I had a question from a protestant co-worker about Our Lady as the Mediatrix. I feel that I can discuss many topics about Mary, but I do not understand what Mary as Mediatrix means. Can anyone help me out with this. Thanks.
Here’s something else:
*]christendom-awake.org/pages/faithcul/theosis.html[/LIST]And there is this page which provides 20 essays in two books on the subject & matters thereunto appertaining:
*]voxpopuli.org/booktext.php[/LIST]Other reading matter is here:
*]voxpopuli.org/downloads.php[/LIST]And here is some Vatican 2:
*]cin.org/v2church.html[/LIST]**[scroll down to chapter [COLOR=black]VIII ****THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, **MOTHER OF GOD IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH]
These sites for Vatican 2 documents can be searched:
*]stjosef.at/council/search/[/LIST]And here for the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
*]scborromeo.org/ccc/index/m.htm[/LIST]**- which includes these headings: **
Hope that helps
In case you do not want to go as deep as the above link goes, here is my short and far less sophisticated version:
Catholics pray to Mary so that she might pray to her Son for our special intentions. We ask her to be our mediator (male) or mediatrix (female).
In Catholic prayers (like the Litany of Saints), when we pray to God in any Person, the reply is always ‘‘have Mercy on us’’; or ‘‘grant our salvation’’; or some such. In the Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father) we make direct petitions: give us this day…
When we pray to Mary — or to any other saint — the response is ‘‘Pray for us’’, as in please add your prayers to your Son to our prayers to your Son. In the Hail Mary, we say ‘‘pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death’’.
IMO the primary scriptural basis for intercessions or mediation is the marriage feast at Cana. If you remember, when the party ran out of wine — a low priority in heaven, if you will — Mary asked Jesus to fix it. His immediate response was ‘‘Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.’’ This implies He was not going to help. Undaunted, then ''His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. ‘’ As only a mother can! And guess what! Jesus did it!
To me that is pretty strong evidence that God encourages us to seek the mediation of the Saints for our own benefit, even though God obviously knows all, including what He is going to do.
I hope this helps!
The Blessed Virgin is “Mother of the Church” and “our Mother” since Jesus gave Her to the “Apostle whom He loved” (Jesus loves us all).
Two passages I like are:John 19:
25Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
Rev 12:1 & 17
1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
so why make a special mention that mary is mediatrix if, in a sense, we are all mediators and medatrixes since we all pray to God on behalf of others?
incidentally, i am not sure that one is male and the other is female. i think mediator is one who goes in between while mediatrix is one through whom something comes. that is why she is called the mediatrix of all graces. because God gives us grace, because of Jesus, through mary.
i could be wrong on that. oh, and i disagree with that statement about the graces to an extent (not completely disagree).
If recompense is bestowed according to the measure of love for God, and if the man who loves the Son is loved of Him and of His Father and becomes the dwelling place of Both, and They mystically abide and walk in him, as it is recorded in the Master’s Gospel, who, then, will love Him more than His Mother? For, He was her only-begotten Son, and moreover she alone among women gave birth knowing no spouse, so that the love of Him that had partaken of her flesh might be shared with her twofold. And who will the only-begotten Son love more than His Mother, He that came forth from Her ineffably without a father in this last age even as He came forth from the Father without a mother before the ages’? How indeed could He that descended to fulfill the Law not multiply that honor due to His Mother over and above the ordinances of the Law?
Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy.
St. Gregory Palamas, “A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary”
This excerpt, in addition to being beautiful, is a clear theological explaination of the “doctrine” of Mary the Mediatrix of All Grace.
Also, in order to cut off any potential side-debates: St. Gregory Palamas IS a Catholic Saint, called as such by at least one Pope, and celebrated on the Liturgical Calendar of various Eastern Catholic Churches.
I posted this not to raise a debate about St. Gregory, but to give what I think is one of the best accounts of “Mary as Mediatrix”.
Peace and God bless!
This subject gets into some pretty heavy water and I’d go to an estabilished source like the EWTN link in the first post and really study it before tackling this one. I say that because I only have a cursory understanding myself.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines mediatrix as ‘’ a woman who is a mediator ‘’
I am sorry, but I am not sure what you mean by ‘‘the statement about the graces’’.
You ask ‘‘so why make a special mention that mary is mediatrix if, in a sense, we are all mediators and medatrixes since we all pray to God on behalf of others?’’
IMO much of the way God set up the Church has redundancies built in. In grammar being redundant is undesirable. In security planning — as for computer systems — redundancy is essential, because of Murphy’s law, ‘‘anything that can go wrong, will’’.
The Church teaches that God knows our inner thoughts, yet we are encouraged to pray.
The Church teaches that God hears our prayers, yet we are encouraged to take comfort in the intercession of Mary and the saints.
The Church teaches Christ in the Eucharist. The Church teaches ‘‘wherever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I am.’’ Christ is present in BOTH circumstances, just in different forms.
Christ teaches Moses’ commandments. Christ teaches the two greatest commandments are love of God and neighbor. Christ asks the rich man to be perfect and to sell all he has for the poor.
To quote that Biblical sitcom, God seems to provide ‘’different strokes’’ for different folks. None is wrong; all are right! Shouldn’t those among the ninety-and-nine help look through every ‘’page’’ to find help for the one-that-is-lost?
Thanks for posting this which is beautiful and true. But I think ‘bible Christians’ won’t like it because of Jesus being called the ‘one mediator’ between God and man. They fail to see that, being both God and man, Jesus is the only one who saves us but this doesn’t rule out Mary’s ongoing role in our salvation. It’s church teaching but not spelled out in the bible. That’s a problem for those who separate the bible from the church.
cool, thanks. it’s just not a word i have ever had to use. and i have heard it explained differently by others.
that is part of the idea of her being mediatrix. all grace flows to us, from God, because of Jesus, through her. i don’t buy that one. now, if we are simply saying that God uses His people to bestow grace on others or to help lead others to His grace… mary being one of the best example of this (for she brought Christ into the world, thereby bringing the most grace to the world) then i can go along with it, but then there is not point in specifically pointing out that mary is a mediatrix for we all are mediators and mediatrixes. yes, we can rely on the intercession of the Saints AS WELL AS the saints here on earth (each other). by you praying for me, you are interceding on my behalf. God then will use your prayers and intercession to bring grace into my life… because and through your prayers. you just became a mediator.
The short answer is that it basically stems from the fact that, in addition to being the Mother of God, she is also our Mother. Jesus gave her to us all when he gave her to the beloved disciple as he hung from the cross.
As any good Mother would, she intercedes for her children because she wants what’s best for us.
I see from your profile that you were raised Catholic but are now a practicing Presbyterian.
I am just an average Catholic and am no authority — that’s why I cautioned that my answers would not be as deep (or probably as accurate) as some others.
Did you read the various links others attached above?
If not, please do and we can discuss.
If you did, then I DK why you are asking.
But — to be cooperative and given the above caveat — I shall try to respond to you and I trust that you will respond, too.
Please answer the following questions so we can get to the point faster.
In general do you apply Jesus words to you, yourself?
Have you ever excluded any of Jesus’ words from being applicable to you, yourself? If so, which?
Do you know anyone who does not hold his or her mother in very special esteem? If so, wouldn’t you say it was only a very small minority of your acquaintances?
Was Mary Jesus’ mother?
Can you think of any reason why Jesus would not hold his mother in at least that same high esteem as all your friends?
Would you agree that if anyone is in sin, they cannot be full of Grace?
Did Gabriel say that Mary was ‘‘full of Grace’’?
While on the cross, did Jesus say ‘‘behold thy mother’’?
Would you agree that the Bible always uses the phrase ‘‘a man who was to rule all nations with an iron rod’’ to refer to the Messiah?
Was Jesus the Messiah?
If so, then you agree that the woman in Revelations 12 must be the mother of the Messiah, right?
Do you know of any woman who mothered the Messiah?
Would you agree that woman must be Mary?
Would you agree that all ‘‘who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ’’ accurately could refer only to all Christians?
Does Revelations say that the ‘‘rest’’ of this woman’s ‘‘seed’’ must, therefore, be ‘‘all Christians’’?
Are Presbyterians Christians?
Is it fair to say that John considers ‘‘you’’ to be Mary’s son (among her seed)?
Does Revelations say the woman was ‘‘clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars’’?
Do queens wear crowns?
Is it reasonable to call that woman a queen?
Can you identify any time in the Bible when Jesus performed a miracle for no reason other than His mother’s request?
Can you identify any time in the Bible when Jesus refused to perform a miracle at His mother’s request?
If you are with me, then we know Mary to:
- have been without sin before the birth of Jesus
- be Jesus beloved mother
- be our beloved mother
- be the Queen of heaven
- be held in special esteem by Jesus
- have a mother’s love for us
- be able to influence Jesus to perform miracles for no other reason than her request
Do these attributes make Mary extremely special in Biblical history?
Do these attributes make Mary extremely special to you, as to me?
Now which of those attributes do you possess?
Now which of those attributes does anyone else in history possess?
Can you think of a more special (better) intercessor / mediatrix between you and Jesus?
Now, that said, while IMO Jesus knows your heart already, I am sure that we can rely on Mary more than any other mediator/rix — even you!
I’m happy you appreciate the quote.
To be honest, I don’t really understand those Christians who claim to follow the “Bible Alone”; I don’t mean that to say their views are incomprensible, but that I don’t understand what plays well to that audience ( I was raised secular, and never came to the Faith through Protestantism). :o
I just know that the quote I provided is perhaps the most beautiful, concise, and theologically solid presentation of the teaching of the Mediatrix that I can think of. It’s sad to me that it would come across in a bad light to “Bible-believing” Christians.
Peace and God bless!