The Virgin Mary’s Unique Role in the Salvation of the World

Lorenzo Costa, Mary's Annunciation (16th c.)
Lorenzo Costa, Mary’s Annunciation (16th c.)

Whether you’re Catholic or Orthodox or Protestant, you owe a great debt of gratitude to the Virgin Mary, because there’s a special way in which you owe your salvation to her. This claim often sounds heretical, particularly to Protestant ears, so here’s the basic reason Catholics say this:

1. Jesus Saved The World Through His Body 

Virtually all Christians agree that we’re saved through the Cross of Christ, even though theologians often disagree about just how that works. We’ll leave the details of how alone for now, and just recognize that it’s through the Cross that we’re saved. But the Cross is meritorious, it is salvific, precisely because Christ died on the Cross.

So you can’t have salvation without the Cross, or the Cross without the Incarnation. Because if Jesus had never taken on a human nature, He could never have died, and we would not be saved. St. Augustine put the radical truth of the Incarnation this way:

In order to die for us – because as God he could not die – the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The immortal One took on mortality that he might die for us, and by dying put to death our death. This is what the Lord did, this the gift he granted to us. The mighty one was brought low, the lowly one was slain, and after he was slain, he rose again and was exalted.

But the clearest presentation of this is from Jesus Himself, Who says in John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” So His Flesh saves us; or perhaps better, He saves us through His Flesh.

2. To Save the World in This Way, Jesus Needed a Human Mother (and a Jewish One)

God being God, He is capable of becoming man. But to become a man, He couldn’t just take on a semblance of human appearance. In such a case, He wouldn’t truly be one of us. He wouldn’t be part of the human family – He’d just look like us. That’s not enough. Instead, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth,” as St. John tells us in John 1:14.

He actually became part of our family. In taking on the fullness of human nature, He redeems human nature. If He hadn’t been true man, He could hardly be the perfect God-man. And what’s more, God promised that salvation would come in a very particular way, through a Messiah raised up from the Jewish people. So to both (a) save the world and (b) fulfill His promises, Jesus needed to enter the world through a true mother, and a Jewish one. St. Paul puts it this way, “when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4). If He weren’t “born of a woman,” He wouldn’t be part of our family. If He weren’t born “under the Law,” He couldn’t fulfill the Mosaic Law.

So Christ’s birth to the Virgin Mary was no mere coincidence, it wasn’t random. She is as chosen as the Mother of Christ as the Jewish people are chosen as the Chosen People. And all of human history points towards this moment, which St. Paul calls “the fullness of time.” There’s a reason that we measure time, B.C. / A.D., based on the conception and birth of Jesus to Mary. His entry into the world is the true Anno Domini, “year of Our Lord.”

So Jesus saves the world through His humanity. But He doesn’t have His humanity in virtue of His Divinity. He has His humanity in virtue of Mary’s unique cooperation. Just as His Divinity proceeds in its entirety from the Father, His humanity comes entirely from His Mother, Mary. To deny this is to deny that Jesus is fully human. What would it look like to deny this? In a book called Without Denomination: A Critique of Church Doctrines, Roy D. Perkins attempted just that:

Although Joseph is the father of Jesus, he is actually the step-father to Jesus. The Pharisees often refer to Jesus as the carpenter’s son as they do not realize that Joseph is not his blood father. Mary is not really the mother of Jesus either. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a virgin birth. There is no genetic material from Joseph or Mary in Jesus. The blood line does not come from either one of them. This is where Roman Catholicism gets things mixed up. The Catholics call Mary the mother of God. However, she is only a vessel for carrying and nurturing Jesus as an unborn child. We don’t pray to her. […] She is not holy. If Joseph and/or Mary had passed on genetic material to Jesus, the sin nature would have been passed on to Jesus, making him an imperfect sacrifice. The blood of Joseph and Mary does not run through Jesus’s veins. If their blood did flow through his veins, there would be no salvation by Jesus Christ.

Most Protestants, I hope, would recognize this as entirely heretical. To hold such a teaching is to deny “the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 1:7). Because if Jesus doesn’t actually have a human nature, He never came into the Flesh. And if He’s not related to homo sapiens in any way, but was just an alien who used Mary’s body as a “vessel,” He’s not human, He’s not in the Flesh.

So I suspect that most Protestants would recognize that Perkins is right about St. Joseph not being the true father of Jesus, but wrong about Mary. Perkins is right that Joseph’s blood doesn’t flow through Jesus’s veins. But Mary’s blood does. But few Protestants stop and realize what a profound statement this is.

If Jesus takes a true human nature from Mary, then Mary provides Him with the very tool that He uses to save the world. If you envision Christ’s humanity as the arrow that the Divine Archer uses to pierce the heart of Satan, it’s the Virgin Mary who hands Him the arrow. What other human being, in all of human history before or since, has done anything remotely comparable?

3. Mary’s Cooperation with the Divine Plan was Free and Intentional

You might be tempted to compare Mary’s role in salvation history (which is to say, Mary’s role in our salvation) to that of her ancestors. If Mary’s honored for her unique role in giving Jesus His Humanity, why not honor all of her (and therefore His) ancestors? To that I would say that there’s a reason that Jesus’ sacred genealogy is traced along two lines in Scripture (Mt. 1:2-17; Lk. 3:23-38), and a reason that St. Matthew refers to his Gospel as the “book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mt. 1:1). But Mary’s role is distinct and greater than any of her ancestors, just as her role is distinct and greater than Pilate’s, or any of the Apostles, etc.

Mary enables the Incarnation and the salvation of the world (unlike Pilate and the Apostles), and she does so knowingly and freely (unlike any of her ancestors). The Virgin Mary alone gives Jesus something that He doesn’t already have: a human nature, and its accompanying mortality. And as we see from Luke 1, she does so intentionally and consciously, freely consenting to the plan of God (Luke 1:26-33):

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

In other words, the angel Gabriel actually lays out for Mary that her Son is to be the long-awaited Messiah. He goes on to explain to her that this will happen via a Virgin Birth (Lk. 1:34-35), and offers as proof the miraculous pregnancy of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth (Lk. 1:36-37). Mary then responds to the angel by freeing consenting to this plan, proclaiming, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Lk. 1:38).

Mary’s response matters. In the Greco-Roman pantheon, there were several divine rapists. For example, the twin brothers Amphion and Zethus (the mythical founders of the city of Thebes, somewhat equivalent to Remus and Romulus) were the sons of Antiope, who was raped by Zeus, the “father God” (known to the Romans as Jupiter, from Zeu Pater or “Father Zeus”). St. Luke is showing us that God’s Fatherhood isn’t like Jupiter’s. The Virgin Mary remains a Virgin, and yet freely becomes a mother.

And note that she does so in full view of the fact that saying yes to the angel Gabriel means ushering the Messiah in to save His People. And so we can say with St. Irenaeus of Lyons, who said way back in 180 A.D., “And thus also it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.”

Conclusion

So it is that every one of us, if we are truly saved, owes our salvation to the Virgin Mary, because it was through her free cooperation in the Divine plan that Jesus received His human nature through which He saved the world.

Some Protestants, despite agreeing with everything I’ve said so far, will be tempted to say, “So what? God could have done it a different way.” This response strikes me as theologically bizarre. We would never dream of saying (for example) “so what if the Second Person of the Trinity took on a human nature and died for my sins? Presumably, the Third Person of the Trinity could have done it instead.” Nor we would even say “I’m not going to honor that soldier who saved his comrades by throwing himself on a grenade. If he hadn’t have done it, someone else probably would have.” But for some reason, when it comes to the Virgin Mary’s contribution to salvation, the greatest played by a human being in all of history, we get fed these strange counter-factuals.

If you’re tempted to that way of thinking, I would point you once more to St. Paul’s description in Galatians 4:4, which says that all of this happened “in the fullness of time.” None of this was random. God could have had a different Chosen People, but He chose the Jews in His perfect wisdom. And He could have chosen a different woman to be the Mother of His Son, but in His wisdom He chose the Virgin Mary. We should honor that choice by honoring the woman who freely cooperated with God’s plan to save us.

99 Comments

  1. Hi Joe,
    Great article. Simple oversight or typo: “You can’t have salvation with the cross…” should be ***without***the cross?

    1. Note the wisdom of Holy Mother Church in honoring the “Exaltation of the Cross” and “Our Lady of Sorrows” back-to-back (Sept. 14 and 15).

      Also, the Jewish High Holidays are also celebrated this month. jj

        1. AK – You’ve got a gift for imaginative literary humor. There is great delight in so many of your pictures–the fish, the single-wide, the Cat’licks, and so many more. That being so, your gift has transferred to the fish. He gave us not only the double dunce cap but the triple crown too! That, and a couple others, do thou admit, are worth a chucky or two? 🙂

  2. “Catholics call Mary the mother of God. However, she is only a vessel for carrying and nurturing Jesus as an unborn child. We don’t pray to her. […] SHE IS NOT HOLY.”

    Roy D. Perkins, quoted by Joe, above, in all of his profound study of sacred scripture, must have passed over what the angel of God, Gabriel, proclaimed of Mary. Read carefully the very words of the angel, and then consider whether scripture teaches if she is indeed “holy”, or not:

    “…the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, FULL OF GRACE, THE LORD IS WITH THEE: BLESSED ART THOU among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for THOU HAST FOUND GRACE WITH GOD.”

    How can any thoughtful Christian pass up scriptures such as this…and considering that we also celebrate these words at Christmas every year? It must be either from being brainwashed, or just spiritually blind… or both? How is it possible?

    Mary, also was a prophet. She proclaimed to St. Elizabeth just a short time after Gabiel visited her: “From this day ALL GENERATIONS will call me blessed”. Behold what faith and confidence…and even before Jesus Christ her Son was even born!

    But do those who believe in ‘sola scriptura’ consider also THESE scriptures regarding Mother of God? Or, do they discount them, choosing to pay attention to only the scriptures that suit their own sixteenth century Protestant philosophies and arguments?

    Thank God that Catholics fulfill this prophesy of Our Blessed Lady, that “all generations will call me blessed”, and loudly declare… every day, and many times a day: “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee!” , “Blessed art thou amongst Women”, and “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”. In this, it is the devout Catholic faithful, and maybe some Orthodox also, who are prophesied by the Blessed Virgin Mary to exist throughout all generations. Because, these are the Christians who frequently pray these very prayers, and say these proclamations, even as she promised they would 2017+ years ago. Thanks be to God!

    1. AWL: Roy D. Perkins, quoted by Joe, above, in all of his profound study of sacred scripture, must have passed over what Gabriel, proclaimed of Mary… Hail, FULL OF GRACE, THE LORD IS WITH THEE

      BB: Face it: all true Christians will deny your implications until kingdom come. If Mary, being “full of grace” was sinless, then it should follow that anyone else full of grace would be sinless also. “Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was working great wonders…but he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked to heaven and saw the glory of God.” (Ax 6:8; 7:55). Did you know that “full of grace” and “full of the Holy Spirit” are synonymous terms? (No, of course you didn’t. Now that you do know, I assume your reaction will be, “Who cares what Scripture says! I have no desire whatsoever to rightly divide the word of truth”).
      That being so, God is dead set against the Immaculate Conception (a foolish doctrine that technically and primarily has to do with Mary’s MOTHER, and not the peasant girl herself). Because it is a fact that all of the following were full of the Holy Spirit (and were sinners), so was Mary! Witness also David (Ps 51:11), Elizabeth (Luke 1:42), Zacharias (Luke 1:67), Paul (Ax 13:8), Barnabas (Ax 11:24), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas (Ax 6:3-5).
      Thus, when you say that Mr. Perkins “passed over” some things in Scripture, it is a false allegation because he, being well aware of the above facts, knows that Catholic claims about Mary being full of grace carry NO weight to prove her sinlessness. It is in fact, YOU, who has purposely passed over the biblical evidence which disproves your doctrine, but since it hurts your brain too much to even think about, you prefer to be “willfully ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5).
      So be it.

      1. You might recall that Perkins’s exact quote is the “she is not holy”. This is not a discussion of Mary’s sinlessness or her immaculate conception. For anyone to say she was NOT HOLY, after reading what an angel of God said to her, proves that such a person ignores sacred scripture and is dominated by some other spirit, but not the spirit of truth.

        You make little of the words “the Lord is with thee”, as if they mean nothing. This proves that you also are brainwashed. You also ignore the prophesy “From this day all generations will call me blessed”. This is probably the only case in human history that actually might demonstrate ‘once saved always saved’ as actually happening. Mary, with this saying, was teaching that every generation until the end of the world will understand that she is blessed by God, signifying the great confidence that she had of persevering in the faith, and conquering satan, until the end of her life here on Earth. No other man can have such confidence, but here, it is proven that indeed Mary did have it.

        Can you say to anyone else : “From this day all generations will call me blessed”? it would be the height of egoism to presume such thing. But, Mary did say it. And she said it with the authority of the Holy Spirit which over shadowed her.

        So, it is best if you slow down a little in your fanatical Protestant exegesis and try to understand these ‘incarnation’ and ‘nativity’ scriptures a little better. Maybe you yourself might attain some wisdom on the matter, and thereby grow closer to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Concerning such holy history, of the incarnation of the Son of God into the world, there is a healthy degree of respect a Christian should have for it. To not wonder or respect the history of the incarnation, or to discount the stories and words of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, etc.. in these nativity stories, or to discount the role of Mary herself in them, from which we got the accounts, history and scriptures in the first place (as she was the only witness living to tell those stories)…would prove the old saying: “Fools rush in where the angels fear to tread.”

      2. As to Acts 6:8, there are discrepancies in the manuscripts and some use charitos (grace) while others use pisteos (faith). The KJV uses pisteos and we have commentary from the 4th century by Chrysostom where he uses pisteos as well. Using Acts 6:8 as a proof text here is not the slam dunk you infer it to be.

        1. Shane,

          We have not just one proclamation of holiness declared by the angel, but three together. And that is just for the salutation itself. That she is called ‘blessed among women’ is sufficient enough to demonstrate her exalted status on Earth and in Heaven. And an angel delivers a message exactly as God intends it to be given. They are not subject to sin and human respect as humans are. So, everything said of Mary by the Gabriel comes directly from the will of God.

          And I’m not even defending the dogmas on Mary. The plain reading of the nativity texts clearly teach how holy Mary is. “From this day all generations will call me blessed” is an incomparable prophesy. Who else except Jesus could make a statement like this? And it was made even before He was born.

          1. AWL: That she is called ‘blessed among women’ is sufficient enough to demonstrate her exalted status on Earth and in Heaven.

            BB: Nonsense! This is the kind of snake-oil theology that results from refusing to compare Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor 2:13).
            If God was so kind to tell us of other women who remained chaste (2 Sam 13:20, Judges 11:37), no doubt He would have told us of Mary’s exception as well, if it were true. But the silence is deafening and instantly proves everything the RCC teaches about M, to be in error.
            Annnnnnd, if the Lord was so kind to tell us of Jael who was sinful, but nevertheless, “blessed among women” in the O.T. (Judges 5:24), then when we read of Mary being blessed among women in the N.T., we may deduce from good and necessary consequence that M was a sinner likewise. Thus, your bombastic claim that the mere STATEMENT from the angel proves RC marian dogma, utterly fails because God is one step ahead of you by giving us ammunition that vaporizes your contentions into a ball of smoke.

      3. If Mary, being “full of grace” was sinless, then it should follow that anyone else full of grace would be sinless also. “Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was working great wonders…but he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked to heaven and saw the glory of God.” (Ax 6:8; 7:55).

        Except that in Greek, the words used are different.

        Although I would think it quite possible that Stephan might, at the point, have been sinless, having been washed and sanctified and justified.

  3. J.H. Perkins is right that Joseph’s blood doesn’t flow through Jesus’s veins. But Mary’s blood does.

    BB: You are wrong. Fetuses do not share blood with their mothers. Inside the umbilical cord, the baby’s blood vessels and the mother’s pass next to each other. The nutrients to go from the mom to the baby but the two different blood supplies do not actually intermingle.

    J.H. if we are truly saved, [we] owe our salvation to the Virgin Mary

    BB: Jesus Christ would absolutely NEVER condone such a statement! We know this because his response to the person in the crowd (like you) who yelled out, “Blessed is that woman who bore you”, DOWNPLAYED Maria Marvelous. Why? Because he knew without a doubt that people like you would come on the scene to uplift the person of his mother to heights he NEVER intended. Much to every Catholic’s disgust, Christ taught that of all those who had ever been born, NONE was greater than John the Baptist.
    Uh-oh, Houston, we have a problem.
    This is the first black cloud that hangs over your thesis. The other black clouds come in the form of the irrefutable downplaying of Mary by the Lord himself as previously mentioned. He simply does not react in the way Rome wishes he did. Look at it!

    1) From when he was boy, “Did you not know that I ought to be about my Father’s business?” —- establishes a distance between himself and his earthly parents in favor of His relationship to His heavenly Father.

    2) “Woman, what have I to do with thee?”
    While it is true that speculation abounds as to Jesus’ intent in using this term, what most agree on is that it’s not exactly the most flattering thing to be said. A Catholic commentator, making the most sense in my opinion, does rightly observe that, “Neither in antiquity nor today does the usage prevail of a son addressing his mother as “woman”….however, this would seem to indicate that Jesus did not wish the relationship of natural motherhood and authority to be the basis of Mary’s dealings with him in his public life and ministry of salvation.”
    Well said! (“The Marian Significance at Cana” by S. Hartdegen, p. 91-2).

    3) If the picture painted of Mary within RCism is true, we should have expected a different response from Jesus when one person shouts out from the crowd: “Blessed is the womb that bare thee!” (Luke 11:27). If he wished to emphasize what this voice from the crowd had said, we might expect Him to say, “Indeed, she is even more blessed because of our biological ties.” But he does not. Instead, when that person suggests that the mother of Jesus must be very blessed because of her biological connection to him, he emphatically points AWAY from the “womb” (singular) that bare Him, to… “those” (plural) who hear the word of God and keep it. It definitely appears that this passage serves as a warning for all subsequent overindulgent Marian piety, such as your saying, “we owe our salvation to HER”.

    4) Matt 12:46 also is not in your favor. “While he yet talked to the people, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak to Him”….and someone went to tell him. His response is once again, noteworthy, but is not what the RCC wants to hear. But hear it you must….
    “WHO IS MY MOTHER? AND WHO ARE MY BRETHREN? And he stretched forth His hand towards His disciples and said, “Behold my mother, and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister and mother.”
    The import of these words cannot be underestimated in contradistinction to the “mary” of Catholicisim. Note well that his mother and brethren that came to see Him are seen as a unit, as though they are of the same household, and so, to posit that these “brethren” are in reality, “cousins” or “distant relatives” as RC apologists desperately try to imagine, severely weakens the “punch line” (if you will) that Jesus delivers at the end. The intended effect of his answer is to direct his audience away from any notion of special status with Him through biological ties—indeed, and to sever those biological ties to establish a new family based on obedience to the will of God. This is further evidence, in addition to numerous other places, that Mary HAD OTHER CHILDREN. His meaning is effectively, “She who bore me and they who grew up with me are not my mother and brothers; rather it is they who are doers of the Word. If that happens to include those who were part of my biological family, well and good.” Thus, without exception, everywhere Mary appears during the course of Jesus’ ministry, He is at pains to establish distance between them, OBVIOUSLY because he knew what was coming (Luke 2:48-9, 8:19-21, Mk 3:31-35, John 2:4, as well as the present passage).
    If you truly want to arrive at a balanced and biblical Mariology, I would suggest that these passages offer compelling evidence that weighs AGAINST the belief that we “owe our salvation to HER”. This is NOT what Jesus would want us to say!

    As demonstrated, it is crystal clear that the gospel draws a sharp line between blood ties and discipleship ties, and leaves no doubt that true kinship with Jesus is based on the latter. In RCism, the biological ties between Mary and Jesus are NEVER severed, and in fact, become the basis for exalting her with titles and offices, “which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.” (Jer 19:5). The prayer said after each Rosary declaring Mary to be “our life, our sweetness and our hope” is in DIRECT contradiction to the word of God which says Christ is our life (Col 3:4), our sweetness (Ps 34:8) and our hope (Col 1:27, Titus 2:13), and proves Catholic Mariology grinds against the biblical record at every turn, at every crossroad and every intersection of common sense and reason.

    1. Barry said: 3) If the picture painted of Mary within RCism is true, we should have expected a different response from Jesus when one person shouts out from the crowd: “Blessed is the womb that bare thee!” (Luke 11:27). If he wished to emphasize what this voice from the crowd had said, we might expect Him to say, “Indeed, she is even more blessed because of our biological ties.”

      Barry, you think you have wisdom but you don’t. You don’t even understand the mind of Christ while He was preaching in Israel. You ignore Jesus’ admonitions to not make His identity known publicly after various miracles. Note how Jesus tries to keep His identity private, so as to actually be capable of preaching and teaching without a spectacle:

      “Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.”
      [Matthew 16:20]

      “And Jesus saith to him: See thou tell no man: but go, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them.”
      [Matthew 8:4]

      “And immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right.
      And he charged them that they should tell no man. But the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal did they publish it.” [Mark 7:36]

      “But he taking her by the hand, cried out, saying: Maid, arise. [55] And her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And he bid them give her to eat. And her parents were astonished, whom he charged to tell no man what was done. [Luke 8:54]

      “The tribune therefore dismissed the young man, charging him that he should tell no man, that he had made known these things unto him.”
      [Acts Of Apostles 23:22]

      “And he said to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answering, said: The Christ of God. But he strictly charging them, commanded they should tell this to no man. [But he strictly charging them, commanded they should tell this to no man.”
      [Luke 9:21]

      “And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.” [Matthew 17:9]

      ************

      Barry, can you not understand that as Jesus wanted to protect His identity from a fanatical crowd, who would only be attracted to spectacle and not His Holy gospel, that Jesus would also want to protect the identity of His holy Mother?

      To NOT understand this, proves that your understanding of the Gospel is superficial. Mary protected Jesus Christ’s identity FAITHFULLY for 30 years of His life. And when the time came, she changed and provoked Him to become publicly known at the ‘Wedding at Cana’, even though He said it wasn’t the ‘hour’; yet He indeed DID perform His first miracle at Mary’s request. And as Mary protected Him all those years, as was her vocation and faithful duty….until ‘the day of the Lord’ arrived….so too did Jesus shield and protect the identity of His holy Mother in a similar way.

      To not understand this, is to not understand Jesus Christ and His holy gospel. So, Barry, don’t be too proud of your exegetical abilities, as you still have a lot to learn about the ways of Jesus Christ Our Lord (and His holy mother too).

      1. AWL: You don’t even understand the mind of Christ while He was preaching in Israel. You ignore Jesus’ admonitions to not make His identity known publicly after various miracles. Note how Jesus tries to keep His identity private, so as to actually be capable of preaching and teaching without a spectacle:

        “Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.”
        [Matthew 16:20]

        BB: NO WAY JOSE. While it is true that there was a command for them to “keep a low profile as it regarded his identity”… AT TIMES, this was certainly NOT the case from the beginning to the end of his ministry and I will not take the time to run through the examples which counteract your position, not the least of which was, “Before Abraham was, I AM”, and they knew exactly what he was inferring, and picked up stones to kill him.

        AWL: your understanding of the Gospel is superficial. Mary protected Jesus Christ’s identity FAITHFULLY for 30 years of His life. And when the time came…

        BB: But Jesus responded his time had not yet come, so your words lose their luster when trying to prove that… “the time had come”.

        AWL: And when the time came, she changed and provoked Him to become publicly known at the ‘Wedding at Cana’, even though He said it wasn’t the ‘hour’; yet He indeed DID perform His first miracle at Mary’s request.

        BB: Actually, it is you who has a superficial understanding of the gospel since you cannot even read properly the simple words regarding the incident at Cana! We read that water into wine was his FIRST miracle, and consequently Mary would have absolutely NO IDEA when or to what extent Jesus could or would ever use his power. She NEVER saw him in “action” prior to this, so it is vain speculation to suppose she was “provoking him to make himself known”. Furthermore, the woman did NOT “request” he do ANYTHING. Frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing the words of Mary amounted to a “REQUEST”. Yikes! This is why Catholicism continues to flourish; namely, because you just swallow what your parish priest tells you and never bother to check it out.
        Now hear this! The Text simply says she made the situation KNOWN to him, period, end of story. The fact that he followed up on it does not prove a blessed thing in favor of Catholic doctrine concerning her person. The RCC is FOREVER trying to make the Bible say something it does not!

        1. “Furthermore, the woman did NOT “request” he [Jesus] do ANYTHING.”

          Here are the exact words of this story, it’s only 5 sentences long:

          “…there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.”

          Any reasonable Christian with common sense, even as child, should be able to understand these 5 sentences. Here is the common sense sequence of understanding between the two:

          1. Mary wants Jesus to solve the wine problem, as it was being depleted rapidly.
          2. Jesus obviously is not in the wine business and so physically, he would not have had, on hand, 100 + gallons to provide them. Thus Mary was asking for a miracle of Jesus for this purpose.
          3. Thus Mary, not being an idiot, knew Jesus must perform a miracle to solve the problem.
          4. Jesus considers this request with this same understanding, that He is being asked to do a miracle by his mother, for which He relies ‘My hour is not yet come [ to be publicly recognized as a prophet/ wonder worker/ messiah].
          5.Mary does not agree with Jesus, that His hour is not yet come to be publicly revealed, and so commands the servants to do whatever He tells them. If she DID agree with Jesus about his response, she would have told Him “..OK Jesus, you are right. We will wait for your ‘hour’ to arrive.”
          But she doesn’t do this.
          6. Mary’s faith and charity win the day! Jesus immediately orders the servants for water to be transubstantiated into wine.
          7. Problem solved, and Mary’s dignity is shown once again. God, Her Son is obeying her wishes, and performing miracles, aslso, to accomplish it.
          8. Last note: Satan asked a similar thing of Jesus while tempting Him in the Desert. He asked for Jesus to feed Himself with the use of a similar miracle of transubstantiation, that is, by transubstantiating a solid rock into loaf of bread. But Jesus denied Him. Now, just a week or so later, he is performing a miracle for Mary’s desire/request what He would not do for Himself ..even in His most extreme physical necessity.

          And Barry, if you can’t make the connection between the satan request and His mother’s request…again, it proves your brutish/barbaric/dull witted scriptural exegetical skills. And, if you can’t understand the story line of just 5 Gospel sentences, how can you understand anything else…the more difficult passages…found in the Gospels?

          Maybe you should just go and sign up for RCIA at a local Catholic parish, as any normal parish catechist can teach you these things.

          1. BB: “Furthermore, the woman did NOT “request” he [Jesus] do ANYTHING.”

            AWL: Here are the exact words of this story, it’s only 5 sentences long

            BB: I do not need to read it again. You prove nothing by repetition.

            AWL: 1. Mary wants Jesus to solve the wine problem

            BB; She was letting Jesus know of the situation, PERIOD. If it was a request, Scripture would have recorded it.

            AWL: Mary was asking for a miracle of Jesus for this purpose.

            BB: I have already told you that she (and everyone else on earth) had no experience in witnessing any of his miracles before, and it is therefore VAIN SPECULATION to suppose she was asking for miraculous provision! I understand you desperately want it to be true, but you are going far beyond the Text and ought to be ashamed.

            AWL: 3. Mary, not being an idiot, knew Jesus must perform a miracle to solve the problem.

            BB: And now you are a mind-reader? Are you also able to predict which horses will come in at the finish line at the Kentucky derby?

            AWL: 4. Jesus considers this request with this same understanding, that He is being asked to do a miracle by his mother

            BB: And you can also read the mind of Christ as well? Now I’ve heard everything.

            AWL: 5. Mary does not agree with Jesus, that His hour is not yet come to be publicly revealed

            BB: Produce one person in the history of Christianity, alive or dead, who will agree with your outrageous supposition.

            AWL: 6. Mary’s faith and charity win the day! Jesus immediately orders the servants for water to be transubstantiated into wine.

            BB: First of all, no one…and I mean, NO ONE… on earth would ever say that the water was “transubstantiated” into wine! Ummm…did the outer appearance of water remain that of water, while the inner substance changed to wine? Don’t be ridiculous.
            Moreover, Mary’s supposed “faith” that Christ would do a miracle cannot be proven for a nanosecond, and so cannot “win the day”. I’ll say it again: to portray her as expecting him to perform a miracle, something that until now he had never done, it entirely anachronistic. HOWWWW could she have tacitly expected something for which there was no historical precedent?
            Answer? She couldn’t!
            The truth is, it was a simple expression of anxious concern, perhaps laced with an appeal to help her come up with a solution. In any case, Catholics always want to deal with the alleged miracle request, but are all too happy to FORGET about his overtone of reproach, which amounted to “what do we have to do with each other?” or “why are you bothering me?”. The fact remains that however you construe his reply, similar expressions elsewhere in the Text always convey in some way— distancing the speaker from the interlocutor.

            AWL: God, Her Son is obeying her wishes, and performing miracles to accomplish it.

            BB: ***THIS*** is the real reason why you want her “request” to be fulfilled; namely, so that you can make a case for bringing ***all*** your petitions to Mary. However, that thought is categorically unbiblical (CCC 2677). Once she has your petitions, you suppose she will bring them before God and he will obey her wishes!

            The amount of biblical scholars who would agree with you that the implications of Cana support RC dogma, may be counted on the fingers of one hand.

          2. Funny, Barry, You must have spent too much time at the ‘brainwashing.com website. You can’t even understand a simple biblical story. How could you ever hope to understand an actual parable? This conversation between Jesus and Mary is historical. And any 10 year old Christian with half a brain can easily understand it after a mere 10 minute study.

          3. AWL: You can’t even understand a simple biblical story…And any 10 year old Christian with half a brain can easily [get it].

            BB: Your reply is so lame I wonder if you walk with crutches.
            Needless to say (but I guess I have to), no 10 year old in the universe would ever come to conclusion you do based on a simple reading of the Text, and neither have the majority of bible scholars who are more than 10 years old. If you had an ounce of sense, or was serious to substantiate your “even a child would know Mary was asking for a favor” view, you would have posted or linked to such a person. But you don’t, which proves I know what I’m talking about because a simple reading of the Text does NOT say what you want it to say. You sir, are so full of hot air if you were a balloon, you’d pop.

    2. Barry,

      Credit where it’s due: this response, although I disagree with it, is at least about the post above. So thank you for that.

      You said that “Fetuses do not share blood with their mothers. Inside the umbilical cord, the baby’s blood vessels and the mother’s pass next to each other. The nutrients to go from the mom to the baby but the two different blood supplies do not actually intermingle.”

      Actually, due to human fetomaternal microchimerism, cells pass between the mother and unborn child (in this case, between the Virgin Mary and Jesus). But your objection misreads what I mean by saying that Mary’s blood flows through Jesus’ veins. I mean it more in the sense that you’ve got your mother’s nose or your father’s chin. That’s the same sense Perkins was using the expression when he denied that Joseph or Mary’s blood flowed through Jesus’ veins.

      So the good news is, you have no reason to actually disagree with anything I’ve written here, right? I’m saying:

      1. Jesus saved the world through His Body;
      2. The Virgin Mary, through the eternal plan of God, provided Him with this Body; and
      3. This cooperation in the Divine plan was knowing and intentional.

      Do you actually disagree with any of those three points?

      Joe

    1. CWD: So Jesus was born/birthed from an impure, sin stained person?

      BB: The FACT that wonderful Mary was a sinner takes nothing away from her virtues, nor has any Protestant sought to undermine her role in “salvation history”….NOT, that “we owe her our salvation” as our host article has proposed. Do you not realize that Matthew mentions four women in the geneaology of the Messiah besides Mary—-and just WHO might they be? READ IT!
      The incestuous Tamar! (1:3)
      Rahab the harlot! (1:5)
      Ruth the Moabitess! (1:5)
      The adulterous Bathsheba! (1:6).

      Thus, the Catholic needs to FACE IT: These are Jesus’ ancestors like it or not. Women were SELDOM mentioned in geneological tables, and the inclusion of these is all the more astonishing and the Holy Spirit is DEFINITELY saying something here; namely, he most definitely may use an imperfect vessel to accomplish his ultimate goals, just as he has used imperfect vessels in a million other case scenarios down through time!
      The RCC would like to teach us how Mary’s pristine nature made the Incarnation possible. However, the Scriptures don’t give the slightest indication that the maiden He chose NEEDED to wear such a spot-free cloak, and in fact, militates against the idea beginning IN THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER OF THE NEW TESTAMENT!

      Truly, every single RC argument, bar none, no matter WHAT it is and no matter WHAT the topic, always can be met with a more biblical, reasonable and sober response.

      1. BB: The RCC would like to teach us how Mary’s pristine nature made the Incarnation possible.

        M: The RCC does not like to teach you anything. It does teach to every man that the merits of the resurrection apply to all time. There is no reason to suppose for you to say that God could not do as He pleased. He could have applied His merits to Mary prior to her conception of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What reasonable person would not choose to have a good and beautiful and virtuous mother?

        BB: The FACT that wonderful Mary was a sinner takes nothing away from her virtues.

        M: Where do you get such an idea? Seems to me you are putting the beam of your own eye onto the inner life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And you contradict yourself.

        BTW: I have no more time to argue with you today. Goodbye.

        1. M: There is no reason to suppose for you to say that God could not do as He pleased. He could have applied His merits to Mary prior to her conception

          BB: Any explanation that pleads that God “coulda, woulda, shoulda” done something…without a scrap of biblical evidence to prove it, MUST be abandoned. Jesus said we will be judged by his word ALONE (John 12:48), and therefore we must not spend our entire adult lives opining about what he could have, would have or should have done!
          Moreover, you don’t seem to realize that the peculiar Marian dogmas are a set of beliefs about a person, which…even if they were true, DO NOT have any salvific efficacy to address our sin debt! That being so, they CANNOT be necessary for us to believe “FOR” our salvation, as the RCC teaches. The Immaculate Conception doctrine, for example, asks us to believe something about Mary’s mother, A PERSON THAT IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE, and the RCC demands I accept what is NOT written about this woman, as one of the requirements for entering heaven!
          It is pure madness, and will not be tolerated, as Paul said to the Galatians, “no, not for an hour”.

          M: What reasonable person would not choose to have a good and beautiful and virtuous mother?

          BB: Every person on earth who would classify their mother as being virtuous, have all done so by simultaneously agreeing that they were still a sinner, as Scripture declares that there are no exceptions by emphatically stating, “NO, NOT ONE”.

      2. Alright, I’ve had it.

        Barry, shut up and go away. Your arrogance can almost be felt out of the computer screen. I have no idea why you continue to spew your venom and arrogant ignorance all over this blog. It’s clear you have no intention of having a productive dialogue. Go troll somewhere else. May God have mercy on your soul.

        1. Matt: Alright, I’ve had it. Barry, shut up and go away. Your arrogance can almost be felt out of the computer screen.

          BB: The charge of arrogance cannot be substantiated when a student of the Bible simply uses the ammunition that God provides. It’s obvious you simply can’t stand the fact that each and every apologetic the Catholic brings up, can be met with a far more commonsensical sober apologetic that dashes the Roman rubric to pieces. These theological wars are no different than the actual wars the Lord called men to fight in in days gone by, and are necessary to protect the purity of the gospel from being polluted.

          Your comment is doubly inexcusable since you have not contributed one word to the discussion except to say that you’ve “had it”. Silence is golden, yes….but sometimes, it’s simply yellow, if you get my drift.

          1. Oh yes, we all must bow to the almighty infallible private interpretations of Barry. The 100% infallible couldn’t possibly be wrong internet troll who loves reading himself. Spare me the sanctimonious crap. GO AWAY!!!!!

          2. …commonsensical sober apologetic…

            Three critiques:
            1. Most of your posts are too long, and filled with polemics that don’t add to the argument
            2. A majority of your arguments require a pre-commitment to Justification by Faith Alone/Sola Scriptura/etc. doctrines that Catholics don’t accept in the first place. You need to meet us where we are.
            3. Your posts seem drunk with emotions and fury. I (and most other people here based on their feedback) prefer talking to protestants like Irked who take a bit more of a “dry” approach.

            Joe has called you out on some of these points. Keep in mind that this is his blog, and is graciously letting you post contrary opinions here.

            I don’t mind common sense protestant arguments — I think most people here are steadfast enough in their Catholic Faith to take a few blows/challenges. Let’s try to keep it friendly though.

            …that dashes the Roman rubric to pieces…

            Sigh….you’re on a Catholic blog…you don’t need to refer to Catholicism in the third person. We’re right here.

            These theological wars are no different than the actual wars the Lord called men to fight in in days gone by, and are necessary to protect the purity of the gospel from being polluted.

            Are you refering to the 30 years war? One of the most bloody religious wars ever waged? You don’t seriously want to reignite the religious wars of the late renaissance do you?

        2. Thank you. I don’t know why Joe lets this troll stay. He doesn’t bring dialogue or reason; only childish insults. I enjoy the dialogue found here after reading Joe’s powerful articles. But this ‘a’ is just a heckler who needs a tour of the parking lot.

          1. G: I don’t know why Joe lets this troll stay.

            BB: OH be quiet thou fool. The word “troll” does NOT apply to me, so we thank you for your comical attempt to use your own made up dictionary and then apply that meaning to those you think are fit to receive it.

            G: He doesn’t bring dialogue or reason; only childish insults.

            BB: Your completely ridiculous comment is quite frankly, nauseating. I HAVE GIVEN HUNDREDS OF PIECES OF BIBLICAL EVIDENCE that are amply equipped to provoke dialogue, and you darn well know it. However, most, like yourself, do not interact with them. And that’s because you can’t, because God’s word overpowers RC arguments each and every time. That picture you use as a warrior with a sword in your hand, is hilariously hypocritical! You are completely unfit to be in God’s army, since you have not contributed NOTHING to this dialogue! So spare us all the cheap shot that I am not be “reasonable”. I’ve contributed over 5,000 reasonable words, and you have given us nothing but a pocket of blank space!

            G: I enjoy the dialogue found here after reading Joe’s powerful articles. But this ‘a’ is just a heckler who needs a tour of the parking lot.

            BB: Because it appears that every word that comes out of your mouth seems to be a bunch of baloney, I would advise you to open up a delicatessen.
            Is it to be considered “heckling” when I correct the main article that the blood of the mother does not intermingle with the fetus?
            Your comment then is worse than ridiculous.

            Now when you say that you “enjoy the dialogue”, you meeeeeen to say that you enjoy a ONE WAY DIALOGUE, with no room for the opposite point of view to worry your pretty little head. But Scripture says that “the first to bring forth his case seems right, until someone else steps forward to cross-examine him” (Prov 18:17). Thus, God wants BOTH positions to be made public, so that the better of the two will be “made manifest to all” (1 Cor 11:19). It’s obvious that you simply don’t have the guts to be cross-examined, which is precisely why you can’t contribute to the conversation.

  4. Barry –

    You make no sense unless you want to admit that Christ was birthed from a sinful vessel and the stain of Mary’s sin was all around him and fed him.

    1. …the same Mary who is called “Full of Grace” by an angel of God. And who said “the Lord is with thee”. And “blessed art thou among women.”….and “The Holy Spirit will overshadow you”.

      Moreover, every child psychologist understands that motherhood is more than just physical conception and birth. Every habit of a mother, whether it be a vice or virtue affects the baby inside her. If the mother eats a healthy diet, this will affect the fetus also. And if she drinks two bottles of wine a day, this will also affect the fetus, and the future life of the child to be born.

      Actually, an acquaintance of mine did just this very thing. She got drunk many times during her pregnancy, as well as smoking pot frequently, and her child was born severely retarded due to it.

      So, it is not good to think of motherhood in the barbarian manner in which Barry does, but rather to understand that there are natural laws that God created which must be followed so as to raise a heathy and holy child. Even the bonding of the child and mother after birth is essential to it’s future health. In Russia, for instance, a child was born to a severely alcoholic mother who was passed out drunk most of the time. The child spent more time with the street dogs than with the mother/family and neighbors. And she bonded to the dogs so strongly that she imitated them in many ways. Needless to say, she was retarded by such neglect during childhood.

      So, Jesus also was affected by His mother at the earliest stages of His physical life. He bonded to her as any human child does to it’s mother, if such love and care is offered. And, who would deny that Mary did her duty well in nurturing and raising the ‘Son of God’ during His infancy, childhood and adolescence?

      1. AWL: the same Mary who is called “Full of Grace” by an angel of God…

        BB: cannot be an apologetic for all the peculiar Marian dogmas because I told you at 2:03 that others were also classified as being “full of it” also. To this, you had no reply, and so your comment must be dismissed.

        AWL: If the mother eats a healthy diet, this will affect the fetus also….

        BB: Oh stop it. This comment does not address the error I pointed out in the main article at 3:06. The mother’s blood does not intermingle with the fetus and thus any doctrine based on this medical impossibility, must be rejected. Deal with it.

        AWL: So, it is not good to think of motherhood in the barbarian manner in which Barry does

        BB: Naturally, you have utterly failed to show how I am a barbarian when it comes to motherhood, and so it stands to reason that anyone reading that allegation must think you are on medication.

        1. Now I understand the depth of the request of Jesus when He said from the cross: “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” Barry twists Al’s “…in the barbarian manner…” to “I [says Barry] am a barbarian.” There is no reason for Al to show it. Barry has said so.

          1. He is so brain washed by Protestant heresy that he cannot even read a simple story in the bible, such as the Wedding at Cana, and appreciate the tender dialog between Mary and Jesus. Instead of viewing her as the angel described her, as ‘full of grace’ and ‘blessed among woman’, he would rather listen to Luther and call her a ‘dunghill covered with snow’….or a harlot, which he keeps referring to. Why the need to speculate that she is so evil, when the Early Church called her the ‘New Eve’. And the Book of Revelation…’A woman clothed with the Sun’. On the contrary, where is there one iota of evidence in Church history that Mary was anything BUT holy?

            But then again, Barry doesn’t have faith in Early Church History. So, what should we expect from him? I guess just fantasy exegesis of something he hasn’t been provided by God to understand. Such understanding is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, given to Christ’s chosen friends and sheep. May God enlighten Him to recognize Him in all love and truth.

          2. AWL: Why the need to speculate that she is so evil,

            BB: Of course I never said anything such thing about Mary, so I trust the reader will realize that the RC defender now reverts to plain ‘ol lying.
            Pretty pathetic.

            AWL: [In] the Book of Revelation…[she is referred to as] ’A woman clothed with the Sun’.

            BB: If you wish to insist the woman referred to there is M, well…ahhh…that lady was having labor pains, which means she was suffering the consequences of sin passed down to all women. Which means, she was a sinner like all the rest. Thank you for reminding us of this irrefutable fact, and also for reminding us of your hypocrisy to stay within the confines of the RCC while believing two opposite viewpoints at the same time; namely, that she was sinless as the RCC officially teaches, and that she was a sinner also, as you personally believe.

            Jeepers, I just don’t know how you can look at yourself in the mirror each day with a straight face.

          3. By your logic, Jesus would be a sinner also, because He suffered the consequences of Adam’s sin requiring Him to eat His bread by ‘the sweat of His brow’, and particularly by laboring as a carpenter.

            And, O great philosopher, sublime logician, does this following phrase from Revelation not describe the mother of Jesus Christ?:

            “and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. 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.”

            O wise one, is this son described above not in fact Jesus Christ the Savior of the world…”who was to rule all nations with an iron rod”….and, “taken up to God, and to his throne.”? And if indeed He is, then is Mary not HIs mother who was delivered, the mother of Jesus Christ? And if so, was she not also the same as was “clothed with the Sun”, the sun symbolizing God, the Holy Trinity…or, Father, Son or Holy Spirit? And if she was indeed clothed with the Sun, clothed with God, is she not worthy of honor and veneration, even as all the prophets and patriarchs are, such as are Abraham, Moses, King David, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel?

            This conversation with you is ended, on my part, as I don’t want to waste any more time with your incoherent arguments and dialog. I think Joe was right, when he said a few weeks back… that you should start your own blog.

          4. AWL: [You say that since Mary was having labor pains in the book of Rev, she was suffering the consequences of sin passed down to all woman, making her a sinner]. By your logic, Jesus would be a sinner also, because He suffered the consequences of Adam’s sin requiring Him to eat His bread by ‘the sweat of His brow’, and particularly by laboring as a carpenter.

            BB: NO! My logic stands supreme because we are emphatically told no less than 10 times that Jesus was sinless and was an exception to the rule! That being so, anything he might experience in his earthly life in union with mankind, was the exception, and thus it is YOUR logic that fails.
            Now because we are NOT given any likewise exception for Mary, and in fact, the Bible anticipates any argument that would do so by saying, “NO, NOT ONE”….then the Catholic who wants to suppose that she was also sinless, must be rejected if they insist that Mary was having labor pains in that passage. If she was having labor pains, she was suffering the consequence of sin, and was therefore a sinner.
            You cannot escape the simple logic and are refuted.

  5. One poster suggests that Mary can not possibly be holy since she suffers the consequence of sin! Perhaps he has never been the innocent recipient of someone going at him with sticks-n-stones, blows to an ego, or other myriad ways in which may all suffer from evil. Such fallacious logic would not understand the holiness of Christ…He too suffered the consequence of sin.

    RIP.

    1. M: One poster suggests that Mary can not possibly be holy since she suffers the consequence of sin!

      BB: First of all, NO ONE DENIES THAT MARY WAS “HOLY”. Our instructions are to “be ye holy”, which means separate. So your statement is utterly awkward without making any qualification to your statement. By using the word “holy” in an ambiguous way, you leave the erroneous impression that I do not think she was holy, which is WHOLLY untrue. Holy, yes. Sinless, NO.
      Anyway, if you insist on taking the position that the woman of Rev 12 is Mary, you MUST deal with the fact that she is undergoing labor pains, which are the consequences of sin passed on to womankind. All you do is dance around the logical ramifications which you don’t want to deal with, so the only way to respond is to make me look bad in any way possible and offer nothing to counter my arguments, hoping to simply blow smoke offer the fact that you have been thoroughly refuted. So get it straight: you MUST believe Mary was a sinner by your own “personal interpretation” of Rev 12. The logic is inescapable, and idiotic comments from you and others that my arguments are incoherent are laughable. Were we in a public debate, you would yourself be pulled off the stage with a hook due to the fact that your responses themselves are in fact, incoherent, unreasonable and unbiblical.

        1. Margo, I think that’s exactly the desired effect. Only thing the flounder would like more is if we Cat’liks threw up our hands, all declared ourselves born-agin fundie-tards, grew hair on our foreheads, donned cheapo polyester suits and joined hisself in the single-wide for a hootin-hollerin’ hand-wavin’ Jeebus revival, with bean supper to foller.

          I am guessing, though, we’ll stay for more of the wisdom of Joe and the others who post here minus the frenzied apologetic excrescences of theologically challenged.

      1. Hey BB – a topic on Mary is great Flounder-bait, ain’t it?

        Treating us to more recycled Great Awakening theo-crap? Parster Jimmy must be running out of original ideas. It’s fun to watch.

        Your apologetics “head” is “up and locked” so deep that if your navel had a window, you could see out of it.

        Let’s explore the topic of pain, labor or otherwise = universal sin, shall we?

        Jesus suffered and died on the Cross…on that I do believe we can agree. Does that fact mean Jesus was A SINNER? Of course not. It means, as Joe pointed out so astutely, that Jesus was fully human, and took on human nature which is as it is, subject to the pain-vulnerability of humanity, because of the Fall. Does not follow He was afflicted with Original Sin. Likewise with Mary. Labor pains suffered either at Bethlehem or in Revelations – and as well, the fact she died before her Assumption – is because she was fully human, an inheritor of our fallen humanity, as was and is, her Son. The one thing she did NOT inherit – backed up by the multiple Scripture references shot throughout this thread – is the stain of original sin, or any other kind, by a very special grace of God that gifted Mary with the eternal title Immaculate Conception. Learn it, live it, love it.

        You and your six inbred Ozark bunker congregants and your Westboro cousins can believe what you want. You’d be wrong, and that is your misfortune.

        1. Oh my, I see awlms has already re-fruited you on this issue.

          A fine validation for my humble input from a learned Catholic apologist.

          Flounder, the only ones telling you anything are the voices in your head.

  6. The problem with Barry in particular, and Protestants in general, regarding Mary, is that in their supposed zeal for God’s honor, they completely overlook the honor that should be afforded to chosen ambassadors or servants of God. They just include all men into one category, that they are all miserable sinners, a heap of dung covered by God’s grace, just like snow covering a heap of diarrhea or horse manure. And the problem with this, is that they fail to consider that some people actually are blessed servants of God, and do deserve more honor than others (‘double portions’, so to say), the Blessed Virgin Mary being the perfect example of this. However, she is not the only one, and from the very beginning of the world there have been people who God made covenants with, or chose them for particular missions/ callings…such as Noe, Abraham, Melchizedek, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Samuel, Elijah, Jonah, etc… And all of these were given great respect by the people of Israel as ambassadors of God for their appointed callings amongst God’s people. Moreover, it would never occur to the Israelites or Jews, to compare these chosen leaders of God, to harlots, criminals, scum or dung…because the very calling by God Himself rebukes this very idea, even if indeed they did commit sin, or were weak at times (like King David was).

    And so, when we see the utter disrespect for the Mother of Jesus Christ, that Barry and other Protestants frequently promote and display in their writings, Catholics are shocked by such barbaric lack of sensitivity for the very office/position/calling,vocation of Mary ….who was specially chosen by God to raise and care for His only begotten Son, Jesus…until the time His hour had arrived for His public teaching and preaching of the gospel message. And, Catholics are justly offended when Mary is denigrated becasue dishonor shown to an ambassador reflects on the honor due to the One who sent the same ambassador…which is God Himself.

    So, when Catholics see Mary denigrated as she is by many Protestants, and especially when they give their justification for such denigration by pointing out Jesus’ usage of the word ‘woman’ when addressing her, portraying this term in a negative, degrading and ‘put-off way (as Barry has done, above)…Catholics are shocked even as the Israelites would been if anyone spoke badly of Moses, or Abraham, or one of the Prophets, in the same way.

    By the very nature of their calling, be it Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, Noah, Jonas, Jeremiah, etc…. these people deserve the utmost respect, if for nothing else but the calling itself. They have been chosen as the ‘servants of God’ for their particular callings/purposes serving the People of God. But Protestants, like Barry have no problem insulting the Blessed Virgin Mary, even though an Archangel proclaimed that she is “blessed above all women”. They cannot even give her the benefit of the doubt that when Jesus called her ‘woman’ at the foot of the cross, it was to honor her. They MUST see the negative point of view, the denigrating option of interpretation,that is, that the term ‘woman’ is to be defined like household trash, or snow covered manure, even as Martin Luther (the Father of Protestantism) terms every Christian.

    I had a Protestant co-worker who spoke ‘on end’ how Mary being called ‘woman’ was equivalent to the way that Snoop Doggy Dog and other rappers uses the term ‘woman’ when ‘rapping’ and on drugs. He argued many times with great confidence, (even as Barry does) and could not disassociate the term ‘woman’ from that used by rappers in the ‘ghetto’ or ‘hood’, or on MTV’s Rap video’s. To my co-worker, Mary was equivalent to what some term…”a slut”. And, I was so shocked as to be left almost speechless every time he brought this up, thinking how evil are this poor guys catechists/Protestant pastors/ evangelical teachers. And the irony of all this, is that these same people speak very well of King David, and almost every prophet of the Old Testament, even though King David indeed DID commit grievous sins. Yet, he is still honored and exalted and respected by them for being included in Sacred Scripture and for his obvious anointing and calling by God. And, Jesus Himself doesn’t recoil or reject the crowds when when He was called by the people ‘Son of David’. Nor did he consider this a denigrating term, but the contrary. And this is because the term is used in NOT a slanderous connotations, focusing on David’s sins… but in an endearing, and honorable way, focusing on Davids holy virtues and accomplishments. That is to say, David was loved, even though he indeed did fail in many ways.

    But where is the Protestant/Evangelical love and honor for Mary’s accomplishments? Why do they opt to interpret the words of Christ regarding ‘woman’ in a derogatory way as Barry does? On the contrary, she should be respected and honored, like King David was, even if she actually DID commit some grievous sin or the other. Yet, there is nothing in the history of Christianity, or sacred scripture, that even indicates that she actually DID commit great sin, yet they still will denigrate her below any of the other prophets in biblical history…ie. Moses, David, Elijah, etc… They just can’t spiritually understand that an ambassador of God, a chosen person, such as obviously Mary was, deserves respect because God Himself chose her for a particular task/vocation. And even when these Protestants study stories such as is found in the ‘Annunciation story’ they fail to acknowledge that sacred scripture teaches that Mary will be called “BLESSED’ by all ‘generations’ until the end of the world. How can those who believe in ‘sola scripture’ not believe Mary’s prophesy regarding this?? Why do they consistently insinuate that she is like a slut…by interpreting this word ‘woman’ in the ghetto conception of it? Why do they teach others, new Christians… like my co-worker… mentioned above, to interpret Mary in the same derogatory way? And, why not consider, or teach, or compare King David to a type of a pimp, or gang banger…just to be consistent? Why is it only Mary that gets the derogatory treatment??

    Look at how Barry, for instance, interprets (above) the story of the woman who praises Mary…and changes it to make sure Mary is denigrated:

    ““Woman, what have I to do with thee?”…what most agree on is that it’s not exactly the most flattering thing to be said.”

    He then goes on to find a Catholic quote which tries to back up his denigrating exegesis. Later, he writes his opinion on the same subject “Blessed is that woman who bore you”, DOWNPLAYED Maria Marvelous.”

    But, Barry and the such Protestants, just can’t understand that there might be OTHER motives for Jesus NOT TO DIRECT ATTENTION to His Blessed Mother, and this was TO PROTECT HER PRIVACY. Even as Jesus was being persecuted, and hunted by the Pharisees, even unto death… Jesus in His wisdom wanted the danger and the focus to at least be on HIS OWN PERSON, and especially as Mary was never given the calling or task of preaching publicly. Like paparazzi today, they could cause extreme trouble and persecution if instigated towards any one person. So, it is obvious that Jesus, even as He didn’t want Himself to be treated like a celebrity, would not want the same for His blessed mother. She had already accomplished her task, that of bringing Jesus safely to ‘his hour’, and she accomplished this in privacy. Why would Jesus want to ‘throw the spot light on her’ so that ‘ancient paparazzi’ would search her out and harass her even as they did Jesus? It shows that Jesus loved and cared for His mother in these accounts. And, I already provided the scriptures to Barry, detailing that Jesus Himself wanted to avoid being a mere celebrity/wonder worker, also, as it would not provide the tranquility he needed to teach the serious lessons of the Gospel message.

    So, for these above reasons, Catholics find Barry’s and other Protestant’s denigration of Mary to be abhorrent and disgraceful. As an ambassador/handmaid/servant of God, whom the Holy Spirit Himself ‘over-shadowed with His grace….we find such demeaning of her dignity to be of the highest insult, and bordering on blasphemy of God Himself. Again, who can speak evil of an ambassador and not at the same time offend the one who sent him/her? And this holds true for the Blessed Mother of God, Mary Most Holy, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church. Without Mary, the Church would not exist.

    Amen.

    1. Thank you, Al. Also, God rendered to us the greatest commandment as well as the other which is like it.

      Matthew 7:12 In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the Law and the prophets. 13Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.…But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

      A poster who cannot converse without demeaning himself as well as us, there is little charity within him. So I have shaken the dust of my sandal.

      Also, the humility of Mary would have given Jesus pause in praising her. It was God the Father who gave her what she gave us. So, as Al has noted, an attack against her is an attack against Him.

      RIP.

  7. Luther, et al., perhaps displace their own self-hatred onto the “woman” (perhaps onto m/any an/other woma/e/n) or onto us as representatives of the RCC because they truly cannot handle their own passions. As Joe wrote in his prior article, RCC requires faith which many find difficult. Rather than humble oneself and ask the good Lord for help in mastering one imperfections, sins, and flaws and passions, there seems to arise this hatred for the RCC and/or any person representing virtues they themselves lack: temperance, justice, chastity, purity, etc., and the epitome of these virtues–holiness. The lack of even a semblance of equanimity is sadly obvious. The obstinate refusal to even see another’s point of view is perfectly troublesome and a deadly give-away.

  8. Isn’t it an equivocation to say the we owe the Blessed Mother “for our salvation”? I fully agree that we owe her in the sense that she uniquely brought about the Incarnate Son of God and is, thereby, the Theotokos. But to say we owe her “for our salvation” also implies that the debt into which our sin plunges us is owed to her as well. But this is not the case: our sin makes us indebted to God. For this reason, I’m troubled by the idea floating about that the Church should assign the title “Co-Redemptrix” to the Blessed Mother.

    Also, I’d like to consider this statement:

    “So Jesus saves the world through His humanity. But He doesn’t have His humanity in virtue of His Divinity. He has His humanity in virtue of Mary’s unique cooperation. Just as His Divinity proceeds in its entirety from the Father, His humanity comes entirely from His Mother, Mary. To deny this is to deny that Jesus is fully human.”

    I fully agree with everything you’ve written here. The problem is this: Whereas Jesus is eternally begotten of God, He is not eternally begotten of Mary. His human incarnation is a one time, unrepeatable historical event. I suppose He is in the sense that your and I are continually “begotten” of our parents since we owe our existence to them. But we don’t continue to take our humanity from our parents. So Jesus does not continue to take his humanity from the Blessed Mother.

    1. Just curious. Do we not to this day blame Eve for our fall from grace? And then, Adam too.

      And would not the opposite of this be that we must thank Mary for being responsible for repairing that grace for us, and of course through her Son Jesus Christ. And isn’t this why Mary is temed the ‘New Eve, and Jesus ‘the New Adam’?

      It’s also biblical history that Eve initiated the ‘fall’, but Adam then participated and consummated it, and so both of them were responsible, not only Mary. And so, the same is found with Jesus and Mary. Mary initiated it by first being faithful, and then by giving birth, and finally by raising Jesus properly according to God’s divine will. Then Jesus, with all these biological and also psychological gifts provided by his humanity which Mary was primarily responsible, took that humanity and offered it to God the Father as a sacrifice suitable for repairing the ‘fall of Adam’. So, Mary indeed played a major role as Joe states.

      And I might add, that even as we never lose the memory of what our parents have done for us in our childhood, so too, Jesus also has this memory and history in His own human heart and soul. And every small detail of His relationship with his mother had it’s own corresponding effect that we will probably only understand in eternity. Even in our own lives, the smallest details experienced in childhood, can affect our souls even until the end of our lives. So, when we talk of Mary’s influence, and St. Joseph’s also, it’s good to remember that the raising of Jesus, and the33 years of intimate communion in the holy family, has importance also. That is, even as a tree grows, it still has a history in the rings of it’s trunk, and our human existence and history is similar. Where people might not think such things matter, psychologists prove otherwise. The manner of raising of a child plays a huge role in the future state of the same child when he attains adulthood. And it is well known that children subjected to extreme vice/sexual abuse/violence have those memories with them their entire lives. But , to the contrary, children raised by a loving and virtuous family, with prayer and good habits instilled since infancy…will also carry those happy experiences even to very old age. So, Mary’s role in Jesus’ life is not to be discounted, and especially as He lived with her for the 30 entire years until He began His public ministry.

      Someone correct me if I’m missing something.

      1. Hi Al,

        You’re not missing anything. Athanasius seems to question whether Mary’s Fiat and raising of Jesus is equal to Jesus’ salvific act on the cross. Is Co-Redemptrix the same as co-Savior? Joe suggests we look at a “way” Mary was responsible for our salvation, but I don’t see Joe claiming that Mary’s act is the same as the salvific act of Jesus. Mary’s act was a necessary antecedent. And as you say, she played a role not only in the human life of Jesus, but since we believe in the afterlife and that the elect are with Jesus in heaven, we assume (the Church teaches) she is (body and soul) in heaven with Him now and will be forever in the future. And she will continue to mediate and to intercede for us until her immaculate heart triumphs. I like the good thoughtful questions which Athanasius has raised.

        I commend Athanasius for his thoughtfulness and his framing of a reasoned question….especially after all we’ve dealt with lately.

        1. M: she will continue to mediate and to intercede for us until her immaculate heart triumphs.

          BB: The only evidence that exists for the “triumph” of her immaculate heart is in the deep dark chambers in the cobwebs of your mind. Maybe after a million years in a place other than heaven will it finally hit you that you were duped by the father of lies.

          1. M: she will continue to mediate and to intercede for us until her immaculate heart triumphs.

            BB: The only evidence that exists for the “triumph” of her immaculate heart is in the deep dark chambers in the cobwebs of your mind. Maybe after a million years in a place other than heaven will it finally hit you that you were duped by the father of lies.

            Me: The only evidence that exists for the “triumph” of Jesus’ heart is in the deep dark chambers in the cobwebs of your mind. Maybe after a million years in a place other than heaven [ie, your forsaken tomb] will it finally hit you [if there were immortal souls] that you were duped by the father of lies [ie, Jesus/Krishna/Luther/Calvin/Moses/Muhammad… pick your own guru].

      2. Hi Al,

        I found a wonderful essay entitled “Mary’s Bodily Participation in the Redemption of Christ: The Johannine Witness.” Writer Kenneth Howell is a convert (after a professorship at Reformed Theological Seminary), a Ph.D. in linguistics and another in the history of science. As of 2005, he directed the John Henry Newman Institute of Catholic Thought at the Univ. of Illinois. Some credentials, huh! Anyway, he has a wonderful linguistic analysis of the M and J in the Gospel of John–at Cana, at Calvary. Howell shows how John linguistically equates one’s accepting Jesus as accepting His mother as our Mother. Beautiful. It and other wonderful essays are in “The Virgin Mary and Theology of the Body, ed. D. H. Calloway, Marian Press, Stockbridge, MA 2005. Joyful reading. (A bit of an update from St. L. M. deMontfort but in his vein: The book’s frontispiece contains Ecclesiasticus 6:18-32– femininely attributed wisdom, AKA “Woman.”)

        1. Sounds interesting Margo. Maybe you can occasionally give quotes from it in your comments.

          I personally think the Book of Revelation contains some of Johns recollections about both the transfiguration on Mt. Tabor, as well as His care taking of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When John notes that he ‘looked behind’, it seems to me that this might indicate that he is meditation on past experiences with both Jesus and Mary. It is also mystical due to the true presence of Christ when we are gathered together in the name of the Lord. So, pst and present are mingled…maybe the future too.

          Anyway, we have a great faith, infinitely interesting, even as Jesus said…a treasure…and a great feast.

          Best to you.

  9. Good thoughts here, Athanasius. Unlike you, I don’t see Joe saying we owe her our salvation. Joe says, “… there’s a special way in which you owe your salvation to her.” Joe asks us to think about that “way,” by “virtue of Mary’s unique cooperation.”

    In terms of an eternal human ‘begottenness’ of Jesus, how do we conceive of His glorified body? Does it or does it not have some material substance? If so, might some of it be of Mary?  

  10. 1) Define “salvation”.

    2) “To Save the World in This Way, Jesus Needed a Human Mother (and a Jewish One)”

    Nowhere do you explain why should it be a Jewish one. The answer is starkly simple: because Jews believed in “salvation”. But did they really? I seriously doubt so. Original sin in Judaism? Not really. Eternal soul? For some at Jesus’ time. Resurrection? Depends. Really, it’s true that Jesus’ life only makes sense in 1st c. Galilean Messianic Judaism. But the “Jewish mother”, from a universal salvation point of view, makes no sense. Better to choose a Roman Emperess, a Japanese princess, a Persian aristocrat, an Indian queen, many more people would be affected, believe me. Of course, those choices make no sense because those cultures didn’t believe in salvation. But either way, Jews didn’t believe in salvation, either. Messianism was not the equivalent of Christian salvation for 1st c. Jews. From a Jewish standpoint, however heroic and pathetic Jesus’ real life may have been, he was a failed Messiah. The theory that the ‘messiah’ must die is really an ex post facto justification for a would-be god son that got judged for treason instead of becoming god’s vice-regent on earth. If you asked a 1st-century Jew if the Messiah should die and ascend to heaven and establish no worldly power he would laugh at you. That’s why I would prefer a Japanese or Indian Messiah mother.

    Really, to really manifest his glory he had better abolish the stupid temple sacrifices presto. But he didn’t. The Romans did god’s work, apparently, after 30+ years of useless animal sacrifice. Jesus could just have appeared in the temple, after his resurrection, he could have said it was all over, that he would make up for all the animals in the hundreds of years that his father had accepted as sacrifice, all those animals his father smelled and relished upon, he could stop all that. But he didn’t.

    I wonder if Mary offered a sacrifice after Jesus was born. That would be odd.

  11. K.O. said:

    1 “Define “salvation”.

    ——- Jesus gives a good definition: “Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

    2 “To Save the World in This Way, Jesus Needed a Human Mother (and a Jewish One)”,.. “Nowhere do you explain why should it be a Jewish one.”

    ——-Jesus gives an answer: “You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews.”

    3″Original sin in Judaism? Not really. Eternal soul? For some at Jesus’ time.”

    —–All Jews were familiar with the Torah, which details original sin. And of an eternal soul, it is discussed in multitudes of places in the OT….too many to easily count. Here’s a sample:

    1 “And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” [Genesis 3:22]

    2 “I will lift up my hand to heaven, and I will say: I live for ever.” [Deuteronomy 32:40]

    3. “The poor shall eat and shall be filled: and they shall praise the Lord that seek him: their hearts shall live for ever and ever.”
    [Psalms 21:27]

    4.”But we that live bless the Lord: from this time now and for ever.”
    [Psalms 113:26]

    “I wonder if Mary offered a sacrifice after Jesus was born. That would be odd.”

    It says so in Luke 2:24: “And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: [23] As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: [24] And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons”

    1. 1. “eternal life” is not the same as “salvation”. Many other peoples have a concept of “eternal life”. Other people think there is “eternal damnation”.

      2. “You [Samaritans] worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”

      This is begging the question and so pretentious and so presumptuous. How does he know that the Samaritans didn’t know Yahweh-Elohim? Just because they didn’t worship him in Jerusalem? Oh, com’on. “For salvation is from the Jews”. Again, define “salvation”, and explain why on Earth should it come from the Jews. Even conceding he is God and God’s son, it wouldn’t matter if his mother were Phoenician, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Egyptian or Greek.

      3. All Jews were familiar with the Torah, which details original sin.

      Not really. I’m not at all familiar with Jewish theology, but, as far as I know, there is not concept of redemption or original sin. I’d be really grateful if you could point us some Jewish theologians on this issue.
      This site: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/judaism-s-rejection-of-original-sin says it all: “The doctrine of original sin is totally unacceptable to Jews (as it is to Christian sects such as Baptists and Assemblies of G-d). Jews believe that man enters the world free of sin, with a soul that is pure and innocent and untainted. While there were some Jewish teachers in Talmudic times who believed that death was a punishment brought upon mankind on account of Adam’s sin, the dominant view by far was that man sins because he is not a perfect being, and not, as Christianity teaches, because he is inherently sinful.”

      Or this one: https://outreachjudaism.org/original-sin/

      3b. Well, Sadducees didn’t believe in that, and they controlled the temple business, so…

      5. Offering a sacrifice is still odd. It means Mary was impure. It means her pregnancy of a sinless being caused her to be impure. Either that was just a show off (she just went on a cultural theatre she didn’t believe in) or… she and/or Jesus were impure. I’d rather think it was just to comply to social custom, but unfortunately, reason leads me to think they were just another nondescript Jewish family.

      1. Hi K.O.,

        Regarding the Bible, Jesus is the ultimate Teacher, even as He said:

        “the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should HEAL them. But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. For, amen, I say to you, MANY PROPHETS and JUST MEN have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them. Hear you therefore…” (Matt. 13:15)

        And He also said: “But be NOT you called Rabbi. For ONE is your master; and all you are brethren.”[Matthew 23:8]

        So, this it to say we must listen to Christ when He teaches on the Old Testament. And, for example, when He says things NEW and revealing, like this: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” [Mark 2:27] For the Jews of the 1st century this must have been an ‘eye opener.’

        Regarding salvation, Christ’s references to ‘eternal life’ are synonymous and interchangeable with the concept of salvation. In many ways Jesus was a dualist, pointing to the ‘narrow gate’, or the opposite, the ‘broad way’. Also, those ‘on the right’ and those ‘on the left’, and ‘the goats’ and ‘the sheep’. So, we have both eternal life/salvation, and the opposite: eternal death and the fires of Hell. Also, Jesus doesn’t talk in the philosophic manner of Platonists, Aristotelians and 13th century scholastics (ie. Thomas Aquinas).. He uses metaphor, parable and personal examples to teach most of His Gospel message. He easily could have chosen a more explicit/phiosophic/scholastic way of teaching, because it was all available back then. But, that He didn’t use it is also instructive for us.

        So, when Jesus says, ‘salvation is from the Jews’, we should try to figure out what He is teaching. This is a good example of the saying “The Old Testament is revealed and understood in the New, and the New Testament is foretold in the Old.” But Christ Himself sheds light on all of it. He is the ONE master and teacher, we are merely ‘brothers’.

        1. awlms,

          I see you didn’t respond to my reply. It’s alright.

          “Regarding the Bible, Jesus is the ultimate Teacher, even as He said:”

          “Regarding the Bhagavad-Gita, Krsna is the ultimate Teacher, even as He said:”

          “Regarding the Kuran, Mohamed is the ultimate Teacher, even as He said:”

          “Regarding the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith is the ultimate Teacher, even as He said:”

          “Regarding the Bible, Calvin is the ultimate Teacher, even as He said:”

          “Regarding the World, Aphrodite is the ultimate Teacher, even as She said:”

          All meaningless.

          1. KO:

            Many who believe as you, feel we are “progressing” towards a Lennon-esque, first line of “Imagine” world. The rise of ‘nones’ is presented as evidence.

            If this is indeed true, what do you think life in such a world would be like? Would you volunteer to fast-forward, yourself, into such a world?

  12. Luke 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (Douay-Rheims).
    The Greek word for full of grace in that verse is “kecharitōmenē” and it only occurs just once in the new testament and was used for the virgin Mary and it means complete and full grace, it is also a passive verb.
    The Greek word for Hail in that verse is “Chaire ( Χαῖρε)” which in those days was only used to address royalty or people of significant importance and it is has about 5 occurrences in the new testament;
    Matthew 26:49 V-PMA-2S
    GRK: Ἰησοῦ εἶπεν Χαῖρε ῥαββί καὶ
    NAS: and said, Hail, Rabbi!
    KJV: to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and

    Matthew 27:29 V-PMA-2S
    GRK: αὐτῷ λέγοντες Χαῖρε βασιλεῦ τῶν
    NAS: Him, saying, Hail, King
    KJV: him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

    Mark 15:18 V-PMA-2S
    GRK: ἀσπάζεσθαι αὐτόν Χαῖρε βασιλεῦ τῶν
    NAS: to acclaim Him, Hail, King
    KJV: to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

    Luke 1:28 V-PMA-2S
    GRK: αὐτὴν εἶπεν Χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη ὁ
    NAS: in, he said to her, Greetings, favored
    KJV: and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured,

    John 19:3 V-PMA-2S
    GRK: καὶ ἔλεγον Χαῖρε ὁ βασιλεὺς
    NAS: up to Him and say, Hail, King
    KJV: And said, Hail, King of the Jews!

    We can see that the word Χαῖρε (Chaire) was also used to address Jesus and was used to address Mary in Luke 1:28. What this entails is that God first of all honoured her even without Mary’s knowledge, this was why Mary was amazed when the angel saluted her.
    In the old Testament, the ark of the covenant was made by human hands with human materials but after it was built not everyone could go close to the ark of the covenant, a tribe was consecrated to handle any artifact that involved the ark the covenant and a family , that is the family of Aaron was consecrated offer sacrifices. If any other person tried to go close to the ark of the covenant, they would be harmed by its holiness.
    Mary was chosen and consecrated by God to carry his son, Jesus in her womb for the purpose of man’s redemption and she was not harmed in anyway. Mary is therefore different from her ancestors because she carried the saviour of the world in her womb and it takes something special to do that.

    1. C.P. The Greek word for full of grace in that verse is “kecharitōmenē” … and it means complete and full grace

      BB: This old argument has been refuted a thousand times over for hundreds of years and yet… Catholics simply do not have ears to hear. LISTEN UP! Others were also full of grace and the Holy Spirit, so the use of the K word does NOT support any of the Marian dogmas, no, not for a minute!
      Furthermore, the K word does not signify HOW LONG Mary has been in that state of grace. When defining the doctrine circa the 1850’s, the Pope took it upon himself to say that it was “from the instant of her conception”, but (helloooo!)…not one Greek scholar in this universe would agree with him.

      CP: In the old Testament, the ark of the covenant was made by human hands with human materials but after it was built not everyone could go close to the ark of the covenant…If any other person tried to go close to the ark of the covenant, they would be harmed by its holiness. Mary… was not harmed in anyway.

      BB: Wow. Mary did not fall down and break her leg during the course of her life! Wow, nor was she kidnapped and held for ransom. These insidious, desperate attempts to try and buttress your Marian dogmas are simply pathetic. God has NOT gone on record as equating the ark with Mary in any “harmless” way, shape or form, so deal with it. No wonder you despise Scripture so much. It simply does not come to your rescue, so you have to continuously scrape the bottom of the barrel to invent new concepts, all in an effort to be like Yankee Doodle Dandy; so you can stick a feather in your cap and call it macaroni.

      1. ” all in an effort to be like Yankee Doodle Dandy; so you can stick a feather in your cap and call it macaroni.”

        That really is sound apologetics. Keep it going. Know why I rejected Luther and Calvin? Not because of “fiery” speeches, but because he is gross, impolite, rude, boorish, and shouts louder than his own thoughts. You sure follow his steps. It seems you’re having a debate in a bikers’ bar in southern Mississippi at 3 am. I have other reasons to reject “orthodoxy”, too, but people screaming “Jeeeesus is Lord” and claiming Catholics aren’t Christian are just so alien I cannot even relate to them.

      2. Barry,

        You might remember that the Angel is addressing Mary, not by her birth name, Mary, but by a newly provided name, “Full of Grace”, “kecharitōmenē”. And the angel’s name is also provided in this account, which is rare in Holy Scripture, his name is revealed as Gabriel, meaning: גַּבְרִיאֵל Gavri’el “God is my strength”.

        These names are descriptive/definitive by nature, even as ‘Petros’… ‘Rock’… is descriptive of St. Peter, and “Sons of Thunder” is descriptive of both Sts. James and John. So too is it with Christ referring to Himself as … “The Son of Man”. The term ‘Woman’, moreover, is also a descriptive/definitive name relating to the first woman, ‘Eve’, even as the ‘son of Man’, relates to the first ‘Man’, Adam. All signify the fundamental natures of the persons addressed or referred to.

        Now, if you add the extraordinary greeting of the angel Gabriel: “Hail”, or “Chaire ( Χαῖρε)”, to the newly provided name, “Full of Grace”, you can understand why it was that Mary was surprised by such a greeting. Normally one would think that she would have been surprised by the supernatural presence of an angel of God, but rather, it was this very greeting of the angel that bothered her. In her humility, “Full of Grace” couldn’t understand how it was that “Strength of God” could address her with both “Hail” and the new ‘nick name’ …“kecharitōmenē”.

        And not to be ignored is that another honor was paid to her at this same moment in this angelic greeting, when the angel says: “Blessed art thou among women”.

        This also, to an exceedingly humble soul, would be quite a shock, because a truly humble person considers himself to be the lowest of creatures due to his profound humility. And we know that Mary was indeed humble, because of the words which she spoke few days later to her cousin Elisabeth, wherein she both describes her humble nature but then also, proclaims the truth that the angel said of her , that she was blessed among women:

        “…my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46)

        In fact, Mary expands on the angels announcement and adds a time element to it, referring to all future generations, above. But, note particularly that it was also the virtue of HUMILITY that is given as the reason for her blessing from God in the first place, ie..”Because HE HATH REGARDED the humility of his handmaid”.

        So, we have both extreme humility, worthy of calling down a particular blessing from God….linked to a prophesy from this very same supremely humble woman that…”behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”

        There are many parts here that need to be added together to be understood, and this is what Catholics do. We take the whole story, and add it to other accounts of Mary both in the Book of Revelation, as well as in the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana, the accounts of Mary with Simeon at Jerusalem, accounts of the the wise men and shepherds, Mary at the foot of the cross, and also her presence in the Cenacle when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples.

        It is all of these accounts that give a true portrayal of the Blessed Virgin. And after this we look to the witness of the Early Church, and especially the title “New Eve” that was used to refer to her, as well as the term Theotokus.

        All of these witnesses of scripture and history give the proper understanding of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

        1. AWL: a truly humble person considers himself to be the lowest of creatures due to his profound humility.

          BB: Which is exactly what the Baptist exemplified. “He must increase, but I must decrease”, and Christ called him the greatest whoever lived. NOT Mary.

          AWL: henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46)

          BB: You have repeated this verse numerous times thinking that it proves your case, AND to denigrate Protestants for not calling her blessed, which is one big fat LIE. You only say that because we HATE RC doctrine which uplifts her to heights she herself would despise, and you conclude we hate HER! The charge is disgusting, vile and sinful.
          Being called “blessed” in the future does NOT amount to Jesus approving she be called such things as “the divine aqueduct”, the “celestial ocean”, “ladder to heaven” and a hundred other gaudy titles that she herself would tell you to kindly
          please shut UP”. The Lord obviously cautions future readers of his word by his dealings with Mary for us to examine, but Catholics refuse to take the warning.
          Oh you speak about her being lowly and humble, but the minute she tells (whoever it was I can’t remember at the moment) to
          “build me a church in my honor”….THAT, is perfectly fine with you!!!
          We know the real Mary would NEVER say anything such thing, and thus it is WE who retain a more accurate and fully orbed picture of her, not the RCC.

          1. Hi Barry,

            You might be forgetting something in regard to St. John the Baptist and Mary. Jesus continues his teaching on ‘greatest prophets’ in that passage when He says: “But the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.”

            Now, Mary was in the Kingdom as she was the mother of the King. Mary not only gave birth to the King, but had intimate communion with Him for the next 30+ years of His life. John did not have such teachings from Christ, but was still asking questions whether indeed Jesus was ‘He who is to come’.

            So, John is one of those of the ‘Old Covenant’, but Mary is of the New…of the “Kingdom”.

            Moreover, Jesus says….”The least in the Kingdom are greater than He”. And surely Mary is one of these least. She says it herself in the ‘Fiat’ to the angel: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord!”.

            And regarding the word handmaid we have this definition: ” The word handmaid is but a poor translation of the original Greek word DOULE. For to us the word handmaid means merely a hired servant. But doule meant a SLAVE GIRL. Here is an obedient humility to balance the proud disobedience of Eve. Mary had just been raised to the peak of all creation, yet she replies by calling herself a slave girl: “Be it done to me according to thy word.”

            So, Barry, you can’t compare John the Baptist to Mary. He is of the ‘old dispensation’, and she is of the ‘New’.

      3. More incessant garbage from his highest holiness Barry the mighty. Seriuosly, the venom and hatred for God’s Church and God’s mother shows that he is most definitely under the influence of the evil one and his demons who force him to expectorate this filth. Father, forgive him, he doesn’t know what he’s doing!

        1. You know what Barry, I shouldn’t have mocked you and I apologize. Will you drop your tone and maybe be can have a productive discussion instead or resentment?

          May God be with you.

          Matthew

          1. Matthew, we have asked this before. I have asked this before. Flounder – my name for BB – is militant about being a jerk, basically says he is doing God’s work by not mincing around evil papists with a “limp wrist and a feather duster, spreading fairy dust” (meaning acting in a civil manner, something not taught in the Jimmy White School of Demonic apologetics) or some such canned blather. He has gone so far as to excoriate fellow Protestants like Craig and irked who don’t follow his lead.

            So spare yourself. I do wish Joe would just block him as Flounder adds nothing to the discourse, and ends up hijacking with his chaotic psychosis to the point the intent of the thread is lost. One cannot find even a small rough diamond of value in that mountain of ill-smelling, disease-recrudescent black river clay.

    1. In Revelations 12, two verses stand out, Revelations 12:5 “She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne”.
      This can be interpretated as referring to Jesus.
      And also Revelations 12:17 “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”. Those who keep to God’s commands and testify about Jesus are christians. In God’s family, Mary is mother of Christians because by accepting the grace which Christ gives we become adopted sons and daughter of God.

      1. He does provide occasional comedy. Perhaps Joe could let him post his name. His presence would then be called to mind. And we’d be somewhat spared. Then again, here is 1 Peter 4:13:

        Rejoice when you share in the sufferings of Christ, that you may also rejoice exultantly when his glory is revealed.

        He definitely is a thorn in my side and in my mind. His wee bit of humor (even as it seems intended to demean) saves him somewhat. I read because sometimes his words do strike me as funny. (I do have a warped sense of humor, so others have said.)

        1. Margo – thank you😍

          Yes, Flounder does provide some humor, some of it unconscious, some intended. If her weren’t so mean about it, I could laugh more with him instead of at him. His main sin in this forum, is he takes himself so d*** seriously and that’s a sign of a deadly (to him) lack of humility.

          Having said, it seems some on this forum – awlms chief amongst them – take his “apologetics” apart like a baked chicken, and Flounder’s responses are getting weaker and more “sez YOU.” So I retract my ‘ban BB” comment…it seems the Holy Spirit has his way and I don’t always immediately see it…..

          1. Don’t give me too much credit, AK. I’m really a fairly poor apologist, but make up for it by my true love for both Our Lord Jesus Christ and everything concerning His holy Church and Faith.

            And, I think you are correct in tolerating opposition and retracting the ‘ban BB comment’ for God’s sake. (.. although I actually recommended he start his own blog, recalling Joe’s request a few weeks back…as I was getting quite frustrated at that point.) And, you’re right that the Holy Spirit can ‘have His way’ and bring good out of it all, and in fact has on many occasion, and with many commenters here, over the years.

            Just the fact that we’re studying and trying to respond to opposing points of view makes us grow in our own faith. We often stumble across some idea, or other, that we never thought of before, and never might have, had it not been for some opposing point of view brought by one or more of our fellow commentaries here. Moreover, it actually offers an opportunity for charity, to respond to another opposing POV, as long as it doesn’t take so much of our time as to make us unavailable for other, more important, acts of charity. But, at some point in time, an assessment needs to be made, whether we are actually just wasting time, and regarding our old friend ‘Pope Flatulence, I think that time finally came.

            But, in any case, it’s good to communicate with other devout Christians that frequently comment here, also, like you, Margo, Matthewp, Shane, crd law, Alexander Folkers and K.O. Sometimes, such deep discussions aren’t readily available in our local parishes. People often have other things to do than talk on deep theological topics, and particularly on the subject that you might at that moment be focused on. So, the blog medium of conversation/dialoge is really great for this purpose.

            Best to you always.

  13. I am not interested in entering into a lengthy polemic with anyone, but something really key to understanding the unique role of Mary in salvation history is implicit in the fact that in the Gospel of John, Jesus always refers to her as “woman”; this is the same title that Adam gave to first woman created by God. It was only after the sin that Adam changed her name to Eve. Just as the Bible shows Adam naming all the creatures (implying an insight into their reality according to Hebrew thought), Adam changes the woman’s name to Eve after the sin. She loses something of her original dignity. After the sin, Eve is no longer free from sin and death. Mary, instead is recognized by Jesus as having the original qualities of soul that come directly from the Creator God. She is immaculate, in constant spiritual union with her Creator, and free from the destiny of the decay of the tomb. That is why she has been seen as the new Eve in the writings of the Church of the Fathers. Like Jesus, the new Adam, she is part of God’s plan of liberating humanity from the power of Satan — her humility replaces Eve’s pride and disobedience, or as the ancient Church saw it, she unties the knot that Eve fastened.

    It is useful in reflecting on Mary’s role in Christian spirituality to be aware of the fact that at Cana, Jesus calls her “woman” (Jn 2:4). The only reasonable explanation for this is that, as the New Adam (as he is called in the New Testament), he is pointing out the Mary is the New Eve and that they together are the beginning of a new humanity (symbolized by the new wine), and this new humanity is the Church. In Genesis, we see that Adam calls the new creature “woman” (Gn 2:23) because God has given him the insight to understand the reality of each creature. That is why after the sin he changes her name to Eve (Gn 3:20). Her original dignity (immaculate, immortal) has been downgraded to being simply the mother of beings destined (by her fault) to death. As the new “Woman,” Jesus makes us understand that Mary is the New Eve, sinless from the first moment of her existence and free of the sin that brings death as its consequence. Jesus reaffirms her role at the cross when Jesus gives her to St. John as a mother (Jn 19:26), again calling her woman. These are some of the fundamental notions of Mary’s role in the salvation of the human race as we find it in the Bible. As far as the Protestants go, all of this should be seen also in the context of their rejection of human cooperation with God in various theologies. Protestants have difficulty with anything beyond faith itself. Thus when St. Paul says: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church” (Col 1:24), Protestants cannot accept it in the obvious meaning of the words. They have no room for human cooperation which they call “works” confusing good deeds with the “works” of the Mosaic law which St. Paul rejected. Paul explains this distinction in 1 Cor 9:20-21. Thus, with Mary’s “yes” she accepts her role as the New Eve, a role that she prepared for her from the time of her Immaculate Conception which makes her responsible for her spiritual children generated by her yes to the will of the Father (Be it done unto me) just as her son said “not my will but thine be done.” Together, they have brought us salvation, although her role is obvious dependent on the grace of Christ’s sacrifice that was the basis of her Immaculate Conception (“He who is mighty has done great things for me”).

    Inn reflecting on Mary’s role in Christian theology, we cannot forget the fact that at Cana, Jesus calls her “woman” (Jn 2:4). The only reasonable explanation for this is that, as the New Adam (as he is called in the New Testament), he is pointing out the Mary is the New Eve and that they together are the beginning of a new humanity (symbolized by the new wine), and this new humanity is the Church. In Genesis, we see that Adam calls the new creature “woman” (Gn 2:23) because God has given him the insight to understand the reality of each creature. That is why after the sin he changes her name to Eve (Gn 3:20). Eve’s original dignity (immaculate, immortal) has been downgraded to being simply the mother of beings destined (by her fault) to death. As the new “Woman,” Jesus makes us understand that Mary is the New Eve, sinless from the first moment of her existence and free of the sin that brings death as its consequence. Jesus reaffirms her role at the cross when Jesus gives her to St. John as a mother (Jn 19:26), again calling her woman. In the light of this, St. Peter’s analysis of Psalm 16:8-11 is equally valid for the assumption of Mary. In Acts 2:25-28, Peter quotes the psalm, applying it to Christ, but it applies equally well to the virgin whom Jesus calls “woman”: “you will not abandon my soul to the nether world nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption, you have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

    1. Jacob,

      Well said and all so perfectly logical and historical. A right understanding of my Mother did so very much to help me understand what God was up to in creating us and in his purpose in salvation history. She truly was, and is, a pair of glasses that help me see her Son better.

      1. “She truly was, and is, a pair of glasses”….

        And Mary also confirms this when she says:

        “My soul doth MAGNIFY the Lord”. 🙂

    2. In referring to Mary, Jesus could have also used the term “Full of Grace” when referring to His mother, because this is how the Angel Gabriel greeted her. That is, Gabriel didn’t say “Hail, Mary”, using her birth name, but rather, he used a singularly descriptive name “Full of Grace” to address her.

  14. I know that Barry is a thorn in your sides. However, I learn so much from your responses to his tirades. Without Barry, I would not learn so many Catholic theological insights that so many of you have taken the time to research and put down here in this comment section to refute Barry’s arguments. So, thank you Joe for your insightful articles, thank you AWLS, et al, for your insightful comments and thank you Barry for your tirades. Because of you, Barry, my family and I are better educated Catholics.

    1. You are totally correct Woody. God provides to us Barry both for his own benefit and ours also, and for the reasons you state. And, if you review the first centuries of the Church, and especially the ‘Judaiser controversies’ in the Acts of the Apostles, regarding Jewish laws/rituals and the Christian faith….you will see that theological conflict is nothing new in Christ’s Holy Church. And, it has benefitted the Church from the very beginning. Do you think we would even have any Early Church Theology without such heresies and doctrinal debates? It would have never been written down.

      But, I too have gotten frustrated at times because we look at theology, and express it, in such a different way. So, conflict can be an opportunity for all to learn. And, this is why this site is so great. It also shows how the Lord has truly made a body of many parts, and even though those parts don’t resemble, or function, as the others, they are still important and vital parts of the same body. So, patience in this case is indeed a virtue.

      Best to you in the Lord.

    1. Logically speaking, you would have to say that Mary would not have existed had it not been for her parents, but that misses the point. As far as we know, Saints Joachim and Anne had no divinely-revealed knowledge that their daughter would one day carry the long awaited Messiah in her womb. The Annunciation, on the other hand, is a metaphor for how God interacts with all men. He gives us grace and then asks us if we will cooperate with his Holy Spirit in birthing the good news of his Son into the world.

      This principle of Mary-as-type is also why her Assumption is important for us in growing into a fuller understanding of God’s salvation history.

      1. As long as we know that salvation, at the present time, comes from consecration directly to Jesus Christ, and not through consecration to Mary in order to have Jesus, we are on firm Scriptural ground. In Scripture, the Father is the one who sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, as opposed to receiving the Spirit of Jesus Christ through Mary as some Catholics believe.

        1. In Scripture, the Father is the one who sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, as opposed to receiving the Spirit of Jesus Christ through Mary as some Catholics believe.

          I haven’t heard that exact language, but will take your word for it that you’ve seen this thought expressed. The Church herself has denounced Marian heresies, so you’re right to take a cautious stance. However, I think your comment is the opposite of how most Catholics understand Mary and points to an underdeveloped understanding of the implications of the Incarnation and the humanity of Jesus. I don’t say that critically, because I didn’t begin to recognize my own deficiency in that area until a few years ago. The Word of God has always been, but his humanity is a recent happening.

          We received the body of Jesus Christ through Mary.

          The second the Spirit and her egg fused and began to develop as a new life, the human and the divine were unified once and for all. Recognizing his divinity is easy for us created beings that have been graced with some understanding, but even beginning to recognizing the implication of his humanity, well, that’s a tall order.

          Expressions of Marian devotion don’t compete with, or diminish, His divinity, they just recognize the wonder of His humanity and all that means for us.

          1. Saint Louis de Montfort is the one who teaches that the preferred way to get to Jesus is through consecration to Mary. I have not heard of him being labeled an apostate.
            I’m not sure if my biology is correct, but if Mary was the sole contributor of Jesus’ humanity, Jesus would have had to be a woman. As far as I know, the blood type comes from a man; therefore, Jesus’ blood would have been untainted by the sin of Adam because of this. His blood and maleness must have been a miraculous occurrence because Mary could not have contributed any of this.

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