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
Thank you, Theo.
1. Because, as all four evangelists are careful to note, Christ rose from death on the “first day of the week,” i.e., Sunday. Another way to look at this is as Sunday being the eighth day (the significance of circumcision on the 8th day) or in other words, the first day of the next week, the first day of the new creation in Christ Jesus. Christians chose to “gather in Jesus’ name” (wherein He promised to be with them) on the “first of the week,” not because they were bound to do it, but because they were free to do it. Catholics in general, and here I intend no disrespect, tend to think in terms of law even when they are using the word gospel. Following the real basis of the Reformation, I distinguish sharply between law and gospel, as do the Holy Scriptures themselves. Remember, even in regard to the Sabbath, God’s intent was that man might have rest on the Sabbath, that is, to know that God and man are at peace because of the Promised One who was to come and set all things right. That peace was made at Calvary, once, for all, and forever. What more fitting day then to gather in Jesus’ name?
2. Sorry, I don’t see your point. Everything cited here simply agrees with the Holy Scriptures and, thus (here is the point), are correct. Scripture is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and right practice.
3. Yes, it is a good point. Conclusive I would say, and agrees with all of the Holy Scriptures.
Cronos also wrote:
“If Christ wanted us to have an infallible colleciton of writings, he needed to do one of two things:
1. Give us an authoritative list of writings, dictated by an apostle that would form the canon to provide certainty, so there would be no confusion OR
2. Establish an infallible community, a Church that could give us a list of infallible writings so we could be certain.
The did not do the first, and the Protestant viewpoint denies the second”
This argument is specious. You are asserting that God had to do something in a way to satisfy your given requirements or it has to be this other way. God did it the way He did it. End of story. We, His redeemed creation in Christ Jesus, accept what He has done as good and right. I reject utterly the false premise you put forth here.
Yes, I’m saying that God did establish an infallible community, a Church that could give us a list of infallible writings so we could be certain
Yes, I know you are. And I am saying you are wrong.
Thanks, Mr Rogers, I’ve always rather liked that one.
Are they supposed to?
What a happy boy!
WRONG to the max.
:)Where’s his hair-hehehehe
I've never heard predestination as the source of salvation, nor seen it posted here so that is a strawman argument unless you know a denom that teaches that. But thanks for telling me what Lutherans believe. I can imagine the cacophony arising from a Lutheran or some flavor of Protestant telling catholics what they believe. You are 1 for 3 here. Unbelief is the cause of damnation, unbelief in sin and the Redeemer. Confessional Lutherans reject predestination to damnation. Lib lutherans reject Christianity.
“I strongly suspect what the prophecy really means, if I had read the footnotes, is that God wants people on earth to be devoted to Him like Mary is devoted to Him so that they can be saved.”
You are correct.Also for our Non-Catholics the word is Respect.This is the vision before She said these words.
“Taken from Sr. Lucia’s Third Memoir (August 31, 1941) with the final sentence taken from her Fourth Memoir (December 8, 1941).
Well, the secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal.
The first part is the vision of hell.
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.”
I’m not angry at you Quix. And haven’t been.
Glad to read it.
Bless you and yours and all your doings.
Ahhhh . . .
Sounds like an expedient interpretation, to me . . . flying in the face of the plain words, as it were.
And . . . so it was asserted to be Mary’s power to take the children to Heaven.
Yet again—ascribing God’s turf to Mary.
“Confessional Lutherans reject predestination to damnation. Lib lutherans reject Christianity.”
Exactly right. But you can extend it a bit: “Lib (fill in the blank with whatever denominational label, including Catholics) reject Christianity.” There is a difference between arguing about the details of the faith once given to the saints, which are - make no mistake - very important and if distorted enough can mislead some into unbelief, and rejecting the basis of the faith once given to the faith.
Make that last word “saints” instead of “faith.”
Good thing I read the thread, and not just the comments to me. Tough time figuring out what you were saying.
Well, that's a flawed individual interpretation (sola interpretura).
Hmmm...and everything you posted to deny what I said is also flawed individual interpretations. All the writers you mentioned, the Didache, the Shepherd of Hermas, Irenaeus, R.C. Sproul, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Augustine, Clement of Alexandria and Luther all produced individual interpretations of what was written in the Scriptures. They got some things right, IMHO, but in other things they were so far out in left field that they wandered out of the ballpark.
As John Hardon S.J. wrotein his book "pocket Catholic Dictionary":
Traidiotn first means all of divine revelation , from the dawn of human history to the end of hte apostolic age, as passed on from one generation of believers to the next, and as preserved under divine guidance by The Church established by Christ. Sacred Tradition also means, within this transmitted revelation, that part of God's revealed word which is not contained in Sacred Scripture".
The first statement by Harden I can basically agree with. But the bold emphasized statement is flawed seriously - can he, or you, or for that matter, anyone prove any one of the many supposed "sacred traditions" actually were "part of God's revealed word that were not contained in the sacred Scriptures"? I venture to say that you absolutely cannot do so!
The Holy SPirit authored and collected the bible but he used men , the Church to write it and to collect it and to close canon.
Again, the emphasized words above are wrong - no specific man or small group of men in a meeting are the "ekklesia", period; the "ekklesia" included ALL members. Yes, I know you will take this and run in circles with it :-) And it will not prove anything. Besides, this has nothing to do with what I said about the IC of Mary - maybe it would have been better to address what I said instead of running out of the ballpark.
Even your assertion against Mary is incorrect when you consider the term the angel used for mary -- full of grace. The greek word signifies FILLED with grace, overflowing with the grace of God. God created this woman and filled her with grace so that God Himself could be born inside Her. As we know with the Ark, only the purified, holy priests could even touch it -- what more for someone holding God? Mary, the God bearer, Theotokos.
Okay, you now address some of what I said, but it is full of philosophical individual interpretations of a single word in what is a simple statement concerning Mary. It would do you well if you brought up the use of that same word as it was applied to others mentioned in the Scriptures. If you apply that term, with those philosophical meanderings of men minds, to those who are also said to be "full" of the grace of God, well, did that then mean that they too were IC'd? What a method of twisting the Scriptures to produce a Dogma on!
Yes, well, sorry about that. Sometimes speed not only kills, it confuses.
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