Do Catholics give Mary too high esteem?


#1

This is a video of Messianic Rabbi Gennady Livshits explaining who Jesus is (Scroll down to Who is Jesus 1):

houseofdavidministry.org/programming/television-archive/monday-show.html

Starting at 16:00, he tells the story of how he was speaking with a Catholic woman who uplifted Mary very high, and this Catholic woman could not refute him when he used verse John 1 against her.

Instead of using Luke 1 ("Blessed are you among women . . . ") as defense, how can you make a strong biblical defense against his argument?


#2

What passage is it, exactly? John 1 is a chapter, not a verse. That chapter does not indicate anything about Mary.

The video doesn't allow me to skip to the relevant spot and I don't see any point in watching the whole thing.


#3

[quote="timwatt, post:1, topic:326038"]
This is a video of Messianic Rabbi Gennady Livshits explaining who Jesus is (Scroll down to Who is Jesus 1):

houseofdavidministry.org/programming/television-archive/monday-show.html

Starting at 16:00, he tells the story of how he was speaking with a Catholic woman who uplifted Mary very high, and this Catholic woman could not refute him when he used verse John 1 against her.

Instead of using Luke 1 ("Blessed are you among women . . . ") as defense, how can you make a strong biblical defense against his argument?

[/quote]

God chose her to be the Mother of His Divine Son, can you get any higher than that??? God Bless, Memaw


#4

[quote="Memaw, post:3, topic:326038"]
God chose her to be the Mother of His Divine Son, can you get any higher than that??? God Bless, Memaw

[/quote]

Exactly. Did God give her too high esteem when he chose her to be the worthy vessel of his son's incarnation?


#5

[quote="SonCatcher, post:2, topic:326038"]
What passage is it, exactly? John 1 is a chapter, not a verse. That chapter does not indicate anything about Mary.

The video doesn't allow me to skip to the relevant spot and I don't see any point in watching the whole thing.

[/quote]

Like any online video, you need to wait about two minutes for the video to load before you can skip.


#6

One of the problems with folks like Livshits is that while they take the title Rabbi, the folks in the "Messianic Jewish" groups are laymen many of whom were secular Jews who converted to (usually) Fundamentalist Protestant groups. They have no formation or study let alone rabbinic ordination, and usually little or no Protestant seminary formation, So they take their lead from the Fundamentalist sects they have converted to with a sprinkling of Judaism, usually what they are told by their new Pastors, and what they pick up on websites and selective reading.

What this guy had done is presented the Protestant misrepresentation of what they believe the Catholic Church does, and having the self imposed title leads one to believe that they are now authorities of both Christian and Jewish theology and pratice.

In answer to the title of the thread, no, the Catholic Church does not give too much esteem to our Lady, individuals who do not understand or follow what the Church actually teaches may do, either by ignorance or willful disregard to what the Church teaches.


#7

Without referencing Luke:

Just spend some time reading about the Ark of the Covenant in the OT. Notice the VERY high esteem and honor given the Ark. King David danced before it, there were processions in front of it. The Ark was given a special tent and place in the Israelite camp while in the desert for 40 years, and the Ark was put into the Holy of Holies in the Temple, the most sacred spot in the whole world.

And what made the Ark special? It held the stones which were written the 10 Commandments, the Manna from the desert, and the High Priest Aaron's staff.

Compare that to Mary. She was given the honor of being the Mother of God Himself!!! She carried in her womb the Word of God! She nursed the Manna from Heaven. She cared for and protected the Great High Priest. She was honored by God Himself.

So to answer the question, no, Catholics do not honor Mary too much. Nothing we could do could come close to the honor bestowed on her by God already.


#8

I didn't watch the video, and have no interest in what the person teaches about Jesus. Our Lord set up a Church to hand on the Truth, so I'll stick with that. :)

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" (Luke (RSV) 1)

How many people get that greeting?! And from an angel!

41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke (RSV) 1)

And St. Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit, saying that, and asking why such an honor as having the mother of the Lord come to her....

So to answer the question, no, Catholics do not honor Mary too much. Nothing we could do could come close to the honor bestowed on her by God already.

What zz912 said. :cool:

Oops! I missed the part in the OP about not using Luke 1. Oh well.
The Catechism would be an excellent place to look for good info. I'd do the searching, but it's gettin' late.


#9

For those who didn't watch the video, here's the text in question: One time I was talking to a Catholic woman, when we had a Russian church. That woman, she came from Moscow. ... She was Catholic. And she was uplifting Mary very highly. I thought to myself, I have to talk to her about this. And you know what? I said, Let me take you further than the Book of Acts. Let me take you further than anywhere that Jesus said blessed art thou among women. She says, Where? I said, Let me take you to John 1. I said, Can you find Mary here? Let’s read together: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. I said, Where is Mary here? ‘The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not a thing made was that was made.’ I said, Do you see any Mary here? She said no. So why do you uplift Mary more than Jesus? He is God. He is the Word that brought liberty to every mankind. Hallelujah. His basic contention is that you can't find Mary in John 1, and we shouldn't life up Mary more highly than Jesus, and we can't use Luke 1 to justify uplifting Mary because we should go to John 1 instead.

The first problem with this is that we don't uplift Mary more highly than Jesus. In Catholic theology, Mary is an exalted creature, but still a creature. So we don't worship Mary or uplift her more highly than Jesus.

Regarding whether Mary is in John 1, Mary is part of that in several ways. First, look at verse 14: "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." How do you think He became flesh except by Mary? But the video says, Well, Jesus is there from verse 1. Yes, that's because Jesus is God and verses 1-4 are about God. The video wants to prove that Mary isn't important because she isn't in those four verses. So does that mean if I could find four verses that don't mention Jesus, I could say that Jesus isn't important because He isn't mentioned in every verse of the Bible? Of course not. The Bible doesn't have to say Mary is important in every single passage, it just has to say it, and then we know it's true.

The final problem is this: he doesn't want you to use Luke 1. I can see why. Luke 1 praises Mary many, many times:

Luke 1:28 -- “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
Luke 1:28 -- “Blessed are you among women!”
Luke 1:42 -- “Blessed are you among women!”
Luke 1:45 -- “Blessed is she who believed!”
Luke 1:48 -- “All generations will call me blessed.”
Luke 1:49 -- “For the Almighty has done great things for me.”
Luke 1:43 -- “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Luke 1:46 -- “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
Luke 1:48 -- “He has regarded the lowly estate of His handmaid.”
Luke 1:38 -- “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy Word.”

You shouldn't stop using Luke 1 merely because he says you shouldn't. If he is a Christian, he will acknowledge that Luke 1 is as much a part of the Bible as John 1 is. And if you can read Luke 1 and not get the impression that Mary is important, then you've got a problem.

Apart from Luke 1, there's a bunch of evidence that we should honor Mary. St. John wrote about his vision of Mary in heaven in Revelation 12:1-6, and if you notice, he saw her as wearing a crown, and robed in the splendor of the sun, standing aloft on the moon, and with the stars about her head -- a very uplifted image, if you think about it. And that's very biblical too, because Psalms 45 foresaw that a queen would stand in heaven beside Jesus (verse 9), and that she would leave Judaism for Christianity (verse 10), and worship Christ the King as her lord (verse 11), and be prayed to for help (verse 12), and that she would be glorious, in robes of gold and many other colors (verses 13-14), and that communities of virgins would honor her (verses 14-15).

The early Christians had a special reverence for Mary's role in the history of our redemption, and they talked about it in their writings. St. Paul is their precursor in this, because he wrote of Mary's role in Galatians 4:4-5. Luke 2:34-35 indicates that Jesus' death is what opens the way for us to be saved, and Mary's shared sufferings are what opens our hearts to the influence of God. That's a very important role to play and it is given to Mary. John 19:25-27 indicates that Jesus wants His disciples to look upon Mary as their mother, and treat her as our own. That also indicates that we should honor her.

These are just a few of the reasons the Bible gives for honoring Mary very highly. And if God didn't want us honoring Mary, he wouldn't have put all these things in the Bible. Catholics uplift Mary because the Bible says to, and we don't have to be afraid to use it to defend that.


#10

[quote="dmar198, post:9, topic:326038"]
His basic contention is that you can't find Mary in John 1...

[/quote]

LOL
You can't find a lot of things in John 1. I'm no scholar or one who is good at debating, but that's a pretty weak contention.


#11

[quote="timwatt, post:1, topic:326038"]
This is a video of Messianic Rabbi Gennady Livshits explaining who Jesus is (Scroll down to Who is Jesus 1):

houseofdavidministry.org/programming/television-archive/monday-show.html

Starting at 16:00, he tells the story of how he was speaking with a Catholic woman who uplifted Mary very high, and this Catholic woman could not refute him when he used verse John 1 against her.

Instead of using Luke 1 ("Blessed are you among women . . . ") as defense, how can you make a strong biblical defense against his argument?

[/quote]

Send him to his own mother and have him ask her.


#12

Zz... That's the best analogy I've ever heard. Well done!


#13

[quote="dmar198, post:9, topic:326038"]
For those who didn't watch the video, here's the text in question: One time I was talking to a Catholic woman, when we had a Russian church. That woman, she came from Moscow. ... She was Catholic. And she was uplifting Mary very highly. I thought to myself, I have to talk to her about this. And you know what? I said, Let me take you further than the Book of Acts. Let me take you further than anywhere that Jesus said blessed art thou among women. She says, Where? I said, Let me take you to John 1. I said, Can you find Mary here? Let’s read together: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. I said, Where is Mary here? ‘The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not a thing made was that was made.’ I said, Do you see any Mary here? She said no. So why do you uplift Mary more than Jesus? He is God. He is the Word that brought liberty to every mankind. Hallelujah. His basic contention is that you can't find Mary in John 1, and we shouldn't life up Mary more highly than Jesus, and we can't use Luke 1 to justify uplifting Mary because we should go to John 1 instead.

The first problem with this is that we don't uplift Mary more highly than Jesus. In Catholic theology, Mary is an exalted creature, but still a creature. So we don't worship Mary or uplift her more highly than Jesus.

Regarding whether Mary is in John 1, Mary is part of that in several ways. First, look at verse 14: "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." How do you think He became flesh except by Mary? But the video says, Well, Jesus is there from verse 1. Yes, that's because Jesus is God and verses 1-4 are about God. The video wants to prove that Mary isn't important because she isn't in those four verses. So does that mean if I could find four verses that don't mention Jesus, I could say that Jesus isn't important because He isn't mentioned in every verse of the Bible? Of course not. The Bible doesn't have to say Mary is important in every single passage, it just has to say it, and then we know it's true.

The final problem is this: he doesn't want you to use Luke 1. I can see why. Luke 1 praises Mary many, many times:

Luke 1:28 -- “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
Luke 1:28 -- “Blessed are you among women!”
Luke 1:42 -- “Blessed are you among women!”
Luke 1:45 -- “Blessed is she who believed!”
Luke 1:48 -- “All generations will call me blessed.”
Luke 1:49 -- “For the Almighty has done great things for me.”
Luke 1:43 -- “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Luke 1:46 -- “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
Luke 1:48 -- “He has regarded the lowly estate of His handmaid.”
Luke 1:38 -- “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy Word.”

You shouldn't stop using Luke 1 merely because he says you shouldn't. If he is a Christian, he will acknowledge that Luke 1 is as much a part of the Bible as John 1 is. And if you can read Luke 1 and not get the impression that Mary is important, then you've got a problem.

Apart from Luke 1, there's a bunch of evidence that we should honor Mary. St. John wrote about his vision of Mary in heaven in Revelation 12:1-6, and if you notice, he saw her as wearing a crown, and robed in the splendor of the sun, standing aloft on the moon, and with the stars about her head -- a very uplifted image, if you think about it. And that's very biblical too, because Psalms 45 foresaw that a queen would stand in heaven beside Jesus (verse 9), and that she would leave Judaism for Christianity (verse 10), and worship Christ the King as her lord (verse 11), and be prayed to for help (verse 12), and that she would be glorious, in robes of gold and many other colors (verses 13-14), and that communities of virgins would honor her (verses 14-15).

The early Christians had a special reverence for Mary's role in the history of our redemption, and they talked about it in their writings. St. Paul is their precursor in this, because he wrote of Mary's role in Galatians 4:4-5. Luke 2:34-35 indicates that Jesus' death is what opens the way for us to be saved, and Mary's shared sufferings are what opens our hearts to the influence of God. That's a very important role to play and it is given to Mary. John 19:25-27 indicates that Jesus wants His disciples to look upon Mary as their mother, and treat her as our own. That also indicates that we should honor her.

These are just a few of the reasons the Bible gives for honoring Mary very highly. And if God didn't want us honoring Mary, he wouldn't have put all these things in the Bible. Catholics uplift Mary because the Bible says to, and we don't have to be afraid to use it to defend that.

[/quote]

Wow. Thanks for your response!


#14

[quote="Deltadeliquent, post:12, topic:326038"]
Zz... That's the best analogy I've ever heard. Well done!

[/quote]

Thanks, but definitely not mine. Several Church Fathers related Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. Also, read Revelations ch 11-12. (Remember, the chapter/verse number was done in the Middle Ages by monks to aid in copying, they weren't in the original versions) Chapter 11 speaks of seeing the Ark of the Covenant in Heaven, and then speaks about the woman who gives birth to Christ.

I also enjoyed Scott Hahn's book on Mary, called Hail, Holy Queen. Excellent book.


#15

Try to participate in a Mariology workshop, and you will understand why.

Even Luther and Calvin gave Mary very high esteem.


#16

St Irenaeus taught that Mary by her obedience untied the knot tied by Eve's disobedience.
Without Her "yes" there would have been no Incarnation. There was no other worthy enough, humble enough to fulfil this role which God The Father asked Mary to accept.
Mary's unique role in our redemption spans salvation history from Ch 3 of Genesis all the way to the Book of Revelation.
St Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary is probably the greatest work which is rooted in Scripture and Tradition (alongside the Glories of Mary by St Alphonsus Ligouri)
We can never love and honour Our Lady enough-but devotion to Her should always lead to loving the Son and worshipping Him as our Saviour and God. The popes teach that the quickest and surest way of sanctity is to be devoted to the Blessed Virgin.
www.divinemercypopes.com


#17

[quote="sparkfrompoland, post:16, topic:326038"]
St Irenaeus taught that Mary by her obedience untied the knot tied by Eve's disobedience.
Without Her "yes" there would have been no Incarnation. There was no other worthy enough, humble enough to fulfil this role which God The Father asked Mary to accept.
Mary's unique role in our redemption spans salvation history from Ch 3 of Genesis all the way to the Book of Revelation.
St Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary is probably the greatest work which is rooted in Scripture and Tradition (alongside the Glories of Mary by St Alphonsus Ligouri)
We can never love and honour Our Lady enough-but devotion to Her should always lead to loving the Son and worshipping Him as our Saviour and God. The popes teach that the quickest and surest way of sanctity is to be devoted to the Blessed Virgin.
www.divinemercypopes.com

[/quote]

AMEN, God Bless Memaw


#18

In general - no. Not more than Jesus did.

And if there exists somewhere a “Catholic” that believes (say) that Mary is equal to Jesus (a divine person) - that Catholic has an understanding of things that are at odds with Church teaching. Mary is a special person in salvation history. She was the first “Christian” (first to welcome Christ into her life). And a great saint.

Satan holds her in low esteem. Has enmity with her per

The Lord declares to the snake -

**Genesis 3:15 ** I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."

The offspring spoken of was Jesus.

Jesus, as the Son of Man (through her) honored “His Mother” as part of perfectly keeping
all 10 commandments. Not that anyone here would be fuzzy on that concept. :smiley:

Revelation 12:13 When the dragon saw that it had been thrown down to the earth, it pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, 11 so that she could fly to her place in the desert, where, far from the serpent, she was taken care of for a year, two years, and a half-year.

15 The serpent, 12 however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current.

16 But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth and swallowed the flood that the dragon spewed out of its mouth.

17 Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against **the rest of her offspring, ** those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus. It took its position on the sand of the sea.

serpent = dragon = Satan
the woman = Mother of Jesus (and her other offspring - those who keep God’s commandments).

How high esteem God must have for “the woman” who (in Revelation):

Comes forth from heaven

From the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant*

Is not only crowned like the other saints mentioned later in the book but with STARS

And is clothed with the sun

With the moon at her feet.

She is with child (the Lord is with her)

The serpent/dragon waits to devour her child (baby killing is the ultimate evil. Pharoah sought Moses’ life; Herod sought baby Jesus’ life - Satan behind each)

The child (woman’s male offspring) ascends into heaven, will rule the nations (Jesus).

Serpent/Dragon then pursues the woman and her other offspring (The Church, the rest of the Body of Christ). It strikes at his heel.

By the end of the book of Revelation, the woman’s offspring (Jesus) fulfills the Genesis prophecy and strikes at the dragon’s head.

At the end of the book, the Spirit (Holy Spirit) and the Bride (The Church - whose patroness would be Mary, intimately connected to the Trinity) beckon to all “Come!”

It is a rare Catholic that give Mary high enough esteem. Even those with Marian devotions. Mary herself is the Lord’s handmaid. If we follow HER we find ourselves serving Christ with our whole hearts. And our souls “Magnifying the Lord!” as they should. :slight_smile:

**** Mary herself is superior to the ark of the Covenant in that she had free will.
Within the ark were holy THINGS, manna, the staff of Aaron that bloomed, the tablets with the 10 commandments.

Within Mary dwelt God Himself. In the person of Jesus Christ. The true bread of life who brings not just earthly nourishment but a covenant that leads to everlasting life. And Jesus is the FULFILLMENT of the 10 commandments. ***


#19

What about

Luke 11:27-28
27.While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." 28.But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

also

Matthew 12: 46-50
While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." But Jesus answered "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.

Why would Jesus not allow the woman to give her praise in Luke, and why would Jesus not acknowledge her in Matthew?


#20

[quote="Hleb2332, post:19, topic:326038"]
What about

Luke 11:27-28
27.While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." 28.But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

also

Matthew 12: 46-50
While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." But Jesus answered "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.

Why would Jesus not allow the woman to give her praise in Luke, and why would Jesus not acknowledge her in Matthew?

[/quote]

Actually HE did praise her himself. She did hear the word of GOD AND KEPT IT! She was the womb that bore HIM and she always did the Will of God. HE was acknowledging her as both! And we should follow her example. How do you think Jesus feels when we put His Holy Blessed Mother down as if she means nothing to Him or us! Her Holiness was there before she bore HIM in her womb. That's why she said "yes" to the angel. She did HIS Will always. We can never love her more than HE does. And to think HE is jealous of our love for His Mother is a bit petty don't you think? God Bless, Memaw


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