The Holy Family
YES YES YES , Mary and St Joseph were married before the conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Ok, deep breath now. It is so important in this day and age especially with so many attacks on the family itself to protect the TRUTH of the dignity of the Holy Family. So many people today, even some priests, are misinterpreting the Holy scriptures and teachings of the Church by trying to say that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock ; this is just FALSE . It is a direct attack on the sanctity of the Holy Family, and ultimately the family itself. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, it is ” pious fiction ” to try and even suggest that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock, and to appeal to the sentimentality of the single mother. So called charity without truth is not charity at all, they must be coupled together at all times.
Now, to try and help clarify things we need to go back to the first century customs of the Jewish people. What we recognize as “betrothal,” and what a first century Jewish person sees as betrothal are two very different things to be sure. This taken from a Jewish website here:
Two Stages in Marriage
According to Torah law, marriage is a two-step process. The first stage is called “kiddushin,” and the second step is known as “nisu’in.” Kiddushin is commonly translated as betrothal or espousal, but actually renders the bride and groom full-fledged husband and wife. After this point, if, G‑d forbid, they decided to part ways, a “get” (Jewish divorce) would be required. However, the bride and groom are not permitted to live together as husband and wife until the second stage, the nisu’in, is completed. This taken from this site more info if you want http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/477321/jewish/Kiddushin-Betrothal.htm.
Here are some more references straight out of the Gospel of St Matthew, who is very specific on more than one occasion in the first chapter. Let us take a look what the Holy Scriptures say ; ”  Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.  Whereupon. Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.” So, we have the term “espoused” in verse 18, and right after this we have St Joseph being called “her husband.” St Matthew writing under the inspiration of God also had this to say a few verses later, clearly identifying Mary and Joseph as being married ”  And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.” Well, that is very clear and plain to me, that St Joseph and Mary were indeed married. Eventhough it definitely appears that St Joseph and Mary were in the kiddushin stage , which is the first stage, it is still an absolutely valid marriage, and a divorce would be needed to get out of it. Even worse, if it was thought that a Jewish woman in the kiddushin stage had been with a man other than her husband, she would have violated Jewish Law and be guilty of adultery, a crime punishable by death. ( my emphasis added in the verses taken from Holy Scripture )
This is what St John Paul II had to say about the fact that Our Lady and St Joseph were absolutely married from St John Paul II’s General Audience of Wednesday, 21 August 1996.” 1. In presenting Mary as a “virgin”, the Gospel of Luke adds that she was “betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David”( 1:27). These two pieces of information at first sight seem contradictory.
It should be noted that the Greek word used in this passage does not indicate the situation of a woman who has contracted marriage and therefore lives in the marital state, but that of betrothal. Unlike what occurs in modern cultures, however, the ancient Jewish custom of betrothal provided for a contract and normally had definitive value: it actually introduced the betrothed to the marital state, even if the marriage was brought to full completion only when the young man took the girl to his home. At the time of the Annunciation, Mary thus had the status of one betrothed.” Pretty convincing evidence coming from the Holy Scriptures and also newly canonized Saint John Paul II, and even from Jewish sources that all say the same thing about a Jewish marriage.
So, why do people teach this horrendous error than? I can only make an educated guess, but it could likely be from poor catechetical training, and in many instances even poorer priestly and religious formation. Way to much personal interpretation of Holy Scriptures can be added into the mix ; it is always best to follow “the constant and very firm teachings” of the Catholic Church. The Magisterium and Holy Tradition with the Church Fathers is where we turn to look for proper interpretations of Holy Scripture. Pope Benedict XVI said “dogma is simply the proper interpretation of scripture.” Please help in defending the Sanctity of The Holy Family at all times, and call people out on their errors if they fall into this one especially. Write your Bishop if need be, “Do Not Be Afraid!!!”
The Marian Catechist Apostolate has a great multi media section on this very topic, so here it is, and please use it; http://www.mariancatechist.com/multimedia/index.html.
If you have any comments or questions, or if you just want to say hello, please do so at the top of the post. May God Almighty protect us from the world, the devil, and ourselves in JMJ, Lee
Third Article of Apostles Creed continued…..Mary’s Sinlessness
Mary had absolutely no inclination to sin, she was free of concupiscence. If we remember from an earlier post, concupiscence is the inclination to sin. We as fallen humans all have it even after being baptized, however, for Mary, God preserved her from all sin. Well, her and Jesus of course. How would it even be possible for Jesus to be born from a sinful human mother. Would that not mean, if that be the case, that the Second Person of the Divine Trinity would have actually been able to sin or even contracted original sin. This just could not be. We explained more of this in the post on the Immaculate Conception. We have to also remember what the Angel Gabriel stated when he saluted Her in Luke 1 “ And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Well, if you have been fully graced,like the greek translates it, their can be no room for sin. If something is full, that more than implies that nothing is lacking. I heard an excellent analogy and I cannot remember where from, but I care to share it with you because it makes tremendous sense when catechising on Mary’s sinlessness.It is possible that I actually read this analogy somewhere in St Alphonsus Liguori’s book ” Glories of Mary .” This book stays at my bedside and is a treasure in itself, everyone should own a copy of this book. Now, on to the analogy ; would it make any sense at all to build a house, but, before you actually moved in to your new house, that you would hand over the keys to the worst criminal known to the world, the devil himself? If Mary had original sin, which she did not, nor any inclination to sin ever, would that analogy not be fitting? God would never hand the keys to the greatest thief and murderer ever, especially before He, in all actuality, moved into His home for 9 months. Of course He wouldn’t do that.
The Council of Trent said of Mary’s sinlessness , “ No justified person can for his whole life avoid all sins, even venial sins, except on the ground of a special privilege fro God such as the Church holds was given to the Blessed Virgin” ( D 833 ). So therefore ,In consequence of a Special Privilege of Grace from God, Mary was free from every personal sin during her whole life.
Some of this teaching on Mary’s sinlessness may be hard for some to reconcile with our common idea of “free will”. I know at first, when I reverted back to the Church, I had to find a way of understanding free will in relationship to being sinless.Once again, I believe it was from reading books by Frank Sheed and also books by Reginald Garrigou Lagrange that it all started to make absolute perfect sense. True freedom and free will is not only to choose between what is right and wrong, or to obey or disobey. True freedom of will is to choose the greatest of goods. To choose even between good, better, and best. When it comes to Mary, she always chose absolute best. In this way, her free will was even freer than ours. She didn’t have that war of spirit and flesh to contend with like we do. She could always choose the greatest of goods. Is it not fittining that Jesus’ Mother had this great gift? Of course it is most fitting.
In more advanced catechetical teaching we will eventually study these topics more in depth and look at merit, grace and virtues in regards to Our Lady. As always feel free to comment, critique, or just say hello in the comment box at the top of the post. And I would like to thank http://topcatholicblogs.com/ for adding me to their blog list under New Addition . May God protect us always from the world, the devil, and ourselves. In JMJ, Lee
PLEASE NOTE, URGENT PRAYER REQUEST taken from website http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/
– FSSP Priests attacked in Phoenix, Arizona, 1 murdered, 1 critically wounded
– Fr. Walker, rest in peace
The Mater Misericordiae Mission, the Latin Mass community
of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, run by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), was the scene of a terrible tragedy on Wednesday night, following the breaking and entering of their church by armed burglars.
Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP, Associate Pastor, was murdered. Requiescat in pace. Please, pray also for the consolation of his family: his parents, brothers and sisters. Father Walker was 28.
Father Joseph Terra, FSSP, Pastor, was severely wounded by the criminals, and is (at least to our knowledge as of this moment) hospitalized in critical, but stable, condition. Please, pray for his health and his complete recovery, through the mercy of God Almighty.
Finally, let us also pray for their parishioners, the members of the Fraternity of Saint Peter, and all who are affected by this ordeal.Let us pray for the law enforcement officers, may they accomplish justice according to God’s will, with the help of Our Lady, Mirror of Justice.
Let us pray for the criminals, may they find conversion and salvation on this earth and avoid eternal damnation.
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!!!