Mary’s Divine Maternity and Immaculate Conception ! ! !
June 6, 2014
Third Article Continued…
Mary’s Divine Maternity and Immaculate Conception
I must admit, when I took on the task of authoring a blog about The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church and the Truth that She is, and contains, I never thought it would be so challenging. Their is so much I could write, actually type about these topics, but in order to keep viewer/reader attention I have to limit myself to certain “snippets” if you will about these topics. So please forgive me if any feel that I miss certain areas of a topic that I may just touch on or miss altogether. Like I have stated before, this is only a beginning of what I hope will be a lead to a more advanced catechetical blog. However, please, as always, feel free to comment or ask questions on any topics related to Church teaching.
St Bonaventure states very clearly, ” God could make a greater world, but he cannot make a more perfect mother than the Mother of God.” Everything that we attribute to Mary including Her, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Co-Redemptrix… all flows if you will from the fact of Marys Divine Maternity, that She is the Mother of the Second Person of the Trinity. As Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange said in his book “Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life,” the divine maternity, considered in isolation from Mary’s other dignities, is the end and reason of her fullness of grace, and is therefore higher than it is. The anticipated fact of the Divine Maternity of Mary was the reason for Her Immaculate Conception and kept her preserved from sin and any inclination to sin. Mary wasn’t in need of healing from a fallen nature. She did not have the stain of original sin , she was preserved from it, in anticipation of Christ’s death on the Cross of Calvary. If someone falls into a pit filled with mud and you send down a ladder, you could say that he or she was saved. However, in Mary’s case, she did not actually fall into the pit filled with mud, but before that happened, she was preserved from falling from the edge and caught before the actual fall. Would that also not be saving someone? Of course it would. I choose try and use common analogies in catechising the faith, many of the analogies are parroted from other sources, but can get the point across.
In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1 the Angel Gabriel most definitely implies Mary’s Immaculate Conception when he states “ And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” The Greek translation of the salutation from Gabriel of “Hail full of grace” is “Chaire, Kecharitomene“. These two words imply something that does not always translate well into English. What Kecharitomene actually means is “fully graced.” Now fully graced means sometime in the past, like at Mary’s conception actually. This is a far cry from some of the absolutely terrible translations we even see in some Catholic translation of highly favoured. The translation is full of grace or fully graced when translated literally from the greek. This is a scriptural proof of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. In fact, all through Church history Mary’s Immaculate Conception has always been taught and believed. It was solemnly defined of course in 1854 by Pope Pius IX and here it is:
Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.
God Ineffable — whose ways are mercy and truth, whose will is omnipotence itself, and whose wisdom “reaches from end to end mightily, and orders all things sweetly” — having foreseen from all eternity the lamentable wretchedness of the entire human race which would result from the sin of Adam, decreed, by a plan hidden from the centuries, to complete the first work of his goodness by a mystery yet more wondrously sublime through the Incarnation of the Word. This he decreed in order that man who, contrary to the plan of Divine Mercy had been led into sin by the cunning malice of Satan, should not perish; and in order that what had been lost in the first Adam would be gloriously restored in the Second Adam. From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.
Now this Infallible declaration from the Chair of Peter was not even close to a new teaching. This like I stated before is a very ancient teaching of the Church. The Lateran Council held in 649 calls Mary ” Immaculate ” (Denz, 256). St Augustines very well known comment, ” The honour of the Lord does not permit that the question of sin be raised in connection with the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Also the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been celebrated in the Church since the 7th and 8th centuries especially in the Greek Church. St Ephrem compares Mary and Eve, ” both were at first simple and innocent, but thereafter Eve became the cause of death and Mary cause of Life.” St Justin, St Iraneus and Tertullian all contrast Mary and Eve, as Mary cause of life and Eve cause of death. The Fathers have always held that Mary was indeed without spot!
So, is Mary the fulfillment and promise of the woman mentioned in Gen 3:15, ”  I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. ” Yes, of course she is. She is” the woman,” the new Eve. Mary said a great big YES to God, Eve said no. We could go deep into studying Our Lady and we will. You will also notice that certain topics will cross over into one another when I am trying to teach about Mary. This is bound to happen , because they all work together into this most wonderful of Gods created, Mary.
May Almighty God bless us, and protect us from the world, the devil and ourselves. Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!!!
The Human Nature of Jesus Christ!!!
May 29, 2014
“Who was Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary”
After professing our faith in Jesus Christ’s divinity as the only begotten Son of God, we immediately declare that ” He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary “. Jesus’ Divinity means He has the exact same nature as God, His Father. We don’t speak of His Divine nature as being created, because it wasn’t, it was generated from the Father. Jesus as the second person of the Divine Trinity has all the attributes of God the Father, He is eternal like His Father. We will look more at Jesus’ Divinity in future posts and the relationship between the Three Divine Persons in God. For now, lets examine some more of Jesus’ human, created nature.
Now, once again I have to state that Jesus is one Divine person with two natures and two wills, He has a human nature and a human will. Jesus has a Divine nature and a Divine will, but He is still one person, not two persons in the same body. If you were to ask your mother if she gave birth to your nature or your person, and assuming that she is not some kind of philosopher or psychologist type, she would rationally answer that she gave birth to a person and named him ” whatever your name is, insert here.” I have to say that Frank Sheeds book called ” Theology and Sanity” explains the mystery of the Holy Trinity superbly. Now, just because Jesus has a human nature doesn’t mean he could sin, because He couldn’t, it just wasn’t in Him, it was actually impossible for Him to sin. Jesus is what we call ” impeccable” or simply “sinless.” Once again, this is not speculation this is absolute truth or De Fide. The Council of Florence solemnly declared it in 1441. However that being said, it was always a part of Catholic Teaching that Jesus was “ impeccable “. St Augustine taught, ” Let everyone that believes that the flesh of Christ revolted against His Spirit, be excluded” (Opus imperfectum c. Iul, IV 47). Christ therefore did not have “concupiscence” that is, He never was inclined to sin. His soul did not struggle with His flesh, they were in perfect harmony with one another. Jesus, even though He had a free will as part of His human nature, it always participated perfectly with His Divine will. Pope Benedict XVI writes beautifully of Jesus’ Divine and human will in the second book of The Jesus of Nazareth series. The main reason for Jesus’ impeccability lies in the fact of the Hypostatic Union. Jesus is a Divine person, therefore cannot be the subject of sin. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 states ” similar to us in all things, except sin” ( D 148 ).
It is also a teaching of the Church that from the very moment of Christ’s conception He had the Beatific Vision, in other words He immediately had a face to face with God and knew Him perfectly. I take a quote from the schoolmen from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, ” at the same time a pilgrim on earth and at the destination of His earthly pilgrimage.” Therefore , since Jesus had the Beatific Vision He did not have the theological virtues of Faith and Hope.
I will continue on this post shortly…… In JMJ,Lee
Third Article of Apostles Creed
May 23, 2014
“ Who was Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary “
Third Article of the Apostles Creed, ” Who was Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary “
As we begin to look at this section of The Apostles Creed we will take a look at what The Catholic Church teaches on Jesus’ human nature and we will look at Mary, The “Theotokos”or in English, Mary the Mother of God, Her Immaculate Conception, and also her Assumption. I think it would also be prudent to also take a look at The Holy Family, particularly the Marriage of Mary and St Joseph and also Mary Mediatrix of All Grace and Devotion to Mary . So much for keeping things simple lol. However I will do my best to try and do that, to keep it simple and straightforward . The next few posts will be dealing with the Third Article specifically. This article in particular needs to be spaced out in order to be communicated clearly and with exactness. Language needs to be properly expressed when catechising, it is most important. That is one aspect of The Catholic Faith that I have come to love and appreciate so much, is that it is so definitive.
The Third Article teaches that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity became a human being through the operation of the Holy Spirit ; that He was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary and born of her in Bethlehem. Jesus Christ had no biological human father, only a human mother. He was conceived by a truly miraculous operation of the Holy Trinity. We attribute Christ’s conception to the Holy Spirit even though His Incarnation was effected by all three Persons of The Trinity, because the third Person is the eternal love that proceeds from the Father and the Son. One of the greatest examples of love is in God assuming a human nature in Jesus Christ. Just to note, in the posts dealing with the Third Article and many others, I will be referencing catechetical materials from The Marian Catechist Apostolate that is linked on my homepage. Specifically here http://www.mariancatechist.com/bookstore/index for study references and excellent catechetical materials and spiritual materials. None of what is communicated here on this Blog/Website as far as Church teaching is of opinion or from other sources other than true Church Teaching materials. Beware of opinion pieces concerning Church Doctrine, they can be extremely hazardous to your health and soul and can lead many astray. Be very careful on what you read online or the books you buy. Many can be 99% truth and 1% error, and that 1% can put your soul in murky water. The Marian Catechist Apostolate has all tried , tested, and true books that will keep you truly Catholic. I will be working on my Reading List soon, as I am hoping to offer lots of good solid Catholic books that will help to enrich and grow our beautiful Catholic Faith. May Almighty God, keep us safe from the world, the devil and ourselves and may the Seat of Wisdom pray for us!!! In JMJ,Lee