Marian Prayer Of Saint Gregory Of Narek (A.D. 1010)

November 12, 2013
MARIAN PRAYER OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAREK (A.D. 1010)

Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.

Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.

O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.

Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »


Marian Prayer Of Saint Gregory Of Narek (A.D. 1010)

November 12, 2012
MARIAN PRAYER OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAREK (A.D. 1010)

Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.

Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.

O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.

Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »


Did Jesus Dishonor His Mother?

December 23, 2011

HDavis Something this important should have at least some scriptual example or support.

Bread From heaven:
Only if one believes in Sola Scriptura which we do not since it is not found anywhere is Scripture. I have no idea why Protestants who profess to believe nothing EXCEPT what can be found in scripture believe in Sola Scriptura when it CANNOT be found in Scripture. This is very strange.

HDavis We are instructed to pray to god no one else.


Bread From heaven:
Where????

HDavis On earth we pray for each other as we are in the flesh and need prayer.


Bread From heaven:
Where are prayers for one another alive, in the body of Christ limited ONLY to those who are living on Earth in Time? That is your bias. It is not in Scripture.

HDavis On earth Jesus all but ignored his mother’s request at the marriage feast at Cana.”What is that to me and you women? My time has not come.
His mother said to the servants, Whatever He may say to you,do it.”


Bread From heaven:
I am amazed by your assertion that Jesus ignored His mother’s request. He absolutely did as she requested. He, in obedience to the commandment, honored His mother. She trusted in His answer to her request. The phrase, “What is that to me and you, woman.” is a Hebrew idiom. The use of woman is generally a sign of respect in this ancient culture unlike in our own. But, because sons did not usually address their mothers in this way, even though respectful, we see it as a direct allusion to Eve and the promise in

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”


What is that to me and you
had a flexible meaning depending upon context. It could mean a disagreement and rejection of another. But it could also mean,the free consent of one party to the request of another party, with our without a sense of reluctance. The way Protestants typically interpret this passage would entail Jesus the God/Man dishonoring his mother in direct disobedience to the commandment to honor your father and mother. Protestants never think of this. They do not mean to have Jesus sin in such a way. But that is what happens when you try to interpret scripture out of context of the culture and history of the Church.

HDavis Mary is standing “outside”with His ‘brothers and sisters’ at a gathering Jesus was teaching and Jesus said ‘Who is my mother?… Whoever does the will of God is my mother.’


Bread From heaven:
Surely Mary did the will of God. Again, Jesus did not in any way dishonor His mother here even though Protestants want to see Him being dismissive of her in order to bolster their claim that Catholics honor Mary too much. He did, however, want to emphasize that obedience makes one a part of His intimate family.

HDavis In His kingdom there are no special believers as she like all other believers with no power or authority except that which has been given by man!


Bread From heaven:
All the Grace that Mary possesses was given her, not by man but by God. And there certainly is a hierarchy of honor in the Body of Christ. We see Jesus, taking Peter, James, and John with him and leaving the other disciples. These were His inner circle. Mary was chosen above all women to bear and mother the God/Man Jesus. This was a high honor.

HDavisBut on the other hand,the apostles had power to heal,raise the dead,help and guide the church until the New Testament was completed.But,we are not told to pray to them in heaven!We are not told they intercede for us in any scripture.We are told the Holy Spirit does intercede for us.Romans 8: 26-7


Bread From heaven:

John 20:30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 21: 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.


The Rosary vs Divination

December 12, 2011

Sonja: Praying to dead saints…this not necessarily clearly refuted by scripture but definitely not taught either. The only time I recall someone trying to contact the dead was when Saul tried to contact Samuel the prophet. He did it through a seer (clearly against the command of God) and Samuel seemed pretty irritated Saul had called him from his rest.

Bread From Heaven: Yes, this was clearly a sin. But it was a sin of divination. The seeking of occult knowledge from the dead. This is definitely condemned in scripture. But divination is not the same things as asking for prayer, to join you in praying. No occult knowledge is sought at all. The attempt to equate the two in order to condemn the communion of the saints is very sloppy exegesis. But, hey, I used to believe it.

Sonja: Also wouldn’t mind seeing the Hail Mary prayer since I was under the impression that it was more of a prayer to her???

Bread From Heaven:

Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Sonja: What do get out of the repetition with the rosemary beads?

Bread From Heaven:While we say the Hail Mary ten times we meditate on an event in the Life of Christ. (there are only two about Mary) That is called a decade of the Rosary. There are five decades for five events to meditate on. Five decades is usually what people mean when they say, “I prayed the Rosary.”

Joyful Mysteries of Life of Christ

The Annunciation-Angel tells Mary she will have son of God

Annunciation

Visitation

Nativity

Dedication in Temple

Finding of Jesus in Temple

Sorrowful Mysteries

Agony in Garden

Beating

Crowning of Thorns

Carrying Cross

Crucifixion

Luminous Mysteries

Baptism of Jesus

Wedding at Cana

Preaching the Kingdom of Go

Transfiguration

Last Supper

Glorious Mysteries

Resurrection

Ascension

Pentecost

Mary Assumed into Heaven

Mary Queen of Heaven


Can Mary Mediate and Intercede?

December 8, 2011

Immaculate Conception

Kerrin:There is a very big difference between what you call Intercessory prayer and praying for one another, please don’t confuse the two.

The bible very clearly states that Jesus is the only Mediator (Intercessor) between God and man, in the following verse:

1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

The Bible also very clearly says that we should pray for one another, in the following verse:

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

As you see, the Bible makes a very clear and definable difference between praying for one another, and Intercessory prayer (Mediating), which is only possible through Jesus.

Bread From Heaven: Mary joins her prayers to ours to our Lord. Asking for her to pray for us is nothing more than asking our friends to pray for us. James 5:16.

I think you are incorrect about the use of the words intercede and mediate. Let’s take a look at the definitions,

in·ter·cede

1.to act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition: to intercede with the governor for a condemned man.
2.to attempt to reconcile differences between two people or groups; mediate.

So any human may intercede for another human. But, if we use it as in the second definition, only Jesus can intercede to reconcile many with God. But any human can also attempt to reconcile differences between two people. And any human may intercede or petition God on behalf of another as in the first definition.

me·di·ate

1.to settle (disputes, strikes, etc.) as an intermediary between parties; reconcile.
2.to bring about (an agreement, accord, truce, peace, etc.) as an intermediary between parties by compromise, reconciliation, removal of misunderstanding, etc.
3.to effect (a result) or convey (a message, gift, etc.) by or as if by an intermediary.

As we look at the definition of mediate, we see why it was used in I Tim 2:5. It is much more about bringing peace and reconciliation between two parties. It is more like the second definition of intercede. And Jesus is the only one who can bring reconciliation between God and Man in regards to salvation and the forgiveness of sin. It is in this way that He is the One mediator between God and Man.

But any human can mediate in the sense of the third definition and convey a message to God for another. So, any time I join my prayers to my friends’ prayers I am conveying a message to God on behalf of my friend, even when I pray for someone’s salvation. I am in the middle, mediating between God and my friend. But, NOT, in the sense of the definition one or two. Only Jesus can actually DO that.

Now, as regards your assertion:

nowhere in the Bible does it state that she is (an intercessor).

I must make the point that nowhere in the Bible does it say that all religious truth MUST be found ONLY in the Bible. Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone, is a tradition of the man Martin Luther. But we are told to pray for one another. So, our asking Mary to pray for us and her praying for us is, according to James 5:16is simply “praying for one another.”

Any prayers to her are futile and worthless at best. Pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, but whatever you do, NEVER pray to Mary.

Why? What is wrong with it? According to your own beliefs, where in Scripture does it say we cannot ask another member of the Body of Christ to pray for us?

Jesus himself put Mary on the same level as any other sinner that ever lived, in need of repentance and Salvation through his sinless Sacrifice.

Where is this in Scripture? I can tell you now that you will not find it.

Mary was human. Yes.

She needed a savior. Yes.

But Jesus saved her at her conception and removed the fallen nature from her, that she otherwise would have inherited from her parents. Mary, through the grace of God and her cooperation with that Grace, remained sinless throughout her life. Just like Adam and Eve could have done, but did not. Even if you do not believe this you have to admit that God could have done this great grace for Mary. (published on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary)


Perpetual Virginity of Mary

November 30, 2011

Sonya: I also think the perpetual virginity argument is weak at best because if the Bible said she remained a virgin till her death, I am pretty sure we wouldn’t be having a discussion about it.

Bread From Heaven: But, neither would we be having this discussion if Jesus or any of the writers of the NT said that all Christian truth must be found ONLY in the Scriptures. And I know that if Scripture did say Mary was ever virgin and immaculate Protestants would believe it. But why do you believe in Sola Scriptura, since it is NOT taught in scripture?

So you think that Mary’s perpetual virginity is weak b/c it is not found in scripture. OK, that is your choice.

Did you know that Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli firmly believed in her perpetual virginity? So, by whose authority was it rejected among Protestants?

Martin Luther: “It is an article of faith that Mary is the Mother of the Lord and still a virgin…Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact.” (Works of Luther, V. 11, pp319-320; V. 6, p 510)

John Calvin: “there have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage (Mt 1:25) that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; but what folly this is! For the gospel writer did not wish to record what happened afterwards; he simply wished to make clear Joseph’s obedience and to show also that Joseph had been well and truly assured that it was God who had sent His angel to Mary. He had therefore never dwelt with her nor had he shared her company…And besides this our Lord Jesus Christ is called the firstborn. This is not because there was a second or third, but because the gospel writer is paying regard to the precedence. Scripture speaks thus of naming the first-born whether or no there was any question of the second.” (Sermon on Matthew 1:22-25, published 1562)

Ulrich Zwingli: “I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.”.” (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. comp., V6,1 P. 639

But, what surprises me, unless you haven’t read it, is that the refutation of the Protestant contention, that Jesus MUST have had brothers and sisters would be irrelevant to you. –>Who Were the Brothers & Sisters of Jesus?

Protestants reject the Perpetual Virginity of Mary b/c they know the scriptures speak several times about the brothers and sisters of Jesus. So, if it is scripturally possible that these passages refer to Jesus’ kinsmen or step siblings as opposed to Mary’s offspring, then there is no absolute scriptural refutation of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. This was amazing and convincing to me twelve years ago when I first looked into Catholicism.


All Have Sinned and the Immaculate Conception

November 26, 2011

Sonya: The immaculate conception of Mary…I ‘ve read that you believe she is an exception to “all” just like Jesus. However, the only reason we believe Jesus was an exception is because we are plainly told in the scripture that he “knew no sin” and was “yet without sin” etc. No mention is ever made of this toward Mary. Seems the most reasonable explanation for all is all if there is not a clear exception shown.

Bread From Heaven: If Sola Scriptura was an authentic and scriptural doctrine regarding all theology your point might be correct. However, since it is not in Scripture and did not exist in Christian thought until Martin Luther invented it a mere 500 years ago, you certainly are not bound by it, even as a Protestant. And the Catholic Church, which wrote and canonized the Scriptures is most definitely not bound by a Protest-ant and Heretical teaching.

This will not satisfy you as proof but Mary’s sinlessness is obliquely referred to when the angel announces her divine maternity. For what Biblical evidence we have, see–>Immaculate Conception

All does not always mean absolutely all in scripture. For instance, regarding the plagues of Egypt scripture says that they occurred in “all the land of Egypt” and yet we are also told that the Israelites, who also lived in Egypt, escaped these plagues. So, all did not mean absolutely all.

Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

And then we have the same author talking about men who are righteous, who do good in many other passages in Psalms.

Psalm 18:20
Jehovah hath rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me

Psalm 1:5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
Psalm 1:6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,But the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 5:12For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD,
Psalm 11:3If the foundations are destroyed,What can the righteous do?”
Psalm 11:5The LORD tests the righteousand the wicked,

Psalm 52:6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:So, it seems that we can’t count on all meaning absolutely all. It is hyperbolic and not meant to be taken absolutely literally. Click Here–> The Righteous. Noah, Abraham, Job,

Remember, the authors of the New Testament did not include everything they knew. But they could teach everything over time, orally. They did not write a book of systematic theology. They wrote enough to explain who Jesus was and evangelize. And they were promised that,

“the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.John 14:26

This was a promise Jesus made to His apostles and not to anyone else. He could have made this to everyone. But I don’t think too many would claim that He has brought to their personal remembrance all that Jesus said in His life on Earth.

John 20:30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 21: 25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.



Marian Prayer Of Saint Gregory Of Narek (A.D. 1010)

November 12, 2011
MARIAN PRAYER OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAREK (A.D. 1010)

Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.

Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.

O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.

Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »


Marian Prayer Of Saint Gregory Of Narek (A.D. 1010)

November 12, 2010
MARIAN PRAYER OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAREK (A.D. 1010)

Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.

Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.

O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.

Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »


Marian Prayer Of Saint Gregory Of Narek (A.D. 1010)

November 12, 2009
MARIAN PRAYER OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAREK (A.D. 1010)

Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.

Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.

O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.

Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »


Martin Luther On the Immaculate Conception of Mary

June 30, 2009


Q. What is the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception?
A. It is the Dogma of the Catholic Church that Mary was conceived without sin and remained sinless throughout her whole life.

The Catholic Church has always believed that Mary, just like Adam and Eve, was conceived without a fallen nature and unlike our first parents, she resisted temptation to sin by the grace of God, throughout her whole life.

Interestingly, Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant Reformation believed in Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

Luther’s words follow:

It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin.

(Sermon: “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” December [?] 1527; from Hartmann Grisar, S.J., from the German Werke, Erlangen, 1826-1868, edited by J.G. Plochmann and J.A. Irmischer,

She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin- something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil.

-Personal {“Little”} Prayer Book, 1522

[She is the] highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ . . . She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honor her enough. Still honor and praise must be given to her in such a way as to injure neither Christ nor the Scriptures. (Sermon, Christmas, 1531)

No woman is like you. You are more than Eve or Sarah, blessed above all nobility, wisdom, and sanctity. (Sermon, Feast of the Visitation, 1537)

One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God’s grace . . . Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ . . . Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God. (Explanation of the Magnificat, 1521)


Immaculate Conception

June 26, 2009


Q. Does the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception refer to Jesus or Mary?

A. This doctrine refers to Mary. She was concieved in the normal way by her parents.
It was immaculate because Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin passed on to the human race from Adam and Eve. Just as God created Adam and Eve without the stain of original sin He caused Mary to be conceived without sin just like them. But unlike our first parents, Mary, with the grace of God, resisted the temptation to sin and remained sinless throughout her life.

Q. Then why does Mary refer to “God my savior”(Lk. 1:47)? If she never sinned she wouldn’t need a savior. Mary doesn’t seem to know she is sinless.

A. Mary called God her savior for the simple reason that she did need a savior to save her from the stain of original sin. God saved Mary at her conception, before she ever sinned. Just like a person can be saved from quicksand after falling in or saved from the quicksand before stepping into it.

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May 13: Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

May 13, 2009

Pray your rosary!


Requiescat In Pace, Karen Carpenter

March 2, 2009

No one who sings the Ave so beautifully should be forgotten in death. Say one Hail Mary for Karen.


Marian Prayer Of Saint Gregory Of Narek (A.D. 1010)

November 12, 2008
MARIAN PRAYER OF SAINT GREGORY OF NAREK (A.D. 1010)

Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.

Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.

O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.

Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »


Who Were the Brothers and Sisters of Jesus?

September 24, 2008


Q. If the Blessed Virgin Mary was always a virgin, then who are the brothers and sisters of Jesus in sacred scripture ?

A. There are two possibilities. The oldest view was that St. Joseph had been previously married and was a widower of great sanctity and devotion to God with children. As Mary was dedicated to the temple and virginity, she needed a protector once she reached adolescence. Joseph was chosen to be her husband/brother and so the brothers and sisters of Jesus were actually step siblings.

The second view, put forward by St. Jerome, is that the word in Greek (adelphos) can be translated as brother meaning a literal sibling; or it can be translated to mean a kinsman. St. Paul uses the exact same Greek word in Galatians 1:11 as is used in Mark 6:3adelphos.
In the Mark passage the reader could easily and legitimately interpret it to mean literal siblings of Jesus. But, in the Galations passage, it is obvious that Paul is addressing them as kinsman or brethren in the Lord and not as his own literal brothers/siblings. Protestants freely interpret the passage in Mark as sibling and sibling ONLY and will not allow any other interpretation; and yet when it comes to the exact same word in the Galations they interpret it to mean “brothers of the Lord” and not literal siblings. And yet there is no reason why both passages cannot be interpreted to mean something other than literal “siblings.” And this is what the Catholic Church does. At times from the text we know that the word adelphos refers to literal siblings. And at other times adelphos is used to mean kinsman or something more like…”Bro” or “brother of the Lord.” The Protestant rejection of the doctrine that Mary was ever -Virgin (Calvin and Luther accepted this doctrine) causes them to approach the Mark passage with an entrenched bias.

Also, if we start looking into the historical record, we see that the Mark use of adelphos, in this case, must also mean either step-brothers and sisters or kinsman/cousin/relative. It has always been known to Christians that Mary had no other children after Jesus. Even the Reformers all taught and believed in Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. As did the witness of the early writings of the Church Fathers. She was vowed to perpetual virginity (why else would a betrothed woman ask how could she possibly get pregnant) Therefore we understand the Mark 6:3 passage to be referring to kinsmen of Jesus and not siblings of Jesus.

Reformers on Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

Early Church Fathers on Mary’s Perpetual Virginity


September 8: Feast Of The Nativity Of The Mother Of God

September 8, 2008

September 8, 2008

Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God

 

Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, heralded joy to the universe; for from you arose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God. He took away the curse, He gave the blessing; and, by trampling Death, He gave us everlasting life. (September 8th)


Zwingli & Luther On The Perpetual Virginity Of Mary

September 8, 2008

A little something for the Feast for our Protestant friends…

Martin Luther:

A new lie about me is being circulated. I am supposed to have preached and written that Mary, the mother of God, was not a virgin either before or after the birth of Christ, but that she conceived Christ through Joseph and had more children after that. – Martin Luther, “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” in Luther’s Works, vol. 45, ed. Walther I. Brand, 1962, Muhlenberg Press, p. 199.
The form of expression used by Matthew is the common idiom, as if I were to say, ‘Pharaoh believed not Moses, until he was drowned in the Red Sea.’ Here it does not follow that Pharaoh believed later, after he had drowned; on the contrary, it means that he never did believe. Similarly when Matthew says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her. Again, the Red Sea overwhelmed Pharaoh before he got across. Here too, it does not follow that Pharaoh got across later, after the Red Sea had overwhelmed him, but rather that he did not get across at all. In like manner, when Matthew says, ‘She was found to be with child before they came together,’ it does not follow that Mary subsequently lay with Joseph, but rather that she did not lie with him. – Martin Luther, “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” in Luther’s Works,Huldrych Zwingli:

I give an example: taught by the light of faith the Christ was born of a virgin, we know that it is so, that we have no doubt that those who have been unambiguously in error have tried to make a figure of speech of a real virgin, and we pronounce absurd the things that Helvidius and others have invented about perpetual virginity. – Huldrych Zwingli. “Friendly Exegesis, that is, Exposition of the Matter of the Eucharist to Martin Luther, February 1527,” in Selected Writings of Huldrych Zwingli, Volume Two, trans. and ed. by H. Wayne Pipkin, Pickwick Publications, 1984 p.275.

 

Then the pious mind finds wonderful delights in searching for the reasons why the lamb chose to be born of a perpetual virgin, but in this other case it finds nothing but a hopeless horror. [The other case that Zwingli here refers to is the Real Presence] – Huldrych Zwingli. “Subsidiary Essay on the Eucharist, August 1525,” in Selected Writings of Huldrych Zwingli, Volume Two, trans. and ed. by H. Wayne Pipkin, Pickwick Publications, 1984 p.217.

 

 


For The Repose Of The Soul Of Elvis Presley

August 16, 2008

For The Repose Of The Soul Of Elvis Presley

No one who sings of Her rosary should be forgotten in death. Say one Hail Mary for Elvis.

See also: Roman Miscellany: Five Catholic Facts About Elvis


Why Do Catholics Pray to Mary?

June 22, 2008

Q. Why do Catholics pray to Mary and the Saints?

A. When we “pray to Mary” we are merely asking Mary and/or the Saints to pray for us in exactly the same way as when we ask another Christian to pray for us. This is nothing more than asking for intercessory prayer. And just like most Christians ,when we are in need of prayer we ask those we consider to be closest to God. If I need prayer for healing for my mom with cancer I will not ask the drug dealer on the corner or even a nominal Christian to pray for me. Instead, I ask the holiest Christians I know. After all, James 5:16 says, “the fervent prayer of a righteous man is very powerful”.

Misunderstanding arises between Protestants and Catholics because of our use of the phrase “pray to Mary” or “pray to St. Francis” etc. For Protestants, with a shorter history, prayer is only and always directed to God. However, for Catholics the older uses of the English “pray” have endured through the centuries. In medieval English it was common to use the word “pray” as a synonym for “ask”. I pray thee, good king, give me …. Plus, as usual in human speech this phraseology has endured because it is short and sweet. It is easier to say, I will pray to Mary than to say, I will ask Mary to pray to God for me. While the second sentence is more theologically accurate it is also more than twice as long. So, no one uses it in everyday speech.

Despite this colloquialism, the prayers of the Church are theologically correct. For instance, in the Hail Mary we say, “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” and in the I Confess we say, “And I ask blessed Mary, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the Lord our God.”

Another difference between Protestants and Catholics is how we view those Christians who have died. Protestants remember them and miss them but once they are dead they are beyond this world and our prayers. And although Protestants certainly believe in the Body of Christ they tend to think of this consisting of living Christians only. Dead Christians are either in Heaven or Hell and no longer connected or affected or interested in events in this world.

But ,for Catholics, all Christians both the living and the “dead” are a part of the Body of Christ. We remain connected to each other. We continue to love, care and pray for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, intercessory prayer continues through the power of God, among the members of the Body of Christ, because we are all alive.


Appearances of Mary

June 20, 2008

Q. Are we required to believe in the apparitions or miraculous appearances of Mary?

A. No.

Q. What about the Church approved apparitions, like Lourdes or Fatima?

A. No. When the Church approves of an apparition it is not done until the appearances stop. Then all the evidence is examined and if approved it means that we can be assured that there was nothing unorthodox in the revelations and they are worthy of belief. However, these are in the category of private revelation and no one is required to believe them. No matter what is said or who is appearing this information is never anything other than private revelation and is not an addition to doctrine or public revelation.


Sinlessness of Mary

June 16, 2008

Q. Do Catholics have to believe in the sinlessness and assumption of Mary?

A. Yes. We are obliged to accept and believe everything the Church teaches. If you are having trouble with any doctrine of the Catholic Church then you may have to simply choose to submit to the wisdom and authority of the Church. In other words, accept it purely on faith. But of course it is far better if you are convinced that what the Church teaches is true and makes more sense than any competing ideas. But this may take time for you to research the reasons that the Church teaches the doctrine you are having trouble with. You can ask a knowledgeable priest or research on the internet. And pray for God to help you find the answers to your questions.

I can guarantee that if you are honestly searching for the truth and not just trying to find fault with the Church, you will find answers that will be both simple and sublime. I have done this research many times and every time the answers are more intelligent, more logical and better documented than I had expected. I am thoroughly convinced by the evidence and thoughtfulness of Catholic theologians and don’t have to take blind leaps of faith.


Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary

June 14, 2008


Q. How can anyone really believe that the pope was infallibly informed about the immaculate conception in 1854 and Assumption of Mary in 1950, so late in the history of the Church?

A. I would have trouble believing these doctrines too if they were first introduced nearly two centuries after Christ. However, that is not what the dates mentioned mean. The Christian Faith was taught by the apostles and those they ordained to continue the ministry. The Pope and bishops have never sat down and solemnly and systematically declared all of the doctrines of the Catholic Faith. That isn’t how she works. She evangelizes, baptizes, teaches, and administers the sacraments. Doctrines are not defined until and unless they become seriously threatened by heresy.

For instance, controversy arose in ACTS about whether Gentiles had to keep all of the Jewish laws and be circumcised. The controversy was examined and settled at the very first Church Council in Jerusalem (Acts 15). Most of the heresies in the early Church involved wrong ideas about Jesus. Was he merely a holy man? Was he a god that appeared to be a man? Was he a man who became a god at his baptism? Was he fully God and fully man? All of these were settled at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD when the Doctrine of the Trinity was defined. This doctrine was not invented or communicated to the pope for the first time at this date. The doctrine existed from the very beginning but when heresy grew and threatened the truth, the Pope and the bishops met in council and settled the issue clearly and once and for all.

Again, later, due to confusion and controversy the Pope and Council of Hippo defined the contents of the New Testament in 393 AD and 397 AD. The pope did not invent the Doctrine of the Trinity in 325 AD or the New Testament in 397 AD. This is exactly the case with the Doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. They have been believed from the beginning. But with the rise of Protestantism these doctrines became more and more threatened and so were solemnly and clearly defined.


Marian Apparition Approved

May 17, 2008


Vatican recognizes Marian apparitions in France

Rome, May 05 (CNA) – On Sunday during a Mass celebrated in the town of Laus in the French Alps, Bishop Jean-Michel de Falco of Gap, accompanied by numerous cardinals and archbishops from around the world, announced the official approval of the Church of the Marian apparitions to Benôite (Benedicta) Rencurel between 1664 and 1718.

During the Mass, attended by Roman Curia officials including Read the rest of this entry »


Catholic China News

May 16, 2008

Worth Reading: Vatican II on Mary

May 6, 2008

Vatican II on Mary « Our Lady’s Blog: Why is Mary Crying?

Take a look at the rest of the blog while you are there.  I admire any blogger who notes up front “Please contact me if I express a viewpoint or promote a devotion condemned by the Church”


Behold Your Mother: The Video

April 18, 2008

5 bob to: Streams of Mercy


Mary, Mother of God?

April 16, 2008


Q. Does the title Mary the Mother of God mean that she existed before God ?
A. Absolutely not. She is fully human. During the early centuries a heresy arose concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. This heresy claimed that Jesus was not divine but only a human being. So, Christians coined the term “Mary, Mother of God” as a pithy way of affirming the authentic Christian doctrine that Jesus was both fully God and fully human. Logically, if Mary gave birth to Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the mother of God.

Q. Do Catholics worship Mary?
A. Absolutely not. Catholics worship God alone. The Church condemns the worship of Mary. So, anyone who worshipped Mary would be a heretic.

Q. Then why do Catholics kneel and pray in front of pictures and statues of Mary?
A. We are merely asking Mary to join her prayers to
ours as we make our request to God. We are simply
asking Mary, as a member of the body of Christ, to
pray for us.

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April 16: Saint Bernadette of Lourdes

April 16, 2008

Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, 1844 – 1879


The Story of a Shrine and of a Conversion (Part 2)

April 6, 2008

THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD
At the end of the day, Ahmad looked at me and said: “You know, I feel peace with you.”

I said: “I did not even talk to you. You don’t even know me, how did you feel peace with me?”

He said: “I don’t know, but I feel peace with you.”

Then, Ahmad opened his heart and told me about an amazing experience he had had 3 years ago. He said, “I was working on the Bobcat removing rubbles. I noticed a book over there. So, I turned off the Bobcat and walked towards the rubbles. I took the book in my hand, removed the dust and opened it. When I read a passage, I felt a power entered into my body. Since then, I have been liberated from a vice I had been struggling with.”

I said: “Wow, what is that book?”

He said: “The Bible.”

I said: “OK, I have a Bible in my car. Would you like to read a passage from it?”

He said: “Yes, sure.”

I said: “OK, take the book. Pray first. Then, open it and the passage that comes I will read it for you.”

Ahmad took the Bible, prayed and opened the Gospel on the second letter to the Corinthians 5:17-19.

I read: “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

I was reading this passage, and Ahmad began to cry. He sobbed. Then, he spontaneously confessed all the sins he had done in his life. I left this man purified from his old sins and I went back to my church.
That was the first day.

THE POWER OF CONFESSION
On Thursday March 8, 2007, I took Ahmad from his apartment to the Shrine project. He was in complete silence. He couldn’t work a lot because the Bobcat had a few problems. Read the rest of this entry »


The Story Of A Shrine And Of A Conversion (Part 1)

April 5, 2008

A DESIRE IN MY HEART
On Christmas 2006, I had a great desire in my heart to find a place somewhere on the mountain of Lebanon, where I can bring the Blessed Sacrament and gather all people in the cold to worship the Lord.

So I went up to the mountain. There was a huge cross built in 1932. I said “Maybe we can build a tent and worship the Lord in the cold next Christmas 2007.” But the property was not for the church. It was for the nuns. So I went and met the general superior and told her about my desire: “Can we do this next Christmas?” She looked at me and said: “We will think about it.” I understood that she drove me away in a diplomatic way.

A GREAT DISCOVERY
I went to the township and asked: “What do we own here as a church.”

So they showed me maps. I looked at them and was surprised and shocked when I found out that we have a property on the mountain not too far from the Cross. So, overwhelmed with joy, I went immediately to the mountain. I entered a forest that had been neglected for decades because of the wars and turmoil in the Chouf region. And the vision began to form in my mind: “OK, I will build a way, like the way of the cross, that leads to a grotto. But where is that grotto?” So I told two of my friends to come with me and try to find out where is that place of worship. We went on January 9, 2007. My friends went in a direction. I went in a different direction. I climbed a small hill filled with bushes and thorns. So, I got scars everywhere. Then, suddenly, I discovered natural rocks hidden behind the bushes. So, I cried out in a loud voice: “George, George, I found it. I found the place.” “Where are you?” George asked. “I am here. Come and see.” My friends arrived and saw the natural rocks and said: “Wow, this is the place.”

SOME OBSTACLES
I brought an excavation machine and removed the small hill filled with bushes. We found hundreds of stones beneath the hill. So, we kept them aside. Now, the news reached religious authorities that Fr. Antonio is building A WONDER LAND or A WALT DISNEY LAND on the mountain. So they sent me a priest to check what I was doing. The priest arrived, put his hand on his forehead and said: “What are you doing? This is a big project? It will cost you more than 50,000$.”

I said: “Please, just give me your blessing and let me work.”

He said: “You can’t do this.”

I said: “Tell the general superior to give me his blessing. That’s all I need.”

He said: “Listen, you cannot take one penny from the church, not even from your personal pocket. You cannot work with debts and you cannot make advertisements.”
I said: “OK. I won’t do these things. Whatever Our Mother Mary sends me, I will put it here. If she doesn’t send anything, I won’t do anything.”

He said: “OK, work in silence.” Read the rest of this entry »


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