Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Mother of God
Catholic Exchange ^ | December 30, 2003 | Grace MacKinnon

Posted on 12/30/2003 4:56:12 AM PST by Desdemona

Dear Grace, Why do Catholics call Mary the “Mother of God"? Was she not created by God? Does this title mean that she existed before God?

It is so good that you desire to understand the Church’s teaching about Mary, the one through whom Christ our Savior came into the world. New Year’s Day is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the divine motherhood of Mary, which is based on the teaching of the Gospels, on the writings of the early Fathers, and on the express definition of the Church. It is a beautiful title for Mary. What many do not realize is that this is a name that Christians have been using in reference to her for almost seventeen centuries. In order to understand how we can call Mary the Mother of God, we must first realize and accept the fact that our faith is grounded in mystery. There is much we do not fully understand now, but one day we will. That which we do understand, however, comes to us from what God has revealed.

The Bible tells us that Mary "brought forth her first-born son" and that He was called Jesus (Matthew 1:25). We also read in the Gospel of John that Jesus is the Word made flesh. The Word, Who was God, assumed human nature in the womb of Mary (John 1:15). We are referring here to the mystery of the Incarnation, the Word becoming flesh. Jesus Christ (the Second person of the Holy Trinity, one in being with the Father) entered this world, taking on human flesh and a human soul. Jesus is true God and true man. Because we believe that Mary was truly the mother of Jesus, and that Jesus was truly God from the first moment of His conception, then it makes perfect sense that Mary is truly the Mother of God.

We must be careful and make clear that we are not saying that Mary created the divine person of Jesus. Mary gave birth to Jesus, the God-Man. When God “assumed” or “took on” a human nature, it was the result of His perfect will to do so. He chose to be born of her. Therefore, it cannot be said that Mary created God or that she existed before God. We simply mean that a woman is considered a man’s mother when she has conceived and given birth to him. St. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, who defended this teaching, stated that "it was not that an ordinary man was born first of the Holy Virgin, on whom afterwards the Word descended. What we say is that, being united with the flesh from the womb, (the Word) has undergone birth in the flesh, making the birth in the flesh His own...." Therefore, the Blessed Virgin Mary is rightly called Mother of God (Theotokos).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; General Discusssion; History; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: mary; motherofgod

1 posted on 12/30/2003 4:56:13 AM PST by Desdemona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NYer; Salvation; Catholicguy; ninenot; BlackElk; B-Chan; ArrogantBustard; Barnacle; saradippity
ping

I thought this was a good explaination.
2 posted on 12/30/2003 4:58:18 AM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ on-line! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
Thank you so much. It must be at LEAST 20 minutes since someone posted a good explanation of the mary myth.
3 posted on 12/30/2003 6:30:25 AM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DManA
I guess you skipped the line that said that this was all a mystery.
4 posted on 12/30/2003 8:07:49 AM PST by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ on-line! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DManA
Is someone forcing you to click on these threads? Tap once on your computer monitor for yes and twice for no...
5 posted on 12/30/2003 8:36:22 AM PST by conservonator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: conservonator
Is someone forcing you to read my posts? Say one "Hail Mary" for yes and two for no...
6 posted on 12/30/2003 9:26:43 AM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DManA
Is someone forcing you to read my posts? Say one "Hail Mary" for yes and two for no...

I wasn't the one whining about threads I find annoying. And in fact, yes, at some level you are forcing me to read your “inspired” posts by posting to threads I have an interest in.

7 posted on 12/30/2003 9:36:02 AM PST by conservonator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: conservonator
Well you certainly are now.

I wasn't the one whining

8 posted on 12/30/2003 9:40:30 AM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: DManA
Well you certainly are now.

No, I'm answering your posts. Your inability to discern the difference gives me a deeper understanding of your defective theology.

Here is a simple solution to your problem: if you see a thread you don’t have an interest in, don't participate.

You can thank me later.

9 posted on 12/30/2003 9:45:19 AM PST by conservonator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: conservonator
I'll post where ever I please - Thank you very much.
10 posted on 12/30/2003 10:19:31 AM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: DManA
I'll post where ever I please - Thank you very much.

It's a free country - You're welcome.

11 posted on 12/30/2003 10:21:29 AM PST by conservonator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: conservonator
Actually, it's a privately owned and run web site, but I take your meaning.
12 posted on 12/30/2003 10:49:23 AM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
January 1, 2004, Thursday, Feast of Mary, Mother of God -- 8th Day in the Octave of Christmas

Mary, Mother of God

In 1969, the feast of Mary, Mother of God (formerly celebrated on October 11) was transferred to January 1.

The celebration of Mary as “Mother God” is the oldest of all Marian celebrations, going back at least to the third century.

The title is familiar because it is part of the Hail Mary (“Holy Mary, mother of God…..”). But in the early 400s great controversy surrounded it. Some argued that Mary was the Mother of Christ, but calling her Mother of God was going too far.

The other side argued that Jesus is truly God, and in bearing Jesus, Mary bore God

The Council of Ephesus in 431 resolved the matter, affirming that Mary is truly “Mother of God.” The documents of the council were in Greek, and the term used for Mary was “theotokos” which means “God-bearer.”

Happy New Year to All!

13 posted on 01/01/2004 11:35:54 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Problem is, mother is an inadequate word to describe Mary's relationship to Jesus. No other birth in history happened without a father. Plus, I think a fairly good case could be made that Jesus had NONE of Mary's genetic material. In one way she was His mother ( she carried Him in her womb ) but in many other ways she was NOT his mother. I think a new term altogether would be appropriate. How about God bearer.
14 posted on 01/01/2004 12:46:33 PM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
Elizabeth called Mary "the Mother of my Lord."
15 posted on 01/01/2004 12:48:07 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DManA
No other birth in history happened without a father.

That's an interesting take on it.

The Buddha was born of the virgin Maya according to Buddhist texts, predating Christianity's take on by around 500 years.

16 posted on 01/01/2004 12:49:23 PM PST by Pahuanui (When a foolish man hears of the Tao, he laughs out loud)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
Mary, the Mother of God, Early Church Fathers
17 posted on 01/01/2004 2:25:55 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
thank you for the link. few things are as refreshing to me as the logic of the Church.
18 posted on 01/01/2004 2:30:11 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: DManA

Apart from the fact that "genetic material," is a very ambiguous term, you ignore that the doctrine of the Incarnation says that Jesus is true God and true man and a Jewish man on top of it.


19 posted on 01/02/2005 4:56:21 PM PST by RobbyS (JMJ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS

Just curious. You are replying to a year old post. How did you find it?


20 posted on 01/02/2005 7:15:31 PM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: DManA

Just came up today.


21 posted on 01/02/2005 7:26:16 PM PST by RobbyS (JMJ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS

What do you mean - just came up? It was posted exactly one year ago.


22 posted on 01/02/2005 7:27:16 PM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: DManA

Someone posted it fresh today.


23 posted on 01/02/2005 7:55:46 PM PST by RobbyS (JMJ)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson