Mary "Queen of Heaven"

I am not too uncomfortable with the marian doctrines of the Catholic Church, after all, the words of the Hail Mary is found in the Bible. Honouring Mary is one thing but I wonder if the Catholic Church maybe overstep the boundaries from Honouring the Mother of God (don’t have an issue with this title although can understand the protestants criticism of it) to worshipping her.

Interestingly Mary is referred to as the “Queen of Heaven” but a passage in the Bible which talks about a Queen of Heaven is regarding idolatory:

biblehub.com/niv/jeremiah/44.htm

Jeremiah 44: The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”

I am uncomfortable with the title Coredemptrix i.e. co redeemer or a redeemer alongside Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ should surely be the only redeemer? I understand that Mary cooperated by saying Yes to God but that doesn’t make or equal in the redeeming nature?

Also in Vatican Council II page 420 it has been stated “Having entered deeply into the history of salvation, Mary, in a way, unites in her person and re-echoes the most important doctrines of the faith: and when she is the **subject of preaching and worship **she prompts the faithful to come to her Son, to his sacrifice and to the love of the Father.” (Vol. 1, pp. 420 and 421) (This did not come from a Catholic site though so please correct if they have misquoted!)

A Catholics input would be greatly appreciated! :slight_smile:

Yes! You are way ahead of most Catholics on this, who have no idea that the first part of the Hail Mary is taken from Luke 1. :thumbsup:

Interestingly Mary is referred to as the “Queen of Heaven” but a passage in the Bible which talks about a Queen of Heaven is regarding idolatory:

biblehub.com/niv/jeremiah/44.htm

Jeremiah 44: The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”

Right. We ought not worship Mary and offer sacrifices to her, which is what Jeremiah was condemning–the idolatry and offering of libations to a pagan goddess.

Incidentally, the fact that there is no such thing as a false, pagan “Queen of Heaven” does not mean that there can’t exist a true Christian “Queen of Heaven”, right?

It is entirely Biblical to say that Christians are participants in the redemption process. We are all co-redeemers with Christ when we unite ourselves to Him.

Even St. Paul says that he is able to redeem/save some folks:

If somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.—Romans 11:14

To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.-1 Cor 9:22

St. Paul even goes on to say that WE, Christians, can save ourselves and others!

Attend to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you. "–1 Timothy 4:16

I understand that Mary cooperated by saying Yes to God but that doesn’t make or equal in the redeeming nature?

You are correct–Mary is not equal in the redeeming nature to God.

Regarding the use of the word “worship” here in this context:

The word “worship” has undergone a change in meaning in English. It comes from the Old English weorthscipe, which means the condition of being worthy of honor, respect, or dignity. To worship in the older, larger sense is to ascribe honor, worth, or excellence to someone, whether a sage, a magistrate, or God.

For many centuries, the term worship simply meant showing respect or honor, and an example of this usage survives in contemporary English. British subjects refer to their magistrates as “Your Worship,” although Americans would say “Your Honor.” This doesn’t mean that British subjects worship their magistrates as gods (in fact, they may even despise a particular magistrate they are addressing). It means they are giving them the honor appropriate to their office, not the honor appropriate to God.

Outside of this example, however, the English term “worship” has been narrowed in scope to indicate only that supreme form of honor, reverence, and respect that is due to God. This change in usage is quite recent. In fact, one can still find books that use “worship” in the older, broader sense. This can lead to a significant degree of confusion, when people who are familiar only with the use of words in their own day and their own circles encounter material written in other times and other places.

In Scripture, the term “worship” was similarly broad in meaning, but in the early Christian centuries, theologians began to differentiate between different types of honor in order to make more clear which is due to God and which is not. catholic.com/tracts/saint-worship

MARY, QUEEN OF HEAVEN

Many people object to the idea that Mary is called Queen of Heaven by Catholics because they are unaware of the fact that in the Davidic kingdom, it was the mother of the king (and not one of his many wives) that held the position of Queen.

Support for the principle of the Queen Mother in the House of David is found clearly in the following passages:

1 Kings 2:19
When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

Since Solomon had MANY wives, none of them would be queen. In fact, it was his mother that sat on the throne. This idea is also evident in the book of Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 13:18
18 Say to the king and to the queen mother, “Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns will fall from your heads.”

From these two passages, we can see that the mother of the king held the title of Queen in the Davidic kingdom.

This position carries over to the Kingdom of God, as well. Since Jesus inherited the throne of His forefather, David, it is logical that He would have a Queen. Of course, Jesus never married, but the principle of the Queen Mother was established long before, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, should rightly be viewed as His Queen.

AD CAELI REGINAM
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON PROCLAIMING THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY
TO THE VENERABLE BRETHREN, THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
ARCHBISHOPS, BISHIOPS, AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY SEE

  1. From early times Christians have believed, and not without reason, that she of whom was born the Son of the Most High received privileges of grace above all other beings created by God. He “will reign in the house of Jacob forever,”[5] “the Prince of Peace,”[6] the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”[7] And when Christians reflected upon the intimate connection that obtains between a mother and a son, they readily acknowledged the supreme royal dignity of the Mother of God.

  2. Hence it is not surprising that the early writers of the Church called Mary “the Mother of the King” and “the Mother of the Lord,” basing their stand on the words of St. Gabriel the archangel, who foretold that the Son of Mary would reign forever,[8] and on the words of Elizabeth who greeted her with reverence and called her “the Mother of my Lord.”[9] Thereby they clearly signified that she derived a certain eminence and exalted station from the royal dignity of her Son.

  3. So it is that St. Ephrem, burning with poetic inspiration, represents her as speaking in this way: “Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace, because I am honored above it. For heaven was not Thy mother, but Thou hast made it Thy throne. How much more honorable and venerable than the throne of a king is her mother.”[10] And in another place he thus prays to her: “. . . Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me.”[11]

  4. St. Gregory Nazianzen calls Mary “the Mother of the King of the universe,” and the “Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the whole world,”[12] while Prudentius asserts that the Mother marvels “that she has brought forth God as man, and even as Supreme King.”[13]

  5. And this royal dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is quite clearly indicated through direct assertion by those who call her “Lady,” “Ruler” and “Queen.”

  6. In one of the homilies attributed to Origen, Elizabeth calls Mary “the Mother of my Lord.” and even addresses her as “Thou, my Lady.”[14]

  7. The same thing is found in the writings of St. Jerome where he makes the following statement amidst various interpretations of Mary’s name: “We should realize that Mary means Lady in the Syrian Language.”[15] After him St. Chrysologus says the same thing more explicitly in these words: “The Hebrew word ‘Mary’ means ‘Domina.’ The Angel therefore addresses her as ‘Lady’ to preclude all servile fear in the Lord’s Mother, who was born and was called ‘Lady’ by the authority and command of her own Son.”[16]

  8. Moreover Epiphanius, the bishop of Constantinople, writing to the Sovereign Pontiff Hormisdas, says that we should pray that the unity of the Church may be preserved “by the grace of the holy and consubstantial Trinity and by the prayers of Mary, Our Lady, the holy and glorious Virgin and Mother of God.”[17]

  9. The Blessed Virgin, sitting at the right hand of God to pray for us is hailed by another writer of that same era in these words, “the Queen[17a] of mortal man, the most holy Mother of God.”[18]

  10. St. Andrew of Crete frequently attributes the dignity of a Queen to the Virgin Mary. For example, he writes, “Today He
    transports from her earthly dwelling, as Queen of the human race, His ever-Virgin Mother, from whose womb He, the living God, took on human form.”[19]

  11. And in another place he speaks of “the Queen of the entire human race faithful to the exact meaning of her name, who is exalted above all things save only God himself.”[20]

  12. Likewise St. Germanus speaks to the humble Virgin in these words: “Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings.”[21] He likewise calls her the “Queen of all of those who dwell on earth.”[22]

  13. She is called by St. John Damascene “Queen, ruler, and lady,”[23] and also “the Queen of every creature.”[24] Another ancient writer of the Eastern Church calls her “favored Queen,” “the perpetual Queen beside the King, her son,” whose “snow-white brow is crowned with a golden diadem.”[25]

  14. And finally St. Ildephonsus of Toledo gathers together almost all of her titles of honor in this salutation: “O my Lady, my Sovereign, You who rule over me, Mother of my Lord . . . Lady among handmaids, Queen among sisters.”[26]

  15. The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all.

There is also Revelations Chapter 12 :

A great 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. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”[a] And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Its funny in this one that some protestants do not recognize Our Holy Mother as the woman they claim the women is a symbol of the church only - but the writer has two other figures in the passage that are recognized as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Satan as the dragon - why would the writer choose two beings and make the other a symbol - it makes no sense - the writer meant 3 spiritual beings - not 2 beings and a symbol.

Our holy Mother is the Queen of heaven - she is mother of us all as Eve was.
Also at this time of the year we honor her as Our Lady of Guadalupe - look at the image and see her standing on Satan and crushing him - read about it.
At our church we have a large picture of the original that was put up about 2 weeks ago and mysteriously a dozen roses became available as soon as the picture was put up no one bought them - that was no coincidence. We were amazed. In the story the sign given to the church officials was roses.

The mysterious roses are now in a vase under the picture.

Jesus is a King in the line of David. In the Davidic Kingdom, the Queen wasn’t the King’s wife. It couldn’t be. They had many wives. Solomon, for example, had like 300 wives and 700 concubines (mostly for political alliance purposes probably). (see 1 Kings 11) King David had like, I don’t know, 6 or 7 wives or something…but more than one.

Because of this, the Queen was the King’s mother. The King had more than one wife…but only one mother.

To sum up:

  1. Jesus is a King in the line of David. (the last one since He will reign forever).
  2. In the Davidic Kingdom, the Queen is the King’s mother.
  3. So Mary is the Queen of Jesus’ Kingdom.

To extend what PRmerger said a little bit:

Just because there are people who worship false gods doesn’t negate the fact that there is one true God to be worshipped.

Likewise, just because some people worshipped a false queen of heaven doesn’t negate the fact that there is a true Queen of Heaven to be honored.

And you are correct. She is not to be worshipped. But Mary is the Queen of Jesus’ Kingdom and should be honored as such. The passages in Jeremiah that you are referring to are not talking about Mary. She wasn’t even born yet. They are talking about a false goddess and false worship.

Peace.

Orthodox tradition also honors Mary as Queen of Heaven. We see her crowned as such in Revelation 12. But we can also understand this honor by her motherhood of Jesus, our King. From King Solomon down through to the Babylonian Exile, the mother of the king was given special honor. It was the mother who was the Queen, not one of the king’s many wives. As Christ the King is the King of the Church, King of Israel, King through David’s line, we can see her Queenship as part of the fulfillment of the Kingdom. We can see it as a special honor for the mother of the new creation and of God, and of Christ’s love for her, her special place within God’s salvation plan, and her being among God’s greatest works. She is, of course, of human nature. But like all the saints, she is a friend of God, but also His mother. She is the mother of our nation, as the Queen Mother of Israel was.

The current English translation at the Vatican website has “venerated”:
For Mary, who since her entry into salvation history unites in herself and re-echoes the greatest teachings of the faith as she is proclaimed and venerated, calls the faithful to her Son and His sacrifice and to the love of the Father. (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), section 65.)

I’m pleased you have mentioned this passage as it was on my list of things to ask! :slight_smile: I know some protestants who say that there is an issue with the Catholic interpretation. The passage mentions pain in child birth which was the punishment for the original sin. Since Mary is believed to have been born free from original sin, this should not apply to her??

As to whether Mary experienced such birth pains, I don’t know. Certainly there’s a question of how literal we should read this passage. Mary did suffer as only a mother could suffer in watching Christ’s passion and being at the foot of the cross. Suffering for her is tied to her agreement to bear the Christ child. And, as a type of Zion and Daughter Israel, the pangs of the woman in Revelation also takes on the meaning of the suffering of the Israelites throughout history, groaning for their salvation. People try to separate these reasons, either one or the other, but we should be reading both.

MARK

Well as a redeemer what she does is lead people to Christ - I mentioned our Lady of Guadalupe - that one apparition is believed to have brought 10 million people to Christ and stopped the human sacrifice of human beings in their pagan religion - as many as 20000 human were sacrificed a year in their pagan faith to the fertility god - and if you look at the many other apparitions - that is what she does lead people to her son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . So literally millions upon millions have been converted to Christianity by the Virgin Mary and this cannot be denied because it has happened - and remember what Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand. So she does redeem people by leading them to her Son Jesus Christ. We have the rich teaching traditions of the Catholic Church so I can’t put on the sola scripture blinders.

[2Sam 7:12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers **I will raise up your offspring after you who shall come forth from your body and I will establish his kingdom 13 He shall build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me your throne shall be established for ever]

[Lk1:31 And, behold, **thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.] If Jesus is son of David and king in David’s line then his mother is Gebirah, queen mother in the Davidic Kingdom.

[1Chron29:23 Then **Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. 24]

[1Kgs2:19 Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And **the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right hand.] Soloman the son of David set a throne for his mother as did all those sons of David and kings in David’s line from Soloman on.

Jer 52:1 Zedikiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. his mother’s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. See also 2Kgs8:26, 2Kgs21:1.

[Jer 44:9 Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your fathers and by **the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem?]

[Jer 13:18 Say to **the king and to the queen mother, Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns will fall from your heads. 19 The cities in the Negev will be shut up, and there will be no one to open them. All Judah will be carried into exile, carried completely away.] see 2Kings25:1-26.

Despite the wickedness of some of the kings and queen mothers. Jeremiah calls both the king and queen mother’s crowns glorious. No prophet ever spoke against the office of queen mother, established by the Son of David, in the Davidic Kingdom.

[1Kgs8:20 And the Lord hath performed his word that he spake, and **I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. 21 And b]I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.]

[Rev 11:19 And **the temple of God was opened in heaven and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament and there were lightnings and voices and thunderings and an earthquake and great hail.

Rv12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars 2 And she being with child cried travailing in birth and pained to be delivered]

The woman, Rv12:1 is a person=Mary, symbolic of the Church, Old and New Covenant people of God. Twelve stars, universal queen, queen mother. The red dragon, Rv1:3, is a person and symbolic of governments and orgainizations that persecute the Church throughout the ages. The man child, to rule all nations, Rv12:5, is a person=Christ. [Symbolic of all persons. JPII The Gospel of Life. Chapter 104.]

[Lk22:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And ** I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 And the Lord said, Simon,Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.]
The kingdom, on earth, the Church where we eat and drink at the Lord’s table, Mass. Peter is First Minister as he is given the keys to that kingdom. Peter, who’s faith Christ prayed would not fail is to strengthen his brethren and all the sheep and lambs, Jn21:15-17. That would be all the brethren including the other apostles. Peter is universal pastor and his faith is guaranteed by Christ. Christ the king, holds the keys by right, and delegates his authority, with those keys, to his First Minister, [Isa 22:19-22 & Mt 16:13-19]. That Kingdom is for all people in all places and all times. Christ, the Son of David, is universal, catholic, King. Mary mother of the Son of David is Gebirah=Queen Mother in the regenerated spiritual, universal Davidic Kingdom.

Scripturally-Based Defense.

When Jesus was born, the three magi honoured Him in Matthew 2:11 with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This was TO CORRECT the pagan’s belief that Caesar, their Emperor, was the God man. Jesus is the True King, True God, and True man.

Following this example, our early Fathers also corrected the errors of the pagans that a demon in Jeremiah 44:17-25 is the Queen of Heaven. Heaven is where God is, how can a demon be the Queen in God’s Holy Presence? Who is then the Blessed amongst women (Luke 1:28), the Mother of our Lord. None other than the Virgin Mary, who is rightfully the Queen of Heaven.


The Church as a whole has always venerated Mary and paid her honour where honour is due, mindful that adoration and worship are entitlements which belong exclusively to God. The Church has always been vigilant in ensuring that no aberrations mar proper devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The 4th century heresy of Collyridianism crossed the line of orthodoxy in Marian devotion. The Collyridians were a sect comprised mostly of women which syncretized indigenous pagan beliefs with Catholic Marian devotion to heterodox proportions. This group originated in pre-Islamic Arabia, and it doesn’t appear that its members were themselves Catholics. Their liturgical service primarily included making a sacrificial offering of bread to Mary, which Catholics would have regarded as an affront to the holy sacrifice of the Mass in which Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is re-presented. Moreover, the Collyridians perceived Mary to be a goddess, which faithful Catholics never have.

The Church Father Epiphanius, tenaciously opposed this sect for its heretical beliefs and practices once it reached Thrace and Scythia, though he believed this group originated in Thrace. He writes: “Certain women there in Arabia have introduced this absurd teaching from Thracia: how they offer up a sacrifice of bread rolls in the name of the ever-Virgin Mary, and all partake of this bread… It is not right to honor the saints beyond their due… Now the body of Mary was indeed holy, but it was not God; the Virgin was indeed a virgin and revered, but she was not given to us for worship, but she herself worshiped him who was born in the flesh from her… Honor Mary, but let the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be worshiped, but let no one worship Mary, . . . even though Mary is most beautiful and holy and venerable, yet she is not to be worshiped” (Panarion, 78/79). Meanwhile, his contemporary, Ephraem of Syria, had this to say about Mary in the form of a prayer: “Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me.” Since antiquity, the Church has regarded Mary to be her advocate (John 2:3).

This heavenly role of Mary has its roots, not in the Eastern pagan mystery religions, but in the royal institution of the Gebirah, or “Queen Mother”, established by King Solomon before the division of the nation into the northern and southern kingdoms. The office of the Gebirah continued to exist only in the southern kingdom of Judah, from whence our Lord and Saviour King sprung to inherit the throne of his ancestor David. (Psalm 132:11; Luke 1:31-33, 42). Ephraem calls the Blessed Virgin Mary “Lady”. In Hebrew, the title *Gebirah *means “Great Lady”. This calls to mind what Mary declares in her Magnificat: “The Lord has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Luke 1:49).

The Bible doesn’t record the name of David’s mother, but in ancient Judaic tradition the Talmud does (Baba Bathra, 91 a.). Her name was Nitzevet (Nisbeth), the daughter of Adael. The name Nitzevet derives from the Hebrew word nitzav, which means “to stand”. We find the source in the Hebrew Bible: “ For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf rose [nitzbat] upright; and behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf” (Genesis37:7). Solomon was the first king to grant his mother a high place in the administration of his kingdom which he rightfully inherited from his father David. However, the Talmud says, David’s mother accompanied him to his coronation and stayed close to him during his reign to encourage and counsel him when facing his enemies in turbulent times. Nitzevet stood up right alongside her son and never deserted him while he ruled. She served as a precursor to what would become a national institution in Solomon’s reign. Her name foreshadows the deference with which even the king’s wives were to approach her. Unlike the Queen Mother, the king’s wives were not granted the prerogatives of a counsellor and an advocate, but were merely assigned the task of bearing and raising the king’s children. The Gebirah was the most important woman in the Davidic kingdom and wielded the greatest influence over her son the king, more than all of his wives combined. She was the sheaf which all other sheaves made obeisance to.

The temporal order of the Old Dispensation finds fulfillment in the eternal heavenly New. In the order of grace, all who belong in the kingdom of heaven make obeisance to their Great Lady, not as an act of worship, but in an attitude of deference and homage because of her royal dignity. The prerogatives our heavenly Queen Mother has received are from her Divine Son. So, by paying the homage that is due to our heavenly Queen, we adore and worship our heavenly King, for it is he who has placed his mother’s royal throne on the right of his throne of grace (1 Kings 2:19; Mark 10:40). Dishonouring the Mother, by denying her the prerogatives she has received from her Son, would amount to dishonouring the King. He couldn’t then receive the worship that is his due.

Psalm 45 prophesies the Kingship of Jesus and the Queenship of Mary. Hebrews 1:8 confirms Psalm 45:6 refers to Jesus, while Psalm 45:9 refers to his Queen. The Queen in the Davidic kingdom of Judah was always the King’s mother, never the King’s spouse, as such was the case in the northern kingdom of Israel. Thus, since Mary is the mother of Jesus, Psalm 45:9 is referring to her being Queen. And since prophecy can be polyvalent, the "royal bride in gold” and the “Queen in gold of Ophir” may symbolize both the Church – the bride of Christ - and our Lord’s mother insofar the prophecy points to the Kingdom of David, viz. the Kingdom of God and the heavenly Jerusalem.

PAX
:heaven:

And coming to her the angel said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” - Luke 1, 28

The fact that Mary “co-operated by saying Yes to God,” presupposes she did say Yes by divine necessity. If, then, she had said No, the world would have been denied redemption; since the incarnation would not have happened. God did not depend on Mary for her reply, because He knew what she would say. However, the incarnation did depend on it. Certainly, Mary did not actually redeem the world by any natural merit of hers. Yet she did have a vital role to play in association with her Son’s redemptive work. This past century, the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church officially designated Mary as our co-Redemptrix. The term comes from the Latin word *cum *which means “with”. So this title means “Mother with the Redeemer”. Jesus is the one who has formally redeemed the world and gained for it the initial grace of justification and forgiveness, but with the participation of his mother. What Mary merited for humankind by her act of faith in charity and grace was in co-operation with her Son’s merits, but not in co-ordination with them. She made temporal satisfaction to God for the sins of the world when she joyfully consented to be the mother of our Lord and suffered great anguish at the foot of the Cross because of sin, while Jesus made eternal satisfaction.

Mary knew how vital it was for her to align her will with God’s will so that God would become incarnate and bring the hope of salvation to the world. The incarnation happened because she gave her free consent to be the mother of our Lord in charity and the grace. Her obedient act of faith, in collaboration with the Holy Spirit, temporally appeased the Divine justice. Our Lord desires that we all work together with him if we hope to be saved, as well as help save others. St. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6,1: ‘We then, as workers together with (sunergountos) him, beseech you also that you receive not the grace of God in vain.’ And the apostle adds, God “works for good with” (sunergei eis agathon) those who love Him’ (Rom 8:28). God had worked for the good of all mankind with Mary when he sent the angel Gabriel to her. And He prepared her for her good work on our behalf. Our Lady was “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [her] to do” (Eph 2:10). This was all made possible by her Son who, through his passion and death, merited the grace of justification and forgiveness for mankind by no preceding natural merit of its own outside the system of grace (Eph 2:8-9).

Eve contributed morally to the fall of Adam (mankind) by succumbing to the temptation of the Devil and rejecting God’s will. As we know, she failed her “helpmate.” Mary co-operated morally in our redemption by her faith in the angel Gabriel’s words and by her free consent to the mysteries of the incarnation and redemption. Mary is not the principal and “perfective” cause of our redemption no more than Eve is of the fall of mankind. In the words of the late Catholic theologian Father Garrigou-Lagrange (Mother of the Saviour):“She could not redeem us in justice (de condigno), since for that a theandric act of infinite value which could belong only to an incarnate Divine Person was required.” However, “she is really a secondary cause of salvation, dispositive, and subordinate to Jesus.” He adds that “Mary is not subordinate to Jesus merely in the sense that she is by nature inferior to him, but also in the sense that she concurred in saving the world in grace which originally proceeded from the merits of her divine Son, and so acted in him, with him, and through him in his grace.”

Basically, merit means a right to a reward. The meritorious act is deserving of a reward in principle of fairness, if not justice. However, the meritorious act does not itself produce the reward. Its conferral rightly belongs to the person who is at liberty to offer it. Being God’s creation and inferior to Him by nature, Mary was in no position to justly negotiate with God on equal terms. However, her salutary act of faith conferred a right to a supernatural reward (the incarnation) that was initiated by God in His mercy and depended on His grace. Supernatural merit, which presupposes habitual grace and charity, is a right to a supernatural reward in so far God is just in His mercy towards His faithful servants (Lk 1:38).

The highest kind of supernatural merit belonged to the Incarnate Word, having stemmed from a more than sufficient act of love from a divine Person who acted as the new Adam and Head of the human race. Mary, on the other hand, merited grace for humanity by a merit of becomingness. This congruous merit is based on charity and friendship with God rather than on strict justice. Since our Lady was in a state of sanctifying grace when the angel appeared to her, which presupposes she observed the will of God, it was in keeping with the rights of friendship that God should do His will in saving humankind more for Mary’s sake than for sinful humanity’s (Jas 5:17). Temporally Mary appeased the Divine justice by her faith and charity which opened the door for Jesus to enter a world which had rejected God (Rev 3:20). She made “intercession” (mediated) on humanity’s behalf when she declared “Be it done to me according to your word.” (1 Tim 2:1-4).

:heaven:

Let’s get down to brass tacks. The Catholic Church DOES worship Mary, but not in a way that offends God or violates Jesus’ command, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” (Luke 4:8). The verbal judo of distinguishing between the Latin words “dulia,” “hyperdulia,” and “latria” was an invention of Catholic apologetics against Protestant objections to our veneration of the Mother of God. Obviously, in my opinion, I don’t think it’s very effective. Mary was the very last stumbling block to my conversion and the hardest one for me to overcome. Even after converting, I still struggled with it until I began to rethink what I meant by “worship” in a Catholic sense. How does St. Paul command us to worship? “to present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice.” That means God wants our hearts. He cares only for our wills to be conformed to His own. That is what it means to worship God. When we admire and worship God as He is manifested in His creatures by their carrying out His holy will, it is the same as to worship Him. Mary’s will was in perfect accordance with the Lord’s. When we rejoice at her exceeding beauty and power, all we are doing is worshiping God for creating such a magnificent creature as her. We cannot determine whether or not we are “worshipping” Mary by pouring our levels of devotion into separate glasses and seeing if Mary’s glass has more water than God’s, but that’s kind of what we’re doing when we categorize different kinds of worship, if that makes sense.

Keep in mind, also, that in America, we call judges “your honor,” but in some places in Europe, they are called “your worship.” Is this violating Jesus’ command? I don’t think so.

Interestingly, Mary is referred to as the “Queen of Heaven” but a passage in the Bible which talks about a Queen of Heaven is regarding idolatry.

It was idolatry; because that Old Testament title referred to a pagan goddess whose values and principles and what she represented were diametrically opposed to that of YHWH’s. To even just give that goddess a mere “honor” would be the same in God’s eyes as to worship her. Obviously, Mary is not this pagan goddess.

I am uncomfortable with the title Coredemptrix i.e. co redeemer or a redeemer alongside Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ should surely be the only redeemer? I understand that Mary cooperated by saying Yes to God but that doesn’t make or equal in the redeeming nature?

Really, ALL Christians in the state of grace are co-redeemers with Christ. The Bible even tells us so without using the title: “I fill up in my flesh WHAT IS LACKING in regard to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24). Mary, of course, gets the title though since she was a co-redeemer in a special way being both the New Eve and the New Ark. We know that she is those things because the literature of the Bible tells us she is. For example, in Luke, when the pregnant Mary visits the pregnant Elizabeth, it says that the child leapt in Elizabeth’s womb as she exclaimed “who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me.” (Luke 1:43). This is a direct reference to the Old Testament passage when David exclaimed upon reception of the Ark, “How shall the Ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9).

Also in Vatican Council II page 420 it has been stated “Having entered deeply into the history of salvation, Mary, in a way, unites in her person and re-echoes the most important doctrines of the faith: and when she is the **subject of preaching and worship **she prompts the faithful to come to her Son, to his sacrifice and to the love of the Father.” (Vol. 1, pp. 420 and 421) (This did not come from a Catholic site though so please correct if they have misquoted!)

A Catholics input would be greatly appreciated! :slight_smile:

Stuff like this is why I don’t mess with “dulia,” “hyperdulia,” and “latria.” It’s just a language issue. English is very funky. The word “worship” has undergone a LOT of evolution. Protestants “worship” God by gathering together, singing and praying. That’s about it. So, naturally, they get confused (I got confused) when they see Catholics singing Mary’s praises and praying (talking) to her. Yet, we do these things on the daily with people here on earth, especially with spouses. We say (quite accurately) that we are devoted to them and we write poems praising their beauty and good qualities. We are just doing the same with Mary (who is, by the way, more deserving of such behavior anyway.) :wink:

Catholics mean something much deeper when they say they “worship” God.

The woman of Revelation 12 bore a Child who was to rule the nations (Gentiles) with a rod of iron. Read Psalm 2. You see David write of the “anointed” (Messiah) who will rule with a rod of iron. In Revelation 11, John writes about seeing the Ark of the Covenant (which was lost, but is now seen) in heaven, but suddenly stops and writes of the woman who is to bear that prophesied child. The Queen is the mother of the King. The ark of the New Covenant. It is a matter of connecting the dots.

Now, as to the false queen of heaven (idol), scripture also speaks of false gods. Does this render the God of Israel also false? Nonsense! And, all of the anti-Catholic stuff you hear is likewise nonsense. It was all made up to justify division, but Christ never justified division in His Body.

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