Skip to comments.The Church Fathers- Mary: Ever Virgin
Posted on 05/31/2011 11:53:33 AM PDT by marshmallow
The Protoevangelium of James
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by [St. Anne], saying, Anne! Anne! The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world. And Anne said, As the Lord my God lives, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God, and it shall minister to him in the holy things all the days of its life. . . . And [from the time she was three] Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there (Protoevangelium of James 4, 7 [A.D. 120]).
And when she was twelve years old there was held a council of priests, saying, Behold, Mary has reached the age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. What then shall we do with her, lest perchance she defile the sanctuary of the Lord? And they said to the high priest, You stand by the altar of the Lord; go in and pray concerning her, and whatever the Lord shall manifest to you, that also will we do. . . . [A]nd he prayed concerning her, and behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him saying, Zechariah! Zechariah! Go out and assemble the widowers of the people and let them bring each his rod, and to whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife shall she be. . . . And Joseph [was chosen]. . . . And the priest said to Joseph, You have been chosen by lot to take into your keeping the Virgin of the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying, I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl (ibid., 89).
And Annas the scribe came to him [Joseph] . . . and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran away to the priest and said to him, Joseph, whom you did vouch for, has committed a grievous crime. And the priest said, How so? And he said, He has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord and has married her by stealth (ibid., 15).
And the priest said, Mary, why have you done this? And why have you brought your soul low and forgotten the Lord your God? . . . And she wept bitterly saying, As the Lord my God lives, I am pure before him, and know not man (ibid.).
The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the firstfruit of virginity (Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]).
Hilary of Poitiers
If they [the brethren of the Lord] had been Marys sons and not those taken from Josephs former marriage, she would never have been given over in the moment of the passion [crucifixion] to the apostle John as his mother, the Lord saying to each, Woman, behold your son, and to John, Behold your mother [John 19:2627), as he bequeathed filial love to a disciple as a consolation to the one desolate" (Commentary on Matthew 1:4 [A.D. 354]).
Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary (Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360]).
Epiphanius of Salamis
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things, both visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down and took flesh, that is, was born perfectly of the holy ever-virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit (The Man Well-Anchored 120 [A.D. 374]).
And to holy Mary, [the title] Virgin is invariably added, for that holy woman remains undefiled (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 78:6 [A.D. 375]).
[Helvidius] produces Tertullian as a witness [to his view] and quotes Victorinus, bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian, I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church. But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospelthat he [Victorinus] spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature. [By discussing such things we] are . . . following the tiny streams of opinion. Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against [the heretics] Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man (Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).
We believe that God was born of a virgin, because we read it. We do not believe that Mary was married after she brought forth her Son, because we do not read it. . . . You [Helvidius] say that Mary did not remain a virgin. As for myself, I claim that Joseph himself was a virgin, through Mary, so that a virgin Son might be born of a virginal wedlock (ibid., 21).
Didymus the Blind
It helps us to understand the terms first-born and only-begotten when the Evangelist tells that Mary remained a virgin until she brought forth her first-born son [Matt. 1:25]; for neither did Mary, who is to be honored and praised above all others, marry anyone else, nor did she ever become the Mother of anyone else, but even after childbirth she remained always and forever an immaculate virgin (The Trinity 3:4 [A.D. 386]).
Ambrose of Milan
Imitate her [Mary], holy mothers, who in her only dearly beloved Son set forth so great an example of material virtue; for neither have you sweeter children [than Jesus], nor did the Virgin seek the consolation of being able to bear another son (Letters 63:111 [A.D. 388]).
Pope Siricius I
You had good reason to be horrified at the thought that another birth might issue from the same virginal womb from which Christ was born according to the flesh. For the Lord Jesus would never have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had ever judged that she would be so incontinent as to contaminate with the seed of human intercourse the birthplace of the Lords body, that court of the eternal king (Letter to Bishop Anysius [A.D. 392]).
In being born of a Virgin who chose to remain a Virgin even before she knew who was to be born of her, Christ wanted to approve virginity rather than to impose it. And he wanted virginity to be of free choice even in that woman in whom he took upon himself the form of a slave (Holy Virginity 4:4 [A.D. 401]).
It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man? (Sermons 186:1 [A.D. 411]).
Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband (Heresies 56 [A.D. 428]).
We confess, therefore, that our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, born of the Father before the ages, and in times most recent, made man of the Holy Spirit and the ever-virgin Mary (Document of Amendment 3 [A.D. 426]).
Cyril of Alexandria
[T]he Word himself, coming into the Blessed Virgin herself, assumed for himself his own temple from the substance of the Virgin and came forth from her a man in all that could be externally discerned, while interiorly he was true God. Therefore he kept his Mother a virgin even after her childbearing (Against Those Who Do Not Wish to Confess That the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God 4 [A.D. 430]).
Pope Leo I
His [Christs] origin is different, but his [human] nature is the same. Human usage and custom were lacking, but by divine power a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bore, and Virgin she remained (Sermons 22:2 [A.D. 450]).
Interesting bit about Makes you wonder why Yeshua supposedly did away with hitting the mark now doesnt it? He didnt, the Law is still in place and in effect. -- will have to read up more on that
There is a belief that some have talked about here on FR that between Gen 1 and 2 a different form of life arose under God's plan and were destroyed, accounting for the age of the earth and the differences between that and the 6000 years we believe in. I don't know enough on that concept of an earlier civilisation pre-Gen I to comment.
My revaluation of Luther and Lutheranism is when I read on the www.lcms.org website more about Lutheran belief in
I do disagree with them on points, yes, but the fact that they hold the above and most importantly for me that they believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist means a lot.
At the very least in comparison to Jesse, Luther was not "brainwashed by horrific deceptions"
As my posts on various atrocities commited by various religious groups on each other in the 16th and 17th century show, those were harsh times in which not many come off looking good when viewed through 21st century eyes.
Even the Puritans as you see above, were barbaric by today's standards and had no religious freedom for others, but we can't judge them by today's standards
HOWEVER, I put a clear dividing point between pre-Industrial revolution and post-Industrial Revolution. The horrors of genocide in WWII and WWI are more horrific than the similar genocides by the Mongols or Timur-i-Lang precisely because they occurred in civilised countries in a civilised time.
The posts were removed because he kept posting the same potty language after I instructed him to stop. So then I instructed him to leave the thread, which we do when posters are ignoring us - but he just keeps on posting.
I think he just hasn't gotten this far yet.
oops, sorry, I didn’t see your warning. I’m off the thread now
Look, if you will refrain from using that potty language term, I'll remove my instruction to leave and restore the subsequent posts.
Hi RM — apologies. I have no idea which was the potty language and apologize for it nonetheless. Thank you for waiting. I will refrain from using whatever it was (please can you delete that post and freepmail it to me so I know where I goofed?)
I’ve probably removed more on other threads.
I LOVE your commentary on this. It’s already up on my homepage. . . . perhaps more than once now—this time the first narrative. LOL.
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
hng — I got over-enthusiastic! Mea culpa and thank you RM for being patient.
My children communicated with me all the time as youngsters growing up and I can assure you it wasn't prayer. Because Mary was a mother to her son there are certain things we, who are mothers, can relate to Mary about. ...It's a Mom thing...something guys aren't going to get.
So I will frankly attest to the fact that communicating with children, from a mother's perspective...is never about them praying to us....nor did Mary see it so. I will come to her defense on this one since she is not here to defend herself. She is otherwise occupied enjoying the pleasures of heaven and those with her.
As for various types of prayer....of course it's communicating with the Lord...and that will vary. We can laugh with Him, cry with Him...share and even debate with Him.... But He alone answers those prayers, He alone communicates with us, regardless of what words we use to communicate to him with.
Further... How we communicate with the Lord is at another level of love and understanding than how we communicate with one another...sometimes raw and bare before Him because it is He whom we trust with our deepest self.
The POINT being...He is our ONLY intercessor.....just as He says that He is...... Mary was His mother..now in Heaven with Him. She plays no role in our life other than an example of a woman humble before God...and we respect her for her words spoken to the Father...."hand-maiden of the Lord". That too we as woman can relate to.
Im going to say something that will knock your lights off. Go has the power to take life, but He cant. Hes got the power to do it, but He wont. Hes bound; He cant. He says, Death and life is in the power of whos tongue? Yours. You ready for this? You want something thatll knock your lights off? You choose when you live; you choose when you die. Death and life is in the power of your tongue, not Gods.
Do you actually believe this guy, Quix? seriously?
How can anyone believe a guy that preaches this
Im going to say something that will knock your lights off. Go has the power to take life, but He cant. Hes got the power to do it, but He wont. Hes bound; He cant. He says, Death and life is in the power of whos tongue? Yours. You ready for this? You want something thatll knock your lights off? You choose when you live; you choose when you die. Death and life is in the power of your tongue, not Gods.?
What's more alarming is that Jesse's been preaching the same thing about him going to heaven for 20 years now and lots of folks still send him the moolah! Really, seriously quix -- do you honestly believe this guy is not a hoax? I don't see him preaching anything but coming up with tall storylines and bad acting.
years ago I met a Samaritan who had moved to London and his description of his people's history and beliefs was also quite fascinating
My point, and I do have one,
is that the word "prayer" means more than making petitions. It's an imprecise word which is used to convey many things. We speak of silent prayer, prayer of adoration, even wordless prayer.
Oh good grief, MD! We are a modern American English diverse group here. I find it an EXTREMELY GROSS GROPE to try and stretch those uses of "prayer" from an archaic form of English into this issue and context.
To me, the lengths you go to do that highlight the absurdity of it.
I rarely use DAFFYINTIONARY with you out of respect for you and our relationship and usually because I don't have to as much as with some others. However, in this case, you leave me no choice, imho. I'm embarrassed for you that you'd use such a rationalization.
While the word and the words it translates seem to have started out with a sense of petition, they now mean far more.
In fact, it's hard to make a clear distinction between "pray" and "communicate", when we think of prayer in the broadest sense.
NO! "WE" PRODDYS AND MOST OTHER modern English speakers in this context and around the world DO NOT!
When MOST of US Proddys, atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, Muzzies, et al use the terms "pray" and "prayer" in English, we mean a petitioning communication to God or gods--and/or at the very least a communication with God or gods exclusively.
We may realize that the legal profession uses the word otherwise but this is not that context.
So to lean on such a gross rationalization to buttress your perspective, is, to me like leaning on quick-sand to support a skyscraper.
But even with petitionery prayer, it seems to me entirely plausible that Jesus asked Mary to help him with his sandals when he was a toddler just learning to speak.
Even at age 12 Jesus knew who He was. He was not at all about the business of PRAYING TO MARY AS A GOD FOR ANYTHING. HE WAS ABOUT HIS FATHER'S BUSINESS!
You see, the arguments against the intercession of the saints just don't make sense to me.
And that is still utterly mystifying to me, given your fine mind.
It seems they are always based on an unspecified but firmly held meaning of prayer,
Not unspecified to me. Nor is it to most of the Proddys I know. PRAYER FOR US = COMMUNICATION WITH FATHER GOD, SON, SPIRIT. PERIOD.
ANYTHING else, is, for us, idolatrous, blasphemous. Scripture is full of exhortations to SEEK GOD in prayer. NO WHERE, that I can recall, IS THERE A SINGLE EXHORTATION that we should seek help from mortals in prayer--ANYWHERE in Scripture.
What is so BRAZENLY DIFFICULT FOR RC'S TO TAKE BIBLICAL EXHORTATIONS, ORDERS, CRITERIA, BOUNDARIES, EVEN HINTS AND NUANCES--SERIOUSLY? It's like y'all NEVER GET IT!
It's as bad as the UMPTEEN cases where CHRIST DECLARED AS A POINT OF AUTHORITY "IT IS WRITTEN!" YET, RC'S ABJECTLY REFUSE to take such exhortations of Christ remotely seriously! And y'all seem to think that GOD DOESN'T NOTICE OR CARE ABOUT THAT???? GOD HAVE MERCY! GOD NEVER REPEATS HIMSELF EVEN TWICE WITHOUT IT BEING EMPHATIC. On that issue He repeated HIMSELF MORE THAN 2 DOZEN TIMES! WHAT KIND OF HANDWRITING ON THE WALL DO RC'S !DEMAND! BEFORE they pay the least bit of attention to TO !!??GOD ALMIGHTY??!!
LIKEWISE with prayer. There's scant example in Scripture of mortals petitioning mortals who've graduated from this life. IN EVERY CASE, GOD IS NOT AMUSED! IN EVERY CASE, GOD DOES NOT AGREE TO THE PETITION!
Where is the mental disconnect that RC's REFUSE to take the Biblical hint?
I submit that it is rooted in the rebellious-against-God-in-preference-to-the-!!!TRADITIONS!!!-of man heretical hogwash that saturates the Vatican edifice for 1600 centuries now.
The 'man foisted' lofty Magicsterical affirm it so GOD HAS TO AGREE WITH OUR COMMITTEE! [BARF! GOD HAVE MERCY!]
"Besides, if God doesn't agree with our MAGICSTERICAL COMMITTEE, MUMMY ISHTAR-MARY WILL NAG HIM UNTIL HE DOES! [Mega barf!] So we exclusivist RC's got it covered! We got God manipulated into our very useful tidy little boxes just where we want Him!"
a denial of the oneness of the body of Christ and of the Spirit which makes us one, and a careless reading of our Lord's teaching on prayer.
It is reasonably clear from Scripture that the "oneness of the Body of Christ" is NOT MAXIMIZED NOR ANYTHING NEAR MAXIMIZED--AT PRESENT--between earth bound mortals and graduated saints.
To be honest, there is SOME SLIGHT VAGUE HINT that Heaven bound saints, CAN ON OCCASION, OBSERVE as a "cloud of witnesses" SOME events on earth. THAT'S THE MOST, imho, that can be said about that; with the least degree of confidence.
Concocting from THAT the rationalization that therefore, earthbound mortals can go running to Heaven bound graduated saints with their petitions IS AN INSULT TO SCRIPTURE AND AN INSULT TO CHRIST'S DEATH AND SUFFERING ON THE CROSS as well as A HIDEOUS AND GROSS INSULT TO HIS ROLE OF EXCLUSIVE INTERCESSOR BETWEEN EACH MORTAL AND THE FATHER.
NO OTHER BEING IN ALL CREATION DIED ON THAT CRUEL CROSS--CHRIST ALONE!
NO OLD TESTAMENT BIBLICAL PATRIARCH DIED ON THAT CRUEL CROSS--CHRIST ALONE!
NO NEW TESTAMENT BIBLICAL STAR DIED ON THAT CRUEL CROSS--CHRIST ALONE!
MARY DID NOT DIE ON THAT CRUEL CROSS REGARDLESS OF VATICAN CULT SHOE-HORNED-IN EMBELISHMENTS, RATIONALIZATIONS AND HERETICAL NONSENSE ABOUT IT--CHRIST ALONE!
And Christ Himself is so quoted in one Heavenly visitation noting just that fact--with some evident indignation.
RC's NOT taking the Biblical evidence to heart and FANTASIZING OTHERWISE are tempting God's wrath--pure and simple--YES--GOD'S WRATH! They seem to have NO CLUE of the SUPREME MULTIVERSE PRIORITY THAT GOD THE FATHER PLACES ON THE BLOOD AND SUFFERING OF CHRIST ALONE! . . . AND ON THE OFFICE, POSITION, STATUS, AUTHORITY, RANK--RESULTING FROM THAT CRUEL DEATH ON THAT CROSS--THE FULCRUM OF ALL HISTORY!
NO WAY is The Father going to allow ANY interloping ANYONE to encroach THE SLIGHTEST on that RANK, POSITION, STATUS OF CHRIST ALONE!
CERTAINLY AUTHENTIC MARY HERSELF WOULD NEVER DARE TO IMAGINE DOING SUCH A THING! What an insult to her understanding of God and HIS PRIORITIES it is to fantasize anything else!
The usual way to proceed in such a case would be to identify the differences on which the disagreement is built and to discuss the meanings of the passages and the words used in them.
From the beginning of my 11 or so years here--in one incarnation or another--10 as Quix--I have observed a certain changeable collection of RC's SLAM, ACCUSE, PERSONALLY ATTACK, STAB-TO-THE-HEART, . . . in the most haughty, ostentatious, exclusionist, punitive, harsh, ruthless of terms--often relentlessly.
The attitude has been that THEY HAVE THE POSITION, THE AUTHORITY AND THE RIGHT to be such scoundrals and Proddys can just lump it and know their place. HARUMPH!
Wellllllllllllll, LA-T-DA! NO THANKS! AS for me and my house, We are NO LONGER PLAYING THAT GAME. NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
In my EXPERIENCE, the ONLY thing that has had any significant effect in moderating the intensity and frequencies of such horrifically insulting assaults by certain sorts of RC's IS TO SPEAK A SIMILAR EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE to them in response. It's the only thing they seem to notice or respond to in any functional way at all that indicates something has registered on their consciousness from our stimulus as demonstrated by their response.
So from my perspective, your cohorts have brought it on all of you. And I mostly have no apology for groping around until I found a more or less equal emotionally intense language that seemed to register above near 0.000% on the RC consciousness.
But so many are so interested in winning or in showing the other side up, that this exercise, which could be done in fellowship and charity is ignored for accusations of idolatry and the dangerous fun of thinking oneself more righteous and more blessed that others. ( I did not say"wrong"; I said "dangerous".)
Some of us, including me, are still willing to engage RC's in fellowship and charity when that's what we get from the RC side.
If your plea is to be able to have dialogues without accusations of idolatry--THEN STOP THE IDOLATRY!
Certainly--IT APPEARS that it MAY WELL BE the case that SOME RC's do not engage in idolatry re Mary. For perhaps a majority and certainly a significant percentage hereon--IT IS OBVIOUS THAT MANY DO ENGAGE EXACTLY IN HORRIFICALLY BLASPHEMOUS FORMS OF RANK IDOL WORSHIP OF THE WORST SORT.
Insisting that Proddys take such a perspective off the table is insisting that we avoid dealing with reality in such a discussion. Not going to happen as long as this Proddy has breath, energy and opportunity to stand up for Biblical truth.
That would be somewhat akin to Proddys demanding that RC's quit mentioning the Magicsterical as a source of anything in any discussions between us. I don't expect that any RC would agree.
Jesus communicated with Mary. That, to me, is equivalent to prayer except that neither party has died yet. And Jesus probably asked Mary for something. So we have petitionary prayer.
NO! "WE" DO NOT! HAVE petitionary prayer. We have a mortal Jesus asking mummy for his sandals. End of story.
All we ask her for are her prayers, while at other times (scattered lightly in the daily prayers of Catholics) we ask God to hear Mary's prayers.
We realize that a great number of RC's hereon seem to have absolutely blindness in seeing the HORRIFIC INSULT THAT IS
2. CHRIST THE SON'S SACRIFICIAL CRUEL DEATH!
3. AUTHENTIC MARY'S HUMBLE ADHERENCE TO 1 & 2 ABOVE!
All this clap-trap about asking Aunt Minnie to pray for our sick child with a fever is the same thing as asking Mary in Heaven to pray to the Father in our behalf is utter nonsense. What a farce!
Where are the statues to Aunt Minnie?
Where are the Rosaries to Aunt Minnie?
Where has the Magicsterical decreed infallibly that Aunt Minnie is a Co-Mediatrix?
Where has Aunt Minnie been declared in the Catechism or other official writings, to be in "hypostatic" union with--sharing in--THE GOD-HEAD! MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON SUCH BLASPHEMY!
Please don't insult Proddy intelligence with such a farce of a rationalization! We may be thick-headed at times but we are NOT !THAT! STUPID!
If that's "brainwashed", then I'm brainwashed. I think the idea that, even after the Transfiguration and the Resurrection, communication with those who have 'gone before' is impossible is itself unBiblical, for surely Moses and Elias went before, and sure we are one in the Spirit.
So, you take an extremely unique miracle in the NT and try and shoe-horn/ slam it into a GENERALIZED FARCICAL SPIRITUAL/!!!RELIGIOUS!!! LAW!???!!
Let's look at THAT VERY miracle.
Peter, in his usual brash way suggests building tabernacles, willow type booths for the three.
WHAT WAS THE FATHER'S RESPONSE?
THE FATHER'S RESPONSE WAS:
This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!
All Peter had suggested in his grasping impetuous way--was to HONOR the 3 of them more or less equally. There was NOT ANY HINT of establishing a prayer dogma to the other two.
Nevertheless, even that mere hint of equality between the 3 was SOUNDLY REBUKED BY ALMIGHTY GOD THE FATHER.
This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!
As we have seen, it seems that most RC's have a built-in resistance to TAKING GOD AT HIS EVEN EMPHATIC WORD!
Given that--what chance does a mere mortal Proddy have to scratch any surface of any RC with any increased insight or perceptiveness? Y'all won't listen to God--you sure won't listen to mere Proddys--particularly if we grovel around in our communications with a wimpy, muffled, whisper that doesn't begin to rise to y'all's typical emotional levels and intensities of communication.
No thanks. Not this kid.
Nevertheless, I greatly appreciate your spirit and attitude as a rare RC example. And, I try hard to respond in kind--to you--and anyone else who approaches me with anything close to your mutual respect.
That doesn't mean that I'm likely to be gentle or kind to a long list of RC sensibilities and preferences, however.
For me, there's a HUGE difference between respecting you as a PERSON vs respecting outrageous-to-me things you believe.
Nevertheless, I wish you well in your spiritual journey. And I love and care for you deeply.
Thanks for your outrageously absurd posts and strategies. They help undermine your snarkey goals, strategies and perspectives a lot.