"Most of us have more faith than the Mother of God": True or false? Why?

According to the Catechism,

146 Abraham thus fulfills the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”:7 “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”8 Because he was “strong in his faith,” Abraham became the “father of all who believe.”9 (1819)
149 Throughout her life and until her last ordeal15 when Jesus her son died on the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God’s word. And so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith. (969, 507, 829)

The problem I have encountered with these ideas is that Jesus’ contemporaries physically saw His miracles, whereas I cannot point to a single demonstration of divine agency at any time in my entire life.* Based on years of conversation, it seems safe to assume most alive today have never seen a miracle, either. Thus, whereas Mary either saw Jesus perform miracles, as likely at the Wedding of Cana, or else heard from His Disciples who saw it, we have not seen miracles, nor have most of us met anyone who saw a public miracle. Thus our faith is greater than Mary’s faith, and purer, if this adjective relates how much evidence is mixed in, because we have less on which to base our faith.

Is this correct, or is there a problem with this argument?

Why, then, does the Catechism say this? It strikes me as baseless flattering of Mary, i.e. “Mary was Jesus’ mother, so whatever good we can think of, we better attribute the maximum amount to her.” It’s a little offensive, because it seems unreasonable.

  • I have felt the presence of angels when narrowly escaping death twice, but this could have been a brain event or my overactive imagination. Either way, the fact that this experience is controversial demonstrates it does not compare to Mary’s situation, who ostensibly had a group of disciples all with the same story about how Jesus pulled additional fish out of one fish in His hand, for example, or who likely heard about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

The first of His miracles was at the wedding you mentioned.
And Mary was the sole instigator of this miracle taking place
and with no previous reference to other miracles she in her
pure Faith told the servants to do whatever her son told them to do,
then she walked away. NOW THAT IS FAITH my friend :smiley:

Could you have done this with no previous miracles to go on,
with no reports from others about His miracles ?

Remember your faith is because those same disciples
have reported to you through the bible what they witnessed with their own eyes .
Mary had none of this when she instigated these events,
she even had Faith that He would do this despite Him
saying that His hour had not yet come.

No sorry, but she beats me hands down in the faith department.

She had faith before the Annunciation, and she had faith during the Passion.

As St Francis’ post above indicates, it can become clearer to us if we back up a litle further and expand the view to encompass all of the Holy Trinity - before Christ’s birth. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with God’s invitation, her “Fiat” was an act of faith which was more perfect - because it was to be the exemplary expression of the* obedience of faith*. She had to know Who God was and believe in Him before this account.

All that the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary, she believed would come to pass - even though it may have entailed things which could not totally be understood by her at that time (such as the fact that she would remain a virgin before, during and after Christ’s birth). Rather than simply standing around watching or hearing about miracles Jesus would perform , Mary actually participates in the first miracle of salvation directly pertaining to Jesus in conceiving Him by the Holy Spirit - without human intervention: She welcomes Jesus into her own womb and brings him into the world as our Saviour - all out of faith and humble obedience to the Lord.

When the Angel Gabriel tells Mary that her cousin Elizabeth, though advanced in age, is with child, she believes that too and sets out in “great haste” to see Elizabeth . . . all this although Jesus hasn’t even been born yet. And when she arrives, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit says to her, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus” . . .Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

It could be said then, that through her obedience of faith and total acceptance of God’s will, Mary believed in Jesus even before he was conceived. She is the Mother of our faith and, is the most probable source for the passages of scripture cited above - no one else knew these things or treasured them in her heart. It may well have been our Blessed Mother who told the apostles of these things when they were compiling the Gospels.

The University of Dayton has a very informative section on John Paul II’s Teaching on Mary’s Faith which when read, dispels any notions of the Church exaggerating when expounding upon the faith of our Blessed Mother.

The blessed mother is the example we should all follow.

I have a hard time listening to some protestants usually Baptist in their insulting comments of the Holy Mother . I saw one the other day where they claimed at Jesus first public miracle she was drunk and only cared about getting her next drink. Where do these ppl get this and how can they be so insulting. Here Jesus leads the 12 to be great servants of the Lord but did nothing for his mother - think about it - its insane - why do they go down this path - and they will hear nothing else - so ppls minds have been so poisoned they will never get back to the truth.

I don’t recall any instance of her abandoning Christ like we do.

You seem to be using the all too common but incorrect understanding that faith is belief without reason. But faith as the Church means it is more trust and obedience. These are acts of the will. And this being so the Blessed Virgin Mary had the greatest faith. If you back up just a few sections in the Catechism is says:

143 By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.2 With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, “the obedience of faith.”

144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to “hear or listen to”) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.

I would humbly submit that neither you nor I have completely submitted our intellect or will to God.

I also think the idea behind ‘things not seen’ is more figurative. It doesn’t just mean what we see. It is a way of talking about trust.

But you are right that those who have faith without physical signs are special. As it says in the Gospel of St. John: Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” This doesn’t mean we have more faith it just means we are in some way blessed when we do show faith.

Miracles do not create faith. They dispose to the reception of faith. Faith is an interior grace. Miracles are an exterior grace. Look at those who believed in the Resurrection and tried to cover it up!

Thomas didn’t believe in the Resurrection - but when he saw the Risen Christ, he is rebuked for not having believed… But what has he believed? Merely that He is risen? No, that He is God… “My Lord and my God!” “Blessed are those who believe that I AM WHO AM, without having seen me in my risen flesh.”

So the relationship between faith and “seeing stuff” is not what you suppose it is. In any event, Mary believed without seeing, as others have said, at the Annunciation and during the Passion and on many occasions where others who “had seen stuff” should have been right there with her, if faith is a natural act.



[quote=ethereality]Is this correct, or is there a problem with this argument?

Yes, it is correct, in that Jesus said Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believed. But there IS a problem with the argument.

Recall that most Jews were completely unconvinced by Jesus and His miracles. They saw them, they knew people who saw them, they talked to people who testified they had a miraculous cure etc. So apparently miracles do NOT create Faith (as was already said.)

Is it any different today? No.

Today people experience miracles all the time. Then there are people that hear about them, experience them etc. but find an infinite number of reasons to doubt them or ignore them. You have found reasons to doubt of those in your own life.

It’s true, we don’t have the PUBLIC miracles that were so common in the early Church. But the world does not have the same needs today that it had then.

No. False. There is a difference between natural faith and supernatural faith. Supernatural faith is a gift of God’s grace (See Eph 2:8). Mary was ‘full of grace’. Therefore, she was full of supernatural faith. This kind of faith is not merely an intellectual belief, but a genuine heartfelt trusting in the Lord. She trusted the Lord and walked with him, obeying him, and abiding in him.

God always makes the first move by giving actual graces.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

155 In faith, the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace: "Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace."27

153 When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come “from flesh and blood”, but from “my Father who is in heaven”.24 Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. "Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.’"25

To clarify, it’s not clear that anything miraculous happened to me: It is better termed providential, as there are natural explanations for the events themselves, e.g. wearing a seatbelt.

The argument assumes a false definition of the word “faith”.
Faith is “an act of the will by which on adheres to another who is known”.
None of us do that more perfectly than our Blessed Mother.

Faith is believing the truth of God’s revelation based solely on His authority. We can’t prove, for example, that if we obey the 10 commandments we will have eternal life. We have to take God’s word for it. That is faith.

Miracles help prove that God exists and that Jesus spoke for God. But then believing what God reveals is true is still faith.

Another way of looking at your question

There is faith, and there is obedience of faith. Mary had both as do all who believe and obey

However, I would ask, who among us, is more faithful and more obedient to faith, than Mary, given Mary remained absolutely faithful AND remained absolutely without sin for her whole life?

Miracles can certainly be termed providential. But it is up to the faithful to determine if they have experienced a direct intervention from God. In the case of an ecclesiastical miracle, the Church herself will determine if the believer’s case is truly a miracle.

So therefore, it is entirely devout and faithful to ascribe certain personal events that may (to the individual) seem to be a direct intervention of God. But there are certain requirements to have such an intervention/miracle be approved by the Church for whatever reason.

In my own case, I have experienced at least two (what I call private miracles.) However, I won’t discuss them with others, as they do not meet the requirements of what the Church would approve as a miracle. (Verifiable scientifically or by other unimpeachable testimony)

We have quite a few Doctors and Fathers of the church, not to mention all the great saints who ever lived. If we summed up all of their knowledge in one book, and summed up all the knowledge of Mary in one book, Mary would have more true knowledge of God.

She was the Mother of GOD, the God who knows all. If other holy people in the Church had intuitive knowledge from God, how much more would she have been given this for what she is, the holiest person ever to be except for her son.

There is no doubt, her faith and knowledge far exceeds anyone else’s, even the highest of the angels.

Either she is the highest creature or not. If so then in that proportion her faith and devotion and knowledge would also be the highest. And from this it would also follow that her sorrow would be the greatest as well. If there were anything in her to exceed this, it would be her humility.

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