Catholicism Questions

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Catholicism Questions

#1

Post by Storyteller » Thu May 12, 2016 6:19 am

Okay, most (if not all) of you know that Catholicism has a huge pull for me. I am still exploring and have had a lot of helpful comments and advice.
There are some things that I need to explore more, discover different views on so...

Mary, Mother of God.
As in mother of Christ, mother of our Lord or Mother of God?
I have felt Mary.
Does it really matter which I view Mary as? Do I have to believe Mary is the Mother of God to be a true Catholic? If so, why?
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#2

Post by Jac3510 » Thu May 12, 2016 7:28 am

People on both sides make too big a deal out of this. Jesus was and is God. Mary was and is Jesus' mother. Ergo, Mary was and is the mother of God. There's nothing objectionable about that at all. Unless God were to create his human body and nature as He did Adam's, then the only other alternative is to be born, and to be born is to have a mom. Therefore, God picked a woman and said, "She'll get to be my mother." But just understand that "mother" here is going to have a little different connotation that it does for me and you. She was and is His mother in virtue on His humanity, not in virtue of His deity. You and I aren't deity, so mom just means mom. But with Mary we add the caveat, mother in virtue of His humanity.

Put simply, humans have moms. Jesus was human. So Jesus had a mom. Fine. No big deal. God only had a mom because God became a human. But everything God has in virtue of His humanity is the same. He had a childhood in virtue of His humanity. He grew up in virtue of His humanity. Who taught Jesus to read? Think about that. Somebody was the teacher of God! Did Jesus ever had a tooth pulled? Then God had a dentist!

I'm not trying to take away from the huge value of being the mother of God. Truly. What an honor!!! Certainly being someone's mother is more special than being their teacher or dentist. So Mary should be more highly honored than any other woman who has ever lived or ever will live. But let's not read anything more into it than that. It's just a title of honor. Nothing more. She's no more or less human than me or you. She was just a highly honored human by God Himself, and so we do well to honor and respect her as well. On a strictly human level, we pay deference to the mothers of kings and soldiers. So how much more deference to the mother of the Savior of the World, the Incarnate God? Good stuff for medidation, but nothing to get upset or excited about.

So says I. ;)
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#3

Post by RickD » Thu May 12, 2016 7:43 am

Jac,

Was she immaculately conceived, and a perpetual virgin?
John 5:24
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Re: Catholicism Questions

#4

Post by crackpot » Thu May 12, 2016 8:42 am

At a private Catholic girl's school, Sister Immacolata asks her class "What would you young ladies like to be when you grow up?"

Student Mary raises her hand and says "I want to be a prostitute!"

Sister Immacolata says "WHAT?"

"A prostitute!" Mary says. To which sister Immacolata exclaims:

"Thank the Blessed Virgin! ...I thought you said `A Protestant`."
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Storyteller (Thu May 12, 2016 9:26 am) • Jac3510 (Thu May 12, 2016 9:36 am)

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#5

Post by Storyteller » Thu May 12, 2016 9:27 am

:pound:

Stop it!

This is a serious thread.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#6

Post by Jac3510 » Thu May 12, 2016 9:42 am

RickD wrote:Jac,

Was she immaculately conceived, and a perpetual virgin?
Obviously Catholics insist that she is. I say she was not on either account. But I want to use this as a case study of why it's okay for Protestants to say (indeed, why the must say) that Mary is the mother of God. In this latter case, her status as Mother of God is a necessary deduction from what Scripture says. If we believe the Bible that Jesus is God, and if we believe the Bible that Mary was Jesus' mother, then there's no way around the fact that Mary was the Mother of God.

But on what basis would we affirm that Mary was immaculately conceived or that she was a perpetual virgin? There is simply nothing in Scripture that says this. So the basis of the claim is the authority of the Catholic tradition, the ordinary magisterium, the universal tradition of the church. As Byblos will point out, it is a matter of authority. Now, if storyteller considers the ordinary magisterium to be binding in what it teaches, then she will be forced to give assent to Mary's immaculate conception and perpetual virginity. And that's okay. It's just like you and I are forced to give assent to Mary being the Mother of God. But if she doesn't grant the church that authority, then she has no basis on which to affirm those two doctrines (and really, that's what goes to the heart of being Catholic anyway--what authority do we trust to give us revelation. I say Scripture only. Catholics say the Church teaching (which they regard Scripture to be a (special) subset of).

I'm sure Byblos will come by eventually and confirm, correct, or properly nuance the above. :)
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#7

Post by Storyteller » Thu May 12, 2016 9:53 am

You have somehow got to the heart of it jac. I have no problem with Mary being the Mother of God. She is. Christ is God. Mary is His mother.

I actually have no problem with the Immaculate Conception either.

But...

If I choose to be a Catholic, I need to believe, and know the church is who she says she is, and I need to find out who she says she is :)

Personally, right now, Im listening to the HS, exploring, letting Christ lead me.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#8

Post by RickD » Thu May 12, 2016 10:19 am

Jac wrote:

Obviously Catholics insist that she is. I say she was not on either account. But I want to use this as a case study of why it's okay for Protestants to say (indeed, why the must say) that Mary is the mother of God. In this latter case, her status as Mother of God is a necessary deduction from what Scripture says. If we believe the Bible that Jesus is God, and if we believe the Bible that Mary was Jesus' mother, then there's no way around the fact that Mary was the Mother of God.

Ok. It seems to me that you're ok with the term, "mother of God". But just not in the same sense that Catholicism teaches. Is that fair?
Jac wrote:
It's just like you and I are forced to give assent to Mary being the Mother of God.
Sorry. You must have me confused with someone else. In the same way I won't say that God died, when Christ died, I won't say that Mary is the Mother of God, though she's the mother of Christ.

I see an important difference.
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Re: Catholicism Questions

#9

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu May 12, 2016 10:50 am

There Is nothing in scripture that tells us that Mary was a perpetual virgin ( on the contrary since Jesus had brothers and sisters) or that she was immaculately conceived.
Scripture is clear that she is blessed among women, yes, but that is ALL.
Anything beyond that is going beyond scripture.

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#10

Post by Jac3510 » Thu May 12, 2016 11:00 am

RickD wrote:Ok. It seems to me that you're ok with the term, "mother of God". But just not in the same sense that Catholicism teaches. Is that fair?
There's no sense in which she is not "the mother of God." The problems I have with the Catholic take on Mary have nothing to do with that title, and the arguments I've read against it are strawmen at best and Protestants ought to be embarrassed at such foolishness. For instance, CARM says, "Mary bore the Messiah who is God in flesh, but she is not the 'mother of God' in the sense that she was before Him and/or superior to Him as is what motherhood implies." But motherhood does not imply superiority (especially not in the first century culture), and no Catholic or Christian of any kind would say that Mary is superior to Jesus. CARM is just burning down straw men.
Sorry. You must have me confused with someone else. In the same way I won't say that God died, when Christ died, I won't say that Mary is the Mother of God, though she's the mother of Christ.

I see an important difference.
If you won't say God died when Christ died, I don't think you are taking the Incarnation seriously. We cannot say that the Father died. But we can and must say that God, in virtue of His humanity, died on the Cross. No, I Jesus' divine nature died. But neither would I say His human nature died. Natures don't die. That's a ridiculous point. Persons die, and the Person of Jesus Christ died in virtue of His humanity.

I, then, see no difference--not one that can be sustained anyway. Seems to me that, oddly enough, there's actually an implicit Nestorinianism in insisting that Jesus the man died but Jesus the God did not. You can't have it both ways.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#11

Post by Byblos » Thu May 12, 2016 11:11 am

Jac3510 wrote:I, then, see no difference--not one that can be sustained anyway. Seems to me that, oddly enough, there's actually an implicit Nestorinianism in insisting that Jesus the man died but Jesus the God did not. You can't have it both ways.
This is why the Marian doctrine developed over the years, precisely to combat (rightly or wrongly is a moot point) such heresies as Nestorianism and others that denied the deity of Christ.

Other than that, I really don't disagree with anything Jac stated so I have nothing to add.

Story, if I may suggest, I think you're going about this the wrong way (the opposite way, rather). If you want to explore Catholicism in depth I would suggest you start with Catholic sources. Once you do that, then come back and have the folks here knock it all down, with personal interpretations of course :mrgreen: . (Jac don't start :wave: ).
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Jac3510 (Thu May 12, 2016 11:31 am)
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#12

Post by RickD » Thu May 12, 2016 11:11 am

Jac wrote:
But we can and must say that God, in virtue of His humanity, died on the Cross.
I really have no problem with that. But is not the same as saying "God died".

In the same way, I have no problem saying, "in virtue of Christ's humanity, Mary is Christ's mother".

Which is not the same as saying, "Mary is the mother of God".
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: Catholicism Questions

#13

Post by RickD » Thu May 12, 2016 11:20 am

Byblos wrote:
...If you want to explore Catholicism in depth I would suggest you start with Catholic sources. Once you do that, then come back and have the folks here knock it all down, with personal interpretations of course :mrgreen: . (Jac don't start :wave: ).
I think Storyteller is looking for help with her personal interpretation of what Catholic sources say.

Catholic sources with official Catholic doctrine are not easy for the layperson to understand. You've sent me to Catholic links many times, only to have me read them and go :shock: y:O2 :brick: :stars: :scratch: :questions:
John 5:24
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Re: Catholicism Questions

#14

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu May 12, 2016 11:23 am

We have to be careful when we say things like "God died on the cross" without qualifiers.
We can just as easily say that God was born of a virgin and which would lead us to "so God was Born?" which leads us to God not being God.
It is one thing to say that God died on the cross when WE know and THEY know that we mean God, The Son.
It is quite another to make that statement without qualifiers to others that don't understand this.
If God CAN die, then He is not God.

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Re: Catholicism Questions

#15

Post by RickD » Thu May 12, 2016 11:31 am

Storyteller,

If we haven't got your head spinning too much, here's something more for you to read:
http://www.contenderministries.org/Cath ... mother.php
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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