Skip to comments.A Protestant Discovers Mary
Posted on 03/14/2010 12:14:46 PM PDT by NYer
Romano Guardini wrote in his book on the Rosary, To linger in the domain of Mary is a divinely great thing. One does not ask about the utility of truly noble things, because they have their meaning within themselves. So it is of infinite meaning to draw a deep breath of this purity, to be secure in the peace of this union with God.
Guardini was speaking of spending time with Mary in praying the Rosary, but David Mills, in his latest book, Discovering Mary, helps us linger in the domain of Mary by opening up to us the riches of divine revelation, both from tradition and Scripture. Mills, a convert from the Episcopal Church, former editor of the Christian journal Touchstone and editor of the 1998 book of essays commemorating the centennial of C.S. Lewis birth The Pilgrims Guide: C. S. Lewis and the Art of Witness, as well as the author of Knowing the Real Jesus (2001), has written a rock-solid introduction to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and done so with intellectual rigor and an affable tone.
His book begins with an introduction in which he describes how he came to discover the riches of the Churchs teachings on Mary: I began to see how a sacred vessel is made holy by the sacred thing it carries, he writes. I began to feel this in a way I had not before. I found myself developing an experiential understanding of Mary and indeed a Marian devotion. Which surprised me. It surprised me a lot.
Unfortunately, he notes, he did not learn about Mary from contemporary Catholics, nor in homilies, even on Marian feast days. It seems he learned on his own by reading magisterial documents and going back to Scriptures in light of those documents.
This book shares the fruit of that study. Mills examines the life of Mary, Mary in the Bible, Mary in Catholic doctrine, Marian feast days and the names of Mary. He includes an appendix full of references to papal documents and books on Mary.
Most of the book is done in a question-and-answer format, which usually works well, although at times it feels awkward. Would someone really ask, for instance, What is happening in the liturgy on the Marian feast days?
But most of the questions are natural. What is the point of Marian devotion? Mills asks. It is to live the Catholic life as well as we can, he answers. This means going ever more deeply into the mystery of Christ, to become saintlier, more conformed to his image, by following Marys example and by turning to her for help and comfort.
Next question: Does devotion to Mary detract from our devotion to Christ?
Christians since the beginning of serious Marian devotion have been careful to emphasize Marys subordination to her son, Mills replies. In fact, they have said it so often that the reader begins to expect it. In the fifth century St. Ambrose put it nicely: Mary was the temple of God, not the god of the temple.
David Mills, with the same radical clarity he showed in Knowing the Real Jesus, has written what has to be one of the best, if not the very best, short introductions to Catholic teaching on Mary, the Mother of God. Discovering Mary is ideal for those wanting to know more about her, whether they be skeptics, Protestants, or Catholics who dont know the Mother of the Church well enough.
Franklin Freeman writes from Saco, Maine.
Answers to Questions About the Mother of God
By David Mills
Servant Books, 2009
148 pages, $12.99
To order: servantbooks.org
Thomas A. Nelson is a very traditional Catholic publishing house, and they offer a variety of works that you can be quite sure will not err on the side of feminism or secularism.
It's important to remember, however, that private revelation (such as that of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich) is neither binding nor required to be believed. It is useful for instruction and edification of the faithful, but that's as far as it goes. You don't want to fall in the ditch on the other side of the road.
Apropos of this, a relic of St. Mary Magdalen visited the U.S. last fall and reposed at our parish church for a day -- under 24-hour guard by the Knights of Malta and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. We went and venerated her relic and it was an amazing experience -- to be so close to the body of someone who actually knew Jesus, who saw Him after his Resurrection . . . awe inspiring.
God bless you. Welcome home!
There is not enough evidence that they are there. Sainthood is not given by God. It’s given by the church.
A “saint” may be sleeping until the time of the Second Coming.
Might want to do a search on “woman” in your redacted Bible. You will find that what you are claiming is a derogatory is associated with the final triumph. How folks can read the Bible and be so ignorant is amazing.
Book of Revelation 12:1-18:
1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 And being with child, she cried travailing in birth: and was in pain to be delivered. 3 And there was seen another sign in heaven. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and on his heads seven diadems. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered: that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her son was taken up to God and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her, a thousand two hundred sixty days.
7 And there was a great battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels. 8 And they prevailed not: neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world. And he was cast unto the earth: and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony: and they loved not their lives unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man child. 14 And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert, unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth, after the woman, water, as it were a river: that he might cause her to be carried away by the river. 16 And the earth helped the woman: and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 18 And he stood upon the sand of the sea.’’
Christ Himself said that God is the God of the living, not of the dead, and all live to Him. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - and Moses and Elijah, who were seen conversing with Christ on Mt. Horeb.
The Church does not and has never claimed to "give" sainthood. She simply recognizes those whose life and works show forth uncontradicted evidence of sainthood -- as mentors and good examples for the faithful.
Mary Magdalene is a special devotion of mine, because my birthday is her feast day, July 22. Be careful in what you believe, of all that is written. Look for materials that are faithful to the Scripture, limited as the mentions are.
One book I like is “The Spear,” by Louis de Wohl. This book is about Longinus, the centurion who (in tradition) pierced the side of Jesus with the spear. In this book, Mary Magdalene is conflated with Mary of Bethany, which is a “reasonable but not required” interpretation of the Gospel accounts. It is a very touching book, and it has helped to inspire my personal devotion to Martha and Mary (of Bethany, and of Magdala, one or the other or both, whichever they was ;-).
Thank you so much for the information. Mary Madalene touched me after a prayer I made to both she and the Blessed Virgin. It was real and very powerful. So this is my quest and any information you have is greatly appreciated. I’m not looking at books or publications which are current as the feminist slant urks me...
That must have been amazing...Thanks so much for the information.
It is hard to get past the feminist and pro-prostitution slant of much modern “scholarship.” That’s why I mentioned the De Wohl book, which is well within the reasonable bounds of the Scriptural accounts.
From the Gospels, we know that Mary of Magdala loved Jesus with an intense and personal love, and that He returned her love in a personal way. That’s enough for me to consider her a guide and an intercessor. All the other Marys of the Gospels may be separate people or not, but we know that Mary Magdalene was shown a special mercy and a special live by Jesus.
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
I understand the logic of Mary as the ‘temple of God.’
I do NOT find that at all a BIBLICAL label, however.
For what it's worth, in Scots Gaelic the old time Highlander addressed his mother as "O Woman" - "A Bhean". I went and checked my Gaelic Testament and it's the same in the Gospels.
No. It’s NOT merely terminology and tunnel vision.
There is horrific and very serious idolatrous blasphemy in the name of Mary on the part of major percentages of those within the Roman Catholic et al/Vatican edifice.
Ya’ll’s own documents indict you horrifically.
Ya’ll’s own behaviors and attitudes worsen the picture.
. . . including hereon.
Not surprising coming from a man who went from being a pagan to a Bishop in your church in about 2 weeks time. Why not look how Mary’s title has evolved over time.
Mary was called woman by Jesus
Mary was called woman by Paul
Mary was called suitable vessel by Ignatius
Mary was called new Eve by Justin Martyr
Mary was called advocate (intercessor, comforter) by Irenaeus
Mary was called ever virgin Mother of God by Origen.
All this evolution of her title in just 200 yrs, so “Temple of God” after another hundred years isn’t surprising. It doesn’t make it right, though.
And it is just THAT SORT OF EVOLUTIONARY
that resulted in a 2 foot thick curtain hiding the Holy of Holies that was rent when Christ was on The Cross.
It was JUST THAT sort of RELIGION that Christ was MOST hostile to.
And, re Mary, your labels did not include the most horrifically blasphemous and idolatrous that are available from their own officially approved documents.
I wasn’t addressing you.
I pray for my protestant brethern.
I won’t dispute with them.
John 17:21 That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.
For all of us men without “woman” we have no life if “woman” does not cooperate with the divine. In Mary’s case her cooperation was her “yes”.
I often call my wife “woman”. Usually when she does something that brings joy to my heart. eg. “Woman, if it weren’t for you I’d be lost. Thank you for putting that in perspective”.
It is only one who disdains God’s creation or opposes His divine plan that would find “woman” offensive or degrading.
No one has ever claimed that one that calls himself a protestant is saved.. sounds like this guy is wandering in a spiritual fog ...absolutely lost
Please try to have some charity and humility. As C.S. Lewis said, at the Last Judgment there will be surprises. It's so much easier to endure them if you've been charitable.
sure does not sound like it is to God
Well it's not at all surprising, dear brother in Christ, that you find the description of Mary as "the temple of God" ISN'T "biblical."
I readily concede: It ISN'T, in the sense that that particular "label" is not to be found explicitly stated in the biblical texts.
But that does NOT make it specifically UNbiblical, either. What biblical truth does it contradict?
And even you conceded it's "logical."