The Bible and the Virgin


#1

In discussions with Christians from the Reformation traditions they usually say “Of course we honour Mary but…” Trouble is I don’t see how they honour Mary or when they do it. Apart from a few Lutherans or Anglicans Protestant Christians practically never mention our Lady except when in argument with Catholics. So I’ve written a blog looking at the explicit references to Mary in the New Testament showing from Scripture why Christians should honour her even if they don’t share Catholic beliefs about her role in the Communion of Saints and the economy of Salvation.

The Bible and the Virgin- Part 1

This is how I conclude-

From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me Luke 1:48-49 NIV Our Lady prophetically foretells that until the end of time all generations will call her blessed. Those who do not do so are clearly resisting the Spirit and paying little heed to the plain sense of Scripture. She also tells us why all generations will do this, because the Mighty One has done great things for her. That is, we cannot think of the blessedness of Mary without thinking of the Divine One who blessed her. Those Reformation Christians who fear that giving praise to Mary means robbing praise from God have turned a both/and gift from God’s bounty in an either/or choice which smacks of over scrupulousness on their part. Catholics do not fear to praise those to whom praise is due because we know that this praise is only due and can only be due because they have been richly gifted by God who is the source of all good in heaven and on earth.


#2

http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon14.gif Thanks. I enjoyed it.
John


#3

Very well said.


#4

I read it and I loved it! You made excellent points! I too write about the Blessed Virgin but most of my writings in my blog are about Our Lady of Guadalupe and how she is closely connected with Holy Scripture. They are in Spanish, so I will be more than happy to share them with you if you can understand Spanish :). But your blog, it was amazing! I could not stop reading. I can’t wait to read part II.


#5

Thanks everybody for the great response. Glad you liked it. Sorry, Miguelmdza I don’t understand Spanish but thanks for the offer.


#6

#7

Ok, I don’t know what you are trying to say here? How do you KNOW what others do to honor Mary?

Everyone gets so up in arms that Catholics to NOT worship Mary, just because they are seen praying the rosary or kneeling in front of a statue.

So what makes you think that others do not??? Just because they don’t do the SAME things as you? Or don’t do them publicly, or verbally state it all the time? How do you know what is in their hearts?

What would be the MINIMUM required of someone for you to say that they honor Mary? And who gave you the authority to decide?

By the way, since there is NO church requirement to pray the rosary, nor ask Mary to intercede, why is this an issue?


#8

Mary is not optional.

God gave us the most perfect and beautiful plan for our salvation. If there were a more perfect and more beautiful plan for our salvation then God would have given it to us. We cannot ignore part of that plan.

The saints, prayer, the Church, Mary, the Old Testament prophets, the sacraments, good works, faith, Scripture… none of it is optional. Just because the Church does not explicitly state that we must recite the rosary or ask for Mary’s intercession doesn’t mean that it is optional.

The entire history of Christendom testifies to the efficacy of the Rosary and Mary’s intercession. To ignore these is to ignore a whole drawer full of tools in the toolbox.

-Tim-


#9

Well, isn’t that the very definition of OPTIONAL? If it is NOT REQUIRED?

The church only states Mary is to be honored… NOT HOW IT MUST BE DONE. They are SUGGESTIONS.

I have heard people find scapulars useful also… NOT REQUIRED… otherwise there would be many faithful Catholics in ERROR.

OK, So Please show me where it is REQUIRED to say the rosary and to pray for intercession, since you state it is not OPTIONAL. I also would like to know what the requirements are? How long must I pray the rosary? How many days per week? If it is an obligation, I am sure the church has let the faithful know.


#10

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Scapular’s are not only useful but much favored by Immaculata. Peace to your restless heart me brother and rejoice in Jesus our savior, Alleluia!
The more you pray the Most Holy Rosary to our Blessed Mother, the more you fall in love with this devotion and to expand upon it, of the glory of Christ. Amen. Allleluia…


#11

I know, people really like certain devotions. But that is the important part, one person may be totally into the rosary, and another into scapulars and another into something else. The important part is that it is not one size fits all, people are different and identify with different practices.

I have mine, and I’m totally good. What works for one, may not be the “best” fit for another, and for numerous reasons.

I have heard… yeah but it could be better if…

Well, all I can say is I am a work in progress. Thank you for the advice, and I will certainly ponder it.


#12

In my post I point out that in the many books, blogs, songs and sermons by Protestant Christians Mary is hardly mentioned. I might add that I was raised a Protestant in a Protestant country and barely heard Mary referred to. Why is this an issue? Well Protestant Christians will say when talking with Catholics ‘of course we honour Mary’ but I see no evidence that they do.

My blog doesn’t look at the issue of the rosary or any of the Catholic doctrines about Mary which Reformation Christians object too. I’m simply going through those verses in the Bible which show clearly why Christians have the duty and great privilege of giving honour and praise to Mary. On the basis of Scripture Alone I am suggesting that Christians who ignore our Lady are defying the clear sense and literal meaning of the Word of God.


#13

I understand. My original point was that you stated that you see no evidence of this. Do you need to?

I understand SOME protestant denominations may not mention Mary. However, some like me come from a very traditional background where more emphasis is placed on her. I have heard my pastor give entire sermons on her as well as some of the apostles. (I have also been to Catholic services where her name was only mentioned once the whole time.)

I think it is much harder for someone like me to put into words HOW exactly we honor Mary. No I don’t say the rosary nor pray for her intercession. However I do have a very BIG respect for her and ponder her life often. I also discuss her in my prayers with Jesus… and believe it or not have prayed fervently for guidance with this issue… if I am not giving her enough attention… if I should be asking for her intercession.

I don’t feel I have yet had an answer… so I will wait.

So I don’t feel that I have to “officially” start a dialogue with “Dear Mary”, nor do I need to talk out loud, or on my knees etc. Most of my pondering and dialogue about her occurs in my head, and it is very hard to explain. I guess I would say that it is more like meditating on a certain part of the story without saying the rosary. (Usually ends with me coming to the conclusion that she was so extraordinary to have gone through both the joy and the pain involved that I am in awe of her). Does that make any sense?


#14

Catholics are required to attend Mass on the feasts of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception.

OK, So Please show me where it is REQUIRED to say the rosary and to pray for intercession, since you state it is not OPTIONAL. I also would like to know what the requirements are? How long must I pray the rosary? How many days per week? If it is an obligation, I am sure the church has let the faithful know.

You rightly point out that the rosary, scapulars, etc. are optional devotions to the Blessed Virgin. However, the intercession of Mary is invoked several times in the Mass and in the liturgy of the hours. Fact is, devotion to Mary is an essential part of Catholic life.


#15

Hockeygurl I did say in my OP that some Lutherans do honour the Blessed Virgin and I see that you are from a Lutheran background. I don’t deny that there are Protestants who do this I merely suggest that there are many others who shy away from doing so for reasons that have little to do with Scripture.


#16

I am sure about a couple things about Mary: she never said the rosary and she never prayed to herself.

The ‘big’ lesson about Mary is to listen to what she said: “do whatever he tells you.”

The Church has warned against excess devotion to Mary.

I was never close to my mother, because she pushed me away. I don’t remember any time that she hugged me or kissed me, in my life. So, the transference from my mother to the Blessed Virgin is minimal to nothing. My mother recognized an incestuous desire in herself for me, and I recognized it, too.

For her part, she grew up in a rough and tumble family and she was emotionally distant, to say the least.

If Mary is my mother, in faith, then I feel she should already be praying for me in full accord with her character and reputation, without the need for me to do anything to obtain her attention or intercession. Is it some kind of spiritual blackmail, that Mary won’t intercede for me unless I have “devotion” to her? This has never been explained.

It’s always explained by people who already have a strong devotion to Mary, perhaps even a subliminal sexual attachment to her, or alternately, women who have some explicit spiritual pride that Mary was a woman

Today, virginity is laughed at, at least in Western cultures. It is curious how this biological fact seems to acquire an enormous moral overtone.

Mary’s perpetual virginity has implications for verifying who Jesus was, according to the prophecy of Isaiah. That certainly doesn’t translate into a recommendation that all men and women maintain virginity throughout their lives.

Chastity and virginity are hardly recognized with any importance in popular culture. Their significance in religious spirituality needs to be updated. Back in Genesis, God said it was not good for man to be alone and God gave Adam and Eve the command to be fertile and to procreate. The LORD seemed to have a special purpose in his plan for women who were barren


#17

The Church has also warned against Marian “minimalism.”


#18

As a protestant before, I was in RCIA. I was told, “If you don’t have a reason to pray to a saint, then don’t.” I was thinking, “oh, okay. I guess that settles that.” But even now, as I mature in the Catholic faith, it’s more than obvious that we are a family no matter how high or low, all one family and community. Since we ask friends and family to pray for us here on earth, why not in heaven? In Revelations they are even mentioned praying, and not for themselves because they are already in heaven - they are praying for us then. The division I had between this earth and heaven are long gone. Protestantism, to me, was all about “me and Jesus” but it excluded community, and now as a Catholic it’s a community and more. It’s a family praying for each other. What is there not to love about that? Peace in your journey.


#19

Some Catholics don’t realize this but we don’t need to invoke our Lady, she is already interceding for us. So, don’t worry about it.
But the more we do, the more Grace’s we receive from God through her every time we ask in confidence.
When Saint Catherine Labouré asked her why some of her rings did not shed light, Mary replied, “Those are the graces for which people forget to ask.”
Immaculata designed a medal she said to wear around your neck.
And us poor sinners devoted to her brown scapular are required to to pray for her intercession every day. Nobody is placing Mary above her Son. Please stop this foolishness. Read Genesis in the Word of God…
“The Immaculata alone has from God the promise of victory over Satan.”
-Saint Maximlian Kolbe
+
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Heart of my Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, I unite to thy purity, thy sanctity, thy zeal and thy love, all my thoughts, words, acts, and sufferings this day, that there may be nothing in me that does not become through thee, a pleasure to Jesus, a gain to souls, and an act of reparation for the offenses against thy Heart. Amen. Alleluia.


#20

Part Two is now out. This looks at the Nativity, the Presentation in the Temple and the Magi. My conclusion goes like this-

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him
Matthew 2:11 (NIV)

This refers to the visit of the Magi. It might be considered that it is simply recording a fact and that Mary’s presence is an incidental detail. However, it is recorded not that the Magi saw Jesus alone nor that they saw Him with St Joseph but that they saw Him with Mary. Seeing Jesus with Mary they worshipped Jesus. This is a clear sign surely that the presence of our Lady does not in any way detract from the glory of God. We can give Mary honour and God glory and it robs God of nothing to honour Mary as it robs Mary of nothing to worship God. What the Magi were able to do these two thousand years and more ago surely Christians can still do today.


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