How to explain Mary?

With the apparnt resurrgent intrest in Mother Mary, I was wondering if anyone could pose good ways and/thoughts in explaining various Marian Dogmas to our seperated breathren? I know the basics behind our churches teachings, though it is a bit shacky admittably, but, I thought it would be nice to be able to put it in a format easier for Protestants other than “We baleive Mary was sinless” (Which tends to freak them out more than anything).
I am about to start looking really hard at what is on this website which has helped me quite a bit already but, I know most of the people here (C.M. SDA2RC Adventistnomore ect) have a keen eye for theology and apologetics and might have something else extra that might help me shine light on this for other people.

Yours is a laudable goal! As someone who also struggled with the Marian teachings, I would suggest you keep your research focused on the fact that what the Church teaches about Mary supports (not proves) its teachings about Christ. That is the central point we should emphasis with our Protestant brethren.

And on a side note, I do not agree that the supports for the Church’s Marian teaching are shaky. They were well-researched, debated, prayed over, formulated, researched some more, debated again, prayed over again, reformulated, and then finally proclaimed. Sometimes this process took centuries. So, there is nothing shaky about the process the Church uses to formulate doctrine and dogma. :wink:

I know the basics behind our churches teachings, though it is a bit shacky admittably

I think the OP was referring to his knowledge being shaky. :thumbsup:

[quote=Della]And on a side note, I do not agree that the supports for the Church’s Marian teaching are shaky. They were well-researched, debated, prayed over, formulated, researched some more, debated again, prayed over again, reformulated, and then finally proclaimed. Sometimes this process took centuries. So, there is nothing shaky about the process the Church uses to formulate doctrine and dogma. :wink:
[/quote]

ohh…no that is not what I meant. I was just saying that my understanding of what little information I have is shaky and I am sure it is a less than complete picture of the facts (which the church has). I was just hopeing someone could help me with this as so I don’t look like the kid with the T-shirt with “My Mother says I’m speciel” when someone asks, “Well, Why?”

[quote=Montie Claunch]ohh…no that is not what I meant. I was just saying that my understanding of what little information I have is shaky and I am sure it is a less than complete picture of the facts (which the church has). I was just hopeing someone could help me with this as so I don’t look like the kid with the T-shirt with “My Mother says I’m speciel” when someone asks, “Well, Why?”
[/quote]

:o Even though I’m embarrassed (as if that matters!) I’m glad to be corrected. :smiley:

But, do approach the topic from the perspective of what Marian teachings tell us about Jesus and how they support the Church’s teachings about Christ, which most Protestants hold to although many don’t know how those teachings were hammered out and what place the Marian teachings played in that process.

Really, a lot depends on what they ask or in what context the subject comes up. Marian doctrines take at least a little time to explain properly. If the person is fiercely hostile and demands instant Scriptural proof-texts, the best thing to do is tell them you’ll be glad to discuss it when they are prepared to listen. Otherwise it turns ugly fast.

For more reasonable conversations, the best preparation is to have at least a conversational knowledge of the key Marian doctrines that always come up. Be prepared to emphasize two things: what the Church actually teaches and believes about Mary as opposed to what they have been taught or think they know, and, the fact that all of the Marian doctrines and dogmas say as much (or more) about Jesus, than they do about Mary. Many of these, like Mary being the Mother of God, were formulated for just this purpose.

kensmen.com/catholic/mary.html

That is possibly the greatest site I have found regarding Mary, what we should think of Her, how to teach others about Her, etc.

If you are Catholic, you should definitely give that a read (well, other people could read it, but they might not understand it too well).

[quote=Vir Dei]kensmen.com/catholic/mary.html

That is possibly the greatest site I have found regarding Mary, what we should think of her, how to teach others about her, etc.
[/quote]

Thanks for the link–I’ve bookmarked it! :thumbsup:

Try this, too. All the tapes and CD’s are free. You can listen to John on EWTN on Open Line on Mondays

www.biblechristiansociety.com

I like the human approach.

Did Christ being the Perfect Man fulfill his perfection also by being the perfect son? Therefore he honored his mother (S. Hahn rhetoric). If we love Him, we honor what he honors. Thus we honor Mary too.

The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, if Christ is the fruit, then the tree must be not only good, but utterly goooood.

In our lives, do we love our children and do we love our parents? If Christ loved his mother, I endear him by loving her too…after all we are family.

The sacrifices of a mother: feeding, clothing, teaching, nurturing etc.etc.etc. was done by Mary to our Lord. We cannot thank her enough for taking care of him. She did all of this to the love of our lives, our gratitude and spirit of indebtedness to her is a natural reaction.

These ideas are simple, human and commonsensical. I hope it’s as clear as I see it.

in XT.

I like the analogy of Mary to the Arc of the Covenant. The OT prophesies many of the Christ-centric activities to come, and the analogies with the Arc are pretty clear. God was also clear that the Arc was to be absolutely pure, in that what it housed was totally Holy. Given that the womb of Mary housed that which was perfectly Holy, wouldn’t it seem inconsistent if God permitted the mother of Jesus to be sinful, impure, and stained by Original Sin?

The Arc justifies Mary’s Immaculate Conception and perpetual virginity.

[quote=Strider]Try this, too. All the tapes and CD’s are free. You can listen to John on EWTN on Open Line on Mondays

www.biblechristiansociety.com
[/quote]

Thanks I will look into it, Do ya’ll know of any books that explain it clearly (For begginers, not for those that already know it all there is to know about Mary and need to put into a step by step thought process), ummm, like a Mary “For dummies” or something like.

[quote=awalt]I like the analogy of Mary to the Arc of the Covenant. The OT prophesies many of the Christ-centric activities to come, and the analogies with the Arc are pretty clear. God was also clear that the Arc was to be absolutely pure, in that what it housed was totally Holy. Given that the womb of Mary housed that which was perfectly Holy, wouldn’t it seem inconsistent if God permitted the mother of Jesus to be sinful, impure, and stained by Original Sin?

The Arc justifies Mary’s Immaculate Conception and perpetual virginity.
[/quote]

I agree.

Although I came back to the Catholic Church before I fully understood much Marian Doctrine, I had the faith that I knew the Catholic Church was right.

But what really resonated with this former bible alone person and really embrace and understand the Immaculate conception was the prefigurements of Mary in the Arc.

Everyone is different, but the Arc and all the biblical references is what helped me most.

God Bless,
Maria

[quote=Montie Claunch]Thanks I will look into it, Do ya’ll know of any books that explain it clearly (For begginers, not for those that already know it all there is to know about Mary and need to put into a step by step thought process), ummm, like a Mary “For dummies” or something like.
[/quote]

In fact I do!
Christ’s Mother and Ours is a FREE course from the Catholic Home Study Service. It was this book that got me looking deeply into what the Catholic Church teaches and helped lead me home to the faith.
Pax tecum,

[quote=Church Militant]In fact I do!
Christ’s Mother and Ours is a FREE course from the Catholic Home Study Service. It was this book that got me looking deeply into what the Catholic Church teaches and helped lead me home to the faith.
Pax tecum,

[/quote]

I was going to recommend this book also, but I wanted to wait for CM to pipe in since that is who I first learned about the book and studies. Great program!

Have you ever read St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary”? It’s highly recommended:
ewtn.com/library/Montfort/TRUEDEVO.HTM

Also his “The Secret of Mary”:
ewtn.com/library/Montfort/SECRET.HTM

If you pick up a hard copy of “True Devotion to Mary” avoid the Tan edition. Under #30 it is translated:

“…diminish the love of worship of [Mary]…”

On the website it is translated:
"…belittle the love and veneration shown to [Mary]"

Don’t give a protesant something that says we worship Mary. The following website might sell a better translation (check first though):
montfortmissionaries.com/publications/index.phtml?orderid=fdd7ba8614d9c802d8969478b4ab3c34

Also, I don’t know if this is watering down or not, but instead of saying we believe Mary is sinless, try saying we believe God preserved her from sin in order to make her a perfect dwelling for our Lord. And i’d recommend Hail Holy Queen by Scott Hahn as a Mary book. And just pray to her alot, pray her rosary, and when you pray for understanding of the Church’s teaching on her, call her Spouse of the Holy Spirit. It will take time, but knowledge will come and you will grow so much in your love for her.

I’ll third Christ’s Mother and Ours–excellent book!

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.