Friday, August 17, 2007

From Jesus through Mary

Here ye, Here ye! Found on the internet...

Top Ten Reasons Why We Should Consecrate Our Lives To Jesus Through Mary

1. To emulate the sanctity of our previous Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, who selected the de Montfort Consecration (True Devotion) for his own Marian Spirituality

2. To provide the easiest, safest, fastest, most secure, and surest path to Jesus and to our own salvation

3. To obtain Our Lady's help in bringing us from our own unworthiness to the level of conversion, holiness, and perfection in our lives needed to enable us to become saintly

4. To turn our lives over completely and without reservation in service to Jesus through Mary to reflect our love and our trust in them now and for all eternity.

5. To obtain special graces and protection under Our Lady's sheltering mantle

6. To help bring others to Jesus through Mary for their conversion, holiness, and perfection through this total consecration devotion

7. To hasten the day of the Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart and the day when Mary and Jesus will reign in all hearts

8. To fulfill Our Lady's request for individual consecration of our lives to her Immaculate Heart, as given to us through Sister Lucia during the Fatima apparitions

9. To become an effective counter-force to the legion of evil so prevalent in the world by offering up our prayers, sacrifices, and sufferings to Jesus through Mary

10. To renew our Baptismal promises and to evangelize the world to Jesus through Mary

Now if one promises to do the above they will receive...
...a free Saint Louis de Montfort Total Consecration package, anywhere in the world, at no cost to you, if you pledge to use the package to Consecrate your life to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary (for full text see here)

We go to the Scriptures and fail to find one instance of anyone going to Jesus through Mary. The message of Scripture is that we have an advocate to the Father in the Son. It defeats the purpose of the gospel-- where we find an advocate in Christ (1 John 2:1), the "only one" mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5)-- if we need another advocate to get to the Son. But within Roman Catholicism, we find Mary as both an advocate for us and an mediatrix to Christ. Even at the feast at Cana (where Catholics attempt to derive from this story a spiritual application to Mary), no one went through Mary to get to Christ. Mary simply asked Christ upon hearing of the dilemma and was rebuked for attempting to "speed up" His ministry. The writer goes on to cite some early fathers, but nothing earlier then the late 3rd century (granting that these are cited within their context).

In a church were there are many "mysteries" this is surely an oddity. I guess that's what happens when one incorporates the fallibilities of human reasoning. You wind up with sophistry.

9 comments:

Jason said...

We go to the Scriptures and fail to find one instance of anyone going to Jesus through Mary.

In the Scriptures, we fail to see one instance of the Apostles reading a Canon of 27 books called the "New Testament" or even suggesting that there will be an infallible collection of books called the New Testament. Of course, that doesn't invalidate the Canon, but it does reveal the fatal flaw of Protestantism, that the basis of Protestantism (the Bible) rests on the Canon, which was compiled by men and never commanded or even hinted at in the New Testament writings themselves. If God expected us to accept a Canon, why didn't the Apostles say so clearly? This is not only not in the Bible, but it is not even alluded to.

Churchmouse said...

Hi Jason,

Your's is a red herring. There is a world of difference between the canon of Scripture, of which we both know is truly God's word (or part of it as you would define it), and what this article claims for Mary. My point is very simple: In Scripture or in the earliest writings of the church we don't find Mary exalted in such a manner that we whould "consecrate our lives to Jesus" through her.

Regarding the canon, why would there need to be an apostolic command? You are wrong, there are allusions to Scripture and, thus, a forming canon. Verses, such as 2 Peter 3:15-16, reveal that the Apostles knew they were writing inspired Scripture and that it was recognized to be so.

Peace,
Ray

Jason said...

There is a world of difference between the canon of Scripture, of which we both know is truly God's word (or part of it as you would define it)

How do we know it's God's word? Not only do none of the New Testament writings ever suggest that a canon will be compiled which everyone must accept, but most of the books do not even claim to be the inspired Word of God. The Gospel of Matthew does not claim to even be written by the Apostle Matthew, let alone to be inspired. This is something that is known by tradition alone.

Regarding the canon, why would there need to be an apostolic command? You are wrong, there are allusions to Scripture and, thus, a forming canon. Verses, such as 2 Peter 3:15-16, reveal that the Apostles knew they were writing inspired Scripture and that it was recognized to be so.

There doesn't need to be an Apostolic command, not an explicit one anyway. This does not pose a problem for Catholicism which does not believe in Sola Scripture. You cite 2Peter, but it says nothing about a Canon being compiled, and it refers to Paul alone (who, of course, is not the only New Testament writer). And you also assume that there is a Canon when you apply that verse, because St. Peter never says what book constitute Scripture, he only says that people twist it. He doesn't say that the Gospel of Matthew, for example, is Scripture, or that Luke had any authority to write Scripture (he was not an Apostle). Again, this is known by Tradition.

There is absolutely no statement in the Bible that there would be a compiled Canon called the New Testament around which alone the faith would be built. Our Lord himself never wrote anything, which is telling, and the Apostles never compiled anything. Everything was handed down by tradition. If there is scant support for Catholic beliefs about Mary (and I disagree that there is, but for the sake of argument), then there is absolutely no support in Scripture for a Canon, which is the foundation of Protestantism. Sola Scriptura, ironically, cannot exist without the Canon, which has no other basis than Tradition alone. There are verses in the New Testament referring to Scripture, but it never says what Scripture is, or that someone should later determine what it is (the Apostles themselves never did, by whose authority do you accept the canon?).

Churchmouse said...

How do we know it's God's word? Not only do none of the New Testament writings ever suggest that a canon will be compiled which everyone must accept, but most of the books do not even claim to be the inspired Word of God. The Gospel of Matthew does not claim to even be written by the Apostle Matthew, let alone to be inspired. This is something that is known by tradition alone.

Sure, it is “tradition” if by “tradition” you mean the historical witness of the church as the Apostolic writings were passed on through it. And these types of traditions aren’t invalid, neither will the Protestant claim they are. As to whether or not Matthew wrote the gospel named after him, the Roman Catholic Church isn’t any clearer on this then the Protestant would be. We rely on the fact that the early church never questioned its authorship.

There doesn't need to be an Apostolic command, not an explicit one anyway. This does not pose a problem for Catholicism which does not believe in Sola Scripture.

Again, this is a straw man. No one claimed that one must adhere to Sola Scriptura to ascertain a canon. Neither do SS adherents deny the value of tradition in helping us determine the canon.

You cite 2Peter, but it says nothing about a Canon being compiled, and it refers to Paul alone (who, of course, is not the only New Testament writer). And you also assume that there is a Canon when you apply that verse, because St. Peter never says what book constitute Scripture, he only says that people twist it. He doesn't say that the Gospel of Matthew, for example, is Scripture, or that Luke had any authority to write Scripture (he was not an Apostle). Again, this is known by Tradition.

Evidently, you’re not grasping the implications of the text:

2 Peter 3:15-16 (KJV) 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the OTHER scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Paul’s writings are being paralleled to “other scriptures.” Peter implies that Paul’s writings ARE Scripture. The fact that Scripture is being written and recognized is evidence of a forming canon and, as I have stated, there is nothing wrong with accepting those books which were recognized by virtue of their passage through the churches. We certainly don’t need the Roman Catholic Church to determine one for us.

There is absolutely no statement in the Bible that there would be a compiled Canon called the New Testament around which alone the faith would be built. Our Lord himself never wrote anything, which is telling, and the Apostles never compiled anything. Everything was handed down by tradition.

And, again, there doesn’t have to be for Scripture to be valid. The above criterions are straw men considering the Protestant would never use the criterions you posit. We don’t claim that our faith is built solely on the NT, but only that the NT is the only theopneustos deposit and thus authoritative over other deposits. As I stated before, the Lord doesn’t have to command a canon, neither do the apostles have to compile it. We recognize that the apostolic writings were passed through the church, but we also recognize that this doesn’t formulate a “tradition” by which the church “infallibly” declares a canon either.

If there is scant support for Catholic beliefs about Mary (and I disagree that there is, but for the sake of argument), then there is absolutely no support in Scripture for a Canon, which is the foundation of Protestantism.

Comparatively, the degree of evidence is worlds apart and your parallel is very weak. As I stated, there is ample evidence of a forming canon, but is there any evidence that Mary was viewed, early on, in the ways Rome promotes her? Is there any evidence of Rome’s claims for Mary’s within Scripture? No and no. I’m sure you and I are both familiar with the verses which Catholics claim for Mary, thus it will only be futile to discuss them.

Sola Scriptura, ironically, cannot exist without the Canon, which has no other basis than Tradition alone.

Considering that we don’t deny this type of historical tradition as part and parcel of canon formation, you are being presumptuous. We recognize God’s guidance in leading the church to canon, thus this doesn’t present a problem for SS.

There are verses in the New Testament referring to Scripture, but it never says what Scripture is, or that someone should later determine what it is (the Apostles themselves never did, by whose authority do you accept the canon?).

And, once again, neither does either have to happen for a canon to be formed. Canon pre-existed the Church because Scripture begins with God and not the church.

Good night Jason…

Peace,
Ray

Jason said...

And these types of traditions aren’t invalid, neither will the Protestant claim they are.

Okay, this is a good clarification, but it proves my point. If this tradition (of an authoritative Canon) is accepted, which has absolutely no basis in the Biblical text itself, then the major doctrine of Protestantism is based on a non-Biblical doctrine. There is basis in the New Testament that writings could be inspired, and that St. Paul wrote them, but that does not in any way help with the question of a Canon, because there is no guide to what St. Paul wrote, and there are other writers included in the New Testament.

As to whether or not Matthew wrote the gospel named after him, the Roman Catholic Church isn’t any clearer on this then the Protestant would be. We rely on the fact that the early church never questioned its authorship.

I certainly believe that St. Matthew wrote the Gospel attributed to him, and that it is inspired. But by appealing to "the early Church" you are appealing to the authority of something other than the Bible. Which I believe is necessary (and which is why you must appeal), but which invalidates the Protestant condemnation of supposedly Catholic doctrines which are only implicit in Scripture, but which are rooted also in Tradition.

Again, this is a straw man. No one claimed that one must adhere to Sola Scriptura to ascertain a canon. Neither do SS adherents deny the value of tradition in helping us determine the canon.

I agree that SS does not deny the role of tradition, because if it did, then SS could not exist. But this is exactly my point, that Protestantism cannot exist without its central doctrine of SS that is based on the Canon, which is neither spoken of nor established in the New Testament, and neither do any of the NT books make any reference to a future establishment of an authoritative Canon.

Evidently, you’re not grasping the implications of the text:

2 Peter 3:15-16 (KJV) 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the OTHER scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Paul’s writings are being paralleled to “other scriptures.” Peter implies that Paul’s writings ARE Scripture. The fact that Scripture is being written and recognized is evidence of a forming canon and, as I have stated, there is nothing wrong with accepting those books which were recognized by virtue of their passage through the churches. We certainly don’t need the Roman Catholic Church to determine one for us.


1) There is nothing there that says anything about a Canon, and St. Peter does not say what writings belong to St. Paul. He does not say that anyone has authority to decide which writings belong to St. Paul, and which writings by non-Apostles are inspired Scripture. Your attempt to draw from that an implicit justification for a Canon is no different from the implicit use of, for example, the wedding at Cana in Catholic beliefs about Mary, or the salutation of the Gabriel. There is no explicit statement that "Mary was conceived full of grace" anymore than there is an explicit statement that "there will be a New Testament Canon with 27 books which all Christians must accept."

2) By accepting the books of the New Testament because of their "passage through the Churches" you are appealing to something other than Scripture. The reason I bring this up is because your post is based on the premise that in Scripture you "fail to find one instance of anyone going to Jesus through Mary." Your argument is invalidated, because you yourself believe in something that has not one instance in Scripture (that is, the establishment of a Canon or the mention that one will be established in the future by some authority). When Catholics refer to Tradition and the witness of the early Church, they are told to go back to the New Testament, because only the Bible is authoritative. But Protestants cannot go back to the New Testament when it comes to the Canon, because it rests on the authority of Tradition alone. It has no basis in Scripture. If a Catholic were to present one of his beliefs as resting on Tradition alone, as the Protestant belief in the Canon, it would be absolutely condemned for that very reason. But an exception is made by Protestants for the Canon because if that exception is not made, Protestantism cannot exist without contradicting itself.

And, again, there doesn’t have to be for Scripture to be valid. The above criterions are straw men considering the Protestant would never use the criterions you posit. We don’t claim that our faith is built solely on the NT, but only that the NT is the only theopneustos deposit and thus authoritative over other deposits. As I stated before, the Lord doesn’t have to command a canon, neither do the apostles have to compile it. We recognize that the apostolic writings were passed through the church, but we also recognize that this doesn’t formulate a “tradition” by which the church “infallibly” declares a canon either.

Again, where does the Bible say anything about this? Where does it say that there will be "criterion" for a Canon that future Christians should follow? And which Tradition is authoritative? There was dispute in the early Church about many of the New Testament books. By whose authority does anyone decide?

I think your own words apply here: "That's what happens when one incorporates the fallibilities of human reasoning. You wind up with sophistry." You base your faith in the Canon on your historical reasoning and non-Biblical sources, not on the text of the New Testament itself. The only reason we speak of a "New Testament" is because it was subsequently compiled, but if each book were looked at individually and separate as it was written, they make no claim to be inspired, and there is no record of the Apostles ever saying that St. Luke was inspired or that St. Mark was inspired or that Hebrews was written by St. Paul. These are accepted with absolute faith by Protestants, and that faith has absolutely no support in the New Testament itself, but on Tradition alone. Protestantism is built on a doctrine that is non-Biblical, so when Protestants accuse Catholics of believing something that is (supposedly) non-Biblical, they have no ground to stand on without contradicting themselves.

Comparatively, the degree of evidence is worlds apart and your parallel is very weak. As I stated, there is ample evidence of a forming canon, but is there any evidence that Mary was viewed, early on, in the ways Rome promotes her? Is there any evidence of Rome’s claims for Mary’s within Scripture? No and no. I’m sure you and I are both familiar with the verses which Catholics claim for Mary, thus it will only be futile to discuss them.

There have been books written on the topic, so I won't go into everything here. I just wanted to make a larger point about the fundamental assumption of Protestantism on which everything else rests, which is the Canon.

Catholic beliefs such as the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility are rejected because there is no "smoking gun" verse that says "Mary was conceived full of grace" or "The Pope is Infallible in certain limited circumstances." The first thing Protestants will ask when confronted with those doctrines is, "Where is that in the Bible"? They do not accept the witness of the early Church, they want evidence from the New Testament (and they are not convinced by implicit passages). But when that is turned around, and applied to the cornerstone of Protestantism (the Canon), they have no recourse to the Bible. They must stand on "human reasoning" as you called it. The New Testament does refer to Scriptures being written by St. Paul (which you pointed out), but there is nothing in that passage referring to a fixed Canon, or giving any suggestion about the inspiration of St. Luke or St. Mark. The New Testament never even makes any statement about what determines that a document is inspired. These are all based on "human reasoning" such as history, and more importantly, by Sacred Tradition.

Protestants wonder, if the Immaculate Conception is true, why isn't it stated clearly in the New Testament? And so on for other Catholic beliefs. But if the Canon were true, and if the Apostles intended for there to be a fixed collection of writings that are recognized as inspired, then why did they not compile them, or leave instructions on how to compile them?

If something so central as the Canon must rest on the authority of something other than the writings of the Apostles and the New Testament, then either that Canon has no authority over Christians, or the authority which established it has authority over every Christian, and that authority is not limited to the Canon. This is where the authority of the Church enters the discussion, because it is "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1Tim 3:15).

And, once again, neither does either have to happen for a canon to be formed. Canon pre-existed the Church because Scripture begins with God and not the church.

The Canon did not pre-exist the Church. The Church was born on Pentecost, and the Apostles were preaching the Gospel before St. Paul was even converted, and certainly before he wrote his letters. The Church gave us the Bible through the Sacred Writers, and the Church gave us the Canon. The Bible is not an abstract record from which the Church is drawn, but the Bible is the record given by the Church, and also preserved by her to this day in the successors of the Apostles.

Good night Jason…

Good night. By the way, I came across this post from another blog, just FYI, so it's my first time here. God bless.

Jason said...

*Just to clarify a little in case I am misunderstood, when I say there is no support in the New Testament for the Canon, I mean specifically the Canon, the collection of 27 books that we call the "New Testament." There is implicit proof that the Apostles were authorized to write Scripture (which you pointed out), and that the Church has authority to determine what books are and are not Scripture. But the actual collection of books that we call a Canon is extra-Biblical, and the Apostles never commanded it nor compiled it in writing. Basically, the larger point is that Catholics and Protestants agree that the Canon comes to us by way of Tradition alone, but this takes away the ground for Protestants to stand on when they condemn Catholic beliefs that are (supposedly) extra-Biblical and only implicit in Scripture. The Protestant doctrine of SS cannot exist with an extra-Biblical faith in the Canon. Unfortunately, Protestantism rejected the authority of the Church, and tried to base itself on the Bible alone, but they have an inherent contradiction because without the Church there is no New Testament, there are only various documents (among many others) from the early Church period, most of which do not claim to be inspired (they are known to be inspired by Tradition alone).

Jason said...

Correction for two sentence:

"...the Apostles never commanded it in writing nor compiled it in writing.

"The Protestant doctrine of SS cannot exist WITHOUT an extra-Biblical faith in the Canon."

Josh said...

Top 10 reasons your top 10 reasons don't amount to a hill of beans.

1. JPII taught Muslims would be saved without Christ, so he aint such a good example.

2. The safest path to Jesus is the Scriptures which in Paul's words are "able to make one wise unto the salvation that is in Jesus Christ."

3. Mary can't help us do any of those things.

4. Trust in them? Mary is not a god and can do nothing with respect to my salvation, so there is no reason to trust in her. All that she could do, she already did, in giving birth to Jesus. Beyond that, she can do nothing with respect to my salvation.

5. Mary has no special graces to give.

6. Mary can't convert anyone to anything.

7. Mary doesn't reign in anyone's hearts. She's not God.

8. Mary's heart isn't immaculate.

9. We don't need Mary as an intermediary to Jesus. Jesus said that whatsoever a Christian asks the Father in his name, it will be granted. There is, therefore, no need to pray through, nor to, Mary since the Father will give whatsoever is asked of Him in Jesus' name.

10. "Were you baptized in the name of Paul?" Paul asked the errant Corinthians. You need to ask yourself, "was I baptized in the name of Mary?" I recall Jesus commanding baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Mary's not included in there.

Rosalyn said...

Thanks for writing this.

 
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