- Slides: 19
MARY MOTHER OF JESUS, MOTHER OF GOD Part IIa: Mary’s Motherhood “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? ” (Luke 1: 43)
Reality of Mary’s Motherhood of God A woman is a man’s mother either if she carried him in her womb or if she was the woman contributing half of his genetic matter or both. Mary was the mother of Jesus in both of these senses; because she not only carried Jesus in her womb but also supplied all of the genetic matter for his human body, since it was through her--not Joseph--that Jesus “was descended from David according to the flesh. ” (Romans 1: 3)
Because Mary is Jesus’ mother, it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God: If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism, the valid form of which has been recognized by classical logicians since before the time of Christ. Mary is the mother of Jesus is God. Therefore Mary is the mother of God. Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son’s divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person--Jesus Christ, God “in the flesh” (2 John 7, cf. John 1: 14)-and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.
Heresies against the Dogma that Mary was the Mother of God There were two heresies in the history of the church that denied that Mary was the Mother of God. Nestorianism: 428 AD - Council of Ephesus (431) and the Council of Chalcedon (451); Collyridianism: 350 -450 AD
Nestorian Heresy Nestorius (c. 386 -451 A. D. ) became the bishop of Constantinople in 428 A. D. Nestorius’ view of the person of Christ became known as Nestorianism, or the Logos-Anthropos model of Christology, the second major heresy that faced theologians. Nestorius effectively taught that there were two Christs. Christ was both fully human and fully divine, but these two natures were in no way united, though they co-existed in a close moral union.
Essential Teachings of the Nestorian Heresy He greatly objected to referring to Mary as “mother of God, ” or theotokos, because humans must remain entirely separate from the divine. Nestorius had correctly affirmed the dual nature of Christ, but offered a disunited person that was unacceptable to orthodoxy. The denial of the true humanity of Christ involves the denial of the true motherhood of Mary and the denial of the Divinity of Christ logically also leads to the denial of Mary's motherhood of God. Thus the Nestorians refused to recognize Mary's title theotokos, Mother of God, and designated her by the names anthrotokos, Mother of Man, or christotokos, Mother of Christ. The council of Ephesus was convened in 431 to address the issue and pronounced that Jesus was one person in two distinct and inseparable natures: divine and human. The condemnation was repeated in the Council of Chalcedon (451).
Collyridian Heresy Dates: 350 -450 AD Founder: Unknown Most of the early heresies were Trinitarian and Christological in nature, but Collyridianism stood alone as a heresy that sought to deify the Blessed Virgin Mary. Little is known about the movement's theology. Not even the names of the group's leaders are mentioned by writers of the time. This sect's excessive Marian devotion developed into the idolatry of Mary worship. This aberration grew out of the Church's rightful veneration of Mary as ever-virgin, Mother of God, and powerful heavenly intercessor, but crossed the line of orthodoxy when certain Christians began to worship Mary as divine. Details about the Collyridians are scanty, but one of the few specifics we know of them is that at their liturgical service bread was offered as a sacrifice to Mary.
The heresy of the Collyridians was very simple: They worshiped Mary. This was in direct conflict with the Catholic Church's condemnation of idolatry, which had been condemned by God himself. Exodus 20: 3 -5 You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. (cf. Deut. 5: 7, 6: 14; 1 Cor. 4: 8 -6, 10: 19 -20; Eph. 5: 5). This proscription applies not just to statue worship, but to the worship of anything besides God. Second Vatican Council (1963 - 1968) “No creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. ” (Lumen Gentium, 62)
St. Epiphanius of Salamis c. 310/320 - 403 “Certain women there in Arabia have introduced this absurd teaching from Thracia: how they offer up a sacrifice of bread rolls in the name of the ever-Virgin Mary, and all partake of this bread. " (Panarion 78: 13) “It is not right to honor the saints beyond their due. " (Panarion 78: 23) “Now the body of Mary was indeed holy, but it was not God; the Virgin was indeed a virgin and revered, but she was not given to us for worship, but she herself worshiped him who was born in the flesh from her. . Honor Mary, but let the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be worshiped, but let no one worship Mary, . . . even though Mary is most beautiful and holy and venerable, yet she is not to be worshiped. " (Panarion 79: 1, 4)
St. Thomas Aquinas, (c. 1225 -1274) Article 5. Whether the Mother of God should be worshipped with the adoration of "latria"? (Latria means the supreme worship, which may be offered to God only. ) Objection 1. It would seem that the Mother of God is to be worshiped with the adoration of “latria. " For it seems that the same honor is due to the king's mother as to the king: whence it is written (I Kings 2: 19) that “a throne was set for the king's mother, and she sat on His right hand. ” Moreover, Augustine [Sermon on the Assumption, work of an anonymous author] says: “It is right that the throne of God, the resting-place of the Lord of Heaven, the abode of Christ, should be there where He is Himself. ” But Christ is worshiped with the adoration of “latria”. " Therefore His Mother also should be. Objection 2. Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv, 16): “The honor of the Mother reflects on the Son. ” But the Son is worshiped with the adoration of “latria. ” Therefore the Mother also. Objection 3. Further, Christ's Mother is more akin to Him than the cross. But the cross is worshiped with the adoration of “latria. ” Therefore also His Mother is to be worshiped with the same adoration.
On the contrary, The Mother of God is a mere creature. Therefore the worship of “latria” is not due to her. I answer that, Since “latria” is due to God alone, it is not due to a creature so far as we venerate a creature for its own sake. For though insensible creatures are not capable of being venerated for their own sake, yet the rational creature is capable of being venerated for its own sake. Consequently the worship of “latria” is not due to any mere rational creature for its own sake. Since, therefore, the Blessed Virgin is a mere rational creature, the worship of “latria” is not due to her, but only that of "dulia": but in a higher degree than to other creatures, inasmuch as she is the Mother of God. For this reason we say that not any kind of “dulia” is due to her, but “hyperdulia. ” (Dulia means veneration and invocation given to saints as the servants of God; hyperdulia means the veneration offered to the Virgin Mary as the most exalted of creatures. )
Reply to Objection 1. The honor due to the king's mother is not equal to the honor which is due to the king: but is somewhat like it, by reason of a certain excellence on her part. This is what is meant by the authorities quoted. Reply to Objection 2. The honor given to the Mother reflects on her Son, because the Mother is to be honored for her Son’s sake. But not in the same way as honor given to an image reflects on its exemplar: because the image itself, considered as a thing, is not to be venerated in any way at all. Reply to Objection 3. The cross, considered in itself, is not an object of veneration, as stated above (4, 5). But the Blessed Virgin is in herself an object of veneration. Hence there is no comparison.
Doctrine vs. Dogma What is a Doctrine? From the Latin doctrina means teaching. In Catholic teaching, a doctrine is a truth whose acceptance is necessary for the faithful, whether or not infallibly taught. All the teaching in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, including those parts not formally defined as dogma, must be accepted with a religious submission of intellect and will by all believers. The truth may be from any of three sources. » Christ’s public revelation, as for instance the real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. . » Theological conclusion, such as the canonization of a particular saint. » Natural law, such as the sinfulness of contraception. A Catholic doctrine may be presented to the faithful in either of two ways. » Solemnly, in an ex cathedra announcement, such as the definition of the Immaculate Conception. » Ordinarily, in the perennial exercise of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the constant teaching on the malice of taking innocent human life.
A doctrine is a larger subset of Catholic teaching than a dogma. All dogmas are doctrines, but only some doctrines are dogmas. Catholic Teaching Doctrine Dogma Catechism of the Catholic Church 90 “In Catholic doctrine there exists an order or hierarchy of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith. ” Any truth taught by the Church as necessary for acceptance by the faithful is doctrine. The truth that artificial contraception is sinful is doctrine. In July 1998, the Motu Proprio of Pope John Paul II stated that all the teaching of the authentic Magisterium of the Church must be accepted even when not presented as dogma, even when they are not defined. These must be accepted by all.
Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter motu proprio, Ad Tuendam Fidem, updated the Code of Canon Law. Canon 750 now states: § 1. Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which in fact is manifested by the common adherence of Christ’s faithful under the guidance of the sacred Magisterium. All are therefore bound to avoid any contrary doctrines. § 2. Furthermore, each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Vatican Council II (1962 -1965) Lumen Gentium “This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. ” (25)
What is a Dogma? From the Greek and Latin dogma, declaration or decree. In Catholic teaching, a dogma is a doctrine infallibly taught by the Pope. The truth must come from Christ’s public revelation through either of two sources: » Sacred Scripture » Sacred Tradition The revelation can be: » Explicit, such as Christ’s incarnate life, death and resurrection. » Implicit, such as the Blessed Virgin’s Assumption into heaven. Catholic dogma may be presented to the faithful in either of two ways. » Solemnly, in an ex cathedra announcement, such as the definition of the Immaculate Conception. » Ordinarily, in the perennial exercise of the Church’s Magisterium, such as the constant teaching on the malice of taking innocent human life.
Catholic Catechism 88 “The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these. ” Catholic Catechism 89 “There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith. ” The acceptance of Catholic dogma is necessary for salvation of the faithful.
End of Mary the Series, Her Motherhood Part IIa Go to Mary the Series, Her Motherhood Part IIb