I hope I’ve chosen the right forum to post this in. It’s the closest I could find. This involves my continuing uneasy feeling abut the status of Mary in the Catholic church and I’d like to get your opinion. My neighbors across the street are Catholic and they put two good-sized statues in their front yard. One is of Jesus and the other is of Mary. This is obviously an attention-getter for people who drive or walk by, and an obvious advertisement of their faith. I don’t happen to have a problem with statues as many other Protestants do, but I do have a problem with this display. What bothers me is that the statue of Jesus is at one side of the house front and the statue of Mary, which is the same size as that of Jesus, is at the other side. It seems that anyone going by who is not familiar with Catholic doctrine could be led to believe that Jesus and Mary are considered to be on the same level, which by the way, is what many believe. Am I nit-picking here? My thought is that if I was going to display statues of Jesus and Mary together, I would have a smaller one of Mary or place hers in a way that would indicate she was subordinate to Jesus. I’m probably more sensitive to this that most christians, but having conversed at length with atheists and other non-christians, I’ve found they often form impressions based on seemingly insignificant things.
Who believes that they are on the same level? That clearly is not the teaching of Catholicism.
You are just nit picking. It sounds to me, and probably appears to anyone driving by, that they put them that way to be symmetrical rather than to make any profound statement about Mary’s role in Catholic theology.
Yeah that’s what it sounds like. Basic geometry.
Catholics don’t teach that Mary is equal to God never have and never will. That is apostasy. Jesus DID however receive His human nature from His mother and His Divine nature from His Father. Denying our dear Lord is fully human by disparaging the mother or denying that her Yes to being His mother is the only instance in human history where the Son willed the mother and the mother Willed the Son into existence, denying this takes away from the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus IS fully Human and Fully divine.
I’m pretty sure no one will care.
Hey, Lek, Welcome to the Forum. You should really read Hail, Holy Queen by Scott Hahn, a former evangelical. You will find information as the one below:
"The Old Testament Ark was said to contain three things: the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments carved by the finger of God, the priestly rod of Moses’ brother Aaron, and the heavenly manna that sustained Israel in post-Egyptian wandering.
While the old Ark is acacia wood wrapped in gold, the New Ark of the Covenant is the Immaculate Woman Mary. Since being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, her womb became the dwelling place of God on Earth until the birth of Christ. As the New Testament is a perfection and fulfillment of the Old, so too is Christ’s Incarnation in the Virgin Mary a perfection of the Old Ark of the Covenant. The contents of the New Ark perfect the contents of the Old Ark insofar as Christ the Lord takes upon himself the roles of the former objects: Word of God, Bread of Life, & Eternal Priest."
God also allowed and commanded the forging of two gold cherubims that would be placed atop the Ark, thus illustrating right along with the admonishment against idolatry that not all sculpting would be idolatrous. Mary always points to Jesus, her son, and was the one who brought about His first miracle when He was reluctant to do so and she told (and still tells) people, “Do whatever he tells you,” Jn 2:5. When Jesus barely had enough breath to say anything he told Mary in regards to John, “Woman behold your son,” and to John, “Behold your mother.” And from that day on, John took Mary into his care, Jn 19:26-27.
Now, you know the Catholic Church was given authority to bind and unbind (Mt. 16:18-19, and the it teaches that John, the disciple Jesus loves, stands for all of humanity, all of us, so when Jesus died, He left us Mary as our spiritual mother just as Eve is our earthly mother. Mary complied fully with the Will of God and she deserves to be venerated. Worship, on the other hand, is to be reserved for God alone. So, for Catholics, Mary is our mother and we repeat what the angel said to her and what her cousin Elizabeth said to her when we pray the Hail Mary. By the way, in Israel, the Queen Mother was the one who went to the king to intercede for the people. Take a look at 1Kings 2:19.
This might be a little confusing, but I wanted to answer it although other Catholics might help you on since I’m tired. Scott Hahn was an evangelical who actually preached against the idolatry he thought Mary was until he discovered what she really is. She is the woman who will crush the serpent’s head. God works through his creation.
I would not worry about your neighbor’s display since even if Jesus was one foot tall (because that’s all they could find) and Mary was 6 ft. tall, Jesus stands taller than Mary. Everything Mary has was given to Her by Him, and the last thing she wants is equality with Him because she’s full of grace and was since the moment of her Immaculate Conception.
And why “Immaculate”? Because Jesus is so holy he would never have been conceived in the womb of a woman stained by sin.
Hope I helped.
When I use to visit my daughter, the state she lived in had statues in about every yard.
I would hope that no Christian of whatever denomination ever wears a cross or dove or anything that resembles them being Christian as that is trying to bring attention to themselves.
Also true Christians should not have any pictures of family, animals, fish or anything that represents an image of anything on earth, under the sea etc. as I recall that is part of the Commandment. If were to visit someone who did have any of these items I would of course assume that they worship them. Especially the Bible as many Christians kneel down when they read a particular chapter or verse in the Bible to meditate or pray while on their knees. It seems that some protestants have an aversion to kneeling and it makes one wonder if Christ stood before them would they just stand there or kneel or prostrate themselves before the King of Kings, our Lord and Savior.
Anyone with any intelligence knows that Catholics are not praying to a statue anymore than they are when they visit the Lincoln Memorial or any other memorial that has a statue of a past president etc.
Sometimes I wonder how people are so drawn to these beliefs and to cults. We must always research the what and why certain traditions are done. We also need to be very careful of following a popular preacher or a particular church as many people seem to worship or glorify the leader instead of Christ.
These are my opinions. I have been on both sides of the Tiber, however, I was a thinking person and have never followed a personality or belief just because they or it was popular.
Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Dear Bernadette, Sounds like our friends, the Jehovah Witnesses. Please read the message I posted above yours. I am planning to wear a Crucifix to let others know I follow Christ and there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s an abortion clinic not too far from here, and I believe that we Christians need to be more visible because we’re being persecuted in modern day America.
You sound confused, dear. If you take your whole message, it’s not cohesive. Pictures of family wrong? You need a spiritual advisor who’s a good Catholic. Either you don’t know Catholicism or you’re misrepresenting yourself.
The real question here is: Why do you care? Why are you uneasy? You say atheists and non-Christians form impressions on seemingly insignificant things. Might you be doing the same here? Your neighbor loves Jesus and Mary. They show their love with statues. There’s nothing going on here that should make you feel uneasy. They’re not obscene. They’re not sacrificing chickens. Protestants don’t understand Catholic’s love for Mary. Catholics don’t understand why Protestants act like it will kill them to give Mary any acknowledgement at all. Jesus entered the world through Mary. It is right and proper to give her the admiration that she deserves. Stop worrying about the speck in your neighbor’s eye.
Statues in a garden are lovely. Many people have little prayer gardens with numerous statues, and some people only have one or two. I am sure you have seen gardens with one statue, and sometimes it’s Mary, or St Anthony and so on…
Many churches also have a lone statue of their patron out front too.
This does not mean that the owner is putting Maryin front of Jesus. The statues in a front yard are a testimony that the family is Catholic.
If you really want to know what Catholics believe about Jesus and Mary, go to the TRUE source and find out, (the Church), not taking the word of atheists and non-Christians or even non- Catholic Christians. When are others ever going to get over this nonsense. If you spend sooo much time worrying about what us Catholics believe then you need to get a life. A true life in the TRUE Faith. God Bless, Memaw
I have a Mary garden every plant and flower in there symbolizes something in our dear Lord’s life. It starts with snowdrops which start to bloom right around the feast day of our Lord’s presentation at the Temple, and ends with bleeding hearts and dark purple mums to symbolize our Lord’s true royal stature and the purple clock the Romans heinously mocked him with and I have a few Chrysanthemum coronarium because the Shroud of Turin has Chrysanthemum coronarium pollen on it. I have blue hydrangea to symbolize our Lady who is always associated with blue because males are associated with the color blue, I have holly berry bushes to symbolize the everlasting life of the kingdom and foreshadow thrones that would so cruelly pierce our dear Lord’s head. I also have a section where I put annuals and use Marigolds to honor our Lady’s fiat because without her yes to becoming the mother of our Lord, I am nothing because without Him I am nothing. Never once did I think my neighbors although I live far enough away from the road and from them that they probably cannot see much of it, would conclude that I think Mary is greater than Jesus. Mary’s only job even to this day is to bring us to a closer relationship with her Son, let her do her job you will be absolutely amazed by the graces she pours out to you and how much more you love Jesus.
Sounds beautiful. I have a stature of Mary, one of an Angel and also a plaque of the Head of Christ. I have only had compliments on them. Little kids love to go up to ‘talk’ to Mary and kiss her as she is about the same size of a 2 yr. old. God Bless. Memaw
Your query is discussed in this recent thread…you will get lots of answers to your query…forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=889803
The lawn statues are obviously intended to be realistic representations of the holy family, similar to the statues in a Christmas nativity scene, and in real life the adult Jesus Christ and his mother probably resembled each other physically, including their height.
Some people may draw inferences from it, and it may lead to questions. They might comment to the neighbor themselves, or someone else or even look for information online, and hopefully come to understanding .
Or they may not.
There are so very many things that we misunderstand or misconstrue about one another.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with your neighbor’s display, but I also like your thinking about how you might make your own display.
Sometimes asking ourselves what message we might be sending out helps us be not only mindful but clarifying our own faith in our mind, and seeking deeper answers etc.
You may want to view this in a similar display to the court house in town. There is usually a flag of the United States and a State Flag. Often two flags, side by side, same height above the ground.
There is no implication that the state has more authority or equal authority to the federal government.
Similarly, Mary and Jesus are both important, as would be Jesus with any saint. But there is no implication of who has the authority. For that you must look beyond the display, to the teachings.
The Nativity was the first thing I thought of too. Jesus is the smallest figure!
I’ve always found it odd that even most Protestant churches don’t mind having statues outside, or even in, their churches during December.