Mary IS Mother of God - 12/09/2003
Dear John, I take it you do not believe in the lives of the Saints and the Martyrs. Our Lady has appeared to many saints during their lives and she is also appearing today in many places around the world. I urge you to go to Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje, Yugoslavia and pray there. I see how sincere you are but how sad you must be making Jesus for wishing to deny Our Lady's privileges which the Blessed Trinity gave her in view of who she was going to consent to be. The one point you are still not getting is that I do say that Jesus is a Divine Person, not a human person. This Divine Person was a Divine Person both before and after he received his human nature through Mary. I think your theology is off. Jesus was not a man only but He is the God-man. Therefore, Mary is the mother of God, the Divine Person, Jesus. You can never say Jesus is a man. You can say Jesus is a God-man with the Hypostatic Union of one Divine Person with two natures, both human and Divine. Please ask the Holy Spirit Whom you say is guiding you to enlighten you more about this and encourage you to read the lives of the Saints who were great lovers of Mary, the Mother of God. So, you have given up Mary, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Saints, the Seven Sacraments, the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and for what? Scriptures which rose out of the LIVED TRADITION of the Catholic Church. Scripture alone doesn't cut it. Remember, the lived tradition, and many of the martyrs and saints came first before Scripture was written down. However, the Catholic Church has both Scripture and Tradition. All you do on Sunday is read Scripture and sing hymns. How can you be satisfied with that when the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest mystery on Earth in which we can partake. Pretty soon you will begin to notice that you are spiritually starving even though your social life of closeness to those who believe has you do may make up for it for awhile. I am open to hearing from you again, John. I will be praying for you.
John, here is a list with dates in which it is evident that Mary herself calls herself the Mother of God and Virgin. I urge you to pray to the Holy Spirit and then read the list.
What Marian apparitions have been recognized by ecclesiastical authorities?
There have been uncounted apparitions of Mary reported since the third century. Few have received recognition by the bishop of the diocese in which they occurred. Among those recognized are:
1531, Guadalupe, Mexico - On a hill outside Mexico City, the Blessed Mother appeared four times to a recent convert to Christianity, Juan Diego. Mary proclaimed herself "the Mother of the true God who gives life" and left her image permanently upon Diego's tilma or mantle.
1830, Paris, France - In the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Mary showed herself three times to novice Catherine Laboure (age 24). Laboure said she was commissioned by the Virgin to have the medal of the Immaculate Conception or "Miraculous Medal" made in order to spread devotion to Our Lady.
1846, La Salette, France - Six thousand feet up in the French Alps, Mary is believed to have come to Maximin Giraud (age 11) and Melanie Calvat (age 14) while they tended sheep. Her appearance in sorrow and tears called for conversion and penance for sins.
1858, Lourdes, France - At the Grotto of Massabielle, the Virgin showed herself 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous (age 14). Under the title "the Immaculate Conception," she called for penance and prayer for the conversion of sinners.
1871, Pontmain, France - Mary appeared on a farm to Eugene (age 10) and Joseph Barbadette (age 12) and Francoise Richer and Jeanne-Marie Lebosse, students at the nearby convent school. Mary's message was written on a banner that unfurled from her feet: "But pray my children. God will hear you in a short time. My Son allows Himself to be moved by compassion."
1879, Knock, County Mayo, Ireland - During a pouring rain, the figures of Mary, Joseph, John the Apostle and a lamb on a plain altar appeared over the gable of the village chapel, enveloped in a bright light. None of them spoke. At least 15 people, between the ages of 5 and 75, saw the apparition.
1917, Fatima, Portugal - While tending sheep, Lucia de Santos (age 10) and her two cousins, Francisco (age 9) and Jacinta Marto (age 7), reported six apparitions of Mary, who identified herself as "Our Lady of the Rosary." Mary urged prayer of the rosary, penance for the conversion of sinners and consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
1932-33, Beauraing, Belgium - Mary is believed to have come 33 times to the playground of a convent school to five children (ages 9-15), Andree and Gilberte Degeimbre and Albert, Fernande and Gilberte Voisin. Identifying herself as "the Immaculate Virgin" and "Mother of God, Queen of Heaven," she called for prayer for the conversion of sinners.
1933, Banneux, Belgium - In a garden behind the Beco family's cottage, the Blessed Mother is said to have appeared to Mariette Beco (age 11) eight times. Calling herself the "Virgin of the Poor," Mary promised to intercede for the poor, the sick and the suffering.
More recent apparitions include Akita, Japan, in 1984; Chontaleu, Nicaragua, in 1987; Kibeho, Rwanda, in 1988; and Betania, Venezuela.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
As a former Roman Catholic now saved by the unmerited favor of God, I am well aware of the "Marian" apparitions. Through careful research when I was writing "Heresies of Catholicism...The Apostate Church, " I have already "been" to Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima. My findings are clearly set forth in chapter 8 of the cited book which is available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, BooksaMillion, etc.
You certainly are well versed in Roman Catholic apologetics, even to the point of feeling sorry for us "Bible freaks" who keep insisting that if it's not in Scripture it's not from God. I am more troubled, however, by some of your statements in - I think - your second email to Contender Ministries. "You can never say Jesus is a man," is a statement clearly in direct
conflict with the Bible which states, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; " (1Ti 2:5) Here, the Bible treats two areas of RCC heresy. First, it delineates between Christ's two natures, pointing out that the man Jesus (not the 2nd Person of the Trinity) mediates between God and men. See also Romans 5:15, and the numerous Scriptures telling us that God raised Jesus from the dead. The 2nd Person of the
Trinity was Himself God and could easily have raised Himself from the dead...IF HE HAD DIED ON CALVARY. The second area treated by 1 Tim 2:5 is the "mediator" matter. The Bible says the man Christ Jesus is the one and only mediator; the RCC says Mary also is a mediatrix. Either the Bible is lying, or RCC doctrine is in error.
"Scripture alone doesn't cut it," is a frightening statement, because the Bible says that Jesus is the WORD OF GOD. (John 1:1) In short, the Bible is Jesus Himself in written form. Did you really mean to say, "Jesus alone doesn't cut it?"
History cannot be made to agree with your belief that "Scriptures…rose out of the lived tradition of the Catholic Church." History shows that long before there was a ROMAN Catholic Church, there were two complete Bibles - the Syriac Peshita (A.D. 145) and the Old Vulgate (A.D. 157) - which contained the New Testament Scriptures. Furthermore, the word "catholic" as it was applied to the original Christian Church founded by Christ was not a denominational designation. It was an acknowledgement - first recorded in the 2nd century - that Christianity had become "catholic" (Greek, Katholikos) in scope, which means it had spread throughout the known world and was therefore "catholic - universal." None of the early churchmen capitalized the word "katholikos" for the reason just stated.
You are half right and half mistaken about my belief in saints and martyrs. The Word of God classifies all believers as saints, so I do not subscribe to the RCC's "canonization" program which does what God's Word forbids. Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; James 2:9; 1 Peter 1:17. By the way, this from James Aiken a leading RCC apologist: the Vatican did not begin the “canonization” of saints until the 10th century. Since God is no respecter of persons, I do not believe in RCC "saints." The martyrs are a matter of history; all who accept history as written praise God for them and their example. Of course, none of them were Roman Catholics for there was no ROMAN Catholic Church during the period of CHRISTIAN persecutions in the 1st three centuries. All other persecutions of CHRISTIANS were carried out by the RCC Inquisition beginning in the 12th and lasting into the 18th century.
Finally, the "Sacrifice of the Mass" is a serious contradiction - actually, a blasphemy - of the Word of God who IS Jesus. Romans 6:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 7:27; 9:22; 9:26,
10:12, 10:18. The '94 RCC Catechism says the work of redemption is an ongoing project. God's Word says "It is finished." The RCC says the Mass is a re-sacrifice of Christ. God's Word says He was sacrificed once for all and for all time and will never be offered again.
Has it ever crossed your mind that the Gospel contained in Scripture was both complete and sufficient for the salvation of believers before Roman Catholicism emerged as a denomination in the 6th century? That the martyrs of the first three centuries went joyfully to their deaths based only on the beliefs that you can read in the Scriptures - Scriptures (you have been told) that alone don't cut it?
Jesus loves you.