Prayer: Why Go Through Mary?

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Why does the Catholic Church make such a big deal about Mary?  Whenever I talk to non-Catholics about Mary, they quote 1 Timothy 2:5: There is one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus.  “You don’t have to go through Mary to get to Jesus,” they say, “Just go straight to God.”  So I ask them: “If your child were very sick, would you ask me to pray for her?”  “Yes.”  “Would you ask other family members and members of your church to pray for her, too?”  “Yes, of course,” they reply.  So I say, “Why bother asking us for prayers?  You don’t have to go through me or anyone else to get to Jesus.  Just go straight to God.” 
 
Then I add: “Mary is in heaven, where we hope to be one day.  Is she literally closer to God than we are here on earth?”  “Yes.”  “And because she is in the presence of God, is she—in a real sense—more alive than we are?”  “OK, I agree with that.”  “Then, since Mary is more alive and closer to God than we are, why wouldn’t we ask her to pray for us?”
 
What the Church teaches about our Blessed Mother, properly understood and practiced, does not lead believers away from, but rather more deeply into relationship with Christ.  Through Mary, God intervenes in human history, setting into motion a plan for our redemption: since it was through the woman—through the heart of love—that sin entered into the world, it will be through the heart of love that God effects salvation for the world.  The covenant of love and life lost through the “No” of Eve, the “mother of all the living,” will be restored in Christ through the “Yes” of Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer.  The Old Eve offered us fruit born from the tree that lead to death; the New Eve brings forth the fruit of her womb who gives us everlasting life.  
 
©2012 Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
 
 
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27 responses to “Prayer: Why Go Through Mary?

  1. Thank you Deacon Harold for an inspirational interview on the program. As you know Mary will always lead us to Jesus Her son Our Redeemer. Keep on Keeping on with the Love Jesus Christ in your heart.

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  3. You ask friends to pray because you know them. Why don’t I ask Mary? because I don’t know Mary. But I do know God.

    • “Bit hard to get to know a dead person.”

      Really?? My wife’s dad died over five years before we met. When I hear my wife and mother-in-law talk about him: what kind of husband and father he was, his faith life, his love for running, how he battled cancer, I feel as if I know him.

      King David, a man after God’s own heart, has been dead for over 2,500 years, yet when I read about him in the Scriptures, I feel like I know him.

      Fr. Augustine Tolton (dies in 1897) was a slave that became the first black Catholic priest in the United States. Every time I read the story of his life and how he endured incredible hardships for his faith, I become more inspired to love and serve God.

      The list goes on and on. Because someone is dead doesn’t mean you can’t know and love them.

      • Sure, you can get to know *about* dead people but you can’t get to know them personally. I can read what the Bible says about Mary, and I can check out all the various myths and legends that have built up around her. But I can never know her personally, and neither can anyone else.

      • “Sure, you can get to know *about* dead people but you can’t get to know them personally. I can read what the Bible says about Mary, and I can check out all the various myths and legends that have built up around her. But I can never know her personally, and neither can anyone else.”

        Then we should only read the parts of Bible about what Jesus actually said, since He is alive. Forget about Isaiah, Ezekiel, the apostles, Paul and everyone else because they’re all dead.

        The only “myths and legends” about Mary are those made-up by people who don’t know her. She always leads us to her Son.

    • Hi Curious P.,

      You said,
      You ask friends to pray because you know them.

      One of the beautiful things about the internet is that I can ask for prayers from Christians all over the world. Even though I don’t know them, I believe one thing about them. I have faith in their faith in Christ.

      I take it from your response that you only ask your immediate family and friends for their prayers?

      Why don’t I ask Mary? because I don’t know Mary. But I do know God.

      I assume you’re a Christian and you also believe in and believe that you know Christ. Here are some Catholic assumptions which I will submit in order for your discernment. Please tell me why you think they are wrong.

      1. Christ loves Mary. Therefore we should also love Mary.

      Jesus Christ is Mary’s son. We presume therefore that she loves Him and that He loves her. Do you consider this an error on our part? If so, why?

      2. Christ is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who existed from all eternity. Therefore when Jesus Christ became man, He was in the unique position of knowing who would be His mother, and we assume, approved of the choice. Scripture also tells us that He became subject to her (Luke 2:51). This is important to us because Jesus is our example. Therefore, we also humble ourselves before Mary. Do you consider Jesus to be your example? If not, why not?

      3. Have you read in Scripture where Jesus commanded the Beloved Disciple to take Mary as his mother (John 19:26-28)? As Catholics we are taught that we are Christ’s Beloved Disciples. Therefore, when we read this verse, we believe it is a command which Jesus has given us. Do you consider yourself a Beloved Disciple? If not, why not?

      4. Scripture says that the Woman of Rev 12, gave birth to the Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah and as we see in #1 of this answer, Mary is Jesus’ mother. Therefore, the Woman of Rev 12 can only be Mary. If you go down to Rev 12:17, that says that the seed of Mary are they who keep the Commandments and the Testimony of Christ. Where do you fit in that description? Or do you throw that verse out of Scripture?

      As you read the questions I asked, you should be able to find there some of the reasons why we believe as we do about Mary. They prove to us that God held this woman in the highest esteem and therefore we believe that her prayers on our behalf are highly efficacious.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      • “Then we should only read the parts of Bible about what Jesus actually said, since He is alive. Forget about Isaiah, Ezekiel, the apostles, Paul and everyone else because they’re all dead.”

        No, that doesn’t follow at all. My point is that we can know about Paul, etc., and we can read what they teach. But we can’t know them personally. Please don’t go off on illogical tangents that have nothing to do with what I’ve actually said.

        “The only “myths and legends” about Mary are those made-up by people who don’t know her. She always leads us to her Son.”

        Sorry, this is nonsense. Read up on the many medieval myths and legends that grew up around Mary (and other biblical characters).

      • “Therefore when Jesus Christ became man, He was in the unique position of knowing who would be His mother”

        Not at all, according to orthodox doctrines of kenosis and the hypostatic union of Christ’s two natures. There were plenty of things that Jesus didn’t know, as the Bible attests (e.g. Mark 13:32).

        The rest of your points affirm a respect for Mary, which I certainly concur with, same as I respect other biblical figures who played particular, special roles.

  4. Alan Baker

    As an Evangelical who was born and raised a Catholic, I’ve seen the Virgin Mary issue from both sides and I believe both sides are partly right and partly wrong. My Evangelical sense tells me that the RC veneration of the Virgin Mother of Christ is over the top. There is no evidence of her sinlessness, her perpetual virginity, her assumption into Heaven or her majesty there as Queen of Heaven. However, I believe the Protestants have it wrong by not talking about her at all. They’ve thrown the baby’s mother out with the bath water, so to speak. She is a major component in the life of Jesus, she is most certainly blessed among women, a tower of faith, grace and motherhood and should be talked about much more than she is – but she is not deity and therefore should not be prayed to and worshiped like she is. Jesus is the mediator between God and man, as Deacon Harold pointed out, but the role of intercessor belongs not to Mary or the saints but to the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who intercedes and points to Jesus. According to Revelation 19:10, we are to worship God only. RCs do a little more than just pray to Mary. We are not to fall down before angels, saints or even the mother of Jesus, unique and blessed though she is. What would you think if you saw a Protestant praying to Martin Luther? It seems silly to me.

    • Alan,

      Thank you for your very gracious and thoughtful comments. They are much appreciated.

      I’d like to point out a couple of things.

      1. You mentioned that Protestants do not talk about the Blessed Mother at all. I agree but I also believe many have forgotten what the Reformers taught about Mary, particularly Luther. Here are some quotes from Luther’s sermons and teachings AFTER the Reformation. He held these beliefs until he died:

      “Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . ‘brothers’ really means ‘cousins’ here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers.” (Sermons on John, chapters 1-4, 1537-39).

      “God says . . .’Mary’s Son is My only Son.’ Thus Mary is the Mother of God. (ibid.)

      “God did not derive his Divinity from Mary; but it does not follow that it is therefore wrong to say that God was born of Mary, that God is Mary’s Son, and that Mary is God’s Mother . . . She is the true Mother of God and Bearer of God . . . Mary suckled God, rocked God to sleep, prepared broth and soup for God, etc.”

      “The veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart.” (Sermon, September 1, 1522).

      “She is the highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ . . . She is nobility, wisdom and holiness personified. We can never honour her enough.” (Sermon, Christmas, 1531).

      “Our prayer should include the Mother of God . . . What the Hail Mary says is that all glory should be given to God, using these words: ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace, The Lord is with Thee, Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus Christ.Amen!” You see that these words are not concerned with prayer but purely with giving praise and honour. We can use the Hail Mary as a meditation in which we recite what grace God has given her. Second,we should add a wish that everyone may know and respect her . . .(Personal Prayer Book, 1522).

      2. You are correct that the Virgin Mary is not a deity and, therefore, should not be worshipped. Catholics do not worship Mary. We never have and we never will. Worship is for God alone. We honor Mary. I believe the problem here is in our understanding of the words “honor” and “worship.” “Worship” or “adoration” (“latria” in Latin) is reserved for God alone. Catholics never use “worship” and “Mary” in the same sentence. However, we give honor and high respect to Mary and the saints (“dulia” in Greek). A contemporary example: when someone of a lower military ranks greets someone of a higher rank, they salute. When the President of the United States (whoever it may be) walks into a room, everyone stands and addresses him as “Mr. President.” These actions certainly are not intended as worship and adoration, but are given as a sign of respect. The same is true with Catholic and the saints! Because Mary, as the Mother of God, is the greatest of the saints, we give her the highest honor and respect but NEVER worship.

      3. Regarding Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Assumption a few thoughts.

      The Immaculate Conception (i.e., Mary was conceived without sin) was a unique privilege given by God to Mary alone. As Catholics, we are sometimes asked, “Where is the Immaculate Conception in Scripture?” Before I answer the question, I ask a series of questions myself: Is God perfect? Is Jesus God? Therefore, is Jesus perfect? Does Jesus have both a perfect human nature and a perfect divine nature? From whom did Jesus receive His divine nature? Jesus is God without beginning or end; His divine nature is eternal. From whom did Jesus receive His human nature? From his mother! Mary gave Jesus an immaculate human nature which can only possible if Mary herself possessed an immaculate human nature because you can’t give what you don’t have. We know that God the Son could not be united to a tainted and fallen nature when he became man. Certainly we can see the fittingness in God receiving a human nature from a human mother, and receiving an immaculate nature from a truly immaculate mother.

      The principal scriptural seed for the Immaculate Conception is revealed in the inspired words of the Angel Gabriel, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee”. In this greeting, Mary’s name is nowhere used. Rather, the title “full of grace” is used as a substitute for Mary’s name by the angelic messenger of God. These words refer to a fullness of grace, a plenitude of grace that is part of Mary’s very nature. It is also true that no person with a fallen nature could possess a fullness of grace. This plenitude of grace is appropriate only for the woman who was to give God the Son a sinless and perfect human nature identical to her own.

      The Assumption of Mary into heaven began back in the Garden of Eden. In God’s mind from all eternity, when He decided to create beings made in His image and likeness, and fill them with the gift of His life-giving love, it is within a woman’s being–within her heart and soul–where His love first established a foundation and home. The spirituality of a woman is rooted in the fact that she is the heart of love and through her special and unique relationship with the Holy Spirit (as one who gives life), a woman is truly the example of what it means to be fully human.

      We celebrate the fact that, because of the dignity of her motherhood and her own personal submission to God’s will at every stage of her life, the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven, which is the destiny of all of us who die united with Christ her Son.
      Jesus, the Son of God who died on the Cross is the very first among the risen, seated at the right hand of His Father. He is, in Paul’s words, “the first fruits of those who have died . . . for as all die in Adam, so all shall be brought to life in Christ, but each one in proper order”. Jesus is first of all but next in order surely comes his Mother. All of us, as followers of Christ with His Blessed Mother, look forward to the day when we too can share the glory of heaven with her. But for now, we ask her to remember us as we continue our journey on earth and to intercede for us with her Son that, like her, we may remain true to our call to holiness as faithful disciples of Christ. May we know God’s will for us at all times and, like Mary, give our unconditional “Yes” and allow God to work powerfully in our lives so that we may be with Him forever in heaven.

      A seed of the doctrine of Mary’s Assumption is found in Sacred Scripture, in Genesis 3:15. Genesis 3:15 foreshadows Mary as intimately sharing in the same absolute victory of her Son over Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed…” (Gen 3:15).

      According to St. Paul (cf. Rom 5-8; Hebrews 2), the consequences of Satan’s seed, evil, are twofold: sin and death (or bodily corruption). Therefore, Mary, who shared in her Son’s victory over Satan and his seed, would have to be saved from both sin and death or corruption.

      Mary did triumph over sin in her Immaculate Conception and triumphed over death (specifically corruption of the body) in her glorious Assumption at the end of her earthly life.

      Other scriptural support for the Assumption of Mary includes Luke 1:28, since her bodily assumption is a natural effect of being “full of grace”; Revelation 12:1, where Mary’s coronation implies her preceding bodily assumption; 1 Corinthians 15:23 and Matthew 27:52-53 which support the possibility of a bodily assumption: “Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified” (Psalm 131:8).

      4. Regarding intercession, again we need to understand what we mean when we use that word. Catholics mean by “intercessor” to prayerfully intercede on one’s behalf. This does not mean “intercede” in order to achieve salvation–only God can do that!

      There is massive evidence in Scripture for intercessory prayer. Here are a few passages to consider:

      Genesis 18:1-33. Abraham intercedes on behalf of Sodom.

      1 Timothy 2:1, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men …”

      James 5:14-20, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. …”

      1 Thessalonians 1:2, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers …”

      1 Samuel 12:23, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.”

      Philemon 1:4-6, “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”

      Ephesians 3:14-19, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, …”

      Numbers 21:7, “And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.”

      2 Thessalonians 3:1, “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, …”

      1 Thessalonians 5:25, “Brothers, pray for us.”

      Ephesians 6:18, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, …”

      Ezekiel 22:30, “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”

      Numbers 12:13, “And Moses cried to the Lord, “O God, please heal her—please.”

      I hope this was helpful! Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family.

      Psalm 144:1,

      Deacon Harold

      • Alan Baker

        Well, sir, you defend your position well. That said, I have more questions.

        Mark 3:31-35 indicates that true kindred with Christ is with those who do God’s will. I think all Christians are agreed on that. However, in this passage, Mary and Jesus’ brothers are “outside, asking for” Him. I guess we can only speculate about why they wanted to see Him, but if it was my brother telling off the Pharisees and telling them they were going to hell, I would want a word with him, too. Were they expressing concern for Him? Most likely, and they did this because they didn’t really know Him yet, even His own mother. Could she be sinless and still not fully understand the Word incarnate?

        I guess Mary’s assumption is plausible in the sense that she isn’t the only one who was assumed into Heaven. Enoch in the Book of Genesis (5:21-24) was evidently “taken alive” (translated, assumed) and the prophet Elijah never died in the biological sense either. See 2 Kings 2:1-11. Were Enoch and Elijah sinless?

        As for Mary’s perpetual virginity, why couldn’t she have more children after Jesus’ birth? She was married to Joseph, so sexual relations would not be sinful. She would remain sinless despite having children. Matthew 13:55-56 states clearly that Jesus had brothers and sisters. His brothers are even named. I know, you’re going to tell me they were really his cousins because back then, there was no distinction between brothers/sisters, cousins, kinfolk, etc. Actually, that’s not entirely true. In Luke 1, Elizabeth is called Mary’s “kinswoman” (RSV) and “your relative” in both the NIV and NAB For Catholics and all three use “brothers” and “sisters” in the aforementioned Matthew passage. Obviously, a distinction between brothers, sisters and relatives was made here in the New Testament.

        Also, was John the Baptist a cousin of Jesus? Why not a brother if the terms are interchangeable?

        Just wondering.

        Regards and God bless,

        Al

      • Al,

        Thank you, again, for some very thoughtful questions. You are obviously a wonderful man of faith who thinks deeply and seriously about his relationship with God.

        To address your questions:

        1. The first part of your questions deals with Jesus’ family being concerned about him. I agree with you! They not only wanted to speak with him but I’m guessing that the family members thought Jesus might be “losing it” and wanted to take him home (see verse 21). The Greek seems to bear this out: the word used in verse 21 for “beside himself” is “existemi” which means “to be out of one’s mind; besides one’s self; insane.”

        The second part of your question has to do with Mary being sinless and her knowledge of her Son. Just because a person is sinless doesn’t mean they have infused knowledge like the angels or even like Christ himself. It simply means the choices they make (that is, the exercise of their free-will) is not tainted by concupiscence, which is the desire for self-will and self-gratification over God’s will. For example, Mary’s fiat (her “Yes”) to the angel Gabriel in fulfillment of God’s will was a completely free “Yes”–she was not motivated by a desire for glory, honor and prestige as the Mother of God. She simply desired with her whole being to do God’s will and, in freely choosing His will, she found her purpose and meaning in life–union with God, which is what we all desire in the depth of our being.

        Consider this familiar scene in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 2:46-52) of Jesus being found in the temple at 12 years old: “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.”

        Clearly, Mary and Joseph didn’t understand at the time why Jesus did what he did. Jesus is God and the only one that knows the mind of God completely and intimately is God Himself! No matter how sinless someone may be, only God knows God fully. Instead, the Scripture tell us in several places (as above) that Mary “kept these things in her heart.” For the Jews, the “heart” was not simply an organ in the body. It represented the “seat of the will”, it is the place where the desire for God resides. For example, Psalm 51:8, “Indeed you love truth in the heart; then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom” and Psalm 119:10-11, 10 “I have sought you with all my heart; let me not stray from your commands. I treasure your promise in my heart lest I sin against you.”

        Here’s an interesting question. Jesus is God, and is all powerful and all knowing. So why does the Scripture say he “increased in wisdom”? Jesus is fully God and fully man, the divine nature joined to a human nature. So, as God, Jesus had infused knowledge but as man he had to learn to apply that knowledge. For example, if Jesus were walking near a riverbed and saw rocks in a stream, as God he would know the very nature of the rock but, as man, if he wanted to know how many rocks were in the stream he would have to count them. Jesus knows all as God but had to learn how to read as man. Jesus as God helped to create the universe and all that exists but as man he had to obey his earthly parents.

        2. Sinlessness on earth is not the only criteria for bodily resurrection. Mary, because of who she is and her role in God’s plan of salvation, received early what we all will receive at the end of time: new bodies.

        1 Corinthians 15:49-52, “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.”

        Luke 20:34-38, “And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.”

        John 11:21-26, “Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.”

        1 Corinthians 15:20-21, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.”

        John 5:25-29, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”

        John 6:38-40, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

        3. When Catholics call Mary the “Blessed Virgin,” they mean she remained a virgin throughout her life. When Protestants refer to Mary as “virgin,” they mean she was a virgin only until Jesus’ birth. They believe that she and Joseph later had children whom Scripture refers to as “the brethren of the Lord.” The disagreement arises over biblical verses that use the terms “brethren,” “brother,” and “sister.”

        There are about ten instances in the New Testament where “brothers” and “sisters” of the Lord are mentioned (Matthew 12:46; Matthew 13:55; Mark 3:31–34; Mark 6:3; Luke 8:19–20; John 2:12, 7:3, 5, 10; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5).

        When trying to understand these verses, note that the term “brother” (Greek: “adelphos”) has a wide meaning in the Bible. It is not restricted to the literal meaning of a full brother or half-brother. The same goes for “sister” (“adelphe”) and the plural form “brothers” (“adelphoi”). The Old Testament shows that “brother” had a wide semantic range of meaning and could refer to any male relative from whom you are not descended (male relatives from whom you are descended are known as “fathers”) and who are not descended from you (your male descendants, regardless of the number of generations removed, are your “sons”), as well as kinsmen such as cousins, those who are members of the family by marriage or by law rather than by blood, and even friends or mere political allies. See, for example, 2 Samuel 1:26 and Amos 1:9.

        Lot, for example, is called Abraham’s “brother” (Genesis 14:14) even though, being the son of Haran, Abraham’s brother (Genesis 11:26–28), he was actually Abraham’s nephew. Similarly, Jacob is called the “brother” of his uncle Laban (Genesis 29:15). Kish and Eleazar were the sons of Mahli. Kish had sons of his own, but Eleazar had no sons, only daughters, who married their “brethren,” the sons of Kish. These “brethren” were really their cousins (1 Chronicles 23:21–22).

        The terms “brothers,” “brother,” and “sister” did not refer only to close relatives. Sometimes they meant kinsmen (for example, Deuteronomy 23:7; Nehemiah 5:7; Jeremiah 34:9), as in the reference to the forty-two “brethren” of King Azariah (2 Kings 10:13–14).

        Because neither Hebrew nor Aramaic (the language spoken by Christ and his disciples) had a special word meaning “cousin,” speakers of those languages could use either the word for “brother” or a circumlocution, such as “the son of my uncle.” But circumlocutions are clumsy, so the Jews often used “brother.”

        The writers of the New Testament were brought up using the Aramaic equivalent of “brothers” to mean both cousins and sons of the same father—plus other relatives and even non-relatives. When they wrote in Greek, they did the same thing the translators of the Septuagint did. (The Septuagint was the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible; it was translated by Hellenistic Jews a century or two before Christ’s birth and was the version of the Bible from which most of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament are taken–300 out of 360.)

        In the Septuagint the Hebrew word that includes both brothers and cousins was translated as adelphos, which in Greek usually has the narrow meaning that the English “brother” has. Unlike Hebrew or Aramaic, Greek has a separate word for cousin, anepsios, but the translators of the Septuagint used adelphos, even for true cousins.

        You might say they transliterated instead of translated, importing the Jewish idiom into the Greek Bible. They took an exact equivalent of the Hebrew word for “brother” and did not use adelphos in one place (for sons of the same parents), and anepsios in another (for cousins). This same usage was employed by the writers of the New Testament and passed into English translations of the Bible. To determine what “brethren” or “brother” or “sister” means in any one verse, we have to look at the context. When we do that, we see that insuperable problems arise if we assume that Mary had children other than Jesus.

        When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would conceive a son, she asked, “How can this be since I have no relations with a man?” (Luke 1:34). From the Church’s earliest days, as the Fathers interpreted this Bible passage, Mary’s question was taken to mean that she had made a vow of lifelong virginity, even in marriage. (This was not common, but neither was it unheard of.) If she had not taken such a vow, the question would make no sense.

        Mary knew how babies are made (otherwise she wouldn’t have asked the question she did). If she had anticipated having children in the normal way and did not intend to maintain a vow of virginity, she would hardly have to ask “how” she was to have a child, since conceiving a child in the “normal” way would be expected by a newlywed wife. Her question makes sense only if there was an apparent (but not a real) conflict between keeping a vow of virginity and acceding to the angel’s request. A careful look at the New Testament shows that Mary kept her vow of virginity and never had any children other than Jesus.

        When Jesus was found in the Temple at age twelve, the context suggests that he was the only son of Mary and Joseph. There is no hint in this episode of any other children in the family (Luke 2:41–51). Jesus grew up in Nazareth, and the people of Nazareth referred to him as “the son of Mary” (Mark 6:3), not as “a son of Mary.” In fact, others in the Gospels are never referred to as Mary’s sons, not even when they are called Jesus’ “brethren.” If they were in fact her sons, this would be strange usage.

        Also, the attitude taken by the “brethren of the Lord” implies they are his elders. In ancient and, particularly, in Eastern societies (remember, Palestine is in Asia), older sons gave advice to younger, but younger seldom gave advice to older—it was considered disrespectful to do so. But we find Jesus’ “brethren” saying to him that Galilee was no place for him and that he should go to Judea so he could make a name for himself (John 7:3–4).

        Another time, they sought to restrain him for his own benefit: “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, ‘He is beside himself’” (Mark 3:21). This kind of behavior could make sense for ancient Jews only if the “brethren” were older than Jesus, but that alone eliminates them as his biological brothers, since Jesus was Mary’s “first-born” son (Luke 2:7).

        Consider what happened at the foot of the cross. When he was dying, Jesus entrusted his mother to the apostle John (John 19:26–27). The Gospels mention four of his “brethren”: James, Joseph, Simon, and Jude. It is hard to imagine why Jesus would have disregarded family ties and made this provision for his mother if these four were also her sons. Plus, the Bible says that these were sons of other Mary’s:

        Matthew 27:55-56, “There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him; among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

        Mark 15:40-41, “There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.”

        Thank you for this opportunity to share the Catholic faith with you!

        Psalm 34:2,

        Deacon Harold

      • Thing is, though, Luther was wrong about a lot of things. Protestants have no problem with admitting that, as we have no dogma of infallibility.

    • Hi Alan,

      Since you have experience on both sides, then you possibly have considered the following questions already. They describe, in my opinion, a vast difference in the way we approach the Faith (i.e. Religion) of Christ.

      1. Did Christ write any Scripture? Or did He rather, establish a Church, impart His Traditions upon that Church and command that Church to teach them to the world (Matt 28:19-20)?

      I think you will admit that Jesus did not write any Scripture but in fact built an authoritative hierarchy and taught them His Traditions which He commanded be passed down to every generation. Anyway, if you don’t admit this to be true, this is what we believe and can prove from Scripture and history.

      2. Did the Church write the New Testament and put the Old Testament together with the New in the Bible?

      Again, I think you have to admit this is true. But even if you don’t, this is what we believe and can prove from Scripture and history.

      The reason I mention this is because these are important foundations from which we logically proceed.

      Now, you proceed from an assumption of Scripture alone. And
      you said,
      There is no evidence of her sinlessness,

      Is there evidence of her sinfulness? Is there any evidence at all, in Scripture, that Mary committed any sin? Please provide chapter and verse so that we may discuss it.

      her perpetual virginity,

      Please provide the verses which you think deny her perpetual virginity. Chapter and verse.

      her assumption into Heaven

      We see in Scripture (Rev 12:1) where a Woman who gave birth to the Messiah is found bodily in heaven. Since Mary is the mother of the Messiah, Jesus, we conclude that the Woman depicted in Rev 12 is symbolically teaches that Mary the mother of Jesus Christ is in heaven.

      Do you have any proof, from Scripture, to the contrary?

      or her majesty there as Queen of Heaven.

      Following the same logic as above, we see Mary symbolically crowned with 12 stars in heaven. Therefore, we conclude that God is telling that Mary is crowned the Queen of Heaven.

      Do you have any evidence, from Scripture, to the contrary?

      However, I believe the Protestants have it wrong by not talking about her at all. They’ve thrown the baby’s mother out with the bath water, so to speak. She is a major component in the life of Jesus, she is most certainly blessed among women, a tower of faith, grace and motherhood and should be talked about much more than she is – but she is not deity

      Who said she was?

      and therefore should not be prayed to

      To pray is to request. That is the ancient meaning of the term. Have you ever heard a phrase such as, “I pray thee, pass the salt.” That is a request for the salt. We still use prayer to the saints in the same sense.

      and worshiped like she is.

      We do not worship Mary as God. Although, worship is also not adoration when understood in the ancient sense. Let me give you an example:
      Joshua 5:14 KJV
      And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?

      Did Joshua here hold the angel as God? No. He simply venerated the angel and humbled himself before the Messenger of God.

      In the same way, we do not adore Mary nor hold her as a deity. But we do humble ourselves before her and venerate her because she is the Mother of God. And we also praise her in imitation of God. God sent His messenger with the following message, “Hail Full of Grace….blessed art thou amongst women….” That is praise. But even that pales by the fact that God selected her to be the mother of His son.

      Jesus is the mediator between God and man, as Deacon Harold pointed out, but the role of intercessor belongs not to Mary or the saints but to the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who intercedes and points to Jesus.

      Should we then, disobey the Scriptures?
      1 Timothy 2:1
      I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

      According to Revelation 19:10, we are to worship God only. RCs do a little more than just pray to Mary. We are not to fall down before angels,

      See reference to Joshua above.

      saints or even the mother of Jesus, unique and blessed though she is. What would you think if you saw a Protestant praying to Martin Luther? It seems silly to me.

      Since Martin Luther violated Scripture’s injunction to obey the Church (Matt 18:17) and to submit to and obey the rulers of the Church (Heb 13:17), I find it very silly indeed.

      Sincerely,

      De Maria

      • “Is there evidence of her sinfulness? Is there any evidence at all, in Scripture, that Mary committed any sin? Please provide chapter and verse so that we may discuss it.

        her perpetual virginity,

        Please provide the verses which you think deny her perpetual virginity. Chapter and verse.

        her assumption into Heaven

        We see in Scripture (Rev 12:1) where a Woman who gave birth to the Messiah is found bodily in heaven. Since Mary is the mother of the Messiah, Jesus, we conclude that the Woman depicted in Rev 12 is symbolically teaches that Mary the mother of Jesus Christ is in heaven.

        Do you have any proof, from Scripture, to the contrary?”

        Demanding proof of negatives is a logical fallacy. We don’t concoct a bunch of beliefs and then demand that others show where the Bible denies them. Let’s see: Mary had two heads. Can you prove me wrong by showing me where scripture denies it? “Chapter and verse.” Thought not . . .

    • Hi again Alan,

      Deacon Burke answered your questions very thoroughly, so I’ll simply add some detail to one to which perhaps I can add some insight. You said:

      Well, sir, you defend your position well. That said, I have more questions. Mark 3:31-35 indicates that true kindred with Christ is with those who do God’s will. I think all Christians are agreed on that.

      Agreed.

      Your next question is loaded with assumptions which are at odds with Catholic Teaching and, in my opinion, Scripture. Let’s go over the passage in question.

      Mark 3:31-35
      King James Version (KJV)
      31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

      However, in this passage, Mary and Jesus’ brothers are “outside, asking for” Him. I guess we can only speculate about why they wanted to see Him, but if it was my brother telling off the Pharisees and telling them they were going to hell, I would want a word with him, too.

      Assuming you were a Jew. That is true. But what sort of brother would you be?

      Let me show you what sort of brethren Jesus had. Here’s one:
      John 6: 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

      Simon Peter is one of the brethren. Scripture says so.
      Matthew 28:9-10
      9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

      Jesus commanded the women to inform His brethren. Whom did they inform? Matthew doesn’t say. But John does:
      John 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

      And so does Luke:
      24:10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. 12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

      But undoubtedly, there are some brethren which had no faith in Jesus. Judas the most obvious. But others as well which are not revealed by name in the Scripture:
      John 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

      Protestants jump to the conclusion that this is speaking of His family. But read the previous chapter:

      John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him

      So, which sort of brethren would you be? Like the faithful Apostles or like the disciples that left Him?

      Were they expressing concern for Him? Most likely,

      Agreed.

      and they did this because they didn’t really know Him yet, even His own mother.

      That is a conclusion which you draw. But it is not in Scripture.

      1st. The brethren and Mary need not be there on the same mission. She might be there to protect Him from the “brethren” if they are of the wrong sort.

      2nd. You assume that the brethren and Mary are there at odds with Jesus. Nowhere does Scripture say so. It simply says they were calling Him and could not join Him because of the “press” . In other words, because there were too many bodies for them to force themselves through to Him.

      3rd. What if they were there in order to die with Him? Did that ever enter your psyche as a possibility? After all, they were aware that the people had tried to kill Him before.
      Luke 4:29And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

      Could she be sinless and still not fully understand the Word incarnate?

      1. Does sinlessness guarantee that one must understand the nature of Deity? Adam and Eve were both sinless when they were created.

      2. What makes you think that Mary did not understand her Son, the Word incarnate? Where does Scripture indicate that she doesn’t? I can see where you read into Scripture your assumption. But my assumption is of a different sort. I follow the assumptions provided by Scripture:
      Luke 1:45
      King James Version (KJV)
      45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

      So, please show me an explicit reference in Scripture stating that Mary did not believe in Jesus.

      Sincerely,
      De Maria

  5. Mary A.

    There are indications in scripture that Christ entrusted Mary partly with our well-being, and that her well-being was entrusted to us as well. Jesus gave his mother to John and told them to behold each other, and after that day, John took her into his home. In the same way, we are called to take Mary into our hearts. Not to worship her, or place the redemption in her direct hands. Not to eat of her flesh and drink of her blood, but simply to love her. When people pass away, we pray and speak to them and ask them for prayers because we love them. The same applies to our Mother, Mary, because we love her.

  6. Alan Baker

    Thanks for the replies, Harold. One more question: Do you believe Genesis 1-11 depicts actual historical acts or do you believe it is an allegory or just a myth?

    Al

    • Al,

      Thank you for another great question!

      Here’s what the Catholic Church teaches in the Catechism:

      “God is the author of Sacred Scripture. ‘The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.'” (105)

      “For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.” (105)

      “God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. ‘To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.'” (106)

      “The inspired books teach the truth. ‘Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.'” (107)

      “Still, the Christian faith is not a ‘religion of the book.’ Christianity is the religion of the ‘Word’ of God, a word which is ‘not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living.’ If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, ‘open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures.'” (108)

      Given what is stated above, Genesis 1-11 is not a myth! They key phrase is #107 above. The purpose of the Bible is to transmit salvation history, not secular history.

      Let me use an example: Genesis 1, the creation narrative. God created the world in seven days or seven acts. I don’t believe that God created the world in seven literal, 24 hour days. The Bible is not concerned with linear time (plus the Psalms tell us that, for God, a day is like a thousand years). God exists out of time. The point is that God created all that exists and the number seven (i.e., seven days) is a number that denotes perfection.

      In Genesis 1:26, God creates man (“adam” in Hebrew, which means “mankind; the fullness of humanity”), male and female in his “image and likeness”. To be made in someone’s image and likeness means that you are that person’s child. So we are created as God’s spiritual children as men and women. Because this is true, I don’t believe that man evolved from apes or some lower species. Man is so fundamentally and intrinsically above all other forms of creation because: (1) we are self-conscience, (2) we can know ourselves and (3) we can know God. This relationship is unique and special to the human experience, as part of God’s plan.

      I could go on and on but I simply don’t have the time. I hope this helps!

      God bless!

      Deacon Harold

      • Alan Baker

        It’s too bad more Catholics didn’t know their Bibles (and what they profess to believe) like you do. The same could be said for Protestants and likely the Orthodox sect. I’m a think-a-holic and you’ve given me plenty to think about.

        I’m glad you don’t believe Genesis 1-11 is a myth. We don’t attend a RC church but I send my kids to a Catholic school. Their religion teachers told them that the RC Church believes this passage isn’t really true. I once blogged with a RC priest who thinks that most Catholic schools teach heresy, mostly out of ignorance. I’m inclined to agree at times. I think heretical ideas in all three of Christianity’s sects is a problem today. Bible study and correct teaching is ultra important.

        Anyway, no need to reply. I know you’re busy. Just wanted to say I appreciate your ministry and I’ll be following it.

        God bless,

        Al

      • I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s frustrating when people of faith and faith-based education don’t teach and LIVE what they believe (or claim to). We lack courage and conviction, and often find it easier to live by the dictates of the culture than by the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus told the truth and they killed him. More Christians need to experience a deep conversion to the Truth so that they willingly and lovingly die to themselves and experience the freedom of living for Jesus.

  7. Hi Curious Presbyterian (CP), you said:
    “Then we should only read the parts of Bible about what Jesus actually said,

    Why?  Don’t you believe the Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures?

    since He is alive.

    ???  I’m trying to follow the logic.  Are you implying you thought He was dead?

    What does Jesus being alive have to do with throwing out the parts of the Bible where Ezekiel, the Apostles, St. Paul or someone else spoke?

    Forget about Isaiah, Ezekiel, the apostles, Paul and everyone else because they’re all dead.”

    Have you not read in Scripture:
    Matthew 22:32
    King James Version (KJV)
    32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

    No, that doesn’t follow at all. My point is that we can know about Paul, etc., and we can read what they teach. But we can’t know them personally.

    Scripture tells me that St. Paul, etc, were faithful believers in Christ.  That is all I need to know to ask someone to pray for me.

     Please don’t go off on illogical tangents that have nothing to do with what I’ve actually said.

    To what part of my response do you object.  Isn’t it true that Jesus loves Mary?  Is Jesus our example? Are we Jesus’ beloved disciples?  Do you keep the Commandments and the testimony of Christ?

    “The only “myths and legends” about Mary are those made-up by people who don’t know her. She always leads us to her Son.”

    Give me an example where Mary did not lead people to Christ.  Here’s my example to you:
    John 2:5
    King James Version (KJV)
    5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

    Sorry, this is nonsense. Read up on the many medieval myths and legends that grew up around Mary (and other biblical characters).

    I stick to the truth.  Here’s what I see.
    Scripture says that God’s will should be done on earth as it is in heaven.
    And God wills that the Angels praise Mary:

    Luke 1:26-28
    King James Version (KJV)
    26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
    Let’s break this down:
    ANGEL GABRIEL
    1. an angel is a messenger of God. That is what the word, angel, means.
    2. this angel, Gabriel, is one of the four angels that stands before the throne of God.
    WAS SENT FROM GOD
    1. God sent this angel to Mary.
    2. Since this angel is a messenger of God’s, God sent Him to deliver a message.
    3. Therefore, the angel was not speaking on his own, but was communicating God’s message to Mary.
    4. If we skip down to verse 28, we see that this was a message of praise (i.e. blessed art thou).
    5. Therefore God praised Mary through His Angel.
    That is great praise indeed. Do you know of any man whose praise is worth more than God’s?

    I said:
    “Therefore when Jesus Christ became man, He was in the unique position of knowing who would be His mother”

    You responded:
    Not at all, according to orthodox doctrines of kenosis and the hypostatic union of Christ’s two natures.

    Really?  Are those in Scripture?  Please show me.

    There were plenty of things that Jesus didn’t know, as the Bible attests (e.g. Mark 13:32).

    Mark 13:32
    King James Version (KJV)
    32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

    That only says one thing that Jesus didn’t know.  Where does it say that Jesus did not choose His mother?

    The rest of your points affirm a respect for Mary, which I certainly concur with, same as I respect other biblical figures who played particular, special roles.

    That’s good, I suppose.  But Jesus loves Mary, because she is His mother.  Therefore, I love Mary in imitation of my Lord.  Do you?

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  8. Curious Presbyterian, you said,
    September 7, 2012 at 12:19 am
    Thing is, though, Luther was wrong about a lot of things. Protestants have no problem with admitting that, as we have no dogma of infallibility.

    That’s good. But we follow Scripture. And Scripture says that the Church is infallible:
    Ephesians 3:10
    King James Version (KJV)
    10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

    Is the wisdom of God infallible? Then the Church must be infallible if She teaches the wisdom of God even in the heavens.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

  9. I asked:
    “Is there evidence of her sinfulness? Is there any evidence at all, in Scripture, that Mary committed any sin? Please provide chapter and verse so that we may discuss it.

    Please provide the verses which you think deny her perpetual virginity. Chapter and verse.

    Curious Presbyterian responded:
    Demanding proof of negatives

    Negatives. Before I continue I want to make sure to note that you just admitted that there is no evidence in Scripture that Mary committed any sin nor any evidence in Scripture which denies Mary’s perpetual virginity.

    Demanding proof of negatives is a logical fallacy.

    I’m not demanding proof of negatives. I’m asking you to provide positive evidence to support your contentions. Protestants claim they don’t believe anything which is not explicitly in Scripture. Well, where does Scripture say that Mary sinned and that Mary was not perpetually a virgin? Provide your positive proof.

    We don’t concoct a bunch of beliefs and then demand that others show where the Bible denies them.

    But you concoct a bunch of beliefs and claim that they are in Scripture and they are not. In fact, they contradict Scripture. Here’s an example. Where does Scripture say to hold Scripture alone? Have you folks not read in Scripture:
    2 Thessalonians 2:15
    Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

    Let’s see: Mary had two heads. Can you prove me wrong by showing me where scripture denies it? “Chapter and verse.” Thought not . . .

    I’m not the one who believes in Scripture alone. I believe in Scripture and Tradition as taught by the Magisterium. And the Magisterium always depicts a one headed Mary.

    her assumption into Heaven

    We see in Scripture (Rev 12:1) where a Woman who gave birth to the Messiah is found bodily in heaven. Since Mary is the mother of the Messiah, Jesus, we conclude that the Woman depicted in Rev 12 is symbolically teaches that Mary the mother of Jesus Christ is in heaven.

    Do you have any proof, from Scripture, to the contrary?”

    Thought not . . .

    Because you didn’t think it through. I’m not Protestant. I’m Catholic. I believe the Church who wrote the Scriptures. Anything that the Scriptures do not mention directly, I can find in the teachings of the Church. Have you ever seen a statue of Mary with two heads?

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

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