Friday 25th July 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Is Mary The Mother Of God… Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

November 29, 2013 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 1

Responding to a common misconception among separated brethren and ill-informed Catholics:
For two years in Perth, Western Australia, my wife and I hosted the only talk-radio show run by lay Catholics. It was a great opportunity to share the faith in public and to answer questions about the Church. One day we received a letter from a non-Catholic listener. It read:
“Last week you broadcast a musical recording of Placido Domingo singing a classical version of the Ave Maria. I realize that the first part may have been somewhat inspired in the Gospel of Luke. The second part, however, is an R.C. invention: It is inappropriate to call Mary the ‘Mother of God.’
“For Mary to be the Mother of God, she would have to be God’s parent, older than Him, and just as divine as God Himself. Now, in the Trinity, there are only three Persons — not four. So, how could Mary be the Mother of God since she is infinitely inferior — and younger — than God?
“One thing is to believe in the virgin birth, which I do; another is to believe in such a preposterous dogma as the ‘Divine Maternity.’ Mary is the mother of Christ, not the ‘mother of God.’
“I am grateful to the great Reformers for having put an end to this unbiblical belief and for bringing out the truth for us Bible-Believing Protestant Christians.
“I would appreciate your comments on this. Yours sincerely. . . .”

+    +    +

I read out the letter to the listening audience, and, by way of a reply, I cited three Statements of Faith, which reflect the Mind of the Church regarding Mary, the Mother of God:
1) “In this work whereby she was made the Mother of God, so many and such good things were given her that no one can grasp them. Not only was Mary the Mother of Him who is born [in Bethlehem], but of Him who, before the world, was eternally born of the Father, from a mother in time and at the same time man and God.”
2) “It cannot be denied that God, in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of His Son, granted her the highest honor. . . . Elizabeth calls Mary the Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the Person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary was at the same time the eternal God.”
3) “It was given to her what belongs to no creature, that in the flesh she should bring forth the Son of God.”
This is undoubtedly the Catholic faith. Now, my question is: Who called Mary by the title of “Mother of God,” for the first time, as cited in the “Hail Mary”? It was no Medieval Pope or council. It happened 33 years before the foundation of the Church. It was the Holy Spirit Himself who referred to Mary as being the Mother of God:
“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and she entered the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe in her womb leapt. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be accomplished’” (Luke 1:39-45).
Who is this “Lord” Elizabeth was talking about?
The Hebrew word for “my Lord” is Adonai, which literally means my Lords, in the majestic plural. In the version of the Old Testament most used by the apostles, the Septuagint, the word Kyrios is used — which means “The Lord” and refers to God our Lord, just like Adonai.
Moses cried out, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. . . .” (Deut. 6:4), or “The Adonai our God is one Adonai. . . .!”
Thus, Elizabeth said, “And whence is this to me that the Mother of my Adonai should come to me?” and “the things promised by Kyrios.”
Who was this Adonai, this Kyrios, this Lord of Elizabeth? It could not have been any adult lord of her time, such as the high priest, the Roman governor, or her husband. They were all born already, and Mary was not expecting any of them — it is evident. She was the Mother of one as yet unborn Adonai, an unborn Kyrios, an unborn Lord. The same One who promised Mary many things.
The only one Adonai who was going to be born was the Expected One of the nations: the Messiah. And Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who is God and can neither deceive nor be deceived, refers to the unborn Messiah as Adonai, the same word used by Jewish prophets to refer to the Lord God of Hosts.
Thus, to the question, “Who was the ‘Lord’ of St. Elizabeth, whose Mother Mary is,” the answer is quite simple: God is her Lord, her Adonai — her Son.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth called Mary the Mother of her God, purely and simply.
Thus, the Catholic Church could have chosen to say in the Hail Mary prayer, “Holy Mary, Mother of my Lord, pray for us sinners.” It means exactly the same thing as “Holy Mary, Mother of God.”
There is only one God, in three distinct Persons. The Second Person is as divine as the first and the third. Mary conceived and gave birth to a divine Person; therefore, she is the Mother of that same divine Person — she is the Mother of God. Not the Mother of the Trinity, but the Mother of its Second Person — God the Son.
The non-Catholic listener finished his letter with this affirmation: “I am grateful to the great Reformers for having put an end to this unbiblical belief and for bringing out the truth for us Bible-Believing Protestant Christians.”
What he did not know was that the three statements of faith I cited in the beginning of this article were made by: 1) Luther (in The Works of Luther, Weimar, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, vol. 7, p. 572); 2) Calvin (Calvini Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Braunschweig-Berlin, 1863-1900, vol. 45, pp. 348, 35), and 3) Zwingli (in Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin 1905, in Evang. Luc., Op. comp., vol. 6, I, p. 639).
In this regard, all three of them fully agreed with the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, which teaches:
“Called in the Gospels ‘the mother of Jesus’ (John 2:1), Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her Son, as ‘the Mother of my Lord’ (Luke 1:43). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s Eternal Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly ‘Mother of God’ (Theotokos) [cf. the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD]” (CCC, n. 495.)
Conclusion: Opposition to Mary’s title of “Mother of God” is thoroughly unscriptural. It is unfortunate that those separated brethren who thrive in opposing everything coming from the so-called “R.C. Church” get so carried away in their bigotry that they end up opposing the Bible they claim to believe in, and even the founders of Protestantism themselves.

+    +    +

(Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; an EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International [HLI]; president of the Sacred Heart Institute, and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. His web site is www.raymonddesouza.com.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Marco Rubio To Take On Abortion and Gay Marriage in Catholic U Speech

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) plans to take on social and cultural issues in the latest installment of his policy speeches outlining a new conservative agenda. “Senator Rubio will discuss the values needed for economic success in the 21st century: values like…Continue Reading

USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented and Extreme’ Executive Order

The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be…Continue Reading

Dallas-Fort Worth Catholic leaders appeal for legal help in border crisis

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell (center) and Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson on Monday asked for volunteers to assist with a “humanitarian crisis.” By DIANNE SOLÍS Staff Writer dsolís@dallasnews.com Published: 21 July 2014 10:32 PM Updated: 22 July 2014 12:21 AM Dallas Catholic…Continue Reading

Iraq Catholic leader says Islamic State worse than Genghis Khan

By Dominic Evans and Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The head of Iraq’s largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who…Continue Reading

CHRISTIAN HOLOCAUST UNDERWAY IN IRAQ, USA AND WORLD LOOK ON

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000. In a…Continue Reading

Vancouver Catholic Schools Adopt Transgender Policy

James Keller, The Canadian Press Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:20PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:24AM EDT VANCOUVER — Catholic schools in Vancouver have adopted a policy that could allow transgender students to use the pronouns, uniforms…Continue Reading

New Catholic Bishops Say Civil Disobedience OK If For Common Good

Newly appointed auxiliary bishops, two Catholic clergymen suggest Occupy Central could be just, while third weighs in on reform report St Two auxiliary bishops newly appointed by the Vatican have spoken out about the Occupy Central campaign, saying the church supports…Continue Reading

Skeptics And The Claims Of The Catholic Church Seventeen Reasons Scoffers Ought To Rethink Catholicism, If They Really Thought About It

July 11, 2014 05:09 EST By Thomas M. Doran In today’s world, isn’t it crazy to appeal to scoffers to consider Catholicism? Why would a rational modern man or woman in the 21st century be attracted to what the world and…Continue Reading

The Obama Administration’s Border-Crisis Plan B: Use the Catholic Church

The federal government reaches out to a California diocese to help shelter illegal immigrants in California. By Ryan Lovelace In order to avoid future clashes with the citizens of Murrieta, Calif., over attempts to transfer illegal immigrants there, the Obama administration has turned to…Continue Reading

A New Low For Liberals: Attacking Catholic Nuns Over Hobby Lobby

I’m a big fan of absurdity in politics. But even absurdity has its limits, and the National Organization for Women has surpassed it in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision inBurwell v. Hobby Lobby. As part of its full-throated…Continue Reading

Louisiana court’s ruling that Catholic priest testify about confession criticized by Baton Rouge Diocese:

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has issued a statement decrying a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court that could compel a local priest to testify in court about confessions he might have received. The alleged confessions, according to legal documents, were made to…Continue Reading

Out Of Nowhere A Network Emerged To Save Catholic Schools

By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer POSTED: June 24, 2014   The fledgling Independence Mission Schools network of Catholic elementary schools is used to moving fast. It sprang into action two years ago to save 14 parish schools in low-income neighborhoods…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

2 Christian Brothers Face Jihadist Threat in Iraq: Will They Stay or Flee?

Rome, July 27, 2014 (Zenit.org) By Oliver Maksan There is no doubt in the mind of 23-year-old Haram. With his second child on the way, he is prepared to rush his family out of town at a moment’s notice: “My tank is always full,” he says. “If the situation escalates I’ll grab my wife and child and flee,” he adds with determination.…Continue Reading

Anglican Women Bishops — An Obstacle To Unity?

By FR. DWIGHT LONGENECKER (Editor’s Note: Fr. Dwight Longenecker is an American who has spent most of his life living and working in England. He studied theology at Oxford University. He was eventually ordained as an Anglican priest and served as a curate, a school chaplain in Cambridge, and a country parson on the Isle…Continue Reading

Homosexuality And The Future Of Marriage

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach. The commentary below is reprinted with permission from his blog at johnkippley.com. All…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Profile: Girls Scouts Of America”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of this article with footnotes, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +    +    + We’ve all had little girls in uniform appear on our porches selling Girl Scout cookies (with watchful mothers standing…Continue Reading

Chilling

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO “Chilling” is the word lawyers use to describe governmental behavior that does not directly interfere with constitutionally protected freedoms, but rather tends to deter folks from exercising them. Classic examples of “chilling” occurred in the 1970s, when FBI agents and U.S. Army soldiers, in business suits with badges displayed or in…Continue Reading

Do They Think We’re Stupid?. . . It’s Worse Than That

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK It has become routine to hear conservative talk radio hosts, such as Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, as well as many commentators on Fox News, react to public comments by the Obama administration and its supporters with an exasperated, “Do they think we’re stupid?” I have in mind Obama supporters’ contentions…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Jesus says that we are to learn from Him, He who is meek and humble of heart. But Jesus was not always meek and humble of heart. He talked back to the Scribes and Pharisees, He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, He talked back to the Sanhedrin, He wasn’t bashful about claiming to be the Son of…Continue Reading

Jesus Walks Through Trials With Us

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:1-3 Romans 8:35, 37-39 Matt. 14:13-21 In the second reading today St. Paul asks the question of what can separate us from the love of Christ. He then gives a few examples of what people might think will separate us from God; anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness,…Continue Reading

Anglophone Conference On Sexual Abuse . . . “The Entire Church Is Called To Put Right What Has Happened”

By MOST REV. DIARMUID MARTIN ROME (ZENIT) — Below is the full text of an address given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin on the issue of clerical sex abuse. The address was given July 7 at the Anglophone Conference, which took place at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. The Anglophone Conference takes place annually and its purpose is to address relevant…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Journalists, Atheists, And The Pope

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The bureaucratic apologists are now in full scramble mode once again to interpret the Pope’s words as filtered to the whole world through the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari and printed in the paper he co-founded, La Repubblica. Yet again, we are informed, the Pope did not say what we are told he said. The fact…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 The visit I received from two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs, for short) gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that repetitive prayer — especially the rosary — is entirely in line with Sacred Scripture. When they walked into my living room and did not miss the sight of my rosary on the mantelpiece, I knew…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Alphonsus Liguori

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, having read the works of St. Alphonsus Liguori, took him as a mentor. It is not surprising, then, that Fr. Hardon taught his students, “If you are not encountering the cross, you are not doing God’s work.” Such were the lives of saints such as St. Teresa of Avila, St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict

By CAROLE BRESLIN Every month the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the intentions of the Holy Father: one for a universal intention and one for an evangelical intention. In June 2014, the evangelical intention was that Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers. The advent of Christian civilization coincided with the advent of Western civilization. The Benedictine…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading