It is an encouraging movement that I, as a Catholic, applaud. I think this article tries to set up a false dichotomy between the spiritual aspects of Marian devotion and social action, though. And I certainly hope that Mary won’t become a mere symbol of the left. I happen to think she was seeing far beyond Herod and Augustus Caesar when she sang her song under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’, and so Mary’s, revolution is one of the heart and soul, first and foremost, with the physical following behind in a natural way. For all of the Church’s great saints were persons of both prayer and active service to those in need, not merely social rebels.
I was purturbed by the article. The author likens Mary’s Magnificat to something about african-americans singing “black is beautiful” or some such thing. He reduces Mary to a political revolutionary. The picture on the cover of that issue of CT shows Mary with clenched fist and jaw–a horrible likeness of Our Lady.
I agree that McKnight’s dichotomy is unhealthy–but in all fairness he’s responding to a dichotomy traditional Christians have often made. Far too often Christians have separated out spirituality from social justice–of course the temptation is to react to this by affirming the other side of the coin instead of holding both together.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about–on another discussion board a very conservative poster linked to an article by the anti-immigration writer Lawrence Auster (who I believe is a Catholic), arguing that Christianity is about personal spiritual transformation and so can’t be used as a basis for a pro-immigration policy. If we take the Magnificat seriously in the way McKnight urges us to, then that kind of argument is revealed as heretical, idolatrous, and Gnostic.
But I agree entirely that McKnight’s opening contrast is totally un-called-for.
Protestants view Mary as an important symbol in history, as she gave birth to Jesus.
Besides the ever-popular argument of whether or not she was sinless, isn’t that what they should believe?
Marian devotions aren’t necessary for salvation, right?
Are you asking from the Catholic viewpoint or the Protestant viewpoint? From the Protestant viewpoint the answer is clearly that Marian devotions are not necessary for salvation. A saving faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation. I’ll allow Catholics to respond from the Catholic viewpoint…
I guess I should have specified. :o I was actually looking for both viewpoints so thank you, rr1213, for responding.
To which Catholics heartily reply, “Amen!” Are Marian devotions (Rosary, Miraculous Medal, etc) necessary for salvation? No.
However, Mary had a unique role in salvation history, which is why both Catholics and Orthodox accord her high honor. Many times, Protestants seem to treat her as nothing more than a packing crate, to be cast aside when Jesus arrived (which to me seems like saying the Ark of the Covenant was just a box). There are even some who state she was “an unmarried woman” implying she was some sort of slut (and thus cast aspersions on Jesus Divinity). Even when I was a Protestant, I was outraged by such slanders (I called them infidels). But I think the Catholic (and Orthodox) attitude towards Mary is the right one.
No doubt about it. Mary was right. We call her blessed.
If Mary was sinless, why did she say “God **MY **saviour”. This is aside from the fact that “all have sinned”
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
From the moment of her conception, God, the creator of the universe, preserved Mary from the stains of sin inherited by our ancestors, Adam and Eve. So by preserving her, God saved her. So Mary likewise, say in Luke 1:46-47, "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior.
Luke 1:28 - also, the phrase “full of grace” is translated from the Greek word “kecharitomene.” This is a unique title given to Mary, and suggests a perfection of grace from a past event. Mary is not just “highly favored.” She has been perfected in grace by God. “Full of grace” is only used to describe one other person - Jesus Christ in John 1:14.
No offense to the OP, but what a c r a p p y article.
Do any Catholic or EO priests write for Christianity Today?
Jesus is necessary for salvation, but without Mary, and in accord with the particular manner in which God chose to give us Jesus, there is no Jesus. Mary isn’t merely symbolic. She is us, the humanity of Jesus, and this not by man’s design, but by God’s. Mary has an active function within the plan of salvation. Anyone who excises Mary out of his piety inevitably fails to see Jesus as He really is. Christianity has an essential Marian component to it. That component cannot be removed without altering the essential nature of Christianity. Mary brings us Christ, in an active, not a merely symbolic or passive sense. When we point to Mary, she points to Jesus, and takes us to Him directly, perfectly, fully. We cannot know the God-Man without knowing the human, and the human is Mary.
I don’t know, but I don’t read Christianity Today since about 25 years ago, during my conversion process to Catholicism. I wrote what I considered to be a very well-reasoned letter to the editor regarding some article that had appeared in the magazine. The editor cut and rearranged my letter so that it said something entirely different, and something rather disparaging, than I had intended. I considered that to be dishonest and still do. They lost a subscriber, me, and I don’t bother reading any of their trash anymore.
WOW I think this is very encourging to Catholics who have been ridiculed and judged for Centuries for their respect for the Mother of God. In my mind this only gives more reson to trust in Catholic theology becasue it shows the constancy we have in regards to our dogmas. We do not just start doing something because it becomes in voge. The fact that protestants are beging to see marys role is a big blow to the reformation as one of its cardinal complates about the Cathoic Church. So now they will find something else to complain about. Jesus said himself he came to earth for a unified single church not many. Unity should be very important however with out compromising Truth. But can Truth be compromised I say no but the Holy Spirt will guide us to do what is right. This is even more strongly testified in the fact the the early Christans and Orthodox Church understand her role.
Well, I suppose she would say it because I doubt she knew that she was the Immaculate Conception. She knew what her role was to be, but I doubt that she had much theological understanding of the issues involved. She was pretty young you know.
Presumably she would know, however, whether she was without sin or not.
I don’t know that she would or not. many people feel that thae are without sin when they actually commit quite a few. I would assume the reverse could also be true. Someone truly sinless would probably feel as though they were sinners because their piety runs so deep.
I also doubt that Mary would have had any idea that she was born without the stain of Original Sin.
Do you care to elaborate, or do you just like slinging insults around?
You can read what’s already been said here in this very thread. I don’t think the article is utter garbage, but like you said:
I pulled a St. Paul. Sorry.