Skip to comments.Mary, Mother of God
Posted on 01/01/2007 3:34:16 PM PST by Salvation
Other Articles by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
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|Mary, Mother of God|
The mother of the Messiah has been called many things in the last 2000 years the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother. But call her "the Mother of God" and you'll see some Christians squirm.
This is nothing new. One day in the early fifth century, a priest preached a stirring sermon in the presence of the patriarch of Constantinople. His subject was the holy mother of Jesus. The preacher continually referred to Mary as the "Theotokos" meaning "God-bearer" or mother of God. This was no innovation Christians had invoked Mary under this title for at least two hundred years. Nevertheless, at the close of the sermon, the patriarch ascended the steps of the pulpit to correct the preacher. We should call Mary the Mother of Christ, said Patriarch Nestorius, not the Mother of God. She was the mother of His human nature, not the mother of His divinity.
His comment sparked a riot. And the dispute rocked not only the congregation, but the entire empire. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, immediately recognized that Nestorius's Marian theology was a symptom of a much deeper problem, a problem with the incarnation itself. For to deny Mary the title "Mother of God" makes of Jesus a dichotomy, a split personality. It would mean that God had not really embraced our humanity so as to become human. Rather, the humanity of Christ is hermetically sealed off from the divinity, as if Jesus were two persons, as if human nature were so distasteful that God, in Christ, had to keep it at arm's distance. It is OK, according to Nestorius, to say that in Jesus, God raised Lazarus, or multiplied the loaves, or walked on water. But it is not OK to say that in Jesus God is born or that God died.
Cyril, aware that this was a challenge to the heart of our faith, demanded that an ecumenical council be called to settle the matter. So in 431, the Council of Ephesus met under Cyril's leadership and solemnly proclaimed that Mary is indeed rightly to be honored as the Theotokos, the Mother of God. It proclaimed that from the moment of His conception, God truly became man. Of course Mary is a creature and could never be the origin of the eternal Trinity, God without beginning or end. But the second person of the blessed Trinity chose to truly become man. He did not just come and borrow a human body and drive it around for awhile, ascend back to heaven, and discard it like an old car. No, at the moment of His conception in the womb of Mary, an amazing thing happened. God the Son united Himself with a human nature forever. Humanity and divinity were so closely bound together in Jesus, son of Mary, that they could never be separated again. Everything that would be done by the son of Mary would be the act both of God and of man. So indeed it would be right to say that a man raised Lazarus from the dead and commanded the wind and waves, that God was born that first Christmas day and that, on Good Friday, God died.
The Council of Ephesus, once confirmed by the pope, became the third ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, and its teaching in this matter is dogma, truth revealed by God which all are bound to accept.
So why does the Roman liturgy celebrate the Octave of Christmas as the Feast of Mary the Mother of God? Because this paradoxical phrase strikes at the very heart of Christmas. The songs we sing and the cards we write extol the babe of Bethlehem as Emmanuel, God-with-us. He is so with us that after Gabriel's visit to the Virgin of Nazareth, the Divine Word can never again be divided from our humanity. What God has joined, let no man separate.
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**So why does the Roman liturgy celebrate the Octave of Christmas as the Feast of Mary the Mother of God? Because this paradoxical phrase strikes at the very heart of Christmas. The songs we sing and the cards we write extol the babe of Bethlehem as Emmanuel, God-with-us. He is so with us that after Gabriel's visit to the Virgin of Nazareth, the Divine Word can never again be divided from our humanity. What God has joined, let no man separate.**
Words to ponder within our hearts. (As per today's Gospel.)
When you say, "Catholic Discussion preferred", what do you mean?
That we all read it and think about it, rather than bashing this Catholic belief.
(Post the positive -- not the negative.)
Catholic viewpoint welcomed first.
Any of the above ------
He means this is not a thread to bash catholicism
but to discuss the article posted
They prefer to see postings from those that agree with them. What would be the use of listening to someone you disagreed with? What would be the point?
Does that mean that challenging the basic premise with Scripture such as Romans 3:23 and 5:12 is not allowed?
How about Mary's own profession of her need for a savior (aka her sinful nature), in Luke 1:46-48?
Are these evidences not allowed?
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned
And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
The article is about Nestorian heresies. Post away on those heresies.
Council of Ephesus -- post away on that.
**What God has joined, let no man separate.** As pertaining to the Mother of God and the Son, Jesus Christ -- post away.
Any other questions?
Just trying to get the ground rules straight.
**for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,**
Dor your enlightenment -- please do a search for Immaculate Conception.
(And you are getting away from the main theses of this article.) Please post about the article.
If you want to disucss the Immaculate Conception, plelalse do it on one of these threads..........this thread is not about that.
plelalse do it on one of these threads
please do it on one of these threads
I see thee, little child in your mother's lap.
In you the impossible has come to be,
Creator enters creation and takes a nap
As mother you did make sings lullaby to thee.
Wonder at the paradox,
of the creator entering the creation,
of the maker of all being fed by his mother,
of how the fabric of space and time
were forever changed
as He came to us
to be God With Us,
one of us,
to heal us,
and call us home.
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