Thursday, September 09, 2010

Evangeliku: Mary, the Disciple of Christ

On Evangeliku, the blog of Dr. Joe Mizzi, who also runs the website 'Just for Catholics' there is a new post up called 'Mary, the Disciple of Christ'. This post is very interesting, because Dr. Mizzi, a physician and former Catholic, quotes from St. Augustine, who says some things that I have been saying recently about Mary, though I have never read these things from Augustine before. One of these things is that:
“Mary is holy, Mary is blessed, but the Church is something better than the Virgin Mary. Why? Because Mary is part of the Church, a holy member, a quite exceptional member, the supremely wonderful member, but still a member of the whole body. That being so, it follows that the body is something greater than the member. The Lord is the head, and the whole Christ is head and body. How shall I put it? We have a divine head, we have God as our head.”

UPDATE: Another thought about Mary that I've mentioned, and which I've also seen in quotes from the Church Fathers, is that Mary represents Israel giving birth to her own Savior. Mary is called 'woman' several times by Jesus, and the last time is when Jesus gives Mary away to the beloved disciple at the cross. Scripture says that from that day on John took Mary into his own home. The woman in prophecy always refers to Israel or the people of God. I believe Mary represents Israel here as well. Disciples of Christ will love Israel as our Mother from whom comes the Savior, and welcome her into our home looking forward to the time when she will be one with us as the Bride of Christ. I was thinking about this story and this occurred to me as a very meaningful interpretation. It helps me to see more who Mary is, not so I can exalt her, but so I can love and welcome her and all Israel as part of the Body of Christ, one with us under our Head. A few of the Fathers taught that Mary had slipped into doubt for a time before Christ died, along with the brothers of Christ who did not yet believe. I believe this fits with the way Israel as a whole has been in unbelief for a time, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled, but then 'all Israel will be saved.'(Romans 11:26)


Christine said...

You have never called Mary holy, or exceptional or supremely wonderful. Far from it. This quote is much closer to the Catholic position than it is to yours.

Jennie said...

what I was referring to is that Augustine said, as I have over and over, that Mary is one of us and that the church or Bride is greater than she is. I have said that she is to be honored as one of the Biblical saints, but not exalted to sit at the right hand of Christ.

Jennie said...

Therefore, I think Augustine's statement is much closer to mine, though somewhat in between the two.

Jennie said...

Augustine's words about Mary are quite tame compared to the language of 'Ineffibilis Deus' and of Thomas Merton, that Teresa and I both quoted from in the com box of my post 'Prayer Challenge'.

Merton: "But that is not the place that belongs to Mary in the lives of men. She is the Mother of Christ still, His Mother in our souls. She is the Mother of the supernatural life in us. Sanctity comes to us through her intercession. God has willed that there be no other way."

A quote from the last section of 'Ineffibilis Deus':
"All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin -- in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world: in her who is the glory of the prophets and apostles, the honor of the martyrs, the crown and joy of all the saints; in her who is the safest refuge and the most trustworthy helper of all who are in danger; in her who, with her only-begotten Son, is the most powerful Mediatrix and Conciliatrix in the whole world; in her who is the most excellent glory, ornament, and impregnable stronghold of the holy Church; in her who has destroyed all heresies and snatched the faithful people and nations from all kinds of direst calamities; in her do we hope who has delivered us from so many threatening dangers."


Jennie said...

Augustine is honoring Mary, but not exalting her and calling her our hope, nor giving her the names and offices of Christ, as the above quotes do.
I'd say Augustine is a far cry away from the modern Catholic views on Mary.

Jennie said...

I've added some thoughts to the end of this post, by the way.