Trying to answer objection to Marian dogma

As we all know, some Christians object to the Catholic Church’s proposed dogma that Mary is the Mediatrix of All Graces based on I Timothy 2:5, since they claim that any mediation that is not personally that of Christ is in competition with and in opposition to that of Christ.

However, I think I see a new apologetic angle. According to Hebrews 12:24, Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant, whereas according to the traditional title, Mary’s role as mediatrix is limited to all graces.
The following link gives a scriptural defense, listed in Objection 3, that Jesus allows for subordinate mediation that cooperates with His mediation, and that such mediation is not in competition or opposition to His. fifthmariandogma.com/resources/booklets/a-response-to-7-common-objections-part-i/
Since grace is only a subset of the New Covenant, Mary’s mediation in the order of grace is subordinate to Jesus’s mediation of all aspects of the New Covenant. Since it is subordinate mediation, it is not in competition or opposition to that of Christ.

QED.

My question, especially for any philosophers out there, is the following; is this line of reasoning valid, and is this argument useful for apologetics? If so, maybe it should be emailed to the Vatican as part of a petition for the fifth Marian dogma.

I’m not sure you could defend that thesis. Grace is the operative agent of he New Covenant. You can’t have one without the other. I’m not comfortable (logically) with the idea that Grace is a subset.

But, even if you could defend it, I think the argument itself lends credence to the notion that Mary’s intercession somehow diminishes Jesus’. If we accept the subset idea then all you do is redirect the objection somewhere else (to the operative agent of the Covenant), and it makes it look like you are saying, “Look, Mary is in control, but only of a subset.”

And, besides, you are defending something the Church doesn’t actually teach, nor is likely to within our lifetimes.

I’ll admit I wasn’t aware of that, but I think it still holds since a set can be a subset of itself.
Out of curiosity, I’m new to apologetics, and I was wondering where the idea comes from that grace is the operative agent of the New Covenant.

And, besides, you are defending something the Church doesn’t actually teach, nor is likely to within our lifetimes.

CCC 969 says:
“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation… Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”

It’s already taught, it just hasn’t been formally defined.

“Christ redeemed us, but it is in God’s plan that the application to individual souls of the Redemption Christ won should be by fellow members of the race; that we are not meant to be only recipients of redemption, still less spectators and no more; we are all called to be stewards in the dispensing of graces. The principal ways for every one of us are love, prayer, suffering.”

“None of these things would be of any effect if Christ had not died for us; but in union with his redemptive act they are of immense power. From the beginning of the Christian Church, their effect is taken for granted. Thus St. Paul can tell his converts to pray for others precisely because there is one Mediator between God and man(ITim 2:5). In other words the fact that Our Lord is Mediator does not make our prayer for one another unnecessary; it makes it effective.”

“Everyone’s prayers can help others, but the holier, the more. With Christ and in Christ we are all called upon to take a part in redeeming others. All are meant to take a part in his redeeming works, but Mary above all; for she was sinless, she was wholly love, she suffered supremely.”

“…she is the first steward in the dispensing of graces.”

Theology for Beginners by E.F. Sheed P 132

For futher study on Mary mediatrix of all graces, refer to the following sites:
tldm.org/news5/mediatrix1.htm
ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marya4.htm

It can not be stressed enough, that according to CATHOLIC DOGMA, Jesus Christ is our ONE mediator before God. There is no other.

When we say that the Virgin Mary is the mediatrix of grace, we are NOT saying she is OUR mediator before GOD. We are saying that she mediates the ocean of grace won for us by Jesus Christ our ONE mediator before God. It does not diminish the mediation of Jesus Christ because he invites us (and especially HIS mother) to participate WITH HIM in His Saving Work. St. Paul preaches this in Col 1:24 :slight_smile:

Not so. There is no such dogma. Moses was a mediator between God and man.

A mediator is a go-between, one who brings two separated parties to agreement. Moses went up and down the mountain at least five times, bringing God’s proposals to the Hebrews and their response back to God until there was agreement. In fact, the NAB uses the heading “Moses Accepted as Mediator” before Exodus 20:18.

**Now when all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.” ** (Exodus 20:18-19)

There are many mediators between God and man in the Bible. Jesus however, is the one perfect mediator between God and man because Jesus is both God and man. That is what Paul is saying.

[INDENT]For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5)[/INDENT]

Paul is talking about the one perfect mediation between God and man by the one God who is also man.

-Tim-

Why in the world would you want to add a new dogma in 2014?

This is true. The set of even numbers less than 10 is a subset of the set of even numbers. But the nature of both sets is identical (even numbers). You are positing the idea that the set of graces is a subset of the set of the New Covenant. These sets do not share a common nature. Can you give me an obvious example of a set which is a subset of itself, while not sharing a common nature? I can think of many examples which are coincidental, but none that are logically rigorous (meaning it is impossible to contrive an exception).

And, even if you can, you weaken your argument. Opponents would say, “well, you admit it’s really the same thing. You say tomato, I say tomahoto”

Out of curiosity, I’m new to apologetics, and I was wondering where the idea comes from that grace is the operative agent of the New Covenant.

We are saved (ordinarily) by the Grace of Christian Baptism. We might forfeit this Grace through mortal sin, but can be restored to Grace through Sacramental Confession. This is the Catholic economy of salvation.

We are saved by Grace. If we had the New Covenant, but no Grace, nobody would be saved.

Grace, in this context, is strongly analogous to the Holy Spirit.

CCC 969 says:
“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation… Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”

It’s already taught, it just hasn’t been formally defined.

It has been taught that Mary is a mediator (just like every Saint, though Mary is the most effective mediator), but the idea of “Mediatrix of all graces,” as proposed by its proponents, has not been taught or defined.

And, from what I’ve gleaned from Catholic press, the idea has been effectively tabled (just as Immaculate Conception was tabled for centuries).

[quote=TimothyH]Not so. There is no such dogma.
[/quote]

Council of Trent; Session 5, 1st decree:

If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,–which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propogation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, --is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood, made unto us justice, santification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the form of the church; let him be anathema: For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. Whence that voice; Behold the lamb of God behold him who taketh away the sins of the world; and that other; As many as have been baptized, have put on Christ.

Tho I appreciate what you said, and agree, the church contains all truth revealed within herself. And tho it may seem that the church defines a new teaching, it is a teaching already present to the church that is defined and refined so that we can understand better what mysteries God has revealed.

Something similar happens in our own schools, for instance math. Higher math is based on lower math and is a greater and fuller use of it. In like manner, our truths have all been revealed, but not refined and expounded to their fullest meaning which happens over time thru prayer and study.

So what looks new is old but better understood and expounded.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

You are reading what you cited incorrectly. Merit and reconciliation is the subject of your citation, not mediation.

Moses was a mediator between God and man. The Bible makes that clear. The declaration of a council doesn’t change that.

Again, Jesus is the ***one perfec***t mediator between God and man because he is both God and man. That’s what the Letter to the Hebrews is all about.

-Tim-

Mary as Mediatrix Proved From Scripture

The Catholic Church recognizes Mary’s role in salvation history and invokes her under the title of Mediatrix. However, many people struggle to understand how Mary can have this role which they reserve for Christ alone, and they cite the following verses in support of their position:

1 Timothy 2:5-6
5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.

Hebrews 7:24-25
because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

In the passage from Hebrews, we see that Jesus “always lives to intercede” for “those who come to God through him.” This is significant: the role of the mediator and the intercessor are synonymous; a mediator lives to intercede for others.

All Christians are called to be mediators or intercessors for one another because we are all members of Christ’s body as we see from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

Ephesians 1:22-23
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

Paul referred to himself as a co-laborer with Christ when he wrote:

1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are God’s fellow workers.

Paul went further in his understanding of our responsibility as co-laborers with Christ when when he wrote:

Colossians 1:24
Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

Is anything lacking from the perfect sacrifice that Christ offered upon the Cross? Paul clearly indicates that more is to be done and that he makes up what is “still lacking” in his own flesh.

2 Corinthians 1:6
If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation

Additionally, we know that we are called to share in the priesthood of all believers (cf. 1 Peter 2:5-9), and a priest, by definition, is called to be a mediator between God and men. Each of us is called to this role and to be a mediator or mediatrix for others before God.

Therefore, if we are all called to this role of mediator and intercessor for one another, how much more can this be said of Mary who said, “Yes” to God and brought Christ into the world?

Speaking of this, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

967 By her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity. Thus she is a “preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church”; indeed, she is the “exemplary realization” (typus) of the Church.

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”

969 “This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”

970 “Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it.” “No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.”

Thanks Randy for the CCC quote:

970 “Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it.” “No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.

I think the CCC clarifies the matter well. :slight_smile:

CCC970 only says that Christ’s mediation is unique. Christ’s mediation between God and man is unique in that Christ is both God and man.

CCC970 does not deny that Moses was a mediator, nor can it, because it is fact. You haven’t addressed the fact that Moses was a mediator between God and man.

The NAB at the USCCB website even has the heading “Moses Accepted as Mediator” above Exodus 20:18.

usccb.org/bible/exodus/20

-Tim-

I think you are making the same point that I made in my post above.

What you are quoting is that Moses was accepted as mediator for the Israelites while he was alive, not all of mankind.

The dogma of the Catholic Church is that Jesus Christ is THE ONE mediator for ALL of humanity, from the time of Adam and Eve until the end of time.

That is why Christians say Jesus is THE ONE mediator. There is NO OTHER beside him. All of humanity is mediated by Jesus Christ before God. This is one of the foundational doctrines of ALL Christianity.

There are ways, in the Christian dispensation of grace, that Jesus Christ invites all of us to mediate for one another, IN and THROUGH HIS mediation. That is why we can say that the Virgin Mary is the Mediatrix of Grace.

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