Skip to comments.The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Posted on 01/01/2009 3:51:01 PM PST by NYer
Christianity would be meaningless without the Blessed Virgin. Her quiet presence opened Christian history at the Incarnation and will continue to pervade the Church's history until the end of time.
Our purpose in this meditation is to glance over the past two thousand years to answer one question: What are the highlights of our Marian faith as found in the Bible and the teaching of the Catholic Church?
The first three evangelists were mainly concerned with tracing Christ's ancestry as Son of Man and, therefore, as Son of Mary. St. Matthew, writing for the Jews, stressed Christ's descent from Abraham. St. Luke, disciple of St. Paul, traced Christ's origin to Adam, the father of the human race. Yet both writers were at pains to point out that Mary's Son fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah about the Messiah. He was to be born of a virgin to become Emmanuel, which means "God with us." Luke gave a long account of the angel's visit to Mary to announce that the Child would be holy and would be called the "Son of God" (Luke 1:36).
St. John followed the same pattern. He introduced Mary as the Mother of Jesus when He began His public ministry. In answer to her wishes, Christ performed the miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana in Galilee. What happened then has continued ever since. Most of the miraculous shrines of Christianity have been dedicated to Our Lady.
It is also St. John who tells us that Mary stood under the Cross of Calvary as her Son was dying for our salvation. Speaking of John, Jesus told His Mother, "This is your son." To John, He said of Mary, "This is your Mother." The apostle John represented all of us. On Good Friday, therefore, Christ made His Mother the supernatural Mother of the human race and made us her spiritual children.
Mother of God
In the early fifth century, a controversy arose in Asia Minor, where the Bishop of Constantinople claimed that Mary was only the Mother of Christ (Greek=Christotokos). He was condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 431, which declared that "the holy Virgin is the Mother of God (Greek=Theotokos).
St. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt, was mainly responsible for this solemn definition of Mary's divine maternity. It was St. Cyril who thus composed the most famous Marian hymn of antiquity. It is a praise of Our Lady as Mediatrix with God:
Through you, the Trinity is glorified.Every other title of Mary and all the Marian devotion of the faithful are finally based on the Blessed Virgin's primary claim to our extraordinary love. She is the Mother of God. She gave her Son all that every human mother gives the child she conceives and gives birth to. She gave Him His human body. Without her, there would have been no Incarnation, no Redemption, no Eucharist; in a word, no Christianity.
Through you, the Cross is venerated throughout the world.
Through you, angels and archangels rejoice.
Through you, the demons are driven away.
Through you, the fallen creature is raised to heaven.
Through you, the churches are founded in the whole orld.
Through you, people are led to conversion.
Like Mary, we need to believe that everything which God has revealed to us will be fulfilled.No wonder the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes this astounding profession of faith: "We believe that the most holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven her maternal role toward the members of Christ." It all depends on our faith in her maternal care and our trust in her influence over the almighty hand of her Son.
Like Mary, we need to use our bodily powers to serve their divine purpose no matter what the sacrifice of our own pleasure.
Like Mary, we are to be always sensitive to the needs of others. Like her, we are to respond to these needs without being asked and, like her, even ask Jesus to work a miracle to benefit those whom we love.
I’m disappointed that you do not believe in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ as announced at the Annunciation to Mary by the Angel Gabriel as related in the Gospel of Luke.
Her “Yes” gave us Jesus at that moment, even though she did not probably fully comprehend what was happening.
Her yes — “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.”
It’s all right there in the Bible.
You know there are many, many stories of the Blessed Virgin going about the world visiting the desperately ill, and in many cases converting them on their deathbeds.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen told one such story, he had been visiting (or trying to visit) a hardened sinner in the hospital and trying to get him to accept Christ and be saved, but was unsuccessful until the Virgin Mary intervened. And Roy Schoeman, a Jewish convert, met her as part of his conversion experience.
And I have heard that she visits the Poor Souls in Purgatory and comforts them. She is a great lady, and I'm glad she's there for us.
By bearing him, Mary gave Jesus his flesh. Or are you denying that he was truly man, born of woman? Raising him, she raised a son of Israel and her redeemer. Do you think she contributed nothing to his education, he who was subject to her and Joseph? If one believes Luke, her womb became the judgement seat, for the spirit of the Lord overshadowed her.
I made no such statement. However, this article borders on putting Mary above God.
You know, he replied, The Virgin Mary, the one with the baby Jesus.
Through you, people are led to conversion.
Icons of the Blessed Mother always show her holding the Christ Child with her hand pointing to Him. The two together, form one image. She leads all men to her Son.
Thank you! for posting that beautiful story.
Yes, I would agree with you on the Baptism by Desire.
|Let us celebrate the motherhood of the Virgin Mary, and let us worship Christ the Lord, her Son.|
Or are you denying that he was truly man, born of woman?
No one is saying that.
Raising him, she raised a son of Israel and her redeemer.
Do you think she contributed nothing to his education, he who was subject to her and Joseph?
Joseph contributed to his raising too, but why not write articles about him.
If one believes Luke, her womb became the judgement seat, for the spirit of the Lord overshadowed her.
So. no one is saying Mary was not an important figure. there is just nothing scriptually that supports the elevation of Mary into the role the Catholic church gives her.
“Considering there was so much prophesy about the Messiah way before Mary, that is an odd claim to make.”
In Genesis 3:15 both Jesus and Mary were foretold. Naturally there are many more prophecies about Christ since He is all important, but that doesn’t mean Mary has no importance at all.
You're right. What baby is dependent upon his mother?
Whomever God chose. You think God sits around and thanks God that Moses came along? Moses was a vessle. There is no reason to think God could not have found someone else to help take the Jews to the promise land.
Mary had free will just as we all do and by her "yes" she is the first Christian by virtue of her surrendering herself to Him. Somehow I do not believe that it was part of God's plan to shop around His "script" like a Hollywood producer. Her "yes" was critical to the salvation of mankind but by no means guaranteed...anymore than the angels who rebelled against God in Heaven were guaranteed to say "yes" to God.
God humbled Himself to be born of a human being, and so humbled Himself that when the Angel Gabriel announced God's will to the Virgin, she still had the option of saying, "No." That is the free will that makes us sons not slaves, as St. Paul's letter in the lectionary today makes clear.
So while Mary is a very great lady, the pattern of a Christian, the Mother of God, conceived without sin, it is the will of God that puts her in that high place. But without Mary's free cooperation in saying, "Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum" - "Let it be done to me according to thy word" - the Incarnation would not have occurred. But that also is God's will.
Makes you dizzy, but praise God for His great mercy!
I guess I left out a small detail, he had confessed Christ to a Minister, while in the hospital sometime in 2002. But it did concern us all, because, other than a more docile, humble spirit, his life had shown little evidence of contrition. My sister in Law, married into a Catholic family, but I would characterize their devotion as tepid, not fervent. Her two sons are much more reverent.
This blessed event is changing hearts. Revival is breaking out, in spite of the flesh.
That looks like a Botticelli. Man oh man, could he ever paint beautiful scenes.
Fortunately for us, God is slow to anger and of great kindness, and patient — very patient. As one of Angela Thirkell’s nicest characters, Father Fewling, said, “He can afford to wait, on and off, for years and years.”
Your story has moved my heart dear FRiend.
Catholic teaching is absurd. Catholics have somehow made Mary the mother of the Creator. Mary was a vessle chosen for the manifestation of God in the flesh. Mary is the Mother of Jesus the son, not God the father. Of course you will drag out the canard that I am denying Jesus is God, which I am not.
The Virgin of the Pomegranate.
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