[quote=luvthelight]ok, im am running a bible study for fourth graders, and this week the student will read the story of samuel. in my supplement that i make for them to study with the passage, i connected the story to mary. im going to post it here, and i was just hoping that someone could give me some feedback to be sure it is all correct. thank you sooo much
Based on writing by Mary’s mother, Saint Anne, many believe that Mary as also given to serve the Lord in the temple. The outcome was different, however, because she was a female. When Mary was around 13, she would have had to go somewhere else to live, because adult women were believed to contaminate the temple. Joseph, an esteemed Jewish widow, was placed in charge of Mary, who was still only about 13. Jospeh was many years older than Mary, contrary to popular pictures of the Holy Family. This is probably why there is not mention of Joseph after the first years of Jesus’s life, he most likely had died. It is also why we call Mary Ever Virgin, and know that she dedicated her entire life to God.
Samuel’s story can teach us many things about listening to God’s call. Like Samuel, we might not recognize a call to be coming from God, and we might ignore it. We must also be listening, and remember that God is said to speak in a still small voice and think about the meaning of the expression you never know whenn the bum on the street is an angel sent by God.
You’re basing the details about Mary on a very unreliable source
The writing in question appears to be the “Protevangelium of James”, and is by someone who knew very little about the Temple, did not know the name of the high priest at the supposed time, & was ignorant of the geography of Palestine. It’s a pretty story, but there is no reason to think it has any basis in fact. Catholics never defend it by any other reasoning than that it honours Mary - as though the mother of God were honoured by what is not true; & as though good morals could not be found in fairy-tales.
There are good moral lessons in “The Hobbit” - that does not prove that Gandalf is an historical person. Maybe in 2400 there will be fierce disputes about the date of the destruction of much of New York by King Kong, and attempts to find the site of the Shire, & research into the processes by which the USS Enterprise was designed & built. These stories differ from the “Protevangelium of James” only in that the fiction of the PoJ seeks to honour a real person by inventing a fitting childhood for her; a chilhood as it might have been, not as it was. It’s a pious legend, with some nice ideas in it, which interpret the significance of Christ & Mary; but it’s not in any sense a life of Joseph or Mary.
As Leo XIII said, “God has no need of our lies” - about Mary, or anything else. The “Protevangelium of James” was condemned by a Roman council in 495. That did not affect its popularity. Like some other Christian Apocrypha, it has greatly influenced Christian Art.
The morals you draw are good ones - it’s the “Protevangelium of James” that is dodgy; it’s fine if one realises it is not what it claims to be. Your fourth-graders (like us) can profit from the moral lessons you find in it; but it’s not a good source for “what actually occurred”. The lessons you’ve drawn would not suffer if you kept to the OT reading, IMHO ##