Symbolon Session #9 This Saturday, July 8
“Mary and the Saints”
As Catholics we are often confronted by those outside the church with acusations of worshipping Mary and the Saints. However it should be clear in the mind of every Catholic that Mary is not God. Our creed professes; “We believe in ONE GOD” and the veneration we have for Mary is very different from the worship we give to God.
In the old testament, examples of a special place of importance reserved for the queen mother. In the first book of Kings we see that Bathsheeba was moved to sit on the right of her son the King when he inherited the throne from his father. We read that she held a position of great importance, an intercessory role, where citizens would bring their petitions to her in the hopes that she would bring them to the King. Other models of this system frequent the O/T.
Catholics retain four key “dogmas” (a core belief) surrounding Mary “the queen of heaven”.
1) Mother of God; Because Christ was fully God “conceived bt the Holy Spirit” and fully man “born of a virgin”, the church very early on recognized Mary (the biological mother of Jesus who is God) as “the mother of God”
2) Immaculate Conception; Mary was uniquely privileged and born without the stain of original sin. As a perfect vessel for the divine Messiah, she remained faithful to her son and lived a sinless life.
3) Perpetual Virgin; Mary remained a virgin throughout her entire life. Often confusion surrounds the Biblical narrative where Christ’s brothers and sisters are mentioned, but the Greek word “Adelphos” doesnt have the same meaning of biological sybling as we think of “brother and sister” today, it simply meant a blood relative.
4) Assumed into heaven; Another grace given the queen mother Mary is that she was assumed body and soul into heaven. She suffered no earthly death. While this is not expressly relayed in the Bible, church tradition embraces this truth throughout the writings of the early church.
At the foot of the cross, Christ gave his mother not simply to John (his beloved apostle) but to the entire church. He gave Mary “to us”…to you and me, and just as we can rest assured that our earthly mothers will care and protect us, our heavenly mother can be relied on to do the same for us in heaven.
Mary intercedes for us.
She, along with the other Saints are alive in heaven and take our prayers to the father, through the son on our behalf. We have a heavenly “mom” and it pleases our Lord when we honour his mother.