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Posted By: ByzantineAscetic Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/27/03 04:05 PM
Hello every buddy,
I was wondering what your thoughts are on the
undefined dogmas of mary such as...

1. Co-redemptrix
2. Mediatrix "of all graces"

What do you think about these? I find them grounds for conversion to Orthodoxy.

In Christ +
Daniel
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/27/03 04:32 PM
No and no.

Logos Teen

P.S. New avatar- - -say hello the Michael the Archangel
Posted By: Administrator Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/27/03 04:42 PM
Daniel,

Your post is confusing. You are considering embracing Orthodoxy (not in communion with Rome) because of theological perspectives that Rome has clearly rejected?

Admin
Dear: Admin

Slava Isusu Christu!

No im not thinking of Emracing Orthodoxy.
What do you mean a theological pespective that
rome as rejected. I was reading a few documents and talking to a few clergy that were telling me the H.H. JP II was going to define these two dogmas but was advised not too. EWTN in their Doctrines webs tie list it as a teaching of the church.

In Christ +
Daniel
Embracing*
Posted By: Administrator Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/27/03 07:01 PM
Daniel,

Pope John Paul II stated at least five years ago that he was not about to proclaim Mary as �Co-Redemptrix� and pretty much closed off the debate on the issue.

The theology of �Co-Redemptrix� may be unnecessary but it is not heretical. The term �co� means �together with� not �equal to�. All Christians are called to work together with Christ to redeem the world. Mary is simply the first �co-redeemer�. Think about this in terms of St. John Chrysostom�s words that the saddest thing in the world is a Christian who has no concern for the salvation (redemption) of his fellow man.

�Mediatrix �of all graces�" means simply that the Theotokos can intercede for us in all things. This is perfectly orthodox and Orthodox. Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24) but his Mother can and does mediate for us before her Son and God through her prayers.

Yes, there are those who continue to work towards having these theological perspectives proclaimed dogmatically.

Admin
Dear: Admin

What ive been reading on Roman Catholic Web sites,
about the Mediatrix of all graces, is that basically we are the body of the chirst mary is the neck and christ is the head, as said by St. Louis De Monfort, he said that all graces go through and from mary 1st, which really down plays the importance of christ which i believe to be heretical.

In Christ +
Daniel
Posted By: Administrator Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/27/03 08:57 PM
Quote
Daniel wrote:
What ive been reading on Roman Catholic Web sites,
about the Mediatrix of all graces, is that basically we are the body of the chirst mary is the neck and christ is the head, as said by St. Louis De Monfort, he said that all graces go through and from mary 1st, which really down plays the importance of christ which i believe to be heretical.
Daniel,

There are plenty of wonderful saints who are less than excellent theologians. More often than not something they said is taken out of context and used to support a quite different theological point.

It�s also very difficult to discern between good theology and bad theology on religious message boards. Don�t believe everything you read.

Always look to the Church to learn what she teaches.

I don�t know anything about St. Louis De Monfort but it seems fair to interpret his comment (if it is quoted accurately) in light of the Gospel �I am the vine; you are the branches.� (John 15:5) The Theotokos is most certainly going to be a branch that is especially close to Christ�s heart.

Admin
Daniel,

I think you should really consider what you have just written .

Please withdraw the word herectical.

St Louis de Montfort never wrote anything heretical in his life.

Do please remember also that the Holy Father himself reccommends his work.

Have you read Redemptoris Mater ? - If not please do
Saying that graces comes only through mary to me
down plays the Role of Christ and Glorifys mary beyond her purpose. I know many Eastern Christians agree with these to points especially about the mediatrix of all graces and co-redember.

In Christ +
daniel
Posted By: LatinTrad Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/27/03 10:37 PM
Daniel (BA),

You are pretty dogmatic about all this--can you explain why it is an affront to Christ, if He chooses to distribute graces by the hand of His Mother?

LatinTrad

Our Lady Mediatrix of all graces, pray for us!
Posted By: Administrator Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/28/03 12:22 AM
Quote
Daniel wrote:
Saying that graces comes only through mary to me down plays the Role of Christ and Glorifys mary beyond her purpose.
Daniel,

Can you share with us the specific text of St. Louis de Montfort from which you formed the conclusion that he is teaching that grace comes only through Mary? My guess (until you provide a specific reference) is that that the quote should come from St. Louis de Montfort�s �Treatise On True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin�. [ewtn.com] I just read through the version posted on the EWTN website and I see nothing like you are accusing of St. Louis de Monfort of teaching.

Please let us know the text (and a web URL if you have one).

If I have misunderstood your post and you are merely suggesting that some people on other forums are making such a claim than I can only advise that you avoid such places and not worry about them.

Admin
Dear Daniel,

I am a devotee of St Louis de Montfort's spirituality, as is Pope John Paul II (and Angela and others here).

Pope John Paul II's entire ministry is based on the teaching and insights of St Louis de Montfort.

That the Grace of Christ is mediated to us through His Humanity in His Body that is the Church composed of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Saints, as well as us sinful ones - this is solid Orthodox and Catholic doctrine.

If we do not hold to this, we are outside the Church.

Grace is always mediated - that is why Christ became Man through the Virgin Mary.

What you have said is also a tacit denial of the role of the Communion of Saints.

We are here to help you, not to condemn you.

But you must allow yourself to be helped in your struggles with the faith.

Alex
Dear Daniel,

First of all, as you are not a bishop, there is no need to put a Cross + after your screen name.

Secondly, what Orthodox object to is the definition of Marian dogmas.

In the rich liturgical treasure of the Byzantine East, there are MANY prayers in which the Mother of Christ our God is praised as the one who suffered in her heart and soul all that Christ suffered for our salvation.

All Grace comes to us through Our Lady and the Saints of necessity, by their prayers.

We are to pray for one another always and so we too are mediators of Christ's Redemption and Sanctification in the world.

And that means you too.

Alex
Dear Daniel,

Do visit this site: www.montfortmissionaries.com [montfortmissionaries.com] and go to their "share your thoughts" section.

There just might be something you will find of interest there, especially from the Eastern Church perspective.

Alex
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/28/03 03:55 PM
Quote
Originally posted by ByzantineAscetic:
Saying that graces comes only through mary to me
down plays the Role of Christ and Glorifys mary beyond her purpose. I know many Eastern Christians agree with these to points especially about the mediatrix of all graces and co-redember.

In Christ +
daniel
Mary's sole purpose - the reason "her soul magnified the Lord" - was, and is, to bring Christ Jesus to us. That is why we say that all graces come to us through her - because, when all is said and done, all graces come to us through Jesus Christ - who chose to come to us through this humble virgin.

And you find that offensive because ... ?
Dear Dolly,

As St Paul said, Salvation is through the Man Jesus Christ or through His Humanity.

The Humanity of Christ that we receive in each and every Holy Communion was given us from the Virgin Mary.

She is the Ladder that Jacob foresaw in his dream on which descended to us the Son of God.

Alex
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/28/03 05:39 PM
Can enough ever be said about the glories of Mary, she is "the highest honor of our people ,the glory of Israel".
She is the crown and summit of all that we are called to be in Christ her Divine Son.
Those who speak against the Blessed Virgin Mary do so because they have a faulty underestand of humanity.
The grace is not her grace but that of Jesus.
Stephanos I

Through the prayers of the Mother of God O Saviour save our souls.
Dear Stephanos,

Now you are going too far here, Father in Christ!

I don't think Daniel is speaking against the Mother of God, he just has concerns about certain dogmatic propositions.

What was it John Henry Cardinal Newman said about Protestants approaching Catholicism with difficulties about this or that aspect of the Catholic faith?

I believe he said, "A thousand difficulties do not equal one doubt!"

Wasn't he wonderful? wink

Alex
Slava Isusu Christu!

LatinTrad, i found nothing at all from some graces coming from jesus thourgh the hands of mary. But what i do have a problem with is that ALL GRACES, MUST and DO come from Jesus THROUGH mary 1st. That in my opinion is wrong and down plays Jesus' role.

Stephanios
I do not slander, or give any less honor to what mary is due. Orthodox Catholic is correct in his last post. Im just concern about such doctrinal views such as this regarding the Holy Theotokos.

Through the Holy+Theotokos
Daniel
I Find*
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/29/03 02:58 AM
Orthodox Catholic,
I suggest that you re read my post!
Did I in any place say that Daniel was speaking against the Mother of God? No!
I said, "those" who speack against the Mother of God."
I was your own mind that linked and association that I never intended.
Stephanos I
Dear Patriarch Stephanos,

I apologise for reading into what you wrote.

But Daniel himself felt that you imputed that motive to him - and it seemed that you were.

If you had no intention of doing so, there was no need for that statement in your post, since we were addressing Daniel's concerns alone.

Alex
Dear Daniel,

O.K., I see where you are coming from.

Certainly, the Mother of God and the Saints can gain for us certain graces through our veneration of them and our requests of their generosity to pray for us.

In a general, universal sense, the Saints are always praying for us as part of the Divine Economia - as are all members of the Church, on earth and in the next life.

Everything comes to us from the Father through the Son by means of the Holy Spirit, as we know, and at the intercessions of the Mother of God, the Angels and the Saints, and the entire Church that is the Communion of Saints that we also affirm in the Creed.

God Himself chose to save us through the act of Mediation of His Incarnate Son. God comes to us where we are, as we are, and by means of others.

The intercession of all the Saints is the Holy Spirit's affirmation that, yes, humanity is indeed saved and transfigured through Theosis.

The Saints are the Icon of the Holy Spirit Who works ceaselessly to deify us in Christ.

Christ lives in His Saints, as the Incarnate God He is, by means of the Holy Spirit.

As we know, our salvation not only depends on Christ and the intercession of the Saints - it also depends on our reaching out to the Incarnate Christ Who lives in the poor and suffering in this world and those Whom God deigns to send us so we may serve Christ in them.

God sends every grace of His to us through the Humanity of Christ. In so doing, He has empowered our Humanity to receive it and does so especially through the Mother of God and the Saints who are the first to be made Christ-like and who, following Christ, become bearers of Christ's Grace to us, with Him.

Alex
Posted By: Diak Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/29/03 02:51 PM
Why worry about defining - just pray! (Does this sound just a bit Byzantine? smile )
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.
Presvyataya Bohorodice, spasi nas.
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/29/03 04:18 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Diak:
Why worry about defining - just pray! (Does this sound just a bit Byzantine? smile )
Most Holy Theotokos, save us.
Presvyataya Bohorodice, spasi nas.
Well, unfortunately, because we live in a world where people like the Secular Web [infidels.org] , for example, are *actively* trying to convince as many people as possible that Christianity is a crock, and insist they can prove it, we need to be able to give answers to those who are confused by their sophisticated arguments.

Which means, like it or not, we're gonna have to have some definitions.
Sorry every buddy it wasnt St. Louis Demontfort
I dont know where i got his name from, but this is the quote that i was looking into on the article of EWTN. Ill try to figure out were i got St. Louis From.

Quote
St. Bernardine of Siena : 'Every grace that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, from the Virgin to us.'"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Christ +
Daniel
Sorry St. Louis!

Daniel
Dear Daniel,

Yes, but St Louis did repeat that and based much of his writing on that and other Marian themes.

The Pope himself, when he was a seminarian, was questioning the issue of Marian devotion.

But then he found the "True Devotion to Mary" by Montfort and discovered "fresh perspectives."

He has prayed the Rosary daily (and many more decades that we do wink ) ever since.

My own experience is that the Rosary "pulls" me into the Jesus Prayer automatically.

For me, the most beautiful expression of St Louis de Montfort is when he says: "When the Holy Spirit finds the Virgin Mary in a soul, he does to that soul, what He did to the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation - He forms Jesus Christ in it."

Mary the Mother of God leads us to her Son and contemplating her in the life of Christ really brings home to us the Incarnation of God the Word in Christ Jesus our Saviour.

I'll get off my soap box now. Do you think I would have made a good priest?

Alex
Dear Dolly,

Ah, yes, but I think that our best defence against atheist groupies like that is experiential, not intellectual.

It is more important to experience the Mother of God in prayer and meditation, liturgically and in private.

St Seraphim of Sarov once said, "Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls will be converted around you."

Wasn't that nice? wink

Alex
I dont pray the rosary, id perfer the Akathist.
Im an Easternizer. You proabley would have made a good priest, but i still dont agree with thouse doctrines. I know many Orthodox Laity and one Orthodox Monk priest who agrees with me.

In Christ
Daniel
Posted By: Hesychios Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/29/03 11:36 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

Certainly, the Mother of God and the Saints can gain for us certain graces through our veneration of them and our requests of their generosity to pray for us.

In a general, universal sense, the Saints are always praying for us as part of the Divine Economia - as are all members of the Church, on earth and in the next life.

Everything comes to us from the Father through the Son by means of the Holy Spirit, as we know, and at the intercessions of the Mother of God, the Angels and the Saints, and the entire Church that is the Communion of Saints that we also affirm in the Creed.

God Himself chose to save us through the act of Mediation of His Incarnate Son. God comes to us where we are, as we are, and by means of others.

The intercession of all the Saints is the Holy Spirit's affirmation that, yes, humanity is indeed saved and transfigured through Theosis.

The Saints are the Icon of the Holy Spirit Who works ceaselessly to deify us in Christ.

Christ lives in His Saints, as the Incarnate God He is, by means of the Holy Spirit.

As we know, our salvation not only depends on Christ and the intercession of the Saints - it also depends on our reaching out to the Incarnate Christ Who lives in the poor and suffering in this world and those Whom God deigns to send us so we may serve Christ in them.

God sends every grace of His to us through the Humanity of Christ. In so doing, He has empowered our Humanity to receive it and does so especially through the Mother of God and the Saints who are the first to be made Christ-like and who, following Christ, become bearers of Christ's Grace to us, with Him.

Alex
This is the first time I have seen this stated so clearly, in terms I can accept.

Therefore, I have nothing to add to this discussion.

I would like to print this out and put it in a frame!

Thanks Dr. Alex smile
Michael
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/29/03 11:46 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Dolly,

Ah, yes, but I think that our best defence against atheist groupies like that is experiential, not intellectual.

It is more important to experience the Mother of God in prayer and meditation, liturgically and in private.

St Seraphim of Sarov once said, "Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls will be converted around you."

Wasn't that nice? wink

Alex
Dear Alex,

Yes, it's very nice, and I agree with you ... up to a point ...

The problem is that we do have an Adversary who takes great delight in visiting gullible souls and imitating the Blessed Mother, the Saints and even Christ Himself; and without some sort of intellectual grounding in basic Church doctrine, it is VERRRYYY easy for those souls to be pulled off the path, and into a very scary place - and they DO take others with them!

Anyway, wouldn't you agree that ideally this shouldn't be an "either or" situation (i.e., *either* experience *or* intellect) but a balance of both? The Breathing-With-Two-Lungs theory? wink

Love,
Dolly biggrin
Dr Alex? are you the Dr. Alex from the Ukranian Orthodox web site?

In Christ+
Daniel
Dear ByzantineAscetic,

Yes, sir, I am.

Alex
Dear Dolly,

Agreed,

It is just that in the West there tends to be an emphasis on intellectualization.

The East always includes the "lex orandi - lex credendi" rule and the liturgical tradition is the first and most important catechetical school for us.

One cannot be separated from the other and "Orthodox" means two things at once: "Right worship" and "Right belief" = what we believe is proclaimed through how we worship.

Reading is always important and necessary.

But our participation in the Life In Christ through the Church - how can we hope to be anointed with the Light of Mt Tabor to enlighten the world?

Alex
Dear Michael,

You are too kind!

Will it be a 5 x 7 or an 8 x 10 frame? smile

Alex
Dear Daniel, ByzAscetic

I thought over your post about the Orthodox who agree with you etc. and spent some time last night examing a range of Orthodox liturgical texts.

I was again impressed with the way in which the mediatorship of the Mother of God and the Saints jumps up on each and every page of the Octoechos etc.

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, through the prayers of Thy Most Pure Mother and all Thy Saints, have mercy and save us."

That is a liturgical, not a private prayer, and is repeated in various other forms many times over.

What that says and confirms is simply that the Grace of God comes to us through His Deified Humanity and through those who have been made one with Him in faith and sanctity, beginning with the Mother of God.

Therefore, the Orthodox who say they disagree - are just being willfully ignorant, including that monk you mention.

It is sometimes the case that the Orthodox will go against something just because they perceive the Latins are up to something new . . .

And converts to Orthodoxy are the worst of all.

They have to build walls between Catholicism and Orthodoxy that are ten times higher than they really are, as I've said.

They reveal their own insecurities and continuing issues with the Western Church they have left - their continuing pain in having left the Church is evident in the nonstop invective they constantly hurl against it.

I wouldn't listen to what those poor people tell you and I would stay off their message boards.

Alex
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/30/03 04:55 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Dolly,

Agreed,

It is just that in the West there tends to be an emphasis on intellectualization.
And agreed, too much emphasis on EITHER side can be harmful.

Which is why we need East AND West -- am I right?

[deafening silence]

I said, am I right?

[embarrassed silence]

Okay, everyone who thinks I'm WRONG, don't say anything!

[confused silence]

I knew it - I'm *always* right! biggrin
The Monk Priest i mentioned is very intelligent and far from ignorant, but he is a ROCOR Priest so that would explain his reasoning, he is very nice suprislingly. I know that some grace comes from mary, i just dont like the Idea of "ALL GRACES" which Vatican II left out of their documents because they knew how much trouble it would cause. Thats what im worried about. I know about the liturgical text not all but some and intersession of the saints and the Holy Theotokos, is a true reality which i fully except.

Alex, i was the one who asked the recent question about the papacy on your web site not to long ago. I like your site its very intresting. Ive learned alot about Orthodoxys POV on certain issues its been helpfull.

Through the Holy Theotokos
Daniel
Dear Dolly,

The really good thing about being Catholic is that one can always be right - but only one guy is infallible. wink

Perhaps it isn't a question of "East-West" but of natural balance of theory and praxis.

After all, you Westerners were once Orthodox in the good old days prior to that temper tantrum in 1054 AD.

You used to have an idea about balance . . . smile

Alex
Dear Daniel,

Well, I don't mean "ignorant" in the bad sense smile .

And ROCORites, if they perceive you are asking them about something RC's believe, will tend to do a knee-jerk and say, "Well, of course that is Latin heresy."

They don't believe Catholics have grace and so are cut off from the Church etc.

Be that as it may, the Saints are always praying for us, I think we can all agree on that.

And also, all Grace from Christ is ALWAYS mediated to us.

There is NO Grace that is not mediated to us through the Deified Humanity of Christ.

Christ gives us His Grace by mediating it to us through the Church and Her Mysteries/Sacraments, through the Priests and Bishops (no Bishop = no Church), the Bible, the icons and, yes, the Apostles and their teaching ("Apostolic" Church).

The Eastern Church is written with icons where there are all kinds of Saints and Angels, with the Mother of God interceding for us.

We stand before Christ, His Heavenly Father and the Most Holy Spirit.

And the Mother of God with the millions of Holy Angels and Saints stand with us, praying for us so that we may deepen our union with Christ and the Holy Trinity, "pushing us forward toward God" so to speak.

And our prayer is made that much more powerful when it is part of the prayer of the Church and of the Communion of Saints.

If your difficulty is about the idea of the Communion of Saints not coming between our relationship with the Holy Trinity - you've nothing to fear.

The Holy Trinity comes to dwell in us as Its Temple.

The Saints and the Church are there to hasten that goal.

Alex
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/30/03 05:51 PM
To me it seems very clear.
1. God chose the Theotokos to be the mother of His Son!
2. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
3. Christ is the source of all grace.
4. Through Mary's co opperation with the divine will grace was given to humanity in order that we might be saved.

In her unique role as the Mother of God Mary has mediated all the grace of Her Divine Son.
She is not its cause but through her cooperation has brought it about.
How does this "cut out" Christ.
No this teaching establishes it.

Stephanos I
Through the prayer of the Mother of God, O Savior save our souls.
Dear Arch-sinner Stephanos,

St Alphonsus Liguori would agree with you!

To paraphrase a Council's words: Peter has spoken through Stephanos!

Alex
Quote
Leo XIII, Parta humano generi, Apostolic Letter, Sept 8, 1901, ASS 34, 1901, 195.
So may the most powerful Virgin Mother, who once 'cooperated in love that the faithful might be born in the Church', be even now the means and mediatrix of our salvation. [Citing St. Augustine, De sancta Virginitate 6.]
See to me that doesnt sound right. Do all graces come from the most Holy Theotokos first? Why should they? Why not from Christ to us.

Daniel
Dear Daniel,

Well, one could ask, "Why not from God directly?"

Why did God have to assume our nature in becoming Man to die on the Cross etc.?

But it was His Will to save us and deify us precisely through the Incarnation of OLGS Jesus Christ.

By uniting Divinity with Humanity in Christ, God completely destroyed the separation between God and mankind, as well as the power of the devil's hold over us.

And He took that Humanity of His from the Virgin Mary. He came to us through Her.

And St Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke FIRST praises the Virgin Mary: Blessed are you among women. And then she praises Christ: Blessed is the Fruit of your womb!

The Fathers see in Jacob's Ladder an image of the Virgin Mary, for she is the ladder by which God came down to us in Christ.

And, the Gospel says through Mary's Magnificat, "All generations shall call me blessed!" She is the ladder by which we ascend to Christ and His heavenly Kingdom.

Might I make a suggestion?

Since you like Akathists, as do I, I've written an Akathist to Our Lady as the "Heavenly Ladder" on this very theme.

You can find it on the "Byzantine Faith and Worship" section.

In becoming Man, Christ also opened to all of us the possibility to be deified in His Deified Humanity.

The Mother of God is the first among the Saints in this respect, owing to her awesome role in our salvation. John the Baptist is next.

Just as the Source of all Graces is the Incarnate Word of God, Crucified and Risen - so too is the Theotokos the channel by which that Grace is communicated, both in history (as Mother of the Redeemer) and now (as Mother of the Church, the Body of Christ).

Just as she nurtured Christ to His full stature, so too is she our Mother, given to us by Christ at the foot of the Cross (Behold your mother!). And at Cana in Galilee ("They have no more wine . . . Do whatever He tells you to").

She is the Mother of the Body of Christ, the Church and therefore our mother insofar as we are members of the Body of Christ, the Church.

And she nurtures us constantly "on the milk of grace" (St Louis de Montfort, our favourite writer . . .) wink

I've taken the above from Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff's work - just so you know it is legitimate . . . smile

Alex
Posted By: Amadeus Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/30/03 06:49 PM
Dear Alex:

Quote
After all, you Westerners were once Orthodox in the good old days prior to that temper tantrum in 1054 AD.
Didn't you mean ". . .you EASTERNERS were once CATHOLIC in the good old days . . .?" biggrin

AmdG
What part of this undefined dogma i do accept is that the Holy Theotokos, would be Mediatrix of Grace. Notice I left out of "All Graces". I relize
that their are certain things in which Grace Comes directly from Christ, i.e. The Holy Mysteries.

No ive got to solve the Co-Redemptrix thing.

God Bless.
Daniel
Posted By: Mor Ephrem Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/30/03 07:49 PM
I am confused by certain things in reading this thread, and so for my benefit and hopefully to the benefit of this conversation, I'd like to make some remarks and pose some questions (the questions which I believe are key will be numbered for no other reason than that I think they should be numbered, but there will be more questions in the text than those that are numbered). This is very disorganised, and will seem repetitive since I'm basically going through the entire thread and commenting on certain things in order. Please bear with me.

It was said towards the beginning of this thread that EWTN lists the teachings of Mary as Co-Redemtrix and Mediatrix of All Grace as teachings of the Catholic Church. Not that EWTN is the be all and end all of Catholicism, but I remember hearing this some time ago on a documentary when it was said that a papally infallible definition could only be made for something that has always been believed by the Catholic Church, and so the movement arose to define this, basing itself partly on the fact that this has always been taught and believed by the Catholic Church. Very well, perhaps it is already a doctrine of the Catholic Church. In that case...

1. What exactly is the teaching on Mary as Co-Redemtrix?

2. What exactly is the teaching on Mary as Mediatrix of All Grace?

In asking these questions, I am seeking a few things. It is common for some Catholics to give a seemingly watered down summary of what the teachings mean so that they are agreeable to all. Perhaps it isn't watered down, and that's really all it is. I don't know. When I read things like

"Every grace that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, from the Virgin to us." (Saint Bernardine of Siena)

it gives me reason to doubt that it is as simple as they make it sound. How has this teaching been taught over the centuries in the Catholic Church? How has it "evolved"/"developed"?

The Administrator offered this:

The theology of �Co-Redemptrix� may be unnecessary but it is not heretical. The term �co� means �together with� not �equal to�. All Christians are called to work together with Christ to redeem the world. Mary is simply the first �co-redeemer�. Think about this in terms of St. John Chrysostom�s words that the saddest thing in the world is a Christian who has no concern for the salvation (redemption) of his fellow man.

�Mediatrix �of all graces�" means simply that the Theotokos can intercede for us in all things. This is perfectly orthodox and Orthodox. Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24) but his Mother can and does mediate for us before her Son and God through her prayers.


With regard to his thoughts on the teaching of the Co-Redemptrix, if he is right in his formulation, I do not see what the point is. If All Christians are called to work together with Christ to redeem the world. Mary is simply the first �co-redeemer�, then exactly what about Mary's "Co-Redemption" (pardon the expression) is so special? Merely that she was the first? I hardly suspect that anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, would've thought too highly of declaring a dogma on these grounds. And yet, there was just such a movement, and even a good number of bishops of the RCC were in support of it. So I wonder if this formulation is complete.

With regard to his thoughts on the teaching on the Mediatrix of All Grace, it is true that Mary can and does mediate on our behalf. But so do the Saints. So does our Guardian Angel. So do all good Christians, in line with the quote he selected from Saint John Chrysostom. So what about Mary's mediation is of particular importance, that a dogma is felt necessary by some? I am not sure, but this too doesn't seem to be a complete statement on the meaning of this teaching.

The Admin notes that we should always look to what the Church actually teaches, and not necessarily to the writings of individual saints, and he is right. Hence, my original questions regarding what the Church actually teaches.

LatinTrad said to another poster

Can you explain why it is an affront to Christ, if He chooses to distribute graces by the hand of His Mother?

I suppose I could pose the question "How do we know that Christ distributes graces by the hand of His Mother?" But I think it would be better to ask

3. What is grace?

If I am not mistaken, the Orthodox view of Grace is that it is the Uncreated Energies of God, by Which we participate in the Divine Life. Grace is God Himself. But to speak of "distributing graces" sounds more like "distributing favours". Moreover, some Orthodox will criticise the Catholics for believing in "created grace". Perhaps they are right, perhaps not. How does the Catholic Church define grace?

Theist Gal writes

Mary's sole purpose - the reason "her soul magnified the Lord" - was, and is, to bring Christ Jesus to us. That is why we say that all graces come to us through her - because, when all is said and done, all graces come to us through Jesus Christ - who chose to come to us through this humble virgin.

And you find that offensive because ... ?


So Mediatrix of All Grace means that all graces come to us through Jesus Christ, Who chose to come to us through Mary. I don't have a problem with logic per se, but this kind of logical leap in order to call Mary the Mediatrix of All Grace seems unjustified. Why, for instance, could we not take the logical next step and say that Saint Anne is the Mediatrix of All Grace? After all, all graces come to us through Jesus Christ, Who chose to come to us through Mary, who was born of Saint Anne. Or, what is to stop someone from taking it to the ultimate logical next step, and saying that Jesus came through Mary, who came from Anne, who came from...all the way back to Eve? Why can't Eve be simultaneously the woman through whom sin entered the world, and also the Mediatrix of All Grace? Surely there is more to this title and its meaning than that graces come through Christ, Who came from Mary.
Dear Amado,

Well, "Catholic" is a Greek word like "Orthodox."

So there . . . wink

Alex
Posted By: Hesychios Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/30/03 07:59 PM
Quote
Originally posted by ByzantineAscetic:
What part of this undefined dogma i do accept is that the Holy Theotokos, would be Mediatrix of Grace. Notice I left out of "All Graces". I relize
that their are certain things in which Grace Comes directly from Christ, i.e. The Holy Mysteries.
Daniel
This sounds agreeable to me.

Michael
Dear Mor Ephrem,

We never have enough of our "Phil!" wink

Well, I'll take a jab at some of these questions that are really above my simple head!

I would begin with the nature of the Incarnation itself.

Some theologians speak as if Christ's deified Humanity were somehow subsumed by His Divinity.

I know you, being Oriental Orthodox, would never do that smile . Just relax, Phil, sit back down, now . . .

But for the New Testament, the point of departure when we speak of the outpouring of Grace, the Uncreated Energies et alia, is the Deified Humanity of Christ.

We're not talking about Latin definitions of Grace for the time being, so that really doesn't enter into here.

Again, this is God's choosing, not ours.

As the Coptic and Ethiopian Liturgies celebrate, Christ took His Flesh, the Flesh which, united substantially to the Person of the Eternal Logos, is the Flesh of our salvation and Deification, from His Mother.

His Mother is the New Eve and she is, as you allude to, the connecting bridge between the Old and New Testaments, in whom the Law and the Prophets find fulfillment as in the New Ark of the Covenant that contained God the Word Incarnate.

This is why the Churches of the East especially praise and magnify her above all Saints and Angels.

There is no human being that comes close to her in Grace and spiritual beauty and dignity, not her mother St Anne, nor any of her ancestors, nor anyone else.

So, in the wide sense, yes, the Incarnate Word communicates Grace to us through His deified Humanity which He shares with us.

And St Eve and all the saints are a part of the process by which Grace is mediated to us through the Church and the Communion of Saints.

But the New Eve, the Most Holy Mother of God, has a place in the Cosmos as no other. That is the Faith of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ of all time!

The point is that Grace is always mediated.

Otherwise you would not have Christian salvation and Theosis.

God chose to become Incarnate, to save our sinful and fallen humanity by assuming it and bringing it into His Divinity.

That Divine touch is what heals and transfigures.

And it continues through the Church and the Saints who are also deified in Christ by the Holy Spirit and who likewise mediate the same Grace of Christ and the Holy Trinity that has transfigured them - to us.

I don't like the Latin terms of "Mediatrix of all Graces" for a number of reasons.

But IF it means that the Uncreated Energies of God in Christ are communicated to us through his Deified Humanity in the Spirit and that the Communion of those already deified, or the Saints, are an integral part of that mediation (if they become "Christ-like" then part of being like Christ is to exercise His Mediatorial Priesthood), then it is entirely in keeping with Eastern Theology on the subject.

There is no need for us in the East to define such things.

We've known about them for a very long time.

I need to go aside and meditate for a while . . .

Alex
Dear Daniel and Michael,

I like to think of that perspective on Grace as the Lord's "trickle down theory!" wink

Alex
Posted By: Mor Ephrem Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/30/03 09:28 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
The point is that Grace is always mediated.

Otherwise you would not have Christian salvation and Theosis.

God chose to become Incarnate, to save our sinful and fallen humanity by assuming it and bringing it into His Divinity.

That Divine touch is what heals and transfigures.

And it continues through the Church and the Saints who are also deified in Christ by the Holy Spirit and who likewise mediate the same Grace of Christ and the Holy Trinity that has transfigured them - to us.
Alex, I have no problem with any of this or what came before it.

Quote
I don't like the Latin terms of "Mediatrix of all Graces" for a number of reasons.

But IF it means that the Uncreated Energies of God in Christ are communicated to us through his Deified Humanity in the Spirit and that the Communion of those already deified, or the Saints, are an integral part of that mediation (if they become "Christ-like" then part of being like Christ is to exercise His Mediatorial Priesthood), then it is entirely in keeping with Eastern Theology on the subject.
If that is indeed what it means, then I don't have a problem with it. The problem is that it does not seem clear at all to me that the Roman Catholics believe that teaching in this sense; or, if they do believe in it in this sense, they take it even further and believe in that even further sense. That's why I'd like to know what exactly it is that the Roman Catholics have taught/do teach regarding this, if it is indeed, as EWTN claims, the official teaching of the Church (even if formally undefined). I'd particularly enjoy hearing LatinTrad chime in on this one if he has the time.
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/31/03 12:02 AM
Thanks to all for a very enlightening thread!

Like many here, I've struggled for a long time with the notion of Mary as "co-redemptrix" and "mediatrix of all graces". (I guess it was my Protestant upbringing). But in the past few weeks, I've had the privledge to read St. Louis de Montfort's book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I am now in the process of re-reading it, slowly, to drink it all in.

I would encourage those who have difficulty with these ideas to read this prayerfully read this book. It will help. While I support the Holy Father's reluctance to make a "dogmatic pronouncement", there is a depth of theology and spirituality to be explored here. It has certainly helped me to see how essential the Blessed Mother is to our salvation.

Peace,

Dave
"Mere Catholic"
Dear: OrthodoxCath,

Christ Is In Our Midst!

Why dont you agree with the Latin Terminology,
"Mediatrix of All Graces". I dont like it either, because i know personally she is not Mediatior of "All Graces". Im like you eastern, why does every thing need to be defined. So now that ive got that solved. What about the Co-Redemptrix, is she?

Daniel
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/31/03 05:11 PM
Daniel,
And where did OLGS Jesus Christ take his human nature from? That which we receive in the Eucharist as His Holy Flesh and Blood, the source of grace.
Was this not also mediated through the incarnation, through the Most Holy Blessed all pure and immaculate Theotokos?

Stephanos I
It was.

Daniel
Posted By: no one Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/31/03 05:17 PM
Stephanos, I have always meant to ask you something. Your profile says you are clergy. What jurisdiction are you with and your clerical rank? Clergy can be anything from subdeacon on up, so I was curious. Thanks. Don
Quote
Originally posted by ByzantineAscetic:
It was.

Daniel
Daniel - another Question for you

If Our Blessed Lady had not said 'yes' where would we be?

Oh and another - the Wedding Feast [ the very First Miracle of Christ's Public Ministry ]- did not Our Lady ask Her Son to help ?? And did He refuse His Mother's request ?

Sorry I never could count wink

Anhelyna
I personally believe think that question is irrelevant, because
she would have never said No. God knew it of course, and
that was not even an issue. For Hypothetical Sititation, i say,
if she said know God would have asked another women worthy
of being the Theotokos. That is irrelavent too. Because
Jesus is God and he created his mother, so thats not even worth
thinking about.

In Christ +
Daniel
Dear Daniel,

Actually, no - God always knew what Mary's answer would be, but He made His Son's Incarnation contingent upon the exercise of Her free will.

And her free will was so completely submitted to that of God, of course!

God allows us our exercise of free will as well. He knows the choices we will make - that is truly all a great mystery.

It seems to come down to the fact that all Grace comes from Christ, God the Word Incarnate.

He is the one Who chose to mediate His Grace through His Deified Humanity - that we must accept as Christians, of course.

But the mediation does not stop with Christ. It continues in the Communion of Saints and the Body of Christ.

We too are called to the Priesthood of Christ and we are called to mediate His Grace to the world in our own way, as God calls us to.

In a particular way, the Mother of God mediates all Grace to us, because she mediates the Incarnate God, Jesus Christ, to us Who is the Source of All Grace.

We don't need to define that.

Christians have always believed and celebrated that mystery of our faith.

Alex
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/31/03 07:57 PM
Quote
Originally posted by ByzantineAscetic:
I personally believe think that question is irrelevant, because
she would have never said No. God knew it of course, and
that was not even an issue. For Hypothetical Sititation, i say,
if she said know God would have asked another women worthy
of being the Theotokos. That is irrelavent too. Because
Jesus is God and he created his mother, so thats not even worth
thinking about.

In Christ +
Daniel
Really, Daniel? You're saying first of all that Mary *could not* have said no - does that mean she had no free will? Remember, Eve was created without sin, too, but she DID say no.

Second, you're saying that if Mary had said No, God would have just shrugged, said Okey Dokey and moved on to the next eligible virgin.

Mary was neither a robot nor an incubator. She was created by God to be His Mother - but like Adam and Eve, she DID have the freedom to say "Yes" or "No."

We honor and love her because she chose God.
I meant what you guys wrote, but i find the question either way irrelavent.

In Christ+
Daniel
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 10/31/03 08:41 PM
Nothing that has to do with Christ Jesus is irrelevant. smile
Posted By: Hesychios Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/01/03 01:02 AM
It's all a Mystery to me!
Posted By: djs Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/01/03 07:26 AM
Quote
... but this kind of logical leap in order to call Mary the Mediatrix of All Grace seems unjustified. Why, for instance, could we not take the logical next step and say that Saint Anne is the Mediatrix of All Grace? After all, all graces come to us through Jesus Christ, Who chose to come to us through Mary, who was born of Saint Anne. Or, what is to stop someone from taking it to the ultimate logical next step, and saying that Jesus came through Mary, who came from Anne, who came from...all the way back to Eve? Why can't Eve be simultaneously the woman through whom sin entered the world, and also the Mediatrix of All Grace? Surely there is more to this title and its meaning than that graces come through Christ, Who came from Mary.
Dear Mor,
I've heard the the same line of reasoning from Protestants who don't like the title Mother of God - i.e, what about Grandmother of God, etc.
But the special attention given to Mary is truly proper. She is like no other creature, even the most pious of saints, in her relationship to God. Eve bore human children, St. Anne bore a singular human child. Mary bore God incarnate! This is so enormous! A firm belief in Christ as God-man cannot avoid a correlate exhuberant awe and love of his Mother - a creature like us, and yet so unlike us; the exceptional example of what we wish to become. Beyond all others beyond measure.
Posted By: Hesychios Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/01/03 01:45 PM
Quote
Originally posted by djs:

I've heard the the same line of reasoning from Protestants who don't like the title Mother of God - i.e, what about Grandmother of God, etc.
But the special attention given to Mary is truly proper. She is like no other creature, even the most pious of saints, in her relationship to God. Eve bore human children, St. Anne bore a singular human child. Mary bore God incarnate! This is so enormous! A firm belief in Christ as God-man cannot avoid a correlate exhuberant awe and love of his Mother - a creature like us, and yet so unlike us; the exceptional example of what we wish to become. Beyond all others beyond measure.
Hi DJS,
I agree with what you posted here. Every last word.

But it does not follow that this therefore means that she is the Mediatrix of all Graces.

It just doesn't. It is a clear indication of what Mary must mean to us, but nothing else.

I haven't read anything yet anywhere that indicates that Mary should be the Mediatrix of all Graces.

There is a disconnect from the reasons to the resulting conclusion. Sort of unreal logic.

Michael
Posted By: djs Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/02/03 12:12 AM
Quote
I agree with what you posted here. Every last word. But it does not follow that this therefore means that she is the Mediatrix of all Graces.
Nor was any such meaning implied. I was just posting in response to ME's specific line of argument.

As to what should be defined, I have no idea. The last go round on this topic I raised that very question; it had no traction. Strange.

And I am not inclined to get into the general discussion of this thread on what the duty-factor is on the mediation by the never-failing protector of Chrsitians and constant intercessor before the Creator. What could be more stereotypically scholastic (99.46 % pure and mediator of very many but not necessarily all graces? :rolleyes: )

I do find troubling, this effort in some posts here and on other threads to down-play Marian devotion. Hard to comprehend this effort, if what the we say about Christ is truly informing our perspective.
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/02/03 02:23 AM
Mor Ephrem,
As you perhaps know doctrine in the Latin understanding developes.
And here we can see this process clearly.
We have a truth and then people try to make more or less out of the teaching than it actually is.
The Church has to pray, reflect, think about it and then define. (sorry we Latins are so methodical)
I suppose we can live with Mystery, but there also has to be clarification exactly because some people go overboard as in this case, I will agree, and understand "mediatrix of all graces" and "co redemptrix" in a heretical sense.

Stephanos I
Posted By: Turlough Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/02/03 03:23 AM
As a Latin Catholic on his way soon to be Melkite, I would just like to make a quick note on the term Mediatrix of all Graces. I formerly supported the idea of having this defined dogmatically along with many other Traditional Catholics.

I have enjoyed the discussion on this issue but have found interesting the way many try to make it acceptable to all. What many have said is true and would be unobjectionable, but for me and the others I knew who were pushing for the definition what has been said was not what we were asking for. We believed that no grace was granted to the world today except through Mary, some even went so far as to insist that no grace could be given except through Mary's intercession and mediation. Many, though not all, who are calling for the definition of Mediatrix of all Graces desire this belief to be declared. I'm not sure if I'm being clear or not but it is this definition that I believe many are objecting to and would be most damaging in our attempts to reestablish communion between our various churches.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us.


Terry
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/02/03 05:38 AM
Wow, another Melkite; I'm starting to find that there are quite a number of us here. Welcome to our Church, brother. Can't picture where Perry, NY is; to which parish will you belong?

And,I can't help but wonder at the name, were you named for the geologic feature, the lovely town in Mayo, or himself?

Many years,

Neil
Posted By: Turlough Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/02/03 06:10 AM
Neil,

I love your title Irish Melkite. No the name I use is one of the two forms of my name Terry in Irish. People found Toirdealbhach a little too much so I started using Turlough instead.

I've found that going to the Melkite church has been somewhat of a homecoming. My studies have convinced me that the early Irish church was quite Eastern theologically. I've been moving this way for years but got sidetracked into a lot of other paths before finding the East.

Perry is located about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester. Southeast from Buffalo and southwest from Rochester. It's about a 45-50 minute drive to my parish of St. Nicholas in Rochester. Surprising how many Irish there are there as well. Though most of them came in through marriage.

I'd be interested in hearing a little of your story as well.

Terry
Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/02/03 07:46 AM
Terry,

Probably should have pm'ed this - it's a bit off-topic for the thread. My story is simple. I was raised RC but had exposure to Byzantine liturgies (Russian & Ukrainian), since I lived in Boston where Eastern Catholic parishes abounded and Cardinal Cushing, a great friend and benefactor to Eastern Catholics, urged Latin pastors to educate their parishoners and children (long before Popes were encouraging Latins to know us), including having Liturgies celebrated.

As a college freshman, I was involved w/ XP, a Catholic Young Adult organization at a small Latin parish. Because we were very few, we set out to find another parish w/ which to jointly sponsor functions. In doing so, we met and became friends with our counterparts from the then-newly-erected Melkite Cathedral parish.

The (at that time) almost exclusively Lebanese and Syrian community was very welcoming to a red-haired Irish kid. My curiousity about, and fascination with, the Eastern Church was revived. Now, 39 yrs later, my hair is not as red and there's less of it; my Arabic remains limited and mainly useful at the bazaar's food booth; myself and a friend who came here at the same time are no longer the only 'Irishers'; I have now been a Melkite, canonically, for about 35 yrs; and, the Cathedral community is as loving and welcoming now as it was then.

It's been a wonderful 4 decades, I've had the honor and blessing to know HB Patriarch Maximos V and Archbishop Joseph, both of blessed memory, as well as Bishops John and Nick, and many of the Melkite clergy. My spiritual life has been richer than I believe it would ever have been had I continued in the Latin Church.

As a student of Celtic history, I agree w/ your impression that there were Eastern influences in the early Irish Church. I have a strong interest in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as well as in independent non-canonical 'Catholic' and 'Orthodox' Churches. (Btw, I envy you your profession, books are my other passion.)

That's about it. God grant you many years,

Neil
Posted By: Turlough Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/03/03 04:58 AM
Neil, thanks for your faith journey's story. I love to hear how people reach the place that they do. I've started a new post in the Town Hall section hoping to hear from other fellow Celts and how they have made their journey East and why?

Sl�n agus beannacht,

Terry
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/04/03 06:04 AM
Very well put in your last post Orthodox Catholic!
My sentiments exactly. I dont understand why others dont see it so clearly but then again mayber they havent studied the faith for over 40 years.
Stephanos I
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/10/03 07:29 PM
I think if one were to ask whom exalts the Virign Mary the most, then I would have to say it is the East.
Let me quote a liturgical text on Mary.
"She who is higher than the heavens and more glorious than the Cherubim. She who is held in greater honor than all creation, she who by reason of her surpassing purity became the receiver of the everlasting essence, today commends her most pure soul into the hands of her Son. With her, all things are filled with joy, and she bestows great mercy on us."

I think that admiration and devotion has been lost in the West.

When you look at the early infant community of the Church of Rome we see a very differnt picture.
Especiall in two iconographic depictions of the Mother of God.

First there is the Virgin with the Prophet in the Catacomb of Priscilla on the vis Salaria.
The Virgin is seated on a throne with the infant Jesus on her lap, (which signifies that Mary has an honor above even the Prophets).
The prophet stands beside her and points ot her.

Who is this prophet? Some say that it is the prophet Balaam because over Mary is an eight pointed star. "A star shall come forth from Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel."
Others see it as Isaiah "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call him Emmanuel."
This is the oldest depiction in the Church of the West of the Blessed Virgin Mary and tells us something of the attitude of the Church of Rome.

The other one a later portrayal of the Virgin is in the orans position of intercession located in the Great Cemetary on the via Nomentana dating from the middle of the fourth century.
Both these frescoes show the special feelings of the early Christians of Rome for the Mother of God.
The angel raises his hand to heaven as if to speak and obiously indicates that Mary is far superior even to the angels.

Food for thought.
Stephanos I
More Glorius then the Cherabim beyond compare to the Seraphim you the Theotokos we magnify.

In Christ+
Daniel
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/10/03 09:42 PM
I believe the West has an incredibly strong devotion to the Mother of God. The East doesn't have a monopoly on this.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Theist Gal Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/10/03 10:19 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Stephanos I:
I think if one were to ask whom exalts the Virign Mary the most, then I would have to say it is the East.
1. It's not a contest!

2. It's interesting that you don't think we exalt Mary *enough*, while fundamentalist Protestants think we exalt her *too much*.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. :-)
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/10/03 11:47 PM
Theist Gal
Please read the post again. It is just the opposite. I said the East highly magnifies the Mother of God. And it was not said as if it were a contest. I was just making an observance.
Stephanos I
My comment was that the West does not venerate Mary as much as it once did.
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/11/03 05:37 AM
Was just reading some patristic works from Irenaeus. Very interesting as to what they say about the mediation Mary played in the economy of salvation.

Even though Eve had Adam for a husband , she was still a virgin ... By disobeying, she bacame the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race. In the same way, Mary, though she also had a husband, was still a virgin, and by obeying, she became the cause of salvation for herselfand for the whole human race.. The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience What Eve bound through her unbelief, Mary loosed by her faith."
Thus the Eve- Mary parrallel in early patristics.

Stephanos I

Any comments?
Posted By: Alice Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/11/03 04:10 PM
Dear Father,

This parallel is still taught as the Orthodox viewpoint...Mary is the 'new Eve'.

In Christ our Lord,
Alice
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/11/03 07:53 PM
Quote
Originally posted by alice:
Dear Father,

This parallel is still taught as the Orthodox viewpoint...Mary is the 'new Eve'.

In Christ our Lord,
Alice
If Eve of old was the "mother of the living", then all human life today has descended from her. Is it too much of a stretch to say that all redeemed life - the life of grace in Christ - has descended from the Blessed Virgin Mary, the new Eve? If the new Eve is the mother of the Church and our spiritual mother, then we have all received grace through her.

I have no problem saying that she is the Mediatrix of all graces; but I have not always believed this. I have only recently come to understand this teaching. Because of the potential for misunderstanding, though, I would not be in favor of a new dogmatic pronouncement on the subject.

Dave
Posted By: Stephanos I Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/12/03 12:54 AM
Dave,
That is EXACTLY the reason that a pronoucement should be made, For clairification and so that erroneous opinions concerning this belief of the Christian Church from the very begining do not spread. To combat error on both sides.

I was once of your mind but have changed my opionion the more I studied the issue.

Stephanos I

Through the prayers of the Mother of God O Savior save our souls.
Dear Friends,

It is best to leave such pronouncements alone precisely because misunderstanding can occur.

I read in one Orthodox commentary about how the Mother of God "co-suffered" with her Son . . .

And this is evident from the liturgical prayers of the East as well.

The East has catechised through the liturgy and has tended not to separate the two.

This is why the East has never had any doctrinal pronouncements on the Mother of God other than what are contained in the teachings of the Councils.

The Mother of God is a mystery that must always be experienced through liturgical and private prayer.

I have never met anyone who has a prayerful relationship to the Mother of Christ our God who has denied to me her holiness from her Conception, her Assumption etc.

I have met Protestants who have a devotion to Mary who believe as Catholics and Orthodox do about the Mother of God.

If people are weak in faith about her, they are weak in prayer to her.

Alex
Dear Dolly and Teen Logo,

Certainly the West has a great veneration for the Mother of God and, yes, this is not a contest.

But the East has had, I believe, a greater, consistent liturgical veneration for the Mother of God, whereas the West tends to express this, at least historically, more through private, paraliturgical devotions, revelations and visions etc.

But the West has made great strides in reestablishing a solid liturgical context for the Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church etc.

Alex
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/12/03 03:12 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

If people are weak in faith about her, they are weak in prayer to her.

Alex
Dear Alex:

I couldn't have said it better myself. In my own case, it was only after I had "crossed the bridge" to Marian devotions (i.e., the Rosary and Angelus) that I came to a deeper understanding of her essential role in our salvation.

This was a difficult bridge for me to cross. Like many former Protestants, I thought had thought that Marian devotion (especially the type exemplified by Saint Louis de Montfort) was excessive at best, idolatrous at worst. In my study of Catholicism prior to my return to the Church, I came to a major decision point: I could accept nearly everything the Church taught, but the Marian dogmas (particularly the Immaculate Conception, the sinlessness of Mary, and the emphasis on her as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix) were too much for me. This was the only thing holding me back, as it were, from fully embracing the Faith.

The Catholic Church, in my opinion at the time, was going to far in honoring Mary - but I knew in my heart that as a Protestant, I had not gone far enough. The impasse in my mind was resolved through prayer - I asked the Lord to let me love His Mother as much as He loved her, neither more nor less.

Since then, my prayer has been answered. The Lord led me back to the Catholic Faith which I had once abandoned, and has given me a great love for His Blessed Mother. I am now studying St. Louis's True Devotion, and I am planning to make my Consecration on the feast of the Immaculate Conception (pray for me!).

I'm not sure how it is in the Eastern Churches, but certainly in the West we need to revive Marian devotion. The Holy Father's letter on the Rosary was a great help in this. But more needs to be done. I would agree, from what I've seen in Eastern Christianity (BC and Eastern Orthodox), her presence is much more clearly seen and felt. In the West, in many parishes, she has virtually "dropped off the radar screen." I ask my Eastern Brothers and Sisters to pray for those of us in the West who seek to return our Church to the proper devotion to her.

Dave
"Mere Catholic"
Dear Dave,

What a beautiful testimonial of the way the Holy Spirit is working so POWERFULLY in your life!

I too am into St Louis de Montfort's spirituality, and Angela helped me as I prepared to make my full consecration last year.

(Thank you again, Angela!)

Everything we believe about Maryam relates to the Incarnation of God the Word and Wisdom Incarnate - OLGS Jesus Christ!

This is very Evangelical as it is living a life consecrated to Jesus through the vehicle by which He came to us as our Incarnate Lord, His Mother.

Keep your rosary in one hand and the Cross in the other, like our Father among the Saints, Louis de Montfort!

Wear a red Cross, as he mentions, and keep an icon of Our Lady with you!

Say the Rosary daily - especially, if you like, the form with the interpolated phrases. At the end of your Rosary you will only be left with the prayer: "Jesus, Son of God, through the prayers of Your Most Pure Mother, have mercy on me a sinner!"

Whenever the Holy Spirit finds a soul, like you, united to the Mother of Jesus Christ, He does to that soul what He did to her long ago - He forms the full stature of Christ in it!

God Bless you in your journey with the Mother of God as She takes you to Her Son.

She knows Him well and She wants to introduce you to Him in a way that will unite all three of you forever.

Alex
Quote
Originally posted by Sea Knight:........
Since then, my prayer has been answered. The Lord led me back to the Catholic Faith which I had once abandoned, and has given me a great love for His Blessed Mother. I am now studying St. Louis's True Devotion, and I am planning to make my Consecration on the feast of the Immaculate Conception (pray for me!).......
Dave
"Mere Catholic" [/QB]
Wonderful !

There are quite a few of us here now [ and they all know far more than me wink ]- and I'm sure I can say for all of us that we will be with you on that very special day.

Anhelyna
Dear Anhelyna,

It seems to me that this Consecration is as if Our Lady takes us by the hand to lead us to her Son.

We turn back and say, "But I've sullied the Baptismal Grace I've received by my willfully committed sins!"

And our Lady tells us that we have her purity and holiness that she covers us with like a mantle of her Protection.

When our Lord sees us, He will see her holiness on us and will gladly listen to her intercession on our behalf as He did at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.

And so she guides us forward to her Son.

And He awaits us with outstretched arms - on the Cross and in His Heavenly Glory.

Alex
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Anhelyna,

It seems to me that this Consecration is as if Our Lady takes us by the hand to lead us to her Son.

We turn back and say, "But I've sullied the Baptismal Grace I've received by my willfully committed sins!"

And our Lady tells us that we have her purity and holiness that she covers us with like a mantle of her Protection.

When our Lord sees us, He will see her holiness on us and will gladly listen to her intercession on our behalf as He did at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.

And so she guides us forward to her Son.

And He awaits us with outstretched arms - on the Cross and in His Heavenly Glory.

Alex
Beautifully put Alex.

I know I really felt Her presence doing just that one very very wet May night .
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/13/03 07:28 PM
I've been giving some thought to the initial reason for this thread, expressed by Daniel. Is Mary the Mediatrix of ALL Graces, as Latin theology tends to assert? Is her mediation plenary, or is it of a more limited nature?

In reading back over these posts, a few thoughts occured to me:

1. As Latins, we tend to use the term "grace" in the sense of created grace, rather than uncreated grace. Perhaps some of the confusion regarding this title for the Blessed Virgin Mary stems from our differences in how we define "grace."

2. Our Blessed Mother is recognized as the Mediatrix of Grace in the sense that Jesus Christ was born of her. He received His humanity from her. Without her active cooperation and participation in the Incarnation, there would be no salvation.

3. We also acknowledge her role as an intercessor for us, a "mediatrix" who offers our requests to her Son. From what I can observe, this doesn't cause any problems to our Orthodox and Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters (although many Protestants, who might agree with #2 above, would balk at this point).

4. The problem arises when we Latins say that she is the Mediatrix of ALL graces. Daniel probably speaks for many who see this statement as detracting from the role of Christ as our sole mediator between humanity and God. Some may fear that this is giving too much glory to Mary - that it is putting her on par with Christ her Son, and that it is removing her from the rest of the Church. The difficulty seems to stem chiefly from the word "ALL".

Perhaps this analogy might be of benefit. We believe that Christ is the Head of the Church. But the Head doesn't exist without the Body (the Church). What connects the Head to the Body? The neck. Several of the Fathers refer to Mary as the "neck" which connects the Head to the Body.

Now a body can live if a limb is severed. But it cannot live if the Head is severed. Therefore, the Head stands in a unique relationship to the Body. The same may be said of the Neck. Without the Neck, the Head has no relationship with the Body. The Neck is absolutely essential, as is the Head.

Everything that the Body needs for existence comes from the Head through the Neck. The air we breath is first inhaled through the nostrils in our Head and makes its way down our windpipe before entering into our lungs (both Western and Eastern wink ). The water we drink and the food we eat first enter the mouth in our Head and travel down the esophagus into the Body, where it nourishes us. The Body itself carries out the wishes and intentions of the Head through the central nervous system; the messages from the Head travel through this system, and the perceptions of the members of the Body travel to the Head by means of this system.

And all of this passes through the Neck. All of the air we breathe, all of the water and food we receive, even that which is most "internal", personal and hidden - the relationship of the Head to the Body through the nervous system - passes through the Neck. It is the conduit through which the Head and the Body live in a relationship.

Admittedly, it is a simple and crude analogy (what would you expect from a simple Latin?). But to me, it explains how I can call Mary the Mediatrix of ALL graces. Everything I have received from Christ has come through her. Everything I offer to Christ must go through her.

"O Jesus living in Mary,
come and live in thy servants,
In the spirit of Thy holiness,
In the fulness of Thy might,
In the truth of Thy virtues,
In the perfection of Thy ways,
In the communion of Thy mysteries,
Subdue every hostile power
In Thy Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen."

Dave
"mere Catholic"
Dear Dave,

Very good!

Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff (+memory eternal!) once wrote that just as Mary is the Mother of God the Word Incarnate, so too is she the Mother of the Church, the Body of Christ.

And here is where our St Louis comes in - just as Jesus chose to come to us through His Mother (and He didn't have to - He did choose to, however), so too do we come to Him by her as well.

It always mesmerized me that St Gabriel would praise Mary first, before praising the Divine "Fruit of your womb."

St Louis' work deserves to be pondered over and over again for all the truly evangelical insights it offers into this great mystery.

Alex
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/13/03 08:06 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

St Louis' work deserves to be pondered over and over again for all the truly evangelical insights it offers into this great mystery.

Alex
AMEN and AMEN!

Do you think his approach would be well-received in the East?

Dave
Dear Dave,

I think so, very much!

His emphasis on Christ as Divine Wisdom is especially Eastern - and he quotes from the Eastern Fathers all over the place.

There are Eastern icons of him, portraying him very much like St Seraphim of Sarov at:

www.montfortmissionaries.com [montfortmissionaries.com]

And some Eastern commentary on his spirituality on the personal comments page.

Alex
Posted By: Logos - Alexis Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/14/03 12:44 AM
Hmm...

God = All Grace (all Grace comes from God; only God is the Source of Grace, etc.)

Mediatrix of ALL Graces, to me, makes sense in the fact that Mary is a Mediatrix between God, Who was born of her, who is All-Grace, and man.

Logos Teen
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/17/03 06:07 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:

There are Eastern icons of him, portraying him very much like St Seraphim of Sarov at:

www.montfortmissionaries.com [montfortmissionaries.com]

And some Eastern commentary on his spirituality on the personal comments page.

Alex
Thanks, Alex! I've seen these icons on their website, and they're quite beautiful. Do you know if there is anyway to obtain copies of them?

Dave
Posted By: Marshall Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/17/03 09:09 PM
Pant, pant...

I just finished reading this looooong thread. One MAJOR KEY has been forgotten. As St Maximillian Kolbe has taught us, Mary's title as "Mediatrix of All Graces" is derivative of her title "Spouse of the Holy Spirit."

Since Mary's conception was especially grace filled and overseen by the intimate presence of the Holy Spirit (what could be called an "immaculate conception") AND the fact that the Holy Spirit overshadowed her womb and conceived the Incarnate Logos within, she is seen as having a special relationship with the Holy Spirit. So special and close is this relationship that it is mystically called "spousal."

The Akathist hymn testifies to this spousal relation, especially in the exclamation, "Bride Unbrided!"

Certainly every grace is mediated by Jesus Christ and APPLIED to us by the Holy Spirit. Yet, Mary's proximity to the Holy Spirit by her conception, divine motherhood, dormition, and especially her assumption bring her into the tightest and most profound union with Holy Spirit's activity.

Thus, what the Holy Spirit accomplishes and applies (every grace) necessary relates to the heavenly work of Mary. This is why every grace, so to say, "passes through her hands."

Hope that helps.

to Jesus through Mary,
Marshall
Posted By: Dave Wells Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 11/18/03 02:53 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Marshall:

Certainly every grace is mediated by Jesus Christ and APPLIED to us by the Holy Spirit. Yet, Mary's proximity to the Holy Spirit by her conception, divine motherhood, dormition, and especially her assumption bring her into the tightest and most profound union with Holy Spirit's activity.

Thus, what the Holy Spirit accomplishes and applies (every grace) necessary relates to the heavenly work of Mary. This is why every grace, so to say, "passes through her hands."

Hope that helps.

to Jesus through Mary,
Marshall
Very well said, Marshall! I hope we have some more discussion on this. I would especially like to hear from our Orthodox brothers and sisters on their understanding of Mary as the "spouse of the Holy Spirit".

Dave
This thread is still going on? Dang, I thought Id say hello and thank you for your thoughts. Might as well make this thread 100 post instead of 99.

For me, I still think its Wrong to call here Medatrix of All Graces. Traditional Orthodoxy call it Heresy, and I tend to agree with them in there explenation of the reasons why.

In Christ
Daniel
Daniel;

Some theology to ponder, from the Akathist to the Mother of God. The editing is by me so as to highlight the issues at hand, for the layout I was assisted by the guardian angels of Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer (they have a mind all their own):

Rejoice, you through whom creation is renewed. Rejoice, you through whom the Creator is born a Babe.

Rejoice, O seer of the ineffable Will. Rejoice, O surety of those praying in silence.
Rejoice, you the Preface of Christ's miracles. Rejoice, you the Pinnacle of His commandments.
Rejoice, O heavenly Ladder, by which God descended. Rejoice, O Bridge leading those from earth to Heaven.

Rejoice, You who enlighten the minds of the faithful.

and her fruitful womb He made a fertile meadow for all those desiring to reap salvation, as they chant: Alleluia!

Rejoice, Oblation for all the world.
Rejoice, Favour of God to mortals. Rejoice, Access of mortals to God.

Rejoice, Opener of the gates of Paradise.
Rejoice, for the things of Heaven rejoice with the earth. Rejoice, the things of earth join chorus with the Heavens

Rejoice, you through whom Hades was laid bare. Rejoice, you through whom we are clothed with glory.

Rejoice, you who have quenched the fiery furnace of error. Rejoice, you who enlighten the initiates of the Trinity.
Rejoice, you who have removed the inhuman tyrant from power. Rejoice, you who have shown Christ, the man-befriending Lord.
Rejoice, you who have redeemed us from the pagan religion. Rejoice, you who have rescued us from the works of mire.
Rejoice, you who ceased the worship of fire. Rejoice, you who saves us from the flames of passions.
Rejoice, Guide of the faithful to chastity. Rejoice, O Delight of all generations.

Rejoice, Uplifting of men. Rejoice, Downfall of demons.
Rejoice, you who trampled upon the delusion of error. Rejoice, you who censured the deceit of the idols.
Rejoice, Sea which drowned the symbolic Pharaoh. Rejoice, Rock which refreshed those thirsting for life.
Rejoice, Pillar of fire, guiding those in darkness. Rejoice, Protection of the world, more spacious than a cloud.
Rejoice, Nourishment, successor to manna. Rejoice, Minister of holy joy.
Rejoice, Land of promise. Rejoice, you from whom flows milk and honey.
Rejoice, Tree of delectable Fruit that nourishes the faithful. Rejoice, well-shaded Tree under which many find shelter.
Rejoice, Intercession before the righteous Judge. Rejoice, Forgiveness for many transgressors.
Rejoice, Robe of confidence for those bare of courage. Rejoice, Tenderness conquering all desire.

Rejoice, Key of the Kingdom of Christ. Rejoice, Hope of eternal blessings.

Rejoice, you who draw us from the depths of ignorance. Rejoice, you who enlighten many with knowledge.
Rejoice, Raft for those who desire to be saved. Rejoice, Haven for those who fare on the sea of life.

Rejoice, Pillar of virginity. Rejoice, Gate of salvation.
Rejoice, Leader of spiritual restoration. Rejoice, Bestower of divine goodness.
Rejoice, for you regenerated those conceived in shame. Rejoice, for you gave guidance to the thoughtless.
Rejoice, you who abolished the corrupter of hearts. Rejoice, you who gave birth to the Sower of chastity.
Rejoice, bridal Chamber of a seedless marriage. Rejoice, you who joined the faithful to the Lord.
Rejoice, fair Nursing-mother of virgins. Rejoice, bridal Escort of holy souls.
Rejoice, you who wash away the stain of sin.
Rejoice, Laver purifying conscience.
Rejoice, for you are the Throne of the King. Rejoice, for you sustained the Sustainer of all.Rejoice, you through whom creation is renewed. Rejoice, you whom the Creator is born a Babe.

John
Posted By: Hesychios Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 12/13/03 01:14 AM
Dear Petrus,
I have read the Akathist excerpts you posted and I am not certain what you are trying to say.

Could you explain?

Michael
that sinner
Posted By: iconophile Re: Marian Dogma - Defining too much - 12/13/03 03:15 AM
I just rediscovered this thread; I hadn't checked it for a long time. Hey Alex- where on the Montfort site are those Byzantine icons of St Louis de Montfort? I couldn't find them. And Alex, you didn't mention that the "Eastern commentary" you mentioned was all by you! It of course contained the wealth of knowledge we have all come to associate with your postings here on the Forum. Thanks for sharing the wealth!
Michael,

This is in regard to Daniel's (Byzantine Ascetic) assertion that he has a difficult time accepting the theology of Mary as Mediator of all graces. He also, very early on in the thread, uses the metaphor of Christ as head of the Church and Mary as the neck.

This is consistent with St. Romanos theology in the Akathist, Let me remove all nonessential words (although how can you say any are nonessential) so that you can concentrate on this concept as Mary as Mediator:

You through whom all creation is renewed


Rejoice, O surety of those praying in silence.

Rejoice, you the Preface of Christ's miracles.

Rejoice, O heavenly Ladder, by which God descended.

Rejoice, O Bridge leading those from earth to Heaven.

Rejoice, You who enlighten the minds of the faithful.

and her fruitful womb He made a fertile meadow for all those desiring to reap salvation, as they chant: Alleluia!

Rejoice, Oblation for all the world.
Rejoice, Favour of God to mortals. Rejoice, Access of mortals to God.

Rejoice, Opener of the gates of Paradise.


Rejoice, you through whom we are clothed with glory.

Rejoice, you who enlighten the initiates of the Trinity.

Rejoice, you who have rescued us from the works of mire.
Rejoice, O Delight of all generations.

Rejoice, Uplifting of men. Rejoice, Downfall of demons.

Rejoice, Rock which refreshed those thirsting for life.

Rejoice, Pillar of fire, guiding those in darkness.

Rejoice, Protection of the world, more spacious than a cloud.
Rejoice, Nourishment, successor to manna. Rejoice, Minister of holy joy.
Rejoice, Land of promise. Rejoice, you from whom flows milk and honey.
Rejoice, Tree of delectable Fruit that nourishes the faithful.
Rejoice, well-shaded Tree under which many find shelter.
Rejoice, Intercession before the righteous Judge.
Rejoice, Forgiveness for many transgressors.
Rejoice, Robe of confidence for those bare of courage.
Rejoice, Tenderness conquering all desire.

Rejoice, Key of the Kingdom of Christ. Rejoice, Hope of eternal blessings.

Rejoice, you who draw us from the depths of ignorance.
Rejoice, you who enlighten many with knowledge.
Rejoice, Raft for those who desire to be saved. Rejoice, Haven for those who fare on the sea of life.

Rejoice, Gate of salvation.
Rejoice, Leader of spiritual restoration. Rejoice, Bestower of divine goodness.
Rejoice, for you regenerated those conceived in shame.
Rejoice, you who joined the faithful to the Lord.
Rejoice, you who wash away the stain of sin.
Rejoice, Laver purifying conscience.
Rejoice, for you are the Throne of the King. Rejoice, you through whom creation is renewed. Rejoice, you whom the Creator is born a Babe.


You will note many "mediator" metaphors: bridge, key, gate, opener, raft, haven, opener,... the "nurturer" metaphors: Nourishment, Minister of holy joy, Intercessor before the judge, source of milk and honey, tree of delectable fruit,...

Now concentrate on the use of the word "you"

John
Dear Daniel,

That site does have Eastern icons that come on every so often.

If you write to the webmaster, he'll send you the entire collection.

I didn't mention who wrote those articles.

I'm too humble and detached for that sort of thing . . . wink

Alex
Dear ByzantineAscetic,

ALL Grace comes to us from the God-Man Jesus Christ.

As St Paul says, Salvation is through the Man Jesus Christ or through His Deified Humanity.

Unless one believes that Grace under the New Covenant can come from someone else OTHER than OLGS Jesus Christ, there should be no problem in agreeing that just as Christ came to us through the Mother of God, so too His Grace comes to us through Her intercession and that of all the Saints.

If any Orthodox disagree with this, they are saying so because they are trying to be different from perceived Catholic teaching for the sake of being different.

Something similar happened when certain Orthodox denied Orthodoxy believed in Mary's Holy Conception and Assumption in Heaven - after these were defined by Rome.

It's a good thing Rome has never felt it necessary to proclaim the dogma of the Trinity infallibly. I wonder what some Orthodox would say then . . . wink

But, really, don't accept what some Orthodox say or write as representative of all of Orthodoxy.

Alex
Dear Sea Knight,

In actual fact, a number of Orthodox saints invoked our Lady as "Spouse of the Holy Spirit" throughout their lives.

St John of Kronstadt's prayers are punctuated with what would also be familiar to Western Catholics: "Daughter of God the Father! Mother of God the Son! Spouse (Nevesto) of the Holy Spirit! Temple of the Most Holy Trinity!"

Alex
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