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Vic Biorseth, Thursday, July
The reason that the Church assigns Our Lady a higher place of reverence than any other Saint is that she is, as Scripture clearly reveals, the Mother Of God; Theotokos in Greek. The whole Church, East and West, have agreed on this from the beginning.
While Jesus Christ was the greatest among human beings, He was also God. Not so Mary. She was wholly human. Yet, she was without sin, and in a spotless state, worthy of intimate relationship with God. How do we know this?
We know the sinless state of Mary and her virginal state by the first lines of Luke's Gospel above:
Mary was to be the spotless vessel of the Lord our God. She was akin to the Ark of the Covenant, and the Holy of Holies of the Temple, and the Tabernacles in Catholic Churches.
In the Perpetual Virginity of Mary page we showed that James, the brother of the Lord, was not born of Mary and Joseph. He was the Apostle James, whose father was Alpheaeus and whose mother was the sister of the Mother of the Lord, whose name was also Mary, who stood at the cross with Mary and is identified as the mother of James and Joseph. Now, either Alpheaeus or this other Mary may have been siblings of St. Joseph, in which case this "sister" of Mary would be a sister-in-law. Or, she was a cousin.
The original Aramaic language of Galilee had no words for cousins; when translated to Greek, the word cousin was translated into the Greek words for son or daughter. Greek was the language of the Bible.
In any case James was not the son of Our Lady, and if James was not her son, then none of his siblings were her sons or daughters either.
The other aspect that is seldom looked at by non-Catholic detractors of Mary's perpetual virginity is the Jewish culture of the era, in which no man would wed or touch a non-virgin woman, who had been with another man, or who was the wife of another man. And Joseph had been informed by Gabriel, an Angel sent from God, that Mary had been "overshadowed" and made pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and that the child to be born would be the Son Of God.
No contemporary believing Jew in his right mind would ever touch a woman who had been espoused by God. St. Joseph became the absolutely dedicated chaste guardian and provider of Mother and Child.
Luke Chapter 1 continues:
The babe that leaped in Elizabeth's womb was John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord, who would make straight His path and prepare His way in this world.
When Mary began the words "My soul doth magnify the Lord", she began the prayer, forever known as the Magnificat, that Catholics have been reciting, probably, since the first Bible was ever published. Perhaps the most beautiful thanksgiving and dedication to the Lord ever uttered by human lips.
From the sinless character of Mary recognized by the universal Church, the Marian doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was developed, and declared dogmatically by Pope Pius IX in 1854, in Ineffabillis Deus.
The dogma states that Mary was conceived without sin, meaning, in a way known only to God, she was conceived without stain even of Original Sin, and thus not in need of Baptism, which takes away original sin, and every other sin. But Mary was sinless, and, as the Angel said, she was "full of grace".
It was a known teaching from the beginning, but not formulated or formalized, or written down. Pius IX simply made it official.
It was a similar situation with the Assumption of Mary. From the Catechism:
The Traditional teaching which was passed on from generation to generation is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St Modestus of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Tours and others.
Interest was stirred and it became more researched when Emperor Marcian sought to posses the body of Our Lady, and was told the Tradition by St. Juvenal, Bishop of Chalcedon, at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D.
The Tradition held that Mary had died in the presence of the Apostles, except for Thomas. When the tomb was opened later at the request of Thomas, it was found to be empty, and the Apostles concluded that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven.
Belief in the Assumption of Mary was held, almost universally, both in the East and in the West, as it is to this day.
As Pius IX had done in 1854 with the Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius XII did in 1950 with his declaration of the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, in Munificentissimus Deus. He formalized it and put it in writing.
There is no doubt that Mary is the "Woman, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" spoken of in Revelation 12:1 and after.
Nor is there any doubt that she is, body and soul, in heaven with God.
Daughter of the Father, Spouse of the Spirit, and Mother of the Son.
And our Mother, too (John 19:26-17).
And all generations shall call her blessed (Luke 1:48).
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Tue Jul 19 08:10:17 2016
Location: Arvada CO USA
This was a breath of fresh air after listening to the Vortex video on "Bad Mothering" I always enjoy reading about our Blessed Mother. Seems you can never learn enough or hear it too often.
I thought for sure you would have mentioned the forth of the seven last words of Jesus on the cross. ( Behold your Mother) It appears that many Christian links conveniently leave out the part where Jesus introduces the world to His Mother, as our Mother.
Anyhow, thank you, I enjoyed this one.
Date: Tue Jul 19 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
Yes, that may have been an important oversight; I was concentrating more on Our Lady's relationship to God in His Trinity than her relationship to us.
Yes, when He gave His mother to John, and he took her into his home and his care from that very day, she became our mother too, by proxy. Thank you for reminding us.
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The purpose of this grouping of articles is to describe the Christian Trinitarian God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Trinity Pages
These pages describe the true nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as described in Scripture and continuous teaching of the Church. Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and those Protestant sects who deny the Divinity of Jesus are not going to like this.
The Athanasian Creed: Setting the Record Straight on the Blessed Trinity. The adoption of the Athanasian Creed settled the matter, in an explanation of the trinity of the persons of God and the twofold nature of the one divine Person of Jesus Christ.
God The Father: On the First Person of the Holy Trinity, and His Title: Father. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our Father, the One and Only Lord of All That Is.
God The Son: Consubstantial with the Father, wholly man and wholly God. Scripture is clear and repetitive about it: Jesus was both God, and Son of God; both man, and God, at the same time.
God The Holy Spirit: The Third Person of the Holy Trinity, guiding His Church. The Holy Spirit is God active in the world, doing the will of the Father, fulfilling the promises of the Son.
On the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her unique relationship to God Almighty. The Blessed Virgin Mary: Daughter of the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mother of the Son.
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