Mother Mary, and her postion in the Church?


#1

I had this girl at the Lamar Lybrary ask me about Mary and why we “seem a bit excesive” with such doctrines as the “Mediatrix of all graces”, “adocate”, and “Co-redemptrix” and her “Assumption” and “queenship in heaven”, What would be the best thing to say about each of these (please give me documents so it won’t seem like i am white washing it and trying to get around telling the “Truth”)? Thank you and God bless.


#2

I’m not sure what you mean by “give me documents” - the Catholic Answers library has some excellent information on Marian doctrine and ways to explain our beliefs. Did you mean that or something more specific, say from the CCD?

I think, first of all, that you must remember that our views on Mary are not ‘excessive’. When someone not of our faith uses that kind of terminology with me, I very gently correct them so that we may start on a different plain, i.e. not defensive and not offensive.

Above all it is imperative that you emphasize for a non-Catholic the difference we feel towards our love for Our Lady and our adoration of the Savior, Jesus Christ. If you start from that point - we do not adore or worship the Queen of Heaven, we HONOR her as the world’s first perfect Christian and the mother of OUR LORD, then you will have a better chance of properly representing the Catholic view of Mary.

My suggestion would be to familiarize yourself with the Catechism teachings on Mary.

I hope this helps.


#3

[quote=Montie Claunch]I had this girl at the Lamar Lybrary ask me about Mary and why we “seem a bit excesive” with such doctrines as the “Mediatrix of all graces”, “adocate”, and “Co-redemptrix” and her “Assumption” and “queenship in heaven”, What would be the best thing to say about each of these (please give me documents so it won’t seem like i am white washing it and trying to get around telling the “Truth”)? Thank you and God bless.
[/quote]

re: “a bit excessive”

If we were to give Mary greater love and honor than God Himself has given to her, then we might rightly be accused of excess in our devotion to her. Happily, this is not the case.


#4

[quote=Montie Claunch]I had this girl at the Lamar Lybrary ask me about Mary and why we “seem a bit excesive” with such doctrines as the “Mediatrix of all graces”, “adocate”, and “Co-redemptrix” and her “Assumption” and “queenship in heaven”, What would be the best thing to say about each of these (please give me documents so it won’t seem like i am white washing it and trying to get around telling the “Truth”)? Thank you and God bless.
[/quote]

Try this online version of the Catholic Encyclopedia. It’s not the most up to date, but it will help you with some of these Marian titles and doctrines, especially the Assumption.

You can also tell this gal that the titles: “Mediatrix of all Graces”, “Co-redeemer”, “Queen of Heaven and Earth” are not doctrines but pious beliefs that the Church has not discouraged but has not declared doctrine or dogma, either.

Try doing a google search under “Catholic Mary Co-redeemer” and so on for articles both pro and con. These titles are embraced by some and questioned by others, which is perfectly fine since none of them are doctrines or dogmas.

The term “Advocate” merely means one who asks on behalf of another. It’s another word for intercessor, and the best way to explain that is to tell her about the Communion of Saints.

And don’t think that your not being able to answer her automatically means you have to try to “whitewash” anything. The Catholic Church teaches nothing but the truth. It is up to you to know that truth so that you can pass it on to others. Yes?


#5

In my experience when a person says things like we Catholics are “in excess”, it can be very difficult to get them to understand where we are coming from. I have told people I know (after exhausting citing scripture verses and trying to use logic-hope that doesn’t affend any non-catholics here!), I just try to explain that there really is a lot more about the Catholic faith that they may need explained first. If you can understand and accept other parts of our faith first (such as authority, Sacred Tradition, and the communion of saints- the way that Catholics view it), then a lot of the stuff about Mary just makes sense. Non-catholic tend to jump to the most troublesome Catholic beliefs first, but that isn’t necessarily where we should start, and we should always make sure we have finished answering one subject before moving on to another.


#6

You may want to check out “True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis Grignion de Monfort. Here is the doctrine on her position in the church…

newadvent.org/library/docs_pi09id.htm

God bless,
Aaron


#7

Basically Marian devotion can seem excessive to Protestants because they ignore Mary so much.

Mary has been whitewashed out of much Protestant spirituality, so that for people who have only known that, it is a shock to see her in a prominent place in the church. They are used to spending much of their time on Paul and his writings, but none on Mary. She is often presented as a transient figure who shows up briefly at the nativity and then is never mentioned - as someone said - like an embarassing mother-in-law.

But the historic church has paid great attention to Mary since the earliest times.

In fact there are so many things that are unique to the Virgin Mary.

She is the Woman Propecied in Genesis 3, Isaiah 7, and Revelation 12, whose seed crushes the head of the serpent.

She is the woman uniquely to counter the disobedience of Eve, by saying Yes to God, rather than No, as Eve did.

She was the only one who gave her flesh and humanity to
the Son of God, and she is uniquely to be blessed throughout all
generations (Luke 1:48).

She is the only human in scripture to be named Kecharitomene, that is, Full of Grace.

Mary was the first human being who did receive Christ. Out of the millions of “decisions” made for Christ, Mary’s was the first. Therefore, whatever promises the Holy Scriptures hold for us, Mary already possesses. If the sacred Scriptures declare that we are all kings (Revelation 1:6), is it so
strange that the Church refers to Mary as Queen?

She is the mother of the Son, therefore she is also the mother of the Church, which is Christ’s body.

If the Holy Bible promised that you and I shall judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3), is it so odd that the Church should sing that Mary is “more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim”?

If we who are called “holy brethren” (Hebrews 3:1) are commanded to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16) and are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), is it so unthinkable that she whose holy body was the recipient of God Incarnate should be called “most holy” by the Church?

Mary calls herself an handmaiden, a servant of God. She served God, God her Saviour. And these are precisely the qualities that God rewards with honour.

Ps 149:4
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with victory

Jas 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you

Matthew 5:3
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Mark 9:35
And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”


#8

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.