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Friday, January 15, 2010

The Crucified Rabbi

Musings From A Catholic Bookstore has an interview with Taylor Marshall, author of The Crucified Rabbi. Sounds as if it will be a very interesting book.

In 2007, I delivered twelve lectures at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC on Judaism from a Catholic perspective. The themes examined how Jesus fulfills the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, how the Messianic kingdom relates to the Church, the papacy, the Blessed Virgin, the priesthood, sacraments, liturgy, vestments, architecture…you name it . . .


When I was an Episcopalian priest doing a hospital visit, I met a Jewish rabbi who informed me that when a fellow Jew is suffering, they often invoke the name of that person’s mother in prayer with the belief that it provokes God’s mercy. This intrigued me, especially as to how it might relate to the Catholic practice of invoking the name of Mary—since she is the mother of the suffering servant Jesus Christ. This breakthrough led to many others. Eventually I was convinced that only Catholicism could truly account for the Jewish heritage of Christ and the Apostles. I renounced my Episcopalian ministry and became Catholic.


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66 comments:

Barbara C. said...

Hmmm...adding that book to my reading list. Putting Christianity in its Jewish context is always been one of my favorite study subjects.

Erin said...

This blog has officially become a true danger - to my checkbook.

Looks like an interesting read. Thanks for the recommendation!

Moonshadow said...

they often invoke the name of that person’s mother in prayer

I wonder when & whence this practice (just curious).

It can help me to be more compassionate towards others to think of them as someone's (dear) child. So I can see the practical wisdom of calling to mind their parents.

Jennie said...

When I was an Episcopalian priest doing a hospital visit, I met a Jewish rabbi who informed me that when a fellow Jew is suffering, they often invoke the name of that person’s mother in prayer with the belief that it provokes God’s mercy.
Is there any reason to believe that such a practice is pleasing to God, who reached out in mercy to us by sending His Son, and commands us to pray to the Father in Jesus' name? Are there no Jewish practices that God condemns in the Scriptures that we should indiscriminately adopt their practices without reference to what is pleasing to God?
Is there any positive example of such a thing in Scripture? I can think of at least one negative one, but no positive ones.
Are the Jews, who mainly rejected Jesus long ago, practicing things that are pleasing to God, or have they added even more displeasing traditions to the ones that Jesus condemned?
I will agree that the practice provokes God, but not to mercy. Don't forget Solomon and Adonijah in 1 Kings.
Certainly Jesus fulfilled ALL of the many Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, but to say that only Roman Catholicism, as opposed to protestantism, 'can truly account for the Jewish prophecies pertaining to the Messiah’s kingdom on earth' is totally unsupportable. I would say that neither one can account for the prophecies. It is the church as a whole, the invisible church, that is prophesied.

Sarah said...

This is a book I wanted to buy, but I can't seem to get it on UK Amazon or Ebay. I might check out if our local village bookshop can order it for me.

Talking of the links between Christianity and Judaism, I rather like this site: http://www.hebrew4christians.net/

Particularly the links between the festivals in Leviticus and prophesy. It made the otherwise mind boggling book of Leviticus come alive for me.

Kelly said...

I knew that would get you, Jennie.

From the interview, it seems as if he based this on what one Rabbi told him. I am curious as to whether this is a widespread practice or not. Barbara, maybe you could check with Veenker? I'd like to see how it is developed in the book.

Regardless, I thought it looked like an interesting book, and I'm looking forward to reading it. I'm not trying to make a point or get into a big discussion, I was just sharing because I thought others would also be interested. As they were.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
It certainly does sound interesting, and I might like to read it myself. Maybe while you're reading 'The Pilgrim Church' I can read your copy of 'The Crucified Rabbi'. If each is so convincing as supposed, I'll become Catholic, you'll become Protestant, and we can start arguing with each other again from the opposite sides :)

Elena said...

Just speaking from my gut on this one as someone who is a mother, and who has recently lost a mother, I totally get this. Are not the most tender, loving, warm feelings of infancy and early childhood those spent in the warm embrace of a mother? and if motherhood is of no significance why did God see to it that His Son have a mother!

I know this isn't very theological but it seems to me that God has always had a special place in plan for mothers.

Barbara C. said...

I put in the question to Dr. Veenker to see if he knew anything about this (for any curious about his credentials, he was the first gentile admitted into Hebrew Union College Jewish seminary and is a member of several dead language organizations, able to translate ancient Akkadian, Assyrian, Hebrew, and Lord only knows what else. Oh, and he is not Catholic; he's Episcopalian and a minister).

I also asked him about something I came across on another site where someone tried to denigrate the authority of Peter by claiming that Simon "baryonah", could really mean Simon "the hooligan" in Hebrew and began calling Simon Peter "Simon the Terrorist".

Kelly said...

Just speaking from my gut on this one as someone who is a mother, and who has recently lost a mother, I totally get this.

I understand it, too. I just don't want to build too much around what is just one line in an interview about the book. I'd like to read the book, and see how he expands upon it.

If each is so convincing as supposed, I'll become Catholic, you'll become Protestant, and we can start arguing with each other again from the opposite sides :)

Love it, Jennie! See, if we take breaks, we can still laugh about it all.

Jennie said...

I certainly understand the appeal of motherly love, but I don't believe that God, who is all merciful, can be made more merciful by hearing someone mention a mother's name. He hears us when we call upon Him in faith, trusting in His mercy for us when we do this. God wants us to know His lovingkindness. He doesn't have to be manipulated and can't be manipulated by someone thinking 'If I mention my mommy, He'll melt and help me.'

Elena said...

Then I truly don't understand why Protestants bother praying for each other at all. What is the point. Just tell God your problems and quit burdening everyone else with the responsibility of praying for it to.

Jennie said...

God also wants us to show love for each other and trust in Him by praying for each other. it doesn't mean we don't think He'll hear us if we pray alone, but that He commands us to love one another and pray for one another. He wants us to be united in love and in trust in Him. I think that's different than invoking a mother's name to provoke God to mercy, or than praying to someone else who you think God will be more inclined to listen to. God is inclined to be merciful when we show depencence upon Him. Nobody likes to be manipulated, and God, being all knowing AND all merciful, can't be manipulated. Would we as parents like it if our children didn't feel they could come to us directly, but asked someone else to come to us on their behalf. Don't we long for our children to trust us and come to us directly with their needs?

Kelly said...

Nobody likes to be manipulated, and God, being all knowing AND all merciful, can't be manipulated. Would we as parents like it if our children didn't feel they could come to us directly, but asked someone else to come to us on their behalf.

That's exactly the point I was making when I asked you several times what the point is in praying for someone's conversion. And you never answered.

I'm sure God was planning to let everyone die in Haiti, but since you and a bunch of friends got together to manipulate God by asking him to have mercy, then you guilt-tripped Him into it.

Anytime you ask a friend to pray for you, you are a child asking a friend to come and talk to your parent on your behalf.

Either we are all a part of the Communion of Saints and our prayers can benefit each other, or not. But you can't have it both ways. Asking the Mother of God to pray for you is no more manipulation than asking your own mother to pray for you.

Jennie said...

I think the point is that God IS merciful and is ready to show mercy. When we pray for each other, including the people in Haiti, God is teaching US to be merciful and to care about others who need to be saved or need help. God doesn't need to be provoked to be merciful, but sometimes we do.

When we ask each other to pray, we are acknowledging our dependence upon God and each other. We aren't trying to manipulate God, but are agreeing together and showing love for each other. God wants us to care about these needs and then trust Him to help. He's making us more like Him by prayer.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
the same thing applies to praying for someone's conversion. God wants all to be saved, and is ready to show mercy. He wants us to be a part of this and to show love and mercy as well, becoming more like Christ, who gave up His life for us. When we pray for someone to be saved it's because God has moved us to do this by His Spirit and wants to include us in His work.

Jennie said...

Anytime you ask a friend to pray for you, you are a child asking a friend to come and talk to your parent on your behalf.
Maybe it's more like asking for someone to come along with you for encouragement. We can and should encourage each other to pray and trust that God will help us, and to wait patiently upon God for His answer.

Jennie said...

In the last example, we aren't depending on the friend to help us but depending on God.
If someone is praying to Mary for help then they may be depending upon her instead of God, or at least thinking He will hear her better than He will us. This may depend on the attitude of the individual, of course. But the temptation is greater, if you think Mary is a powerful heavenly being, to depend upon her. No one is going to make that mistake when they ask me to pray for them. They are only thinking that they want me to know and share with them so they don't feel alone in it. They know God is with them, but it helps to know your brothers and sisters care about you enough to ask the Father to help too.

Moonshadow said...

but I don't believe that God, who is all merciful, can be made more merciful by hearing someone mention a mother's name.

Or a Son's name. I'm afraid I see Elena's point.

Jennie said...

Or a Son's name.

Teresa,
The Son IS God. Mary isn't. It's good to pray to the Father in the name of the Son, because the Son is the one that gained for us the right to come before the Father. He tore the veil.

Moonshadow said...

We are all related. That's the communion of saints. As I heard at the emerging church a few weeks back, "family of God."

Jennie said...

I said:When we pray for someone to be saved it's because God has moved us to do this by His Spirit and wants to include us in His work.

Kelly,
you said almost the exact same thing the other day under the merit discussion. See, you reminded me of this and the Haiti situation was a chance for me to apply it in prayer.

Elena said...

I think the point is Kelly that God doesn't want you to ask a mother to pray - he doesn't like to be guilted by a mom! ; )

Kelly said...

you said almost the exact same thing the other day under the merit discussion. See, you reminded me of this and the Haiti situation was a chance for me to apply it in prayer.

No, that was me explaining the Catechism.

2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.

See, you learned something from the Catholic Church. ;)

Jennie said...

Here's the specific comment you made, Kelly. It's towards the bottom of the comments under the merit post:

God allowed me to associate with His work, but my friend's salvation was still due entirely to God's grace. In fact, my prayers for his conversion were due to God's grace.

CCC 2010: Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification

It was the Holy Spirit who moved me to pray and offer sacrifices, as well as the love of God which I feel (charity/agape) and desire for everyone to experience. This love (charity) originates in Christ.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Do you guys really think that when we pray for someone, that we are informing God of anything? Do you all think that God needs to be "pushed" into action by our prayers? God already knows each person's needs before we even ask of Him. The purpose of intercessory prayer is not so we can 'manipulate' the hand of God to suit our wants and desires, but its purpose is for us to join in and be co-laborers with God on behalf of others.

It is a privilege for me when someone asks me to pray for them, because in essence that person is asking me to become a co-laborer with God on their behalf, even though my 'labor' may be only getting down on my knees. You know what though? I also develop compassion as a result as well.

I see we are back to our old selves :-)

Hillary.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

If someone is praying to Mary for help then they may be depending upon her instead of God, or at least thinking He will hear her better than He will us. This may depend on the attitude of the individual, of course. But the temptation is greater, if you think Mary is a powerful heavenly being, to depend upon her.

There is a lot of speculation in those lines, Jennie. Being as theoretical as you now, I ask: if all Catholics didn't give in to that temptation to depend on Mary more than God or believe that He will hear us better if we invoke Mary first . . . then would you have a problem with the practice of asking Mary to intercede for someone?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Kelly wrote:

"I'm sure God was planning to let everyone die in Haiti, but since you and a bunch of friends got together to manipulate God by asking him to have mercy, then you guilt-tripped Him into it."
----------------------------------

Kelly, Kelly, Kelly....tsk, tsk, tsk.

Haiti has enough troubles of their own without us theologizing the situation with bad theology or as some of us are doing, patting ourselves on the back for praying for them.

Anyway, I am 100% certain that God WAS NOT PLANNING to let everyone die in Haiti. Our prayers by no means stopped this from happenning. It was never God's intention that all should die because no one knew of the earthquake coming ahead of time to pray that kind of prayer, and if He wanted all to die, then He would have done that. God cannot be "guilt-tripped" into anything. He is the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-wise God.

Some were praying out of compassion and a desire that all turns out well, others were praying because of fear that such a thing could happen so close the U.S (we may be next!), and some were praying so that they could become God's helper and co-laborer to save lives in the situation.

Peace.

Elena said...

OK DOW, the topic isn't Haiti and Kelly was just using it as a metaphor- and quite effectively at that. Let's try not to dance with every strawman that taps us on the shoulder okay?

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Nature is in turmoil and natural disasters are going to happen. This is clearly stated in the Bible in several places. Here is a scripture for example.

Romans 8:18-23, NIV (emphasis mine)

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20For the creation was SUBJECTED TO FRUSTRATION, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
21that the creation itself will be liberated from its BONDAGE TO DECAY and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22We know that the WHOLE CREATION HAS BEEN GROANING AS IN THE PAINS OF CHILDBIRTH right up to the present time.
23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

See also Luke 21:11 (KJV):

AND GREAT EARTHQUAKES SHALL BE IN DIVERS PLACES, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Folks, let us not get too comfortable and complacent. This ought to awaken some of us from our 'safe' and smuggish Christianity. Natural disasters, like death, is no respecter of persons. The most important thing for us to know is that we are living our lives righteously and honestly before God so that if natural disasters strike and we die in them, our souls will be saved. Are you prepared? Have you made it right with God?

Luke 13:2-5 (words in square brackets added):

2Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans [Haitians] were worse sinners than all the other Galileans [people] because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

Peace.

Kelly said...

Oh dear, I've gotten myself into a mess. Hilary is right, it was inappropriate to use Haiti as an example, and I do apologize for that.

However, Hilary you misunderstood my meaning earlier in the thread. I was exaggerating to make a point to Jennie. Jennie referred to invoking Mary as trying to manipulate God, and trying to go around God's authority to get our way.

I was using her same language, but applying it to asking our friends to pray for us, or for others (the Haiti example, in this case) because Catholics see asking Mary to pray for us in the same way. I was hoping that Jennie would see how outrageous her claims seem from our perspective.

So please be aware Hilary, that what I said was in no way my true opinion, but me using hyperbole to illustrate a point.

I do apologize for the confusion.

Kelly said...

As a way of lightening the mood, let me mention that we have now wandered into our favorite circular argument, the exact role of asking Mary's intercession and how it differs or is the same as the role of prayer within the communion of saints (all Christians.)

Elena: Asking Mary to pray for you is the same as asking your mother to pray for you.

Jennie: Mary is dead, she can't pray for you!

Kelly: The dead are alive in Christ.

Jennie: The dead can't hear you, that's necromancy.

Moonshadow: I'm surprised no one has mentioned no one has mentioned 1 Sam. 28:7. And you know, Martin Luther once said . . .

Jennie: See, that's the perfect example of why Catholicism is wrong.

Kelly: That doesn't apply because of _____. See these verses for support for the Catholic position.

Jennie: You're interpreting those verses all wrong, they really mean _____.

Daughter of Wisdom: It is important to understand that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first, and so we should all support each other in God's grace by our prayers.

Everyone: ??????

Jennie: But it's still just wrong!

Barbara: I just can't take it anymore!

Elena: You're all off topic! I'm closing the thread!



See, all done. Now we can go back to our leisurely Sunday afternoon. ;)

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Kelly: Hahahahahahahahaha!

Best parody I've read in a month! =D

Elena said...

Yea, that's about right- it's about that predictable.

Barbara C. said...

I just can't take it anymore!

Seriously, LMAO!!!

Jennie said...

There is a lot of speculation in those lines, Jennie. Being as theoretical as you now, I ask: if all Catholics didn't give in to that temptation to depend on Mary more than God or believe that He will hear us better if we invoke Mary first . . . then would you have a problem with the practice of asking Mary to intercede for someone?

Enbrethiliel,
It's not speculation that people are inclined to sin, which includes depending on someone else besides God in various ways and degrees. That's why God constantly warned His people against it.
I would still have a problem with invoking Mary because it isn't the way God's word teaches us to pray, and because there is no reason to think that she can hear us or do anything about it if she could. I think that the act of praying to Mary causes the temptation to depend upon her, especially as she is portrayed as being a powerful being who can hear all prayers. She is human and can't hear millions of prayers all over the world at once, even if she can hear any prayers at all. I think if people didn't depend upon her, they wouldn't invoke her at all.

Jennie said...

Best parody I've read in a month! =D

Yes, very funny, but you got me wrong! Can we argue about that now for a while?

Kelly said...

I can only parody from my perspective. You are welcome to submit your own version.

I forgot Paul, though.

Paul: Allow me to cut-and-paste the first 20 pages of Dionysus' Treatise on Prayer.

Of course, it should also turn out that we were originally discussing infant baptism, or something.

Elena said...

:::smile:::

If you have Paul, somehow, some way, you have to mention Trent!

Jennie said...

Yep. That's Paul. He apparently reads so fast, he doesn't realize we can't keep up.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! Verrrry funny!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Jennie, I called your previous comment "speculation" because, turning it around, it would be easy for me to construct an "argument" against something in Protestantism based on what it tempts Protestants to do. Yet that wouldn't be a real argument. Every good thing can be twisted, but the fact that it has ever been twisted doesn't mean it isn't good. That includes, of course, the study of Scripture.

That aside, we've clearly run into another classic Catholic-Protestant impasse. =) What I "have a problem with" (to use my own expression) is the idea that God's Word and our understanding of it are so static that something Christians have done for thousands of years cannot be seen as a flowering of the Word.

I'd also like to reiterate what Elena and Kelly have been saying about the praying we ourselves do for each other. You said that if people didn't depend on Mary, they wouldn't invoke her at all; but you've implied that people you know have invoked you and that you were absolutely fine with their dependence on you. (Perhaps now we're going to find that we aren't using the word "dependence" in the same way?)

We all rely on each other in varying degrees. Catholics just happen to believe (as you've probably heard a thousand times in these threads alone!) that we can rely on those in Heaven as well as those on earth--that, yes, they can hear millions of prayers all over the world at the same time, etc.

If you ask, "Where is that in Scripture?" at this point, I'm just going to smile. ;)

世界 said...

God helps those who help themselves...................................................

Jennie said...

Enbrethiliel,
As to relying on each other, of course we do. I guess the question is, does the one we're relying on take the place of God or encourage us to depend more on Him? This is the difference between idolatry and just 'helping each other.'

Jennie said...

And that question is something we all have to ask ourselves while abiding in God's word to keep ourselves from sin.
"Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee." (and I'm not saying that you're not doing this)

Moonshadow said...

Jennie said: Would we as parents like it if our children didn't feel they could come to us directly, but asked someone else to come to us on their behalf.

God of the Scriptures is a bit more generous:

"And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." (Matt. 9:2)

"Their faith" refers to the faith of the friends, not the paralytic. See Matthew Henry's commentary.

I can't think of a Luther quote at the moment.

Jennie said...

Teresa,
My objections mainly are because the line between the attributes of God and those of humanity are blurred and sometimes crossed when people believe that anyone in heaven can help them except God Himself. If someone is believed to have the attributes of God, such as omniscience, (or even is closer than we are to having the attributes of God) then there is a natural temptation to act towards that person as if they are God. It doesn't matter if you call them God or a god, it is in the attitude.

Jennie said...

We are supposed to 'bring each other to Jesus' by faith, in prayer, or by our witness, like the men that carried their friend to Him. That's not the issue. If someone doesn't have faith yet and we're praying for them, that's different than a believer praying to someone else in heaven besides God.

Barbara C. said...

I got a response from Dr. Veenker:

I don't know too much about this guy or his book. I glanced at the website. It looks like "Messianic Judaism/Jews for Jesus" stuff. He will try to show how Christianity is a truly fulfilled Judaism with all of these parallels he comes up with. I've never heard anything about praying in the name of a Jew's mother and even if that were true it would not have much to do with the veneration of the BVM or with her Immaculate Conception. The guy's claims seem quite outrageous but that's what will sell books in our dumbed down culture these days.

-----------------------------
So, perhaps it may not be the most accurate book...hard to know without digging in and checking his resources.

Kelly said...

Well, I was mostly interested in hearing if the invoking the mother was a common practice or not.

Veenker thinks that the New Testament writers made up stuff in their gospels in order to make it appear as if Jesus was fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophesies, so I tend to disagree with him on matters such as that.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I guess the question is, does the one we're relying on take the place of God or encourage us to depend more on Him?

Well, it looks as if we're right back with the Communion of Saints! I had to reread that sentence of yours several times, Jennie, to see where you were coming from, because to me, as a Catholic, there is no difference between asking for a saint's intercession and depending entirely on God. For where else does the saint's ability to help me come from? For that matter, where does my own ability to help others come from? Not even Mary could help me, if God did not will to pass me His grace through her hands.

(I have a feeling that the last sentence may be asking for trouble, but I'll leave it in anyway!)

So even if you had the stereotypical, worst-case Catholic for whom God is scary and Mary is more accessible, every prayer that Catholic makes through Mary would still be answered by God. Mary has no power on her own. None of us do. Yet that Catholic's wrong idea that Mary is between him and God can't be an argument against Mary's actual role as an intercessor with God.

We are supposed to 'bring each other to Jesus' by faith, in prayer, or by our witness, like the men that carried their friend to Him.

I know this comment wasn't addressed to me, so forgive me for butting in! Yet I want to say that this is exactly what the saints do for us! =) The Church is a hospital for sinners, and we all need to be carried to Jesus to some extent. Everyone in the Communion of Saints, whether in Heaven or on earth, can carry to Jesus whomever hasn't reached Him yet.

(I think the Holy Souls in Purgatory can pray for us, too, though they cannot pray for themselves . . . but I don't want to go too far off topic here, so I hope I don't derail us!)

Moonshadow said...

Well, it looks as if we're right back with the Communion of Saints!

I'll let you all tell me whether I'm orthodox on this but my preference is to simply assume the saints are interceding for us all here (Col. 1:9) without me needing to prod them. As Christ does (Rom. 8:34). Probably better than we even know.

Barbara C. said...

Kelly, I know what you mean about Veenker. His academic specialty is Judaism, Hebrew Scripture, and ancient languages....not NT biblical criticism. And I've also had my doubts at time about some of his theology. (He used to try to persuade me to go Episcopal because "it's Catholic-lite and you could become a priest".)

But he had never heard of the "invoking the mother" thing, so that may have been a later development in some sects. I'm tempted to trust his expertise in that area.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Well, do I dare put in my two cents here? While women are highly respected in Judaism, the religion is still highly patriachial. Certain small sects such as the Essenes developed a goddess theology in the latter part of their history. Those sects are however long gone, but present-day neo-Essenes, also called psuedo-Essenes (because they did not come directly from the Essenes of Jesus' time)who exist today, do believe in the feminine-god or mother-god deity.


"It is the Essenes who taught the Master Jesus to eat, to walk, to speak, to read, to write, to pray, and to unite himself with the One With No Name, with the Father and the Mother of the world." (quote taken from essenespirit.com)

Peace.

Kelly said...

But he had never heard of the "invoking the mother" thing, so that may have been a later development in some sects. I'm tempted to trust his expertise in that area.

No, I agree with you there. I was wondering if it will turn out that this was a Hasidic rabbi. That sounds more in keeping with their mysticism.

I just disagreed with the first paragraph.

Jennie said...

Enbrethiliel,
I want to share some passages that show by whose hand we receive grace. There is no mention anywhere in scripture of Mary being in heaven giving grace or any other gifts to believers.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:


“ When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

Elena said...

I want to share some passages that show by whose hand we receive grace. There is no mention anywhere in scripture of Mary being in heaven giving grace or any other gifts to believers.

As far as I can tell, this is a strawman as Enbrethiliel never said, and Catholics don't believe, that Mary "gives grace or other gifts." period.

Jennie said...

Elena,
Enbrethiliel said: Not even Mary could help me, if God did not will to pass me His grace through her hands.
I didn't just make up that idea. I've seen it many times, that Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces and that God gives all graces through her.

Jennie said...

Here's an article I found commenting on Mary, Mediatrix of all graces.

http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marya4.htm

Jennie said...

Here's something the author says (about protestatism) in the article that I don't agree with:

Is her mediation merely by intercession, prayer for us to her Son and to God the Father? Or does she also play a role in the distribution of graces from the Father through her Son to us? Many today, influenced by Protestant theology, tend to speak of grace merely as favor, and so say grace is not a thing given. But that would imply Pelagianism, the heresy that says that we can be saved by our own power. For if God merely sits there and smiles at me, and gives me nothing, that would mean that I had to do it by my own power.

Grace is favor, but 'merely' should not be attached to it, because the favor of God is limitless. Grace CAN be given, or we wouldn't have it. We just don't believe Mary gives it. Only God can give all grace. He sometimes uses us as channels of it, in a small way. I think saying all grace flows through Mary puts her in the place of God. There is no hint of that in scripture.

Kelly said...

I think it's time to finish up this thread. If you two want to keep discussing Mary as Mediatrix, I can bump up a more appropriate entry for you, or you could move over to Jennie's place.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Jennie: I don't see how any of those passages contradict the idea of God giving grace through anyone . . . or for that matter, anything.

In your comments I read the simultaneous ideas that: a) grace can't flow through anybody, and b) we can be used as channels of it. Isn't "flowing through" part of the very definition of channel?

You also seem comfortable with people being channels of grace "in a small way," which I take to mean that it's the magnitude of Mary's role that you find problematic. Yet inasmuch as she was "blessed among women" on earth, doesn't it make sense that she would remain so in Heaven?

On the other hand, I probably shouldn't even be asking you these questions, because . . .

Kelly: I apologise for the part I played in steering this thread off course, but it was really an absorbing discussion! =)

Jennie said...

Here's the end of the article:
So Pope Leo XIII, Iucunda semper, said:

"... when He [the Father] has been invoked with excellent prayers, our humble voice turns to Mary; in accordance with no other law than that law of conciliation and petition which was expressed as follows by St. Bernardine of Siena : 'Every grace that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, from the Virgin to us.'"


Here is the main objection I have to the Marian doctrine: it is putting back the veil between God and man that Jesus died to remove. His flesh, instead of our flesh, was torn; His flesh was the veil, shown by the veil of the temple that was torn, to remove the barrier between us and God. Our sinful flesh was that veil or barrier, but Christ became flesh and then became sin for us on the cross so the barrier could be removed and that nothing is between us and God anymore. We now don't have to fear taking anything directly from God's hand as the Israelites did in the Old Testament. I terribly resent the idea of having to go through Mary, a sinful human of flesh, to come to God. Jesus IS God and perfect man and I can come directly through Him to the Father. I love that and am so grateful for it. NO MORE VEIL.

Jennie said...

Sorry Kelly, Your comment about ending the thread wasn't there til I entered my last comment.
Enbrethiliel, I guess I'm done after what I just said, but please email me if you want to discuss it any more.

Jennie said...

Enbrethiliel,
One more and I'm done.
I don't think I said 'grace can't flow through anybody.' Yes, the magnitude of Mary's role is what concerns me and that I don't think she can hear prayers.
And 'blessed among women' doesn't mean 'above' nor does it imply anything else but that she was shown favor by God.

Jennie said...

I put up a post linking this post on my blog if anyone wants to continue the discussion.