This is more a “follow up” to my question about Our Blessed Virgin I did ask yesterday,in Matthew 1:25 is written "…He had no relations with Her until She bore a son,and He named Him Jesus…" (…et non cognosebat eam donec peperit filium suum primogentium et vocavit nomen eius Iiesum…) What would you say about this? And what is important,I am not going “against” the teachings of the Church,that I never will,but it makes one wonder what who and why. And one thing what I often think about,Our Blessed Virgin was free from all sins,but She was married to Joseph,and then She did no sin having a “relationship” with Him? I once was asked this question,“was it really so important that She did remain a virgin also after She gave birth to Christ” and I did not know what to answer. God bless you all.
There is already a thread running on this topic. You should join in that one.
Whatever God makes holy, STAYS HOLY. Ever wonder why you never see a Chalice used as a vase or candy dish?
According to the world-renowned patristics scholar, Johannes Quasten: “The principal aim of the whole writing [Protoevangelium of James] is to prove the perpetual and inviolate virginity of Mary before, in, and after the birth of Christ” (Patrology, 1:120–1).
To begin with, the Protoevangelium records that when Mary’s birth was prophesied, her mother, St. Anne, vowed that she would devote the child to the service of the Lord, as Samuel had been by his mother (1 Sam. 1:11). Mary would thus serve the Lord at the Temple, as women had for centuries (1 Sam. 2:22), and as Anna the prophetess did at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:36–37). A life of continual, devoted service to the Lord at the Temple meant that **Mary would not be able to live the ordinary life of a child-rearing mother. Rather, she was vowed to a life of perpetual virginity.
However, due to considerations of ceremonial cleanliness, it was eventually necessary for Mary, a consecrated “virgin of the Lord,” to have a guardian or protector who would respect her vow of virginity. Thus, according to the Protoevangelium, Joseph, an elderly widower who already had children, was chosen to be her spouse. (This would also explain why Joseph was apparently dead by the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, since he does not appear during it in the gospels, and since Mary is entrusted to John, rather than to her husband Joseph, at the crucifixion).
According to the Protoevangelium, Joseph was required to regard Mary’s vow of virginity with the utmost respect. The gravity of his responsibility as the guardian of a virgin was indicated by the fact that, when she was discovered to be with child, he had to answer to the Temple authorities, who thought him guilty of defiling a virgin of the Lord. Mary was also accused of having forsaken the Lord by breaking her vow. Keeping this in mind, it is an incredible insult to the Blessed Virgin to say that she broke her vow by bearing children other than her Lord and God, who was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Please bear in mind that while the Protoevangelium of James is an interesting document it was written not before mid-second century and is not considered an inspired writing by the Church.
What we are seeing here is a revisionist interpretation of the Gospel. Neither Martin Luther, nor Jean Calvin, the two most prominent and important reformers, believed that Mary was anything but a perpetual virgin. The seeds of this doubt have been sown only recently, and solely for the purpose of opposing the Catholic Church.
Consider: There was a man who was a lifetime teetotaler. He did not have a drink until the day he died. Does that mean that he drank after he died? Of course not! This is a trick of language. The Church has spoken. We should not listen to the prophets of doubt.
Once again good answers,maybe except the one that the Church does not accept,if I can use that word.
I am in no way trying to proof nothing. I did point out this because it gives yet another angel to look at things. Personally Virgin Mary will always be our Blessed Virgin and the one I turn to in moment of weakness or distress,the way I see it is that She may have been a virgin also after giving birth to Christ or then not,and to me that has no meaning. God bless.
Please consider that the Church teaches that Christ is our Savior, and that His mother remained ever a virgin. Which do we accept? Which do we reject? Both Joseph and Mary were told that this child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. What man would even think of touching that womb? Not thinkable. Desire for any other child would be an offense against God, no?
Protestants that I have talked to have two fundemental issues with the Perpetual Virginity (and with Marian dogmas in general).
The main problem they have is with the fact that it IS dogma and failure to accept this teaching places ones salvation in danger. They Ask why a belief or non belief in the PV effects ones salvation when salvation is based on faith in Christ?
The other, and supporting, problem they have is that there are things recorded in the bible that raise legitmate questions about the PV.
Now - just to be clear, I am Catholic and accept the Marion Dogma’s wholeheartedly. But I do think that our seperated brothers DO have and make some good points and raise some good questions. The problem is that the real problem to their understanding lies not in the Marion dogma’s themselves but in the more fundemental issues of church authority.
Now to the OP’s question/concern.
As I said, I have heard the arguments about the term “until” and Jesus brothers etc…and in them I find merit on both sides. But there is another factor that really tipped the balance for me in favor of the PV. That factor is St Joseph.
I asked myself, would Joseph, knowing what he knew, have chosen to have relations with Mary? Would I, in Joseph’s place and knowing what Joseph knew, choose to have relations with her? The only answer I could arrive at is “Absolutely not”
We know that Joseph was a rightious man. That he had no inkling of the great things God was about to do in his time. When Mary was found with child, he did not wish to put her to shame and planned to resolve the issue quietly. Then an angel appeared to him and revealed:
But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1:20-21)
So - Just ask yourself…If you knew what Joseph knew, would YOU seek to have relations with this woman?
Not one of them can give a non-stammering explanation for the reason why a married woman (Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:27 - though not yet living with her husband), when advised by Gabriel that she would bear a Son (Luke 1:31), was incredu;ous (Luke 1:34). Her incredulity is also troubling to them, since she knew that childbirth came about through “knowledge of man” union (Luke 1:34). I have heard no solid reason given, in cultural context, for Mary having to quiz Gabriel as to how this was going to occur.
Let’s sum up here:
- Married (pledged, betrothed).
- Soon to live with husband.
- Is to bear a son.
- Knows that “knowledge of man” produces sons.
- Could not believe it.
- Asks Archangel of God for explanation of just how on earth this is going to happen.
You are quite correct, James, that this all relates to the matter of authority. They, by their own authority, do not accept this as doctrine. I continue my search for men who, throughout history, have followed their own authority (the ego) and in so doing, have found the truth.
Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant. Her womb was consecrated as holy to God and held God there for 9 months. (Remember the woman healed of years of bleeding by touching just the TASSLE of Jesus’ cloak, imagine the holiness imparted to Mary as she nourished and held God in her womb!)
St. Joseph as a righteous Jew would have known that anything consecrated to God was to be used for holy purposes ONLY. Once consecrated, it could NEVER be used for any other purposes. Additionally, remember the holiness of the Ark of the Old Covenant. People died for simply touching it. You could not look upon it. It was HOLY. It was not God and was not worshipped, but it was revered. The Holy Spirit of God came over the Ark of the Old Covenant, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary.
It is utter nonsense to suggest that Joseph would have had sexual relations with God’s Ark.
Or a Tabernacle used as a glove box!
That is a great analogy. Once our Blessed Mother’s womb held our Savior, how could it possibly be used for anyone else? It was God’s and God’s alone. Not only that, Mary is the bride of the Holy Spirit, so St. Joseph had no rights to her, physically.
No, it was not necessary, as she was born Immaculate anyway and could have stayed Immaculate by having pure relations with her husband. But, she was consecrated through virginity to our Lord and an act of relation would have made a disobedience of her vow and hence, a sin. So, in that way, it was.
That is my short answer. If it is wrong, call me an idiot. Nothing less, nothing more. Nothing inbetween, nothing transcending. Just call me an idiot and let it be anathema.
Good answers,and all make you think. Personally,as I have said earlier,it does not matter if Virgin Mary was a Virgin all Her life,and it is not my place to say anything against what the Church teaches,I have one more question that I would like to,if I may ask,to get a simple “yes” or “no” answer. What would it mean if our Blessed Virgin did not remain a virgin all Her life? Would that change your way of thinking? (The last sentence was the question.) God bless.
No - it would not change my way of thinking. Nor would it effect my faith in Christ or His Church.
For if she had not remained a virgin, The Church would not have dogmatically declared it so (bound on earth).
I am so grateful to be among all you who have a strong faith. God bless you all.
It would mean that you cannot trust anything the Church teaches, nor anything in the bible. It would bring the entire faith of Christianity into question.
I do not blame you for having difficulty with this hard teaching of the Church. Jesus Himself taught hard things, and most of His followers left Him when He told them that they must eat His Body and drink His Blood (John 6:66).
I don’t think it means anything of the sort. Our knowledge, and our ability to understand the Lord’s teaching changes over time. That’s a GOOD thing, since we are learning more about God all the time. It’s not like we learned as much as we could on any given topic, say, during the 5th century, so that it should be considered closed and locked down forever.
Sometimes we get too caught up in the letter of the law, than in understanding it and following the Spirit of the Law. Matthew 5. Or consider 1 Timothy 1:
3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4* nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith*. 5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. *6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, *7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
I fail to see how a change in the perception of Mary’s perpetual virginity is anywhere nearly as important as the love of God, the love of Christ, for mankind, for each and every person. I fail to see how it helps those who need the assistance to learn how to " love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
By insisting on things that are relatively unimportant, how do we help people come to Christ? Is our measure of a person’s belief in God whether or not they believe in Christ and His message and fulfill the two most important commandments, or is our measure of belief whether that same person believes in Mary’s perpetual virginity?
Based on the above, I believe I know Paul’s answer to this question.
I agree and disagree depending what the history of the Church and Mary’s virginity. If she was not a perpetual virgin, then the Church never would have taught it in the first place. But, if tomorrow we find out that she was NOT a perpetual virgin from the beginning, then Christianity is no longer true. Of course, this is hypothetical.
But, indeed we can continue to learn about all doctrine and find more inspiration through all doctrines to live them out as a way of life rather than just teach them.
See above. We all make an attempt with the grace of God to live out the Truth as taught by His Church. Sometimes we do over-intellectualize things though. His Church, as the pillar and foundation of the Church, inspires us to make continuous conversions and give our complete selves to Him who is, who was and who is to come. Truth comes with this 3-in-1 combo. (Life, Love, Truth)
It is love of Truth. If you believe anything untrue, then you do not believe in Truth. To not believe in Truth is to not believe in Christ. Of course, that is an extreme statement but that is another portion of your love that you are not giving to Christ.
As you said, it is not about the letter of the law when the Church teaches anything. Is Truth relatively unimportant? Truth is important also. Christ is the Truth. He did not give us relevation so that we may disagree with things. He gave us revelation so we could be “one in Spirit and in Truth.” No Truth is “relatively unimportant” in our love for Christ. That is not to say we know everything. God knows we do not know everything. He will only fault us for knowing the Truth and rejecting it. (I think.) But, there are many things we do know though.
That is like asking, “Is our measure of a person’s believe in God whether or not they believe in Truth or is our measure of believe whether that same person believes in Truth?” Christianity is not about picking and choosing what to believe and then saying “I love Christ”. We must love God with all our hearts AND minds. Truth is not relative. Truth is Truth. All Truth matters. Indeed, some pious Catholics do not know the letters of the doctrines, but they live them out better than even some who do. It is not about knowing the Truth, it is about living the Truth. Some like to read Scripture and find out more about Truth. Some like to pray and live out the Truth. Some do both. Both are adamantly recommended by the Church and especially the Saints. The Truth is there for us. In any case, it is about living the Truth. Putting on Christ. Thirsting for eternal life. Giving. Loving.
Mary is a Perpetual Virgin as I have shown.
All Truth matters. Live to love to live to love.
The importance of Mary’s perpetual virginity is not b/c of who she is, but who CHRIST is. That is why it is important. The whole importance of her Assumption, Imm Concept, freedom from sin, virginity, crowning in Heaven is ALL related to Jesus and that He is God.
So saying that it doesn’t matter if she wasn’t a perpetual virgin diminishes who Christ is. You are missing His Fullness.