How powerful is Mary?


#1

It is my understanding that Mary’s “power” is limited to her powerful intersession, and that apart from this she has no direct power to influence any action on earth.

However I often hear people speak of how Mary lead someone back to the Church or that she comforted someone in their time of need. This suggests that to some degree Mary has power on this earth, even if it is used for the glory of God.

Does Mary have any “power” outside of her powerful intersession?


#2

[quote=levi86]It is my understanding that Mary’s “power” is limited to her powerful intersession, and that apart from this she has no direct power to influence any action on earth.

However I often hear people speak of how Mary lead someone back to the Church or that she comforted someone in their time of need. This suggests that to some degree Mary has power on this earth, even if it is used for the glory of God.

Does Mary have any “power” outside of her powerful intersession?
[/quote]

Because Mary’s heart was pierced when Christ’s was, their hearts are forever united. Mary wants exactly what Christ wants. Thus, what Mary asks for, she gets. This is a simplistic way of explaining it, but does that make sense?


#3

Someone correct me if my understanding is distorted.

Mary is a created creature just like us, saved like us, though for her it was pre-emptive in the immaculate conception so she was a spotless ark for Jesus.

Jesus has given her a role to play in the plan of salvation history. For Christian disciples, she is our spiritual mother, commisioned by Jesus at the time of the crucifixion, so she channels the graces of her Son to those who ask and she takes our prayers to her Son, so that we are all working together for salvation and a better world with Mary and the saints as I believe Jesus wanted us to take an active part in each others and our own journey to salvation.

That’s my understanding of Mary.


#4

[quote=levi86]It is my understanding that Mary’s “power” is limited to her powerful intersession, and that apart from this she has no direct power to influence any action on earth.

However I often hear people speak of how Mary lead someone back to the Church or that she comforted someone in their time of need. This suggests that to some degree Mary has power on this earth, even if it is used for the glory of God.

Does Mary have any “power” outside of her powerful intersession?
[/quote]

Mary’s only “power” is how much God loves her, same as any of us. Because she is so united to her son, she wants what He wants, the salvation of all God’s adopted children. Therefore, her intercessions for God’s wayward children often lead them back to the Church, but only because God gives His grace. Mary does not save, but she does love and pray and dispense the graces of God to help us all. If you are united to God, you need no “powers” of your own. They’d seem silly in comparison.


#5

[quote=MichaelTDoyle]Someone correct me if my understanding is distorted.

Mary is a created creature just like us, saved like us, though for her it was pre-emptive in the immaculate conception so she was a spotless ark for Jesus.

Jesus has given her a role to play in the plan of salvation history. For Christian disciples, she is our spiritual mother, commisioned by Jesus at the time of the crucifixion, so she channels the graces of her Son to those who ask and she takes our prayers to her Son, so that we are all working together for salvation and a better world with Mary and the saints as I believe Jesus wanted us to take an active part in each others and our own journey to salvation.

That’s my understanding of Mary.
[/quote]

Well said :slight_smile:

hurst


#6

Mary has as much power as God gives her–no more and no less.


#7

And thus, she does save us, even if only as a secondary cause.

This is not unusual. We are all to help save others.

Romans 11:14 If, by any means, I may provoke to emulation them who are my flesh, and may save some of them.

1 Corinthians 7:16 For how knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.

James 5:20 He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

Jude 1:23 But others save, pulling them out of the fire. And on others have mercy, in fear, hating also the spotted garment which is carnal.

hurst


#8

I would suggest:

On one hand Jesus will not deny any request His Mother makes of Him.

On the other hand, Mary’s will has always been perfectly aligned to God’s Will; so she will ask nothing that God does not wish to grant.


#9

[quote=MichaelTDoyle]Someone correct me if my understanding is distorted.

Mary is a created creature just like us, saved like us, though for her it was pre-emptive in the immaculate conception so she was a spotless ark for Jesus.

Jesus has given her a role to play in the plan of salvation history. For Christian disciples, she is our spiritual mother, commisioned by Jesus at the time of the crucifixion, so she channels the graces of her Son to those who ask and she takes our prayers to her Son, so that we are all working together for salvation and a better world with Mary and the saints as I believe Jesus wanted us to take an active part in each others and our own journey to salvation.

That’s my understanding of Mary.
[/quote]

As Catholics are we even required to believe Mary is either co-redemtrix or “mediatrix of graces”? As far as I know neither of these are dogmas.

Does the catechism mention Mary as someone who dispenses grace? Or is it just a popular belief?


#10

[quote=levi86]It is my understanding that Mary’s “power” is limited to her powerful intersession, and that apart from this she has no direct power to influence any action on earth.

[/quote]

It is my understanding that she is not limited to intercession. Intercession implies we ask her to ask for us. But she sees our needs before we know them, and of her own will (united with God) is able to help us.

For example, if we ask for protection from the devil, she doesn’t need to intercede, because she is already endowed with power over evil. Yet, she does not act independent of God.

She already has been filled with the ability to give as she herself wills. Her will is confirmed in good, as is those of all the angels and saints in heaven. She dispenses the graces that have been entrusted to her.

It is not just a symbolic relationship. She truly is powerful! She doesn’t always just hand things off. She gives directly.

She does. We do, angels do, saints do, and even devils do to some extent.

She has more than just the power of intercession. As I said, she can do more and does do more than just hand things off. Those who limit her to merely going and asking for something are not informed that she has something right now already by which she is able to help us! Yet, she is in the Will of God.

I think this is an important distinction, because it is the basis of our honoring the saints. They have a will distinct from but united to God. It is the fine line between pantheism and materialism. They are not “merged” into God, nor are they independent of God. They are honored for their individual worth as part of the body of Christ, and as having God in themselves. We must not minimize this, lest we deform a proper understanding of God and His creatures.

Think of it in an earthly sense first… If you need money from your parents, do you ask them to intercede with God to obtain some for us? No, because we know they already have money (even if it is ultimately from God). Thus we ask them directly to give us of what they already have. The same with Mary. She does not need to intercede for everything anew. She already has much of what we need.

Thus, we can truly appeal directly to her favor, without prejudice to God. If we please her, she will be moved to obtain all we need, and to love us more.

hurst


#11

[quote=levi86]As Catholics are we even required to believe Mary is either co-redemtrix or “mediatrix of graces”? As far as I know neither of these are dogmas.

?
[/quote]

Just a note here: in English, “co” implies equality. This is not what is meant by the prefix in “co-redemtrix”. “Co” in this case means simply “with”.


#12

The “power” Mary has for me (besides everything my fellow Catholics have so beautifully written on this thread), is that, being a Creature, she has given a perfect example of what we are called to be as children of God. In this way, she is easy to relate to, easy to approach.

But truly, only Jesus saves, Mary’s only power is that which she derives from God. But then again, the only power any of us has is that which we get from God. Without God, we’re all nothing.

CARose


#13

[quote=hurst]It is my understanding that she is not limited to intercession. Intercession implies we ask her to ask for us. But she sees our needs before we know them, and of her own will (united with God) is able to help us.

For example, if we ask for protection from the devil, she doesn’t need to intercede, because she is already endowed with power over evil. Yet, she does not act independent of God.

She already has been filled with the ability to give as she herself wills. Her will is confirmed in good, as is those of all the angels and saints in heaven. She dispenses the graces that have been entrusted to her.

It is not just a symbolic relationship. She truly is powerful! She doesn’t always just hand things off. She gives directly.

She does. We do, angels do, saints do, and even devils do to some extent.

She has more than just the power of intercession. As I said, she can do more and does do more than just hand things off. Those who limit her to merely going and asking for something are not informed that she has something right now already by which she is able to help us! Yet, she is in the Will of God.

I think this is an important distinction, because it is the basis of our honoring the saints. They have a will distinct from but united to God. It is the fine line between pantheism and materialism. They are not “merged” into God, nor are they independent of God. They are honored for their individual worth as part of the body of Christ, and as having God in themselves. We must not minimize this, lest we deform a proper understanding of God and His creatures.

Think of it in an earthly sense first… If you need money from your parents, do you ask them to intercede with God to obtain some for us? No, because we know they already have money (even if it is ultimately from God). Thus we ask them directly to give us of what they already have. The same with Mary. She does not need to intercede for everything anew. She already has much of what we need.

Thus, we can truly appeal directly to her favor, without prejudice to God. If we please her, she will be moved to obtain all we need, and to love us more.

hurst
[/quote]

Wow, if Mary is so close to God, and God can never turn her down, why even bother ever talking to God???

To me this shifts the responsibility of Christ as our mediator. It seems to me that you are all saying that because Christ is God he is somehow less approachable, so instead we approach Mary because she is so comforting and human.

Wasn’t this the purpose of Christ, to perfectly fuse Man with God so that God was intimately joined with his creation and vis versa, instead you seem to be pushing Christ up to a position where he is less accusable to us and substituting Mary in his place

                       .....................................

This isn’t your typical protestant opinion, I’m a convert from atheism, with NO Christian education… so I’ve learnt it all myself, so bare with me :smiley:


#14

[quote=levi86]As Catholics are we even required to believe Mary is either co-redemtrix or “mediatrix of graces”? As far as I know neither of these are dogmas.

[/quote]

The Church has informally accorded her the title “co-redemptrix” for over 500 years, but it must be understood properly. It was not necessary, and was a subjective cooperation. She could not have co-redeemed herself.

The Church teaches that Mary is Mediatrix in two ways:
[list=1]
*] Mary gave the Redeemer, the Source of all graces, to the world, and in this way she is the channel of all graces (Sent. certa)
*] Since Mary’s Assumption into Heaven no grace is conferred on man without her actual intercessory co-operation. (Sent. pia et probabilis)
[/list]

Also, the Church introduced the Feast of Blessed Virgin Mary’s “omnium gratiarum Mediatricis” (1921). If the Church makes a Feast for something, it has solid foundation.

I got my information from “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” by Ludwig Ott.

There is nothing blocking the doctrine of Mary’s Universal Mediation of Grace from becoming dogma, based on her cooperation in the Incarnation.

Based on her intercession in Heaven, it is less definite, but still not impossible to become dogma. Recent Popes (past 100 years) have supported it explicitly, and various saints since the 8th century have given testimony of it.

hurst


#15

[quote=levi86]Wow, if Mary is so close to God, and God can never turn her down, why even bother ever talking to God???

[/quote]

There is no need to believe that attention is divided to the detriment of God.

All we do, including with Mary, is done unto the honor and glory of God. In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Even Jesus said that in seeing Him we see the Father.

John 14:9 Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, Shew us the Father?

When you see a saint on earth, you see more of God. Saints, especially Mary, magnify the Lord. Through them we are brought closer to God.

So please don’t conclude one replaces the other. Instead, see it as one helping you to the other, making it easier.

We shouldn’t be “talking” too much to God, anyway. Rather, we should be listening more. Our actions and way of life speak loud enough to God.

Also, don’t forget we worship God in the Mass. We pray to the Father, Who gave us His Son, Who gave us His Mother, Who gave us the Church!

1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all.

As we are Mary’s, she gives all to Jesus, Who will give all to His Father.

1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Christ is harder to approach when we rely on ourselves. Consider not just whether Christ wishes to give, but also whether we wish to give to Christ: honor, love, reverence. Through Mary we can ensure that we offer to Christ the best possible, though Mary’s magnifying of our offerings.

Well, there is a difference between Christ, Who is God and Man “fused” perfectly, and the redeemed, who are united to God in love. We do not become God and man like Christ did, but we are grafted into His body mystically and become like Him by grace. Christ is God by nature, though.

Christ is the head, and Mary is the Neck. All still must flow through her to us, even though she is not the natural source thereof.

She is not only a model Christian, she is the prototype that also enabled us to do likewise because her cooperation enabled it for everyone and not just herself. She is the cause of our salvation, because by cooperating in the Incarnation and birth of Our Lord, she brought forth our salvation in the person of Christ, Who actually accomplished our redemption.

I commend you for departing from the error of atheism. Welcome!

To learn more thoroughly, I encourage you to obtain “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” by Ludwig Ott.

Being Catholic requires balance, and any questions you may have will simply lead to answers that hone that balance. May God bless your way.

hurst


#16

Didn’t John Paul II believe that Mary had greater powers than just answering prayer? He said that it was Mary’s hand that guided the bullet that shot him.


#17

Yes, I’ve encountered this a few times recently. Protestants point to John Paul crediting Mary with saving him by altering the assassin’s bullet, as more proof that Catholics worship Mary.


#18

[quote=PiusXIII]Didn’t John Paul II believe that Mary had greater powers than just answering prayer? He said that it was Mary’s hand that guided the bullet that shot him.
[/quote]

This is related, according to the Vatican to Fatima.

Ultimately Christ did it, just as ultmately He is the power that crushes the head of the serpent.

Mark
www.veritas-catholic.blogspot.com


#19

[quote=Brian Crane]Yes, I’ve encountered this a few times recently. Protestants point to John Paul crediting Mary with saving him by altering the assassin’s bullet, as more proof that Catholics worship Mary.
[/quote]

WOAH! How many logical fallacies have you just commited!?

Please, rethink your post.


#20

[quote=desire the end]WOAH! How many logical fallacies have you just commited!?

Please, rethink your post.
[/quote]

Rethink yours my friend! Those aren’t my logical fallacies, they are those of protestants I have had discussions with.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.