perfect our efforts to love Him. In other words, we’d be more open to what God is trying to do in our souls :slight_smile:

to achieve this, we just have to entrust ourselves to Mary and put ourselves in her hands, and she would not keep us for herself, she would just give us more perfectly to Jesus than we could give ourselves :slight_smile:

that in essense is True Devotion as I understand it.

there’s nothing wrong with coming to Jesus thorugh Mary…because that is the way He chose to come down to us.

God bless


#3

*Hmmm…let me preface with saying, I am a firm believer in the graces poured upon us through praying the Rosary…I love asking Mary to pray for me. She is my heavenly Mother, and our relationship with her, can DRAW us closer to Christ.

The problem I have with de Montfort, is the word ‘must.’ :confused: If a Catholic never asked Mary for her prayerful intercession, he/she would still be capable of growing in holiness, and being close to Christ. I admit, I’m not familiar with de Montfort, you make me want to look into this! :o*


#4

Hi,

Actually, this is very scriptural.

Mary is the arch of the new covenant. She carried the WORD incarnate until his birth as Jesus. The WORD passed thru Mary to come into our world as man.

I suggest reading Scott Hahn’s Book “Hail Holy Queen”. It is an excellent book on Marian Apologetics. :thumbsup:

– Cadian :knight1:


#5

The problem here may have to do with the understanding of the word “must.” When we talk about something we feel passionate about to a person we feel very close to, our language is more relational or poetic than legal. Let me explain.

For instance, I can tell my toddler son: you must listen to Mommy; otherwise Mommy will go bye-bye and leave you. The word “must” is meant to emphasize the importance of what I am telling him. It doesn’t really mean that if he doesn’t do what I say, then I will really leave him forever.

Likewise, when Montfort says we must go through Mary, he is simply saying this is a very very excellent way and that we will do very very well by following his advice. It’s like a mother’s advice to her children: you must work hard, you must keep the right company, etc…

Montfort is not saying that unless you go through Mary, you will not get to Jesus.

That’s how I understand it. Is it correct?


#6

I am also a convert to Catholicism :thumbsup:

Put DeMontfort aside for the moment and look at what other Marian saints have to say, then return to deMontford and I think he will be more understandable. Take for example, St. Maximillian Kolbe. He was totally devoted to Our Lady and founded the Knights of the Immaculata and erected the first couple of Marytowns. He pointed out that just as Mary was the doorway through which Christ came to us, she is also the doorway through which we go to Christ.

The problem with deMontford and even with Liguori is that they lived a long time before us and their way of phrasing things put us off. It is more formal and exagerated than the way we talk, and when we read it we take it at absolutely face value. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. For example, deMontford talks about us being slaves to Mary and offering to her everything we do so that she can in turn give it to Jesus. A 21st century person says, why can’t I give it to Jesus myself? And yet we have no problem with understanding that Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces, so why do we have a problem recognizing that it is a two way door.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just rambling. Anyway, read the writings of some modern day Marian saints and then return to deMontford. I think it will help.


#7

Dear GraceMr. and Whatevergirl, this precious book by St. Louis de Montfort can be one of the harder ones to for people to accept. I don’t use this book when trying to convince other people of the truth of the Catholic faith, though it’s incredible how it can deepen one’s understanding of the Virgin Mary’s role in our lives and in the story of redemption.

First of all, we need to understand the meaning of the fact that through Mary, Christ entered the world. This fact means that through her Annunciation, because she said “yes,” to the angel Gabriel, all salvation could come to humanity. Therefore, because of the Annunciation it is only through Mary that anyone can be saved, for it is only through her that Christ could come to anyone on Earth and it is only through her that His Cross could save the world. Understanding the Annunciation is crucial to understanding either Mary or St. Louis de Montfort.

Second, one needs to understand the meaning of the fact that Mary is Mediatrix of All Graces. This means that all graces come through her, no exceptions. Even if non-Catholic Christians don’t know the graces they receive from Christ are coming to them through Mary, they are. Just as all graces came to the world through Mary when she gave birth to Jesus (in whom is all grace and goodness) in His Nativity, so all graces come to the world today through Mary, our Advocate in Heaven. Consider the Ark of the Covenant in Israel. Through it, God worked His wonders. All His power was poured out through the Ark; the Temple was built for it, the city devoted to it, the priestly order in service to it. The Ark contained the three symbols of Jesus just as Mary contained the Lord Himself. The Book of Revelation chapters 11 and 12 say that when the Temple was opened and the Ark revealed, the Mother of Jesus was seen.

Just as Jesus performed everything through the Ark in Israel, even though it was the contents of the Ark that made the Ark sacred, so Jesus performs everything through Mary in the New Israel, even though it is the “contents of Mary” that make her sacred. These contents, of course, are Jesus Christ Himself.

It is possible for people to be saved without ever having known about Mary or devoted themselves to her. This is the less perfect way. Jesus chose to give Himself to us entirely through Mary and from the Cross He commanded the Church, presented in the form of Christ’s beloved disciple, “Behold thy Mother.” We behold her at the Cross and see our Mother who gives spiritual birth to every soul in the world. Just as the first Eve gave birth to all flesh, Mary gives birth to all spirit.

It is impossible for anyone to be saved if they reject Mary as their Mother. They will have to change their mind at the hour of death or in Purgatory, if they are to be spared, for no one can live forever in God’s company while rejecting the means by which He offers Himself to His people.

Everyone that is spiritually alive is alive through Mary, because she is the Mediatrix of all the graces they have and she spiritually gave them birth. Just as she gave birth to Christ and poured out all grace through Him into the world, she gives birth to all of the Body of Christ, the Church, and pours out all its grace through it into the world. Praise be to our merciful God . . .

The mysteries of Mary are incredible. They are absolutely phenomenal in beauty and majesty, but just for that reason, they can be hard for the mind to grasp.

If you understand her as the Mother of Humanity who gives spiritual birth to the Body of Christ wherever it may be, just as she gave birth to all of Christ while on Earth, and if you understand her as Mediatrix of all Graces, you can see where St. Louis de Montfort’s teaching comes from.

This is not just his teaching alone, either. It is the constant teaching of the Catholic Church. Leo XIII said she has “practically limitless power.” St. Pius X said she is the “dispensatrix of all the gifts,” and proclaimed her as the “neck” connecting Christ to all His members. Through the neck, of course, flows all the power of the head and the neck is utterly submissive to the head’s will. Pius XII said, “Her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion.” Pope upon pope has stated this constant teaching of the Catholic Church, which the Bible too refers to by prophecy and implication. ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marya4.htm

Praise be to God :). Everyone must be saved through Mary, for as Mother of Christ she gives birth to all His Body throughout the world, whether these children know of her or not. It is possible for a child to be born and snatched from its mother at the instant of birth. It survives, though it may grow up psychologically malformed because of the lack of union with its natural mother. So it is possible for people to live and be close to God without devotion to Mary. Yet as an infant needs its mother, so we need she who gave us birth. Without her, we have no life, and without her we cannot see Heaven. Praise God for giving us so gracious a loving Mother, Mother of all Humanity and kindly, most generous Queen.


#8

Hi Grace! Welcome to CAF :slight_smile:

The Marian devotion which St. Louis-Marie discusses in his “True Devotion” isn’t something contrived or innovated, or something which this saint committed to paper in order to lead Christians astray from Christ; rather, what St. Louis-Marie espouses in his book is essentially the same Marian devotion which many saints and popes have practiced throughout the centuries – so, please ease your mind and heart, it is firmly rooted in tradition! Not only does St. Louis-Marie quote the likes of St. Anselm, St. Bonaventure, St. Dominic, and St. Augustine in order to better illustrate the teachings of the devotion, but by quoting these Doctors of the Church, it becomes evident that this devotion is firmly entrenched in orthodoxy. Not only does this devotion have roots in the distant past of the early and medieval Church, but even Pope John Paul II was a strong advocate of this devotion, taking even his apostolic motto (“Totus Tuus”) from St. Louis-Marie. John Paul II even said about St. Louis-Marie that he “introduces us into the very heart of the mysteries on which our faith lives, grows and bears fruit.”

You say that none of what St. Louis-Marie teaches is biblical, but I think you underestimate how biblically literate this saint actually was! He was a vagabond preacher who lived very poorly, often among the destitute, and a Bible was one of his few possessions which he carried in a knapsack over his shoulder and prayerfully studied daily. At the heart of this saint’s pious devotion to Mary is his proper understanding of salvation history, recognizing that through baptism we share in the life of Incarnate Wisdom; but this Wisdom seeks a home among us through the consent of a woman of our race, which is the Immaculate Mary. Mary’s “Yes” (Fiat) is part of the never-to-be-repealed plan of the Triune God. Thus, St. Louis-Marie calls for a solid devotion to Mary because of the evangelical doctrine of her divinely-willed role of representative faith in the redemptive Incarnation and all that flows from it.

St. Louis-Marie’s intense devotion to Mary is Christocentric. In fact, to highlight this point, the saint forcefully teaches in the “True Devotion” that if devotion to Mary alientated us from Jesus it would have to be rejected as diabolical temptation! Our consecration is *to *Jesus *through *Mary, meaning that everything we do must be through the milieu of Mary’s maternal influence so that we, like her, can be temples of the Holy Spirit and receptive to the Wisdom which wishes to “born” of us, allowing us to truly live our baptismal vows.

Do you have a headache yet? :wink:

If all of this sounds complicated and horribly theological – it is! But, take heart, several saints and popes have condensed much of what St. Louis-Marie teaches in a few short quotes:

“Queen of heaven, rejoice! I cast myself into your arms; you must lead me to him [Christ].” (Blessed John XXIII)

“O good Mother, I pray you for the love with which you love your Son, that you might grant me to love him truly as you truly love him, and as you wish him to be loved.” (St. Anselm of Canterbury)

“Just as we see that a mirrow placed opposite to the rays of the sun receives those rays perfectly…so it was in the case of Our Lady. She was like a most pure mirror, receiving on a spotless surface the rays of the Sun of Justice, which poured into her soul all virtues in their perfection.” (St. Francis de Sales)

“I love our Lord with all my heart. But he wants me to love Our Lady in a special way and to go to him with my hand in Mary’s.” (Venerable Marie Teresa Quevedo)

And Our Holy Father Pope Benedict has said about Mary that she “knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can helps us with her motherly kindness. She always listens to us and, being Mother of the Son, participates in the power of the Son and in his goodness. We can always entrust the whole of our lives to this Mother.”

:slight_smile:


#9

It’s interesting also to note that when Israel was entering the Promised Land, it had to pass through the Jordan River. How did it do so? The Ark of the Covenant was brought into the middle of the river and the entire nation of Israel passed through the waters. In the same way, the Ark of the New Covenant opens the way for all the New Israel to enter the Promised Land, Heaven.


#10

*I am very devoted to Mary, asking her for prayer. I like your explanation here…it has helped me better understand the PASSION with which I think de Montfort is trying to convey how important a relationship with Mary can be. *


#11

De Montfort’s work can be a little difficult to grasp it is true. I have studied the book True Devotion to Mary for about 5 years and have only actually come to realize it deeper meanings which most posters have already touched upon. More study seems to be fostered by the statements that he makes which leads one to the final realization of how one goes to Jesus through Mary, and why. The big question most have is “why”. It took me a little study to get the answer down properly, and once one does realize the “why” the reading becomes much more easier to understand. The "why’ becomes even more clearer.

Do some research of St. Louis de Montfort in detail and this will help to also clarify his style of writing, which is often more very figurative and florid in many respects. It must be remembered that it was written in the 18th century, in French, when a great deal of negativity was about concerning not only Mary, but the Catholic Church Herself, respectively. The style is a little heavy for our times, but it is almost impossible to get the gist of what the saint is saying unless one reads French and has a little understanding of 18th century literary methods of writing. English translations of any foreign language often never capture to true music of the language they were translated from.

The True Devotion is a wonderful work that simply requires a little study and personal application. During the preparation period for Total Consecration, the reader is immersed in meditations concerning Jesus and Mary and the ideal of letting go of the things of this world. Preliminary preparation not only contains many scriptural references as to Mary, but some from the famous work by Thomas a’ Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, which focus on the acquisition of the virtues that make one more like Jesus and Mary. The whole of the idea is to foster in oneself a level of holiness through the imitations of the virtues of Jesus and Mary. This is the end of the work itself, and that is achieved through practice and prayer and constant habits of self-introspection.

I have finished my 33-day preparation period and I am making the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary on August 15th (Feast of the Assumption). This is done as act of my devotion to Jesus through Mary, and to give thanks for all that Jesus has done through Mary for me and to renew my baptismal vows. This is usually done every year, and this will be my first. This is a devotion which is a private nature, and requires one to apply themselves to the prayers and meditations for 33 days and then to make a good confession and to assist at Mass on the Marian feast day that the consecration day falls upon. If one cannot make the consecration day, they should try to at least attempt final consecration within 8 days of completing the preparatory prayers and meditations. The lessons learned can be useful in and of themselves in ones life, even if they do not plan to make Total Consecration.

I encourage your further study in the Marian devotions and more on the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, and read all you can. God Bless You.


#12

Dear All,

Thanks for your thoughtful responses!
My first thought after reading through them is that perhaps I am trying to run before I can walk in Catholicism; I am obviously not ready for de Montfort, and may never be, if different spiritual paths are for different people.

Yes, it is the word “must” that really got me. In the year and 8 months that I have been studying Catholicism, this is the only book that really freaked me out-- I had even a brief panic of “oh, no, what have I done (in converting), these people are nuts”-- so I would not give this to people who are enquiring about the faith, either!:wink:

What I mean by the idea not being Scriptural is that Jesus never says anything about going through Mary. He talked about Himself being the way, the light, he talked about sending the Holy Spirit to show us us the way, the Holy Spirit is the one who prays for us when we don’t know how to pray, etc.

“Therefore, because of the Annunciation it is only through Mary that anyone can be saved, for it is only through her that Christ could come to anyone on Earth and it is only through her that His Cross could save the world.” I’m sorry, but I don’t see the logic of this.:confused:

“It is possible for people to be saved without ever having known about Mary or devoted themselves to her.” This is reassuring.

I don’t understand how she is the mediatrix of graces. However, I still have yet to read the EWTN link given above, but I will do that next. I read Scott Hahn’s book several
months ago. I remember being so excited and thrilled, but realizing that I was reading too quickly-- read it in one go-- and would have to read it again more slowly.

If Pope John Paul II thought de Montfort’s ideas were okay, then I am reassured. However, I would like to know for sure if the early Church fathers, men who knew the original 12 apostles, taught that we are to go through Mary and she is the mediatrix of graces? Or is that in the EWTN link?

Thank you,
Grace

PS Now I see that I have inadvertently chosen a confusing user name, but all the combinations of my name that I tried were taken already. Anyway, I am not a “mister,”-- I am female.:slight_smile:


#13

beautiful post :smiley:

it’s so awesome that God gave us Mary as our Mother!!

I tend to think that with De Montfort’s book…it’s sometimes difficult to understand it ‘intellectually’ at first. But just try to love Mary, and it will be easier :slight_smile:


#14

yes!! :thumbsup: that’s very true. De Montfort quotes so many Saints and Fathers of the Church in his book. He was definitely very learned.


#15

wow…!!

that’s wonderful!! :slight_smile: God bless you tomorrow as you make your Total Consecration! :hug1:


#16

:slight_smile: Hi, I’ve found it does take quite a bit of research to ‘get’ this. See De Montfort is going beyond just talking about doctrine. It’s a devotional book. So it’s not really apologetics…although it does contain a lot of explanations. But I think that it would be really hard to understand without a certain preparation. When I first read De Montfort, I thought he was heretical. :wink: I wasn’t ready at all. That’s alright… but what I did, I just asked God and Mary to show me if this teaching is true or not. I really think that prayer helps here…

I’ll try to explain about going through Mary and the Biblical references for that. There are certain parallels in the Old Testament, like what Lief said about the Ark. If you put together Revelation 11 and Revelation 12, then Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. Another parallel is the story of Rebecca and Jacob, which De Montfort goes into, in the book.

Also, in the Bible, Our Lady says “do whatever He tells you”. We can see that she always points us to her Son. If we just consider her role as His Mother, and as being directly involved in the Incarnation…if she’s involved in the Incarnation, she’s involved in our salvation, cause the reason we have the Cross is because God was first made Man.

We can see that in Scripture, most of these references to Mary are veiled behind symbolism and parallels. As you said, Jesus never says plainly to come to Him through His Mother. But neither does He talk plainly about the Trinity. The Holy Spirit revealed the truths about Mary to the Church, when the time was right. They were always in the “deposit of faith” given to us by the Apostles…and if you read the early Church Fathers, they speak VERY highly of her… but these truths weren’t always fully understood. As it says, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth…(into an understanding of the truth once given to the Apostles)

sorry this sounds really complex :blush: I’m not sure how to describe it…

I think that now is the time for Mary to be more fully known than ever. Did you know that since De Montfort wrote True Devotion, several dogmas were proclaimed about her, and her ‘importance’ in the Church has increased significantly. (and not because of his book, which was unknown for many years after his death). But if you read the writings of anyone in the early Church or before De Montfort…they speak about Mary with a lot of love and devotion, and they talk about her in the same way he talks about her. For example… “he who is devoted to the Blessed Mother will certainly never be lost”… I think St Ignatius of Antioch said this.

Don’t worry about idolatry here…we only commit idolatry when we love Mary more than Jesus. But I’ve never met anyone who did this. And because Mary always leads us to Him, she protects us from this mistake. :slight_smile: If we go to Jesus through Mary, we are just coming to Him in the same way that He came to us…and she teaches us a lot about being better Christians.

You know what I think…If I can give any advice… I’d say this:
you only just became Catholic :slight_smile: don’t get stressed out about this, and give it some time. If you’re going to read the book, read it slowly and with prayer. If it makes no sense now, put it away for a time and just ask God to show you more about Our Lady.
In the 33 day preparation for the Total Consecration, De Montfort suggests prayers to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would definitely show us more about Mary if we ask Him to, I think. if it helps, read other books for now, for example “Hail Holy Queen” by Scott Hahn (which is a great book).

God bless


#17

Your response is very humble. Even if you aren’t ready for de Montfort now, I’m certain you will be before long. I’m going to try to explain myself better than I did in my previous post, though. I hope to help, for his positions really are quite understandable. It helped me that I had done a whole lot of reading on Mary already before I picked up “The Perfect Devotion.” If I hadn’t, it would have been harder for me. Instead, I found that book more of a culmination or climax of the research I’d already done. It’s the final piece in the puzzle that makes everything else appear at its fullest beauty and splendor.

I’ll try to explain better what I was trying to say in my other post. And God bless you for the humble seeking you’re doing to understand the mysteries of His Holy Mother!

[quote=Grace_Mr]Yes, it is the word “must” that really got me. In the year and 8 months that I have been studying Catholicism, this is the only book that really freaked me out-- I had even a brief panic of “oh, no, what have I done (in converting), these people are nuts”-- so I would not give this to people who are enquiring about the faith, either!:wink:
[/quote]

:yup: Yeah, as a former Protestant myself, I’m very conscious of this. If I’d received this type of thing back then, it would have been very hard. One has to walk before one can run.

[quote=Grace_Mr]What I mean by the idea not being Scriptural is that Jesus never says anything about going through Mary. He talked about Himself being the way, the light, he talked about sending the Holy Spirit to show us us the way, the Holy Spirit is the one who prays for us when we don’t know how to pray, etc.
[/quote]

Actually, Jesus did say something about going through Mary. The Early Church always interpreted His words to the Apostle John, when He was hanging from the Cross, as referring not only to John but to the whole Church represented in the person of the “beloved disciple.” He said to John, “Behold thy Mother,” and to Mary, “Behold thy son.” He therefore calls on the entire Church (at least in the spiritual interpretation of the Early Church) to behold its Mother in Mary. If she is all Christians’ Mother, then she bore them. If she bore them, then they have life through her. This verse doesn’t only reveal her role as Mother of the Church, but it also reveals the importance of devotion to her, for Jesus said, “Behold thy Mother.” Don’t just know about her or accept her, but behold her, gaze upon her, devote yourself to her. Is that not what the Old Testament calls on each child to do for his or her parent? Jesus calls on the Church to see Mary as its Mother, therefore she gives it life, and as there is no salvation outside the Church, there is no life except through Mary.

I really want to bring up the Annunciation again at this point, but I’ll save myself up for a little later on that . . .

Another aspect of this is that we see in Jesus our example that we must follow. In His womb, He was utterly, entirely, 100% dependent on Mary for everything. We also see Him constantly obedient to His Mother in Scripture. We see explicit scriptural references to this. After the scene at the Temple, where He was a youth and was found teaching the elders, He went with Mary and His father and the Scripture says “was subject to them.” We have no indication from Scripture that He ceased being completely subject to them at any time . . . in fact, at the Wedding at Cana, when Mary asks Him to give the people wine, He says, “my hour is not yet come.” But upon her request, He acts anyway. The example of obedience to Mary here is amazing.

If Jesus changed what He felt initially called to do for Mary and was personally subject to her throughout the first 30 years of His life (only devoting to His public ministry 3 years), how much more shall we devote ourselves to Mary, after the example of her Divine Son?

Also, the Old Testament includes a very extensive number of prophetic or typological references to the importance of going through Mary.

I have only touched on a handful of the ones in the New Testament. In the Wedding at Cana, there is in fact a microcosm of the entire story of salvation for each soul. Mary asks Jesus to provide wine (the Eucharist, Life Eternal). He orders His servants to fill six stone jars with water. These represents our imperfect hearts of stone. They in obedience fill the jars, as we are healed in the waters of baptism, and He transforms this into abundant wine, His Flesh and Blood. Then this is taken to the Master of the Banquet, just as our hearts, once transformed, are offered to God at the Day of Judgment, and it is declared incredibly good. The story of salvation here begins with a Virgin, the New Eve, just as the story of destruction began with a woman, the first Eve.


#18

[quote=Grace_Mr.]“Therefore, because of the Annunciation it is only through Mary that anyone can be saved, for it is only through her that Christ could come to anyone on Earth and it is only through her that His Cross could save the world.” I’m sorry, but I don’t see the logic of this.:confused:
[/quote]

The prophecies of the Old Testament described Mary as well as her Son. It was about her (and her Son) and not some other woman. She also had Free Will. She could have said “no” to the angel, in which case Jesus would not have been Incarnated through her, would not have died for our sins and saved us all for everlasting life. Mary was given a choice, and she said, “Yes.”

In Christ is all grace. He is, as the Scripture says, “The way, the truth and the life,” and no one can come to the Father except through Him. Without Christ, there is only darkness and death. Therefore, all grace comes into the world through Mary, because Jesus came into the world as a baby through Mary. All life is in Him, all chance of salvation is in Him, therefore all life and all chance of salvation came through her in her Annunciation. She chose that it be poured out to everyone through her in her fiat, when she assented to God’s will for her life and humanity.

Here’s Bishop Irenaeus of the Early Church on the matter (Justin the Martyr says this too):

“Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, ‘Behold, O Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.’ Eve, however, was disobedient, and, when yet a virgin, she did not obey. Just as she, who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husband—for in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children, and it was necessary that they first come to maturity before beginning to multiply—having become disobedient, was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith” (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

[quote=Grace_Mr.]“It is possible for people to be saved without ever having known about Mary or devoted themselves to her.” This is reassuring.

I don’t understand how she is the mediatrix of graces.
[/quote]

When she gave birth to Christ, all graces came to the world through her because all graces are in Christ. In the same way, she gives birth to Christ’s Body throughout the world, for Christ calls her our Mother. Just as she gave birth to Christ, she gives birth to Christ’s Body. Just as all graces came to the world through her, so all graces come to the world through her.

To better understand this, I really recommend reading about Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. You can easily find lots of links between her and the Ark online. It was through the Ark that all grace came to Israel. That was the vessel of the presence of God. God behaves the same way to the New Israel, reaching out to it constantly through the New, living Ark. If you read about these links, I think this teaching may make more sense to you.

[quote=Grace_Mr.] However, I still have yet to read the EWTN link given above, but I will do that next. I read Scott Hahn’s book several
months ago. I remember being so excited and thrilled, but realizing that I was reading too quickly-- read it in one go-- and would have to read it again more slowly.

If Pope John Paul II thought de Montfort’s ideas were okay, then I am reassured. However, I would like to know for sure if the early Church fathers, men who knew the original 12 apostles, taught that we are to go through Mary and she is the mediatrix of graces? Or is that in the EWTN link?
[/quote]

They did teach we are to go to Jesus through Mary, that she is the Mother of Salvation, the Mother of the Church.

The first known use of the word “Mediatrix” is from St. Ephraem in 373 AD. He called Mary, “dispensatrix of all gifts . . . Mediatrix of the whole world,” and wrote, “I call upon you, Mediatrix of the world; I invoke your prompt protection in my necessities.”

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, a Doctor of the Church who lived from 378-444 AD, wrote of her, “Hail Mary Theotokos, venerable treasure of the whole world, light unextinguished, crown of virginity, sceptre of orthodoxy, indestructible temple, which contains the uncontainable… it is through you that the Holy Trinity is glorified and adored, through you, the precious cross is venerated and adored throughout the whole world, through you that heaven is in gladness, that angels and archangels rejoice that demons are put to flight, through you that the tempter, the devil is cast from heaven, through you that the fallen creature is raised up to heaven, through you that all creation, once imprisoned in idolatry, has reached knowledge of the truth, that the faithful obtain baptism and the oil of joy, churches have been founded in the whole world, that peoples are led to conversion.”

These holy men weren’t just coming up with this out of his head; it definitely was implied and built up to by the Tradition of the earlier Church Fathers and is suggested by many passages in the Old and New Testaments.

[quote=Grace_Mr.]Thank you,
Grace

PS Now I see that I have inadvertently chosen a confusing user name, but all the combinations of my name that I tried were taken already. Anyway, I am not a “mister,”-- I am female.:slight_smile:
[/quote]

Thanks for the clarification :D. You had me fooled.

I hope these two posts may help. If they don’t, though, don’t worry. There are lots of really good books on this, and articles online. I tend to ramble in my posts, but I’ve read from several sources on this that are concise and clear. I’m sure the Lord will give you the answers you desire and you will grow swiftly in the fullness of this knowledge. Your humility and earnest seeking after answers will certainly be beautifully rewarded; I’m sure of it. May God always bless you :thumbsup:.


#19

Actually, Jesus did say something about going through Mary. The Early Church always interpreted His words to the Apostle John, when He was hanging from the Cross, as referring not only to John but to the whole Church represented in the person of the “beloved disciple.” He said to John, “Behold thy Mother,” and to Mary, “Behold thy son.” He therefore calls on the entire Church (at least in the spiritual interpretation of the Early Church) to behold its Mother in Mary. If she is all Christians’ Mother, then she bore them. If she bore them, then they have life through her. This verse doesn’t only reveal her role as Mother of the Church, but it also reveals the importance of devotion to her, for Jesus said, “Behold thy Mother.” Don’t just know about her or accept her, but behold her, gaze upon her, devote yourself to her. Is that not what the Old Testament calls on each child to do for his or her parent? Jesus calls on the Church to see Mary as its Mother, therefore she gives it life, and as there is no salvation outside the Church, there is no life except through Mary.

:thumbsup: and also, after this, the disciple takes her “into his own home” :slight_smile:


#20

:smiley: Well pointed out! :smiley:


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