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Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Four Words Meme

I'd like to thank Catholic Fire for tagging me for the Four Words Meme. She gave me the following words to reflect on: Meekness, Modesty, Miracles, and Mary.

Meekness: The Lord himself said, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the land". Meekness is a beautiful state in the eyes of God, and the only thing that truly matters is the way God sees us. Tomorrow, live your day each moment realizing that each fault you make is recorded by your guardian angel. St. John Vianney, I think, said that thought of his guardian angel inspired him to live each day to the best of his ability.

Modesty: It is a word often lacking in nearly all facets of society today. Modesty is a necessity for living the Christian lifesytle. We must follow the example of Our King, Jesus Christ, who was modest and pure. As He said, "Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God." And, purity is a sister to modesty. Without modesty, one falls prey to the attacks of the devil.

Miracles: They are often occuring in our word not just in Fatima and Lourdes but in the lives of ordinary people. And yet science and secular society call them by scientific terms. It's what they did when a heavenly light spread over Europe before the outbreak of WWII, which Mary said would be a sign of another war. Her words in Fatima were overlooked as scientists called it a massive aurora borealis. Miracles are beautiful and everywhere, but few people take time and look at them. Do you study the innocence and beautiful of human life in a child or the beauty of Creation? Those are miracles from God.

Mary: I could elaborate for hours on the great Mother of God. She is our guide and intercessor. As Jesus gave Mary to St. John while on the Cross, He also gave Mary as a mother to the entire Church; she is our mother too. And as a Mother, she cares deeply for our souls and wishes for us to stop sinning for our sins piereced the fragile body of her Son! She is beautiful, sinless in the Immaculate Conception, and she was Assumed into Heaven. May she intercede for all mankind! May all those that attack Mary repent for their horrible sins! (More information on Mary)

I choose the words: peace, perserverance, pride, power

I tag the following people but invite all blog readers to participate:
  1. Dymphna's Well
  2. Antonia's World
  3. WardWideWeb
  4. Irish and Dangerous


del_button October 17, 2006 at 5:16 PM
Esther said...

I like your answers. I've seen your comments before but this is my first time visiting your blog. Very nice!

del_button October 17, 2006 at 6:00 PM
Jason said...

Mary isn’t our guide and intercessor because the Bible never even begins to allude to this role for her.

What does intercessor mean anyhow? Someone who intercedes for another? Christ is our mediator, our link to God because Scripture says as such, so what need is there for two intercessors? How does she intercede and what does she accomplish that Christ can’t? Are two intercessors ever hinted at in the Bible?

Anyhow, I’m just following the example of Pope Gelasius and Pope Hormisdas. They were infallible right? You can't fault me for simply following infallible Church tradition by agreeing with these two infallible men. They no doubt thought the same thing I do: Worshipping Mary is idolatry. Plain and simple.

del_button October 17, 2006 at 7:28 PM
Moneybags said...

Worshipping Mary is idoaltry. Do I "worship" someone if I ask them to pray for me to God? No. Do I worship St. Patrick when I ask him to pray for me. No.

Mary is our spiritual mother given to the Church symbolically when Christ gave Mary to John, while on the Cross.

del_button October 17, 2006 at 10:41 PM
Jason said...

Here's a little trip down Worship Lane:

1. Does this sound familiar: "Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement! O loving! O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ." Right, this isn't worship, it's just a prayer.

2. Speaking about Mary, Pope Benedict XV said “..that we might rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ".

3. Pope Pius XII dedicated the entire human race to Mary in 1944.

4. Pope Pius IX said “The foundation of all our found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is his will, that we obtain everything through Mary.”

5. Mary is given the title "Queen" by Catholics.

6. About Mary, from the Catechism (966): "...and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things..."

7. About Mary, from the Catechism (971): "The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary."

8. About Hail Mary's, from the Catechism: "Most rightly has the Holy Church of God added to this thanksgiving, petition also and the invocation of the most holy Mother of God, thereby implying that we should piously and suppliantly have recourse to her in order that by her intercession she may reconcile God with us sinners and obtainfor us the blessing we need both for this present life and for the life which has no end."

10. Pope Gelasius and Pope Hormisdas certainly didn't pray to Mary. If you follow what the Church says "because they're right", then explain these two infallible but incorrect teachers.

10. Mary is "ever-virgin"? Huh?? Mat 1:25 "...but knew her not until she had borne a son;" In plain English: "Joseph did not have sex with Mary until after she gave birth to her first son." In plainer English, Joseph had sex with Mary after Jesus was born which means Mary isn't an 'ever-virgin'.

11. Mary is the Mother of the Church? The Book of Acts never says anything about Mary. It's this book alone which acts as our only historical record of how the Church was born. John (tsk tsk) doesn't even mention Mary in his epistles and then only twice in his gospel record.

12. The Catechism states that one of Mary's titles is "Mediatrix". In other words "a woman who mediates". However, there is only ONE mediator: 1 Timothy 2:5-6 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus:

13. Hebrews 4:1, 2 Corinthians 5:21 and 1 Peter 2:22 make it ABUNDANTLY clear that Jesus was sinless. NOTHING is written about a sinless Mary.

This isn't about simply praying to Mary. This is about full blown spiritual elevation of a human, mortal woman. It's just plain wrong.

Is any of this making sense??

del_button October 18, 2006 at 12:00 AM
Catholic Fire said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
del_button October 18, 2006 at 12:02 AM
Catholic Fire said...

Catholic Fire said...

I love your answers! You also did a fabulous job of selecting words for the meme. You're going to make a wonderful priest - especially if you model yourself after St. John Vianney.

I, too could write a book on Mary, our Mother and the Mother of God. It would take a book to respond to all of Jason's concerns above, but it's late and I need to retire soon. I will pray to our Mother for him.

In Jesus & Mary,

12:00 AM

del_button October 18, 2006 at 6:20 AM
Moneybags said...

You definitely must be using a different Bible, Jason. Mary remained ever-virgin before, during, and after Jesus's birth. She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth, a title given to Her by Our Lord. She did participate in the redemption of the human race.

Perhaps you should look over all of my articles on Mary for more answers. I disagree completely.

del_button October 18, 2006 at 9:21 AM
Jason said...

But an ever-virgin Mary and her titles and everything else you've elevated her to isn't FOUND in the Bible. The Catholic Church says as much. So it doesn't matter what Bible I'm using, if Scripture doesn't say Mary was assumed to heaven, then there can be no argument that says Scripture proves Mary was assumed to heaven. It's like arguing how many disciples there were.

Not found in the Bible: Mary remained ever-virgin before, during, and after Jesus's birth.

Not found in the Bible: She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth, a title given to Her by Our Lord.

Not found in the Bible: She did participate in the redemption of the human race.

I'm not saying this to be argumentative, I'm simply pointing out that these ideas are absent in the pages of Scripture.

del_button October 18, 2006 at 3:37 PM
Moneybags said...

Everything that is in the Bible is true. BUT NOT EVERYTHING IS IN THE BIBLE. The Bible was made by the Church! Everything the Church teaches (in dogmas) is true too!

You can't have personal interpretation of the Bible at all! We are to follow the Church's interpretation, which is guided by the Holy Spirit.

del_button October 18, 2006 at 4:49 PM
Jason said...

If the Church teaches concepts that contradict Scripture, then there's a problem. For example, we're told there's only one mediator: Christ. Mary therefore can't be a mediator. That's logic.

Mary and Joseph had sexual relations. Therefore, Mary isn't an 'ever-virgin'. That also is logic.

And if we're to follow the infallible position of the Church, then why isn't the Church, or you for that matter, following Pope Gelasius and Pope Hormisdas? On this point alone no one can be faulted for rejecting the dogma of a sinless Mary because Popes are infallible.

See, this isn't about personal interpretation. Our Bibles all say the same thing. Your Bible will tell you, quite clearly, that Christ is our intercessor. Your Bible goes on to say that we only have one intercessor. Now we have a Church teaching that says there are TWO intercessors. One of these authorities therefore has to be wrong because 2 will never equal 1. Which authority is making an incorrect claim: The Bible or the Church?

del_button October 18, 2006 at 4:54 PM
Moneybags said...

First, Mary isn't the Mediator. We call her the Co-redemptrix. She worked with the Mediator. She is not Jesus. Jesus saved the world, but her "yes" in the Annunciation made it possible.

But that issue isn't dogma. To be Catholic, you don't have to believe that. You do have to believe that Mary remained a virgin. It's clear that she did!

The Church fathers all believed this! I suggest this link:

I really suggest you research the Church's teachings more. Read WHY we believe what we believe.

Start with this:

I strongly suggest the book "Catholicism for Dummies"

del_button October 18, 2006 at 6:58 PM
Jason said...

You and Catechism have both used the term 'Mediatrix' to describe Mary. Since this word means "a female who mediates", then you're saying Mary is a mediator. One mediator, and that's Christ. Mary isn't Christ so Mary can't be mediator. Pope Gelasius and Pope Hormisdas agreed with this. Why don't you?

The link you sent wasn't particularly helpful because it didn't touch on Mat 1:25. Interesting. What's your response then to this verse? Is this verse not saying Joseph slept with Mary after the birth of Christ?

del_button October 18, 2006 at 7:26 PM
Moneybags said...

Mediatrix and Mediator are different.

Now, let's look at Mat 1:25 from the NAB: "He had no relations with her until she bore a son, 12 and he named him Jesus."

Footnote 12: Until she bore a son: the evangelist is concerned to emphasize that Joseph was not responsible for the conception of Jesus. The Greek word translated "until" does not imply normal marital conduct after Jesus' birth, nor does it exclude it.

Mary, as the Church has dogmatically defined, was an Ever-virgin. Period.

I am not familiar with those two popes. What did they believe? Please provide sources.

del_button October 18, 2006 at 11:21 PM
Jason said...

Mediatress \Me`di*a"tress\, Mediatrix \Me`di*a*"trix\, n. [L.
mediatrix, f. of mediator: cf. F. m['e]diatrice.]
A female mediator.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Mediator and mediatrix mean the same thing. And so back we go to 1 Timothy 2. There is only ONE mediator.

Gelasius I (492–496) "is the first pope to have been called ‘Vicar of Christ.’"

Hormisdas - This able and sagacious pontiff belonged to a wealthy and honourable family of Frosinone (Frusino) in the Campagna di Roma (Latium).

This would probably be of some help:

Matthew says Joseph didn't have sexual relations with his wife "until" the birth of Jesus. What other possible meanings, in this context, could "until" have?

del_button October 19, 2006 at 1:29 AM
Deanna said...


I'm not trying to oversimplify these issues. Frankly, I struggled a lot with this very thing – the “whole Mary thing”. As I sought God in it and He gave me understanding in some areas, I’ve had to trust Him in the things I didn’t yet understand along the way. Do I pray the Rosary faithfully? No. Do I always pray to Mary first before praying directly to Jesus? No. Does that make me a bad Christian or a bad Catholic? No. This is where I am right now and I think God understands that and meets me here, because the bottom line is that I am seeking Him.

Honoring Mary isn’t the same as worshiping Mary. I honor my parents, I do not worship them. In order to have a clearer understanding of anything you have to look at the full picture. You have to take into consideration other early church documents, church tradition and also the culture at that time. The role of the king’s mother during that time period is definitely something to be considered since it was more often the king’s mother who was named queen…not his wife. At what point this tradition ended I'm not sure but it’s definitely something to consider, in my opinion.

The bond between a mother and child is something that is not easily explained. We have to remember that Jesus wasn’t half man / half God…He was FULLY man and FULLY God. So His relationship with His mother was just as fully human as our relationships with our mothers but His was also fully a relationship between Mary and God. My mother and father, together, contributed to give me….my body, basically. God is the one who gave me my soul. I honor my mother (and my father) not because they gave me my soul but because they are genetically my parents, because they contributed the DNA but also because they cooperated in nurturing that soul, pointing me toward Christ.

What would be wrong with honoring Mary. She did not contribute to the divinity of Jesus. She was the tabernacle, if you will, of our Lord. Mary was a creation of the Creator, she did not contribute anything toward His divinity but she did contribute toward His human nature. Wouldn’t that be worthy of honor just as we honor our own mothers?

As to the perpetual virginity of Mary, the word brother (of Jesus) in Matthew 13 is a word that was used for pretty much any close relative. In the circumstance of Christ’s death when He gave Mary to John to care for, which he did, this would have been such a HUGE affront to His brother if He’d had one. The responsibility of taking care of parents, particularly mothers, in this culture was very well established and something that was taken very seriously. Her care would have and should have been entrusted to the siblings, if there were none then it was acceptable to “give” the parent to a close friend who would accept the responsibility with the same commitment that a sibling would have. I know that Jesus did not always go about things in the normal or expected way. But in this I have to believe that if He’d had brothers He would not have dishonored them and taken from them what was considered to be a right and a privilege.

I don’t have all the answers, heck I don’t really even have a handful of them on most Catholic issues and I trust that if I’ve gone far off base here that someone more knowledgeable will let me know  I believe this is the point, this is the bottom line…would it not be possible for God to make Mary sinless? Would it not be possible for Him to want us to show honor to Her especially considering He asks us to honor our own mothers? I’d like to caution you to not box God in to something that you can wrap your mind around. That’d be a pretty small God don’t you think?
EEEK I did not intend for this to be so long – hopefully it will be of some help to you though.

del_button October 19, 2006 at 5:44 AM
Moneybags said...

I already posted the footnote on Mat. 1:25 from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which states that "until" does not imply that she ever had sexual relations.

del_button October 19, 2006 at 11:00 AM
Jason said...

Hi Deanna,

Thanks for your post.

I understand that the line between worship and honouring is a fine one. I don’t worship my parents either, but then again, I don’t consider them to be co-redeemers with Christ. In my opinion, the attention heaped upon Mary has overstepped the line into worship. If we consider someone to have redeemed mankind and view them as ‘Co-Redemptrix’ and ‘Queen’ and ‘Mother of the Church’, these aren’t insignificant titles! We certainly wouldn’t use them on our parents! More concerning, Mary has been spiritually elevated in the absence of all reasoning and proof. Every single one of our beliefs should have its root in Scripture because we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Scripture is true. Now, if Mary is so important to our salvation, why wasn’t she so important to the salvation of the 1st century church as to warrant at least SOME reference after Acts? This is what I get stuck on. Why is there no reference to Mary being a vital part of our spiritual lives? Even the Catholic Church considered it heretical to worship Mary up until the 4th century or so (something no one seems to consider note-worthy). So from the time of Adam to 400a.d.’ish, let’s say it’s a span of 4000 years or so, there’s complete silence about Mary being a ‘Queen’ or ‘mediatrix’ or co-redeemer. Isn’t that odd?

What’s wrong with honouring Mary? Hm. Would you agree that we can do no wrong if we follow Christ and follow his example? In Luke 11, Christ refuses to allow his mother to be exalted by the people. Luk 11:27-28 “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” So if Christ prevented the people from honouring Mary, what makes it okay to do it now?

About the Mary being an ‘ever-virgin’, I’ll have to keep going back to Mat 1:24 until it’s put to rest. Joseph didn’t “know” (have sex with) Mary until after Christ was born. This is what the verse reads. In addition, I think the gospel accounts are clear: Jesus had brothers and sisters. “And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hatch this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” Matthew 13:55-56; John 2:12; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; and Galatians 1:19 all point toward the same conclusion. Granted that the Greek word for “brother” can mean something other than a family member but the questions asked in Matthew 13 were posed by Jews in or near to the hometown of Christ. These were people who would have known the family connection and family history. They're astonished that such a man from such a family could do such amazing things (it hearkens back to David being chosen from his brothers to be king). Matthew 12 seems to put the matter to rest. The crowd tells Jesus that his mother and brothers wanted to speak him. Jesus though, says “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!” It was a clash of literal and spiritual families. Jesus’ real mother and real brothers on one side, his spiritual mother and spiritual brothers (symbolized by the disciples), on the other.

I agree with your bottom line: God could make Mary sinless because God can do anything. But God could have made us with two heads and nine arms. Anything’s possible but that doesn’t mean it’s an option to consider. And yes, it is possible He would want us to show honour to Mary if she’s our spiritual mother. But consider, are children ever asked to pray to their mothers?

God tells us there are 12 disciples. If I were to tell you one isn't mentioned in the Bible and that there were actually 13 and then accuse you of not having faith when you didn’t believe me, how would you feel? This isn’t about being able to wrap my mind around God. This is about using Scripture, as we’re instructed, to find the truth and it’s appalling that people consider this to be harmful. If blind faith is reason enough to worship Mary, don’t you wonder what you’re missing by not looking around?

del_button October 19, 2006 at 11:01 AM
Jason said...

Mat 1:25. What else could "until" imply?

del_button October 23, 2006 at 10:14 PM
The Epiphany Artist said...

The Bible we see today is a translation from Hebrew, Greek is a website that will clear up what "until" means -- actually what it is --a clearer meaning of the word from what today's Bibles have been translated FROM.
Also : Hail Mary Full of Grace
(said by the angel to Mary...)
Grace means:
grace (grās)
Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.
A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.
A sense of fitness or propriety.

A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.
Mercy; clemency.
A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence.
A temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.
Graces Greek & Roman Mythology. Three sister goddesses, known in Greek mythology as Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, who dispense charm and beauty.

*****Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people.
The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God.
An excellence or power granted by God.*******

Jason look deeper - you are getting there ;) God Bless

del_button October 25, 2006 at 10:28 AM
Jason said...


That website didn’t really help. Thanks though. Okay, maybe instead of everyone constantly referring to outside sources, let’s just look at the evidence in Scripture. Look at the first bunch of "until" usages in the NT:

Mat 1:17 “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations;”

Mat 2:13 "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word:"

Mat 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."

Mat 11:13 "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John."

Mat 17:9 "And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead."

Mat 18:30 "And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay the debt."

I don’t know how anyone could look at these verses and think the future has been left entirely aside.

The Greek word for “until” occurs 148 times. I would be willing to guess that every single reference to “until”, when dealing with a specific event, leaves no doubt about when the event will be accomplished or completed. Joseph and Mary are no different. They had sex after the birth of Jesus. This isn’t shocking or inappropriate. They were married, husband and wife, and once the miraculous birth of Christ was completed, they were going to do things husband and wives do because the virgin birth miracle was over. I’m amused at all the hoopla surrounding this because, really, what’s the big deal? Oh...the Church has declared Mary to be ever-virgin. So because there’s no Scriptural support for this audacious claim, the task now turns to debunking and casting doubt on verses that clearly show Mary a) had sexual relations with her husband, and b) had a family consisting of sons and daughters.

Hail Mary full of grace has already been looked at in another post. It appears in the Vulgate only and none of the Greek translations (KJV, NIV, RSV, etc.), which instead read “highly favoured” (Greek: kexaritomena).

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