Friday 1st August 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:

CATHOLIC BISHOPS SAY AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IS ‘PRO-LIFE’

Some Catholic bishops have recently suggested that granting amnesty to illegal immigrant children from Central America is consistent with “pro-life” Catholic teachings. As reported in National Catholic Register, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh said that providing for the needs of the…Continue Reading

Virginia’s Ban On Same-sex Marriage Struck Down

In a dramatic reversal of a voter-based 2006 decision, U.S. appeals court this week struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional, the latest in a string of court rulings to back gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the…Continue Reading

FEARING OBAMA UNILATERAL AMNESTY THREATS, TEA PARTY JAMS CONGRESS’S PHONE LINES

The phone lines are jammed. The American people have risen up in response to a rallying cry from Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), overloading the phone lines on Capitol Hill to pressure their members of Congress to…Continue Reading

Pope acknowledges Catholic complicity in persecution of Italian Pentecostals

Pope Francis has fulfilled a request of the Italian evangelical community by recognising the complicity of some Catholics in the fascist-era persecution of Italian Pentecostals and evangelicals. “Among those who persecuted and denounced the Pentecostals, almost as if they were…Continue Reading

The Church Needs To Stop Taking Government Money

by ELISE HILTON on FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014 Phil Lawler at CatholicCulture.org voices what should be obvious: that by taking federal money and grants, the Catholic Church has put herself in a very awkward place. Money from the government always comes with strings attached,…Continue Reading

U.S. Considering Refugee Status for Hondurans

By FRANCES ROBLES and MICHAEL D. SHEARJULY 24, 2014 Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making…Continue Reading

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

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 . . .

UK’s Supreme Court Makes Unprecedented Advances to Legalize Assisted Suicide

Concerns Raised: Laws Should Be Based on Common Sense, Not Misguided Feelings London, July 31, 2014 (Zenit.org) By Robert Clarke of Alliance Defending Freedom The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision at the end of June concerning assisted suicide. In R (Nicklinson & Anor) v. Ministry of Justice; R (AM) v. DPP, the court ruled that Britain’s law, which criminalizes assisted…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . St. Thérèse Of Lisieux: A Best-Loved Saint

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 2 This is the second article about St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and deals with her later life, death, and subsequent influence throughout the Catholic world. (See The Wanderer, July 10, 2014, p. 3B for part one.) After a delay of eight months because of her youth, Thérèse was able to…Continue Reading

Catholicism And Hypocrisy On “Gay Pride”

By DONALD DeMARCO Should Catholic teachers march in Toronto’s annual Gay Pride parade? This is the question that has caused considerable controversy and division with the ranks of Ontario Catholics. The Catholic teachers union voted to send as many as 100 teachers to the parade. On the other hand, Fr. Fred Scinto, CR, an adviser…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Profile: YWCA”

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.) +    +    + If you live in a larger town or city, you probably have at least one YWCA chapter sponsoring a…Continue Reading

What If Democracy Is A Fraud?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if you were allowed to vote only because it didn’t make a difference? What if no matter how you voted the elites always got their way? What if the concept of one person/one vote was just a fiction created by the government to induce your compliance? What if democracy as…Continue Reading

The Day Of The Hawk

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie was premeditated mass murder. Qadhafi was taking revenge for Reagan’s raid on Tripoli in 1986. The downing of KAL 007, flying from Anchorage to Seoul, was mass murder in the second degree. Seeing an aircraft intrude into Russian air space, Soviet officers brutally…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding our July 24 column, the following comments were sent by J.P.N. of Massachusetts, a former scoutmaster: “The admission of ‘gay’ boys in Scouting goes deeper than most understand. Part of it concerned donations — the United Way stopped funding Scouting because Scouting didn’t want to accept ‘gays.’ Public land used by Scouting for years in San Diego…Continue Reading

Keep Your Eyes On The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Nineteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a Romans 9:1-5 Matt. 14:22-33 We live today in a world of assumptions. We assume that people are a certain way just because they came from a certain place, because of the color of their skin, because of their cultural background, or whatever other factors…Continue Reading

Statement At The Human Rights Council . . . Consciences Are Paralyzed By A Climate Of Violence

By MOST REV. SILVANO TOMASI GENEVA (ZENIT) — Below is a statement by Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. He gave the statement in Geneva on July 23 at the 21st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the occupied…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Iraqi Christian Witness In Face Of Genocide Inspires

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “O Lord, my God, in thee have I put my trust; save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. Lest at any time he seize upon my soul like a lion, while there is no one to redeem me, nor to save” (Psalm 7). The words of the psalm express the perennial…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND de SOUZA, KM Part 4 The Pharisee and the publican — improvised prayer and repetitive prayer: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and began to pray thus within himself: ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men,…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsus Liguori

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 After establishing the house at Villa degli Schiavi, Alphonsus stayed there, conducting many of his missions from this site. For the previous five years he had become widely known for his missions and sermons, bringing many Catholics back to the Catholic faith. While Alphonsus is well known as a moral theologian and for his writings,…Continue Reading

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

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