The Ever Blessed

The Grounds For Our Devotion To Mary

“She is more mother than queen.” – St. Therese of Lisieux

Today, in the Novus Ordo liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, our faith witnesses to the grounding reason that compels our devotion to Mary… the divine motherhood. Everything we love and honor in the Blessed Virgin can be reduced to this chief principle: that she, finding Grace with God, was chosen to cooperate with Him in the Incarnation of our Divine Savior. I am convinced, that if all forms of Marian devotion and piety were to disappear, the same would inevitably blossom again—being inferred from her being the Mother of God.

If Mary is the Mother of God, then she must be the holiest creature God ever created, for “He that knew sin not” took flesh and blood from her and chose to dwell among us in and through her (2 Corinthians 5:21). If Mary is the Mother of God, then she must be the Queen of Heaven and Earth, for her Son is the Messiah and supreme King of all things “in Heaven and on Earth” (Matthew 28:18). If Mary is the Mother of God, then she is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven, for the Lord “looked upon the lowliness of His handmaid” and henceforth all generations will call her blessed (Luke 1:48, Luke 9:48). If Mary is the Mother of God, then she is the chief adversary of Satan, for she fulfills the promise of victory over the serpent by wielding, with her Son, that implacable enmity which crushes the head of that ancient rebel (Genesis 3:15). If Mary is the Mother of God, then she is our mother too. If she bore the Christ, then she also bore the Christian. She could not generate the head without generating His body (Rev 12:17).

Though His origins are eternal, the second Person of the Most Holy Trinity chose to be born in time and of a woman. His whole self was born of her–His Person, which is both God and man. That is why we say,

Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy!

 

 



  • Nelsonlaura80

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    • http://theeverblessed.com/wordpress EB Admin

      Thanks mommy

  • http://theeverblessed.com/wordpress EB Admin

    Haha

  • Edjames1

    If what you write were true why is it that the Lord Jesus nor His apostles ever teach this?

    • http://theeverblessed.com/wordpress EB Admin

      Hi Edjames1, thanks for stopping by!
      In order to answer your question the best way possible, could you give me an example from the post that you believe is not compatible with Jesus’ and/or the Apostles’ teaching?

      Also, what denomination/faith tradition are you from? Catholic? Protestant? Orthodox? Let me know..

      In the peace and love of Christ our Lord,
      Steven

      • Edjames1

        Hi EB,
        Lets start with these 2 statements “If Mary is the Mother of God, then she must be the holiest creature God ever created, for “He that knew sin not” took flesh and blood from her and chose to dwell among us in and through her (2 Corinthians 5:21). If Mary is the
        Mother of God, then she must be the Queen of Heaven and Earth, for her Son is the Messiah and supreme King of all things “in Heaven and on Earth” (Matthew 28:18).”
        Both of these beliefs were never taught by Christ nor His apostles. The passages above that are used above to support the claims that Mary must be the holiest creature ever or that she is queen of heaven is an abuse of these passages. The contexts for them does not support the claims.
        I’m protestant.

        Peace

        • http://theeverblessed.com/wordpress EB Admin

          Hi Edjames1, thanks for your reply.
          Before this goes any further, I’d just like to clarify that the purpose of this site is to encourage Catholics in their devotion to the Blessed Virgin, not to convince non-Catholics to do the same. Please see the About page for more details (http://theeverblessed.com/?page_id=36).

          That being said, I’d also like to clarify that this post is not an academic defense by any means —it is an expression of piety. Because of that, a lot is implied here since my Catholic audience mostly already accepts and understands the principles involved. Take for instance, “if Mary is the Mother of God, then she must be the holiest creature God ever created, etc.”…this statement assumes that my fellow Catholic brethren believe in the Immaculate Conception (which is a binding doctrine of our Catholic faith). And therefore, they can see the support for such a claim. Does this make sense?

          Though this site isn’t meant for apologetics, I will indulge as much as I can regarding your response above. When you say, “both of these beliefs were never taught by Christ nor His apostles,” how do you know this? Rather, what source or sources do you appeal to to know for certain that these beliefs were never taught by Christ and His apostles?

          In the peace and love of Christ our Lord,
          Steven

          • Edjames1

            Hi EB,
            I understand this is not a Catholic apologist site. I would think you would agree that devotions must be grounded in the truth and if not are false. The reason I said that Christ nor His apostles taught this is that there is no record of them doing so in the NT. The NT is all that we have of what they taught. To claim they did teach such devotions would require you to demonstrate something that is impossible to do so since we are limited by the NT. Would you agree?

            Peace

          • http://theeverblessed.com/wordpress EB Admin

            Hi Edjames1,

            You say,
            “I would think you would agree that devotions must be grounded in the truth and if not are false.”

            Yes I do agree with this.

            You say,
            “The reason I said that Christ nor His apostles taught this is that there is no record of them doing so in the NT. The NT is all that we have of what they taught. To claim they did teach such devotions would require you to demonstrate something that is impossible to do so since we are limited by the NT.”

            This is where I do not agree…and where Catholics and Protestants inevitably part. We Catholics don’t believe that Divine Revelation (that is, those truths manifested to us by Christ and His apostles) was limited to the New Testament scriptures. We believe that the deposit of those truths is found in:
            A) Sacred Scriptures (the Old and New Testaments, aka the truths that were transmitted in writing by the inspiration of the Spirit)

            B) Sacred Tradition (everything transmitted through the preaching of the Gospel throughout the ages by the inspiration of the Spirit)

            C) and the teaching office of the Church (the Pope, bishops, and clergy, aka the successors of the Apostles and what we call the Magisterium).

            I cannot echo therefore that , “the NT is all that we have of what they taught,” because I believe that it is not all we have of what they taught.

            That being said, here is how I would show from the Sacred Scriptures that Mary is the holiest creature God ever created (let’s look at this statement first, so you can see where I am coming from).

            In the Old Testament, the holiest place on Earth was the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Within the heart of the temple, was the “Holy of Holies.” “Holy of Holies” is an ancient Hebrew liturgical expression for “the Holiest place” (Ex. 26:33–34). Now, as I am sure you well know, it was called “the Holiest place” because it housed God’s particular presence on Earth (as opposed to His universal presence). In other words, it housed a manifestation of His presence that man could actually experience in the senses, both dynamically & personally. Hold that thought…Now, let’s look at creatures. Drawing from the Old Testament, we can see that the holiest creatures God ever created were Adam and Eve before the fall. They were “good” by God’s standards (Genesis 1: 31). However, our Master says that no one but only God is good (Mark 10:18). Does God have a double standard of good? Impossible. What happened to “change” His mind on what is good? Nothing, it was us that changed—Original sin, aka the Fall of Adam and Eve, when sin entered the world. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were as conformed and consecrated to God’s likeness and purpose as creatures could get. They were “good.” They were holy, set apart for God and not for sin… But they ultimately fell.

            Fast forwarding to the Gospels we read that of a certain woman in Nazareth, a child will be born. Mary is to be the Mother of God the Son…to bear, as it were, the most particularized manifestation of God’s presence in creation. She becomes the true temple of God and the Holiest place, for she contains Holiness Himself. If the inner sanctum of the Jerusalem temple was the Holiest place in the Old Testament, then the inner sanctum of Mary’s womb along with Mary’s whole self, composes the Holiest temple and creature of the New Testament. Moreover, St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians says that God the Son was born “of” a woman, not merely “through” her (4:4). This means that she not only housed His presence, as the temple did, but she also gave Him His most precious flesh and blood—His human nature, the means by which He accomplished our Salvation. The Catholic claim is that in order for this to be possible, Mary’s flesh and blood, her entire self, were created in Holiness—without the stain of original sin, like Eve before the Fall (ergo the Immaculate Conception).

            Yet unlike Eve, Mary did not fall. She successfully accomplished God’s purpose for her. And so, she became “Blessed among women”(Luke 1:28, Luke 1:42) because she was “full of grace” (Luke 1:28). In the Greek of the NT, The phrase: “blessed are you among women”, literally means that Mary is the most blessed woman that has ever lived, and yes more blessed than Eve. To be blessed means to be favored by God, to be favored by God means to be given grace, to be given grace is to be made holy. So, to be most blessed among women is to be the holiest woman and to be full of grace is to be full of holiness.

            In my opinion, this is how a Catholic would see the truth in devotion to Mary as Mother of God and the Holiest of all creatures based on the Sacred Scriptures. Whether or not you see this as truth, coming from Protestantism, would require a much more lengthy discussion in a different format.

            In the peace and love of Christ our Lord,
            Steven

          • Edjames1

            Steven,
            You make quite a case for Mary. Let’s start with your first point about the NT is not all we have what the apostles taught. You claim that in Sacred Tradition that the apostles did teach things we don’t have in the NT. Do you have a couple of specific examples of something the apostles taught that is not found in the NT? I’d like to know specifically what else they taught so as to know what I don’t have in Scripture and I’m clear on exactly what you are claiming.
            You next claim that Mary was without sin. How was this accomplished since she was concieved by her parents who were sinners? Is it claimed somewhere in Scripture that her conception was also a miracle?
            Mary was blessed because of what she was being told would happen to her. It does not follow though that she needed to be sinless to be the mother of Jesus. That is not a requirement for Him to come into the world. His conception by the HS would be required for Him to be sinless.
            I still don’t see why Catholics would want to devote themselves to her since Jesus nor His apostles ever taught nor commanded such devotion to her. You would think that if anyone would have wanted others to be devoted to her it would be them since they knew her best and yet there is not one verse in Scripture where we are taught or commanded be devoted to her. It is quite perplexing.

            Peace

          • http://theeverblessed.com/wordpress EB Admin

            Hi Edjames1,

            Apologies for the late reply. Would you mind emailing me so we can move this conversation into a different format? The objections you are raising are starting to veer from the intentions of this post and require more formal detail than this comments plugin allows for. Shoot me an email and let’s try to work through it.

            In the peace and love of Christ our Lord,
            Steven
            ebadmin@theeverblessed.com

          • joaquin

            You say: “[...] since Jesus nor His apostles ever taught nor commanded such devotion to her.”

            John says: And He said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.”

            You say: “[...] or that she is queen of heaven is an abuse of these passages.”

            John says: “A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars”.

            I think i’ll stick to St. John’s teaching.

        • Michael

          I wonder if I could just add a comment or two. As EB mentions, we Catholics believe in Sacred Scripture and also in Sacred Tradition. If I could just offer an example of something we believe that is not explicitly mentioned in the Scriptures, and that is the Holy Trinity. The Gospels do not explicitly define that the Trinity is Three Persons in One God. We have mention of all three persons as Father, Son and Spirit but their relationship (other than Father and Son) is not clear and their nature is not spelled out. It has been through Catholic teaching that we have come to understand what we mean by the Trinity. (In fact, the word Trinity was coined specifically for this purpose.)

          St John notes “…but there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” (Jn 21:25). Thus Scripture itself records that it doesn’t contain everything Our Lord did and said. We also have a reference in the Acts of the Apostles to Our Lord saying “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) but there is no record of it in the Gospels. So simply because something is not mentioned in the Bible or the Gospels is not sufficient to prove that it is not a worthy belief.

          Catholics rely on and trust in the Magesterium of the Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit. This should not be difficult to accept as all Protestant preachers claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit. (And, please, do not take this as an attack on Protestants. That is certainly not my intention. I have many Protestant friends who put a lot of my Catholic friends to shame in their love of Christ and their fervour.)

          I know this is not an apologetics site but I hope this may help you to understand where Catholics are coming from.

          God Bless