Thoughts on the Song of Solomon Ch. 2

An Essay By Jessica // 4/12/2008

(Again, isn't great. In fact I really struggled to write about the sructure, imagery, and speakers. So read it as it is! :D )

Love, passion, and God. For Solomon, writing down the love and passion that God has for His people was the only thing that he knew. God spoke through King Solomon his love for His people, a love that will never change. Structure, imagery, and a speaker’s voice were used by King Solomon to portray the everlasting love that God has for His people.

Solomon writes the words of God’s love in metaphors and oriental imagery. In early Christianity, the church fathers believed that human life finds its high fulfillment in the love that God has for His people and Christ for His Church. So, it only natural to suppose that the man Solomon writes of is God, and the woman Israel.

The drama held between the man and woman is a remarkable thing to behold.
God’s love for His people is intense and passionate. Solomon knew and understood of God’s protective care for His people because he wrote “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me” (6) Even the beautiful woman, Lady Israel , admits that God’s love is a powerful thing “…I am sick of love” (5). Again, Solomon speaks of the love and care that God held for His people of Israel “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love” (4).

The imagery of “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys” (1) is a powerful verse in that, God is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valley. Solomon’s use of creation to describe God is quite symbolic in that God is revealing His beauty to world. Again, the image of God’s beauty and sweetness is portrayed by Solomon when he writes of “the apple tree among the trees of the wood” (3). With the imagery that Solomon is using, God seems to be thing of beauty, Something that is desirable to all, Someone who will forever love His people.

“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by hinds the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please” (7). Woe to the enemy who would try to disobey and ‘test’ this strong message from God! God uses His speaker, King Solomon, to command the daughters of Jerusalem to not provoke His love, Israel. Again, a demonstration of how powerful God’s love is for His people, and how God used His servant to proclaim His message.

God’s voice again shows forth when he says, “My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shrewing himself through the lattice” (9). What an image Solomon paints with His voice! He is outside the protective wall, but the bride must leave her sanctuary to meet Him. Solomon is trying to show Israel that God is inviting His people to come and love Him. God will show Himself, but the people must first come out to Him.

“…Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (13). As Solomon finishes writing down God’s words, he finishes with something that can be understood even today. “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land” (12). God is everywhere. He is in the flowers, the birds sing His praises.

Notice how Solomon writes of flowers and birds appearing, as if they had been nonexistent. Solomon is writing of a time that will behold a new tide with God Almighty. Solomon comforts us with these words of sweetness and beauty of God’s Love because the King of Peace will rule this beautiful farmland that Solomon so wonderfully depicts for us.

God loved His people in Israel but the Daughters of Jerusalem despised Him.
“O ye daughters of Jerusalem… stir not up, nor awake my love” God said. For through King Solomon, God showed His love and care for His people. Solomon understood God’s message, and by the gift of God, was able to write down exactly what God wanted through metaphors and imagery. The people of Israel were loved and cared for by God Almighty.

Comments

Questions

Hi Jessica,

Your essay was good, but that is not why I am commenting. I was wondering if I could ask you about your Cathlic belief? Would that be okay?
Maddie J-3

Maddie J-3 | Mon, 04/14/2008

Sure!

Go ahead! What exactly do you want to know? Is it something about what I wrote in my essay?
Jessica

Jessica | Mon, 04/14/2008

Um...no

Um...no it is not about your essay but just some questions that that haven't been answered. I don't want to offend you are any thing like that at all!!! I am a believer in the One True God Jesus Christ! He is the reason I live.
But I wanted to ask you some things about the WAY you do things.
Why do you pray to Mary? I mean, just because she was chosen to carry the Christ doesn't mean she was instantly holy right?
She was still human which implies that she is a sinner. We all are, no matter what God places in our lifes.
Just a thought.
Maddie J-3

Maddie J-3 | Mon, 04/14/2008

Oh! You aren't offending me one bit! :D

This is the best part about having so many different religions...the questions and debates! :P

Well first off, do understand that we don't worship her as a goddess, but merely give homage, reverence, and veneration. If we were to worship her, we'd big in deep do-do with God!

Now what was different in Mary's case is that she wasn't a sinner. She was immaculately conceived. She was still normally conceived by her parents Anne and Joachim, but her soul "was preserved immaculate in the sense that she inherited no stain of original sin, derived from our first parents."

God took what would be the fruits of Christ's future suffering, and so Mary's Soul was perserved from all sin, Original or otherwise. And what's even better is that Mary was never actually subject to original sin! Look in Gen. 3:15 were God told Satan "I will put enmities between thee and the woman."

If you were to look in the bible, you would find many examples of this happening to other people. Here are the people that I know of that were cleansed from Orginal Sin from conception:
Jeremias (Jer. 1:5), and St. John the Baptist (Luke 1:41).

Jessica | Mon, 04/14/2008

Now for the second half. :P

You know what they say about the man being the head of the household, but the women is the neck?

In a way, it sort've applies here.

God Almighty is the ruler of the world. He made us, the world, and Mary.

But God made Mary the Mother of God and before Christ died on the Cross, He gave us His Mother.

We pray to Mary because God wants us too, and because Mary is our Mother too.

Here's something that I found off of a website that I found interesting:

"Why pray to Mary at all?
Because God wills that we should do so, and because such prayers to her are of the utmost value. God often wills to give certain favors only on condition that we go to some secondary agent. Sodom was to be spared through the intercession of Abraham; Gen. 18:20-33. Naaman, the leper, was to be cured only through the waters of the Jordan, 4 Kings 5:9-14. Now Mary is, and must ever remain, the Mother of Christ. She still has a mother's rights and privileges, and is able to obtain for us many graces. But let us view things reasonably. If I desire to pray, I can certainly pray to God directly. Yet would you blame me if, at times, I were to ask my own earthly mother to pray for me also? Such a request is really a prayer to her that she may intercede for me with God. Certainly, if I met the mother of Christ on earth, I would ask her to pray for me, and she would do so. And in her more perfect state with Christ in Heaven she is more able to help me."

Now I can go on and on...Sorry! But perhaps I answered at least something with all of my yacking.
I had better stop here and let you have at it. :P

Jessica

Jessica | Mon, 04/14/2008

God wants us to pray to mary?

Thank you for answering my question. But I have some more things about what you said.
First off, what grabbed me was that you said God wants us to pray to Mary?! How do you know this?!

It says in Exodus 20:3-4
"1.You shall have no other gods before Me. 2.You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in HEAVEN above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth."

You shall not make for yourself an IDOL! An idol is not just a piece of wood that someone carves and calls it a god and worships it! It could be anything! It could be a movie star, a base-ball signed by Babe Ruth, or it could be a girl far back in time called Mary!
I don't agree with praying to mary. I am sorry if that offends you and your religion, but I can not agree!! And I don't see how God would write the Ten Commandments HIMSELF do not worship any other god or things, (idol) and then tell you it is okay for you to worship a girl that had a amazing thing done in her life. I love the story of Mary. I would be incredibly honored for God to show favor to me and give me the amazing task to carry Jesus. But I would be ashamed if it caused people to stray from God and start praying to me! We need help from the Heavenly Father, not Mary! Yes, God did place our mothers in our lives to offer wisdom and love. I ask my mom to pray for me, and to seek wisdom for the problems I have, AFTER I have brought it all to the Lord. You wrote that yes, you come to the Lord in prayer WHEN YOU NEED TO! God wants us to come to Hin in EVERY problem, EVERY hurt, EVERY struggle, EVERY DAY!!
We need to go humbly to our knees every time somthing comes up, because "Mother Mary" is not the All Powerful God! She is not going to say, "Your healed" and it will happen. Exodus says do not worship things on earth, things in the waters, and things in HEAVEN! Meaning, MARY!

Okay. I am sorry if this is offensive, but it is my believe, and I stand strong in it and live for it. I know you have yours too. I think every Christian is trying to find out what God really wants us to do. My quess, He just wants us to praise him with everything that we have and are.
God is my rock and my shelter!
Maddie J-3

Maddie J-3 | Mon, 04/14/2008

Add on....

After I had posted the comment above I remembered somthing.
You said that you do not worship her, put is praying not worship in its own way? There is a song, "I will give praise and worship to you Lord"
We do that will every step we make, every note we sing, every prayer we utter, should be praise and worship to Him.
So, do you not think praying is worship?????????
Maddie J-3

Maddie J-3 | Mon, 04/14/2008

Hmm. This is interesting. I

Hmm. This is interesting. I have a good friend here at the Academy who is a Catholic, and I asked him basically the same question two nights ago (we often discuss these topics over dinner or during a study break).

I think perhaps the thing which bothers me about praying to anyone besides God – such as Mary or the saints – is that it is a doctrine born of tradition rather than revelation. The beliefs of the early church (when the apostles were still alive) can be found in Acts and the epistles, and prayer to God is the only kind of prayer found there, or anywhere in the Bible, for that matter.

It is important for those who follow “the word, the truth, and the life” (Jesus of Nazareth) to ensure that we are actually following his teachings and the inspired teachings of his appointed apostles. He is the Son of God, and our only way to stand purified before the Father. Nobody else can help us with that, no matter how pure of a life they lived while they were here on earth.

But enough of my spiel. Great post, keep writing!

Ezra | Mon, 04/14/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

Don't worry, I'm still not offended! :D

Mary is NOT another god(dess) we worship. You are right in stating that there should never be any other gods other than God Almighty Himself. WE DO NOT WORSHIP, NOR PLACE HER AS A PERSON MORE SUPREME THAN GOD ALMIGHTY. So very many people believe that we worship her as we worship God. But that simply isn't the case.

What most Protestants mistake for worship and adoration is simply profound admiration, veneration, and a deep love. Actually, if you look it up in a dictionery, there is a difference between worship and veneration.

Actually, the Catholic Church Herself states that Mary is NOT to be worshipped firstly because God forbids is (obviously in the Bible) and secondly because the Canon Law (based on Divine Law) stricly forbids any and all adoration to any one other then the Holy Trinity.

But Catholics do love and admire Mary for the great gift that God bestowed upon Her. I mean, she is the Mother of GOD! God Himself deemed Her worthy enough to house His Son in Her womb. We honor Mary because she was favored above all by God Himself. Surely if we loved and honored someone so loved by God, perhaps God will turn a kind eye upon us too.

Look in Luke 1:48-49. There you'll read that Mary herself stated that "For behold henceforth all generation shall call me BLESSED. Because he that is mighty hath done GREAT THINGS TO ME; and HOLY IS HIS NAME."

Your prayers DO become more powerful when you pass your prayers to Mary so that She can beg God for your petitions. "Catholics know that every bit of the glory they give to Mary redounds to the glory of her divine Son, just as Mary magnified God, not herself, when Elizabeth blessed her." Look into Luke 1:41-45 to find those couple of verses.

For it is by a unique favor of our Lord and God she is confessed to be the most true and most blessed Mother of God, and I want to get to know her better because of that by way of prayer.

Jessica | Mon, 04/14/2008

What is Prayer?

What do you think Prayer is?

To me personally, prayer is simply speaking to God. It's like we use our English Language. We use our words to praise, to demeen, or to just function is today's society.

When you pray to God, are you constantly praising His Name and all of His Glories? Or do you pray to Him, talk about your day, your troubles and worries?

I think that there are two forms of prayer.

On the night that Jesus Christ was born, angels came to the shepherds praising God's name saying "Glory to God in the Highest...".

But then when Christ Himself prayed in the Garden of Olives, was He worshiping, or was He praying for strength trying accept the pain His future beheld Him (as a human, not God)?

Jessica | Mon, 04/14/2008

Good discussion...

This is a good discussion...it answers some of my questions as to what Catholics believe, I know some kids who are Catholics but I've never gone this deep into their faith. Good questions, Maddie, and good answers, Jessica. While I'm not Catholic, I don't have a problem with any of the different denominations of Christian as long as you believe that Jesus Christ came to earth, was God on earth, died for your sins, and that you can now have immortal life in heaven with Him by accepting His gift of Love. If you believe that, you're good with me! :0)
Once again, great discussion all around! I love how this is a site where we can interact with each other and discuss different opinions without getting riled. That's important to me.
*************************************************
Whatever you are, be a good one-Abe Lincoln

Heather | Tue, 04/15/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Thank You

Thank You Jessica for answering all my questions! I, just like you, are homeschooled. Meaning, I don't get out alot besides Church and an Orchestra that I play and sing in. Again, meaning that I don't know alot about other religions and beliefs. My faith is everything to me, I strive to make it stronger and stronger with each day and breathe that I have.

Jessica, I can see by your answers that you are a devout Christian/Catholic. But you no what? I don't even like to think that Christians are separate form each other. There is the Methodist, the Babtist, the Catholic and SO many others I could name off. But whatever church we my happen to be in, I'm pretty sure that God just wants us to praise and worship Him until He comes once again to this earth.

Thank you again Jessica for answering my question. You are very good at it! Who knows, another question may pop up in my head that I just need answers to. If so, you will find my LONG questions on one of your posts.

No matter what Church we both go to, let's just Worship the One True God together. It IS awsome that God has a personal relation ship with you, and with me! God is Great!

Maddie J-3

Maddie J-3 | Tue, 04/15/2008

God IS Great!

I am so glad that I was able to answer your question. :D I'm always glad to be asked about my Faith because it gives me a chance to review and strengthen what I believe so strongly about. You are obviously very strong in your Faith too, and I am glad for that. There are so many people who think that Christianity is just a bunch of hogwash. I am glad to have "met" you!

God IS Great!!!

Anonymous | Tue, 04/15/2008

Ooppsss...

Forgot to sign in before I replyed. So just look at what I wrote above, and know that that was me. *blushes*

:D

Jessica

Jessica | Tue, 04/15/2008

reply to the Mary subject

sorry if you guys are done with this subject of if one of you has already pointed this out but here's some comments.

Hi, I have never read in the Bible that God says he wants us to pray to Mary or that she was without sin. One of the great things about God is that he doesn't have sin and saying that a nother Human being didn't have any sin would take away from Him. here's a verse from the bible
(Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
God doesn't lie so he says FOR ALL have sinned so John the baptist and Mary have sinned they may not say what they did in the Bible.

I found this off of a website-

Notice the term which God uses in this verse, "all have sinned." God is not saying some or a few or even the majority, He is definite in His usage of "ALL." This means that Mary was part of that "all." Below in 1 John 3:4 we see the biblical definition of sin which is the transgression of God’s law. There is no division of sin into either venial or mortal classifications but only one class and that is sin. (James 2:10 ) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Since Mary was part of the human race at that time, she was guilty of sin as every other human being was.

(1 John 3:4) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Since Mary was born before Jesus (obviously) we should also look for confirmation of the fact of universal sin and how everyone is affected by it, no matter who we are.

(1 Ki 8:46 ) If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;

also here is one of the meanings i found of the word worship -

(The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.)

Velocity | Tue, 04/15/2008

---------------------------------------------
The Truth will set you free.

Umm... i just wanted to

Umm... i just wanted to say... that was all a very interesting discussion. I just was wondering, where does the Bible say Mary (or Jeremiah or John) had no sin? YOu gave verses, but I just don't see how that says they were perfect.
Mary was just a woman. She was chosen by God, which is a wonderful thing, but she was just a woman. She can't pray for you. She isn't the interceder between us and God.
Mary wasn't the one who died on the cross. She's not the one who can take our sin or pray for us. Jesus prays for us and he takes our sin! Only Jesus deserves to be prayed to.

I hope you don't misunderstand me. Please reply!

Anna | Thu, 04/17/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

,...

one more thing i'd also like to point out is that mary is dead shes alive in Heaven but down here she is dead the Lord died but rose again and he is God so he can answer prayers.
Mary cannot answer your prayers only God can

Velocity | Thu, 04/17/2008

---------------------------------------------
The Truth will set you free.

I’ll hopefully refute your

I’ll hopefully refute your arguments well enough, and then maybe we’ll be done? ☺ I am happy to answer all questions, but I don’t want to get into this huge argument over who’s right and who’s wrong. Don’t worry; I’m not offended in the least. I just don’t want a whole war to start up over whose beliefs is right and wrong.

Ok, here it goes!

In response to your comment Velocity here is how we know that God wants us to pray to Mary:

“When Catholics pray to Mary and the other saints in Heaven they are not bypassing Christ, whom they acknowledge as the sole Mediator between God and man. They are going to Christ through Mary and the other saints. They are asking Mary and other saints to intercede for them before the throne of Christ in Heaven. "For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much." (James 5:16). How much more availing is the unceasing prayer of the sinless Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ! St. Paul asked his fellow Christians to intercede for him: "Brethren, pray for us." (2 Thess. 3:1). And again: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the charity of the Holy Ghost, that you help me in your prayers for me to God . . ." (Rom. 15:30). Christ must particularly approve of our going to Him through Mary, His Blessed Mother, because He chose to come to us through her. And at Cana, He performed His first miracle after a word from His Mother. (John 2:2-11).
It is clear in Sacred Scripture that the saints in Heaven will intercede for us before the throne of Christ if they are petitioned in prayer (Apoc. or Rev. 8:3-4), and it is clear in the records of primitive Christianity that the first Christians eagerly sought their intercession. Wrote St. John Chrysostom in the fourth century: "When thou perceivest that God is chastening thee, fly not to His enemies, but to His friends, the martyrs, the saints, and those who were pleasing to Him, and who have great power." If the saints have such power with God, how much more His own Mother.”
And again:
“Catholics DO NOT worship Mary, the Mother of Christ – as though she were a deity. Of all the misconceptions about Catholic belief and practice, this one is the most absurd. Catholics are just as aware as Protestants that Mary was a human creature, and therefore not entitled to the honors which are reserved to God alone. What many non-Catholics mistake for adoration is a very profound love and veneration, nothing more. Mary is not adored, first because God forbids it, and secondly because the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, which is based on Divine Law, forbids it. Canon Law 1255 of the 1918 Codex strictly forbids adoration of anyone other than the Holy Trinity. However, Catholics do feel that Mary is entitled to a great measure of exaltation because, in choosing her as the Mother of Redemption, God Himself exalted her – exalted her more than any other human person before or since. Catholics heap tribute and honor on Mary because they earnestly desire to be "followers of God, as most dear children." (Eph. 5:1). Mary herself prophesied: "For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name." (Luke 1:48-49). Catholics know that every bit of the glory they give to Mary redounds to the glory of her divine Son, just as Mary magnified God, not herself, when Elizabeth blessed her. (Luke 1:41-55). They know that the closer they draw to her, the closer they draw to Him who was born of her. In the year 434 St. Vincent of Lerins defended Christian devotion to Mary this way: "Therefore, may God forbid that anyone should attempt to defraud Holy Mary of her privilege of divine grace and her special glory. For by a unique favor of our Lord and God she is confessed to be the most true and most blessed Mother of God." Today 75% of all Christians still hold to this same view.”

Another post will be coming your way. =)

Jessica | Fri, 04/18/2008

I know I am copying and

I know I am copying and pasting a lot, but it’s by far way easier to do it that way that to come up with these huge 8 page works of art on my own! LOL

~1. Why do you Catholics worship Mary as a goddess?~
It would be mortal sin for any Catholic to regard Mary as a goddess. If a Catholic expressed such a belief to a priest in Confession he would be refused absolution unless he promised to renounce such as an absurd idea. If you wish to attack Catholic doctrine, at least find out what Catholics do believe before you begin. We Catholics do not give worship to Mary, the Mother of Christ, but what we do give to her is the best that we can in the giving, namely, homage, veneration, reverence, but never worship. We have enough intelligence to know that Mary the woman who gave human bone, human flesh, and human feature to the Savior of Mankind was not a goddess but a human member of the human race. Although she is a member of our race we hail her as the First Lady of Heaven and of Earth.
~2. The genealogies of Christ as given by the Gospel afford one much difficulty. If Jesus was not the son of Joseph, why is His genealogy traced through Joseph?~
Jesus was not the natural son of Joseph. But Mary, who was the Mother of Jesus, was related to Joseph, whose genealogy was also her own. It was a Jewish custom to record descent only through the male line.
~3. If you call her Queen of Heaven do you not do her an injustice in refusing to her the title of goddess?~
It would be the greatest possible injustice to regard her as a goddess. It is just to honor her even as God has honored her, which we Catholics do. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, and His mother certainly possesses queenly dignity holding the highest place in Heaven next to her Divine Son. But that does not, and cannot change her finite and created human nature. To regard her as a goddess would be absurd.
~4. Yet you insist that she is the Mother of God!~
Jesus Christ is true God and true man, and as He was born of Mary she is truly the Mother of God. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity was born of her according to the humanity He derived from her. She is not a goddess, for God did not take His Divine Being from her. But she is the Mother of God since the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity was truly born of her in His human nature.
~5. How could Mary be the mother of the One who created her?~
Mary owed her being, of course, to God, but this under the aspect of His eternal nature. Subsequent to her creation that human nature was born of her which the Son of God had assumed to Himself. She was, therefore, the mother of Christ. But Christ was one Divine Person existing in two natures, one eternal and divine; the other, temporal and human. Mary necessarily gave birth to a being with one personality and that divine, and she is rightly called the Mother of God.
~6. Does not the Catholic Church insist also upon the biologically impossible dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary herself?~
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary has nothing to do with biology. It does not mean that she was conceived miraculously in the physical sense. She was normally conceived and born of her parents, Joachim and Ann. But in her very conception her soul was preserved immaculate in the sense that she inherited no stain of original sin, derived from our first parents.
~7. According to Catholic doctrine the Sacrament of Baptism destroys original sin. Would you say that Mary did not need Baptism?~
Mary did not need Baptism insofar as that sacrament was instituted for the destruction of original sin. She received that sacrament in order to participate in its other effects, and chiefly in order to receive the Christian character which that sacrament impress upon the soul. Mary was not the only one born into this world free of original sin. Jeremias, the prophet, picked out by God to preach penance to the Chosen People of God, was sanctified by the action of God, whilst being carried in the womb of his mother so that when he was born he was free of original sin. Jer. 1:5. St. John the Baptist was likewise sanctified in the womb of his mother Elizabeth because he was picked out by God to point out to mankind the Lamb of God, the Messiah, Luke 1:41. Jeremias and St. John were conceived in original sin but before birth were cleansed of original sin. Mary was never conceived in original sin and thus it is only by this privilege that she was never under the dominion of the evil spirit. It is only by the privilege of the Immaculate Conception that Mary can be the woman of whom God speaks in prophecy to Satan after the fall of the first parents, Adam and Eve, when He says to the serpent: "Because thou hast done this.... I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." Gen. 3:14-15.
~8. If Mary was sinless she could not have needed redemption! Yet is not Christ the Redeemer of every child of Adam?~
Insofar as the sin of Adam involved the whole human race in condemnation Mary needed redeeming. But there are two ways of redeeming. God could allow one to be born in sin and then purify the soul by subsequent application of the merits of Christ, or He could, by an anticipation of the merits of Christ, exempt a soul from an actual contraction of original sin. Thus He exempted Mary from any actual inheritance of the sin, and she owes her exemption to the anticipated merits of Christ. In other words, she was redeemed by Christ by prevention rather than by subsequent purification.
~9. Is there any evidence in Scripture that Mary was indeed never actually subject to original sin?~
Yes. In Gen. 3:15, God said to Satan, "I will put enmities between thee and the woman ... thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." The radical enmity between Satan and that second Eve, the Mother of Christ, forbids her having been under the dominion of Satan, as she would have been had she ever contracted original sin in actual fact. In Lk. 1:28, we read how the Angel was sent by God to salute Mary with the words, "Hail, full of grace." Grace excludes sin, and had there been any sin at all in Mary she could not have been declared to be filled with grace. The Protestant version translates the phrase as "thou that hast been highly favored." But the Greek certainly implies "completely filled with holiness." However, complaints that our doctrine exempts Mary from the contracting of original sin are becoming more and more rare in a world which is tending to deny original sin altogether, and which wishes to exempt everybody from it.
~10. St. Paul says that one died for all, and therefore all were dead.~ 2 Cor. 5:14-15.
Such texts must be interpreted in the light of other passages where God reveals that Mary was never under the dominion of Satan. Mary is included in these words of St. Paul juridically insofar as she was born of Adam, but she was not allowed to be born in sin to be afterwards redeemed. She was redeemed by prevention.
~11. St. John knew the Mother of Christ better than the others, yet he does not mention her Immaculate Conception!~
In Rev. 12 he shows clearly his knowledge of the deadly opposition between Mary and Satan. His Gospel he wrote to supplement the Synoptic accounts, and sufficient details had been given concerning Mary herself by St. Luke. Omission to mention a fact in a given book is not proof that the writer did not know of it, and above all if it does not fall within the scope of his work.
~12. Did the early Church know anything of this doctrine?~
St. Augustine, in the fourth century wrote: "When it is a matter of sin we must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I will have no question raised, owing to the honor due to our Lord." St. Ephrem, also in the fourth century, taught very clearly the Immaculate Conception of Mary, likening her to Eve before the fall. The Oriental Churches celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception as early as the seventh century. When Pope Pius IX defined the Catholic doctrine in 1854 he gave, not a new truth to be added to Christian teaching, but merely defined that this doctrine was part of Christian teaching from the very beginning, and that it is to be believed by all as part of Christian revelation.
~13. Your infallible Church allowed St. Bernard to remain in ignorance of this doctrine.~
Since the Church had not then given any infallible definition on the subject St. Bernard naturally could not be guided by it. St. Bernard believed that Mary was born free from sin, but he was puzzled as to the moment of her sanctification. He thought the probable explanation to be that she was conceived in sin, but purified as was St. John the Baptist prior to her actual birth. But he did not regard this opinion as part of his Faith. Meantime his error was immaterial prior to the final authentic decision of the infallible Church. St. Bernard believed all that God had taught and all that the Catholic Church had clearly set forth in her definitions prior to his time.
~14. Did not St. Thomas Aquinas deny the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception?~
His opinion was probably much the same as that of St. Bernard. Before the definite decision of the Church was given theologians were free to discuss the matter. But the Church has since defined that the soul of Mary was never subject for a single moment to the stain of original sin. Both St. Bernard and St. Thomas would have been very glad to have had the assistance of such a definition.
~15. Why did the Church withhold that honor from Mary for so long a time?~
Since Mary always possessed that honor the Church did not withhold it from her. The definition that Mary did possess such an honor was given by the Church when necessity demanded it. There was no real dispute about this matter in the early Church. In the middle ages theologians attempted a deeper analysis of the privileges of Mary, and with no infallible decision of the Church to help them, some theologians arrived at defective conclusions chiefly because of the defective psychology of the times. Some theologians held that Mary was preserved from original sin from the very moment of her conception; others said from the moment of her animation; yet others that she was purified at a moment subsequent both to her conception and to her animation. All admitted that she was sanctified prior to her actual birth. Now that the Church has spoken there is no doubt on the subject.
~16. Did not Franciscans and Dominicans attack each other bitterly over the Immaculate Conception?~
They indulged in much controversy, but - it was a free matter for discussion until the Church had given her definite ruling. The Catholic Church demands unity in doctrines which have been definitely decided, liberty in matters still undecided, and charity always. I admit that her ideals of charity have not always been maintained by her wayward children in theological controversies, but that is no fault of the Church.
~17. Did not Philip III and Philip IV ask the Pope Paul V, Gregory V, and Alexander VII to define the Immaculate Conception in order to stop the wrangling, the Popes replying that the doctrine was not definable as not being in Scripture?~
The Popes have never given such a decision. Paul V in 1617 forbade anyone to teach publicly that Mary was not immaculate. Gregory V in 1612 ordered the discussion to stop until the Church should have given an official decision. Alexander VII said that the Immaculate Conception of Mary was the common doctrine of the Church and that no one must deny it. None of these Popes gave a dogmatic definition, but rather a disciplinary ruling. Pope Pius IX. defined the doctrine finally in 1854.
~18. Why call Mary a virgin? Seeing that she was a mother. The linking of the two terms is an insult to reason.~
The assertion that an omnipotent God is limited by the natural laws, which He Himself established, is an insult to reason. Jesus, the child of Mary, was conceived miraculously without the intervention of any human father, and was born miraculously, Mary's virginity being preserved throughout. I do not claim that any natural laws were responsible for this event. I claim that God was responsible, and the only way you can show that the doctrine is not reasonable is by proving that there is no God, or that He could not do what Catholic doctrine asserts.
~19. Where does it say in Scripture that Mary was ever virgin?~
Isaiah the prophet (7:14) certainly predicted a supernatural and extraordinary birth of the Messiah when he wrote, "The Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name shall be called Emmanuel." St. Luke says, "The angel Gabriel was sent from God ... to a virgin ... and the virgin's name was Mary." When Mary was offered the dignity of becoming the mother of the Messiah, a privilege to which any Jewish maiden would ordinarily look forward with eager desire, she urged against the prospect the fact that she had no intention of motherhood. "How shall this be done, because I know not man." She does not refer to the past, but by using the present tense indicates her present and persevering intention. The angel assured her that her child would be due to the miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit, and that she would not be asked to forfeit the virginity she prized so highly, and then only did she consent. Luke 1:26-38. When Jesus was born, Mary had none of the suffering usually associated with childbirth. The child was born miraculously. Mary herself in no way incapacitated. She herself attended to her own needs and those of the child. "She brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger." Lk. 2:7. The Virgin Birth means that Mary had at one and the same time the privilege of Motherhood and the privilege of Maidenhood.

(Huge read, I know! But THIS IS WHAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BELIEVES. If this doesn't cover any and all of your questions, then I don't know what would. LOL :P)
God Bless and Mary Protect!
Jessica

Jessica | Fri, 04/18/2008

Mary

OK, so I have decided to answer some Mary questions (and forgive me if they have already been answered):

First of all, we can say that Mary was conceived without sin because God cannot enter into any person who has sin on their souls. So He made His mother free from sin. We Catholics believe that we cannot receive the Eucharist with mortal, original or venial sins on our souls. That is why we are baptized when we are babies (to have our original sin wiped away), we have the sacrament of Reconciliation (in which God forgives our sins if we are truly penitent), and why before receiving the Eucharist we ask God to forgive our venial sins. Therefore, God cannot enter into a sinful soul, and that is why He made His mother free from ALL sin. If you could make your own mother, wouldn't you want to make her free from sin? The "perfect" mom?

Now, about praying to Mary...we Catholics don't pray to her in the sense that we worship her, because it is true that we worship God alone. We simply are asking her to intercede with her Son for us. Does a son disregard the petitions of His mother?
Since Jesus entrusted us to her as her children (when He said, "Woman, behold your son;" and also "Behold your mother."-please note that I don't remember the exact verse), we trust in her as we would our earthly mother. We know she is watching lovingly over us, because she does love us with a tremendous love.

So, hope this helps to answer some people’s questions!!

Clare Marie | Fri, 04/18/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

... reply to ClareD

Where in the Bible did God ever say that God can't be conceived by anyone that has sin? thats Y he died for us so that we could be forgiven for the sins. Do u not think that Jesus died for Mary also? for her sins so she could have life?
It says that Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; do u not believe that fully? Mary is apart of that.
show me a verse that trully says that mary was without sin. not that u "think" that she mus've been without sin because she bore Jesus Christ.
I'm not trying to be rude, or offending
but please consider this

Velocity | Fri, 04/18/2008

---------------------------------------------
The Truth will set you free.

just one more

I only have one more question- why go to Christ through Mary when you could just go straight to Christ?

Anna

ps- I also don't want this to be a war. Most of my dad's side of the family is Catholic, but I know very little about what they believe. I'm curious... though I don't understand alot of it and don't agree with most of it. But I still want to know. I'm not trying to cause an argument!

Anna | Fri, 04/18/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

OK, just one more! :P

Yeah, I really don't mind you asking me questions but it does begin to bug me when they start into "well, I'm right and you're wrong, so there!" LOL

So, one more answer, and then can we be done? It's lot of work keeping up with this. LOL What'll probably happen is that I'm going to write essay or something about my Catholic Faith, and a whole new discussion will arise. But let's do that later! LOL Again, I am not offended in the least. I am glad to be asked because it helps me to review what exactly the Catholic Church says and believes.

Anyhow, you want to know why Catholics even bother with Mary before going to God. That is a question that a whole lot of friends ask me and this is what I usually tell them.

Two prayers are better than one. I am merely asking Mary to pray/ask for me the intention I want/need. That's it. And surely because Mary is so favored in God's Eyes, our intention would have a stronger hold before Him.

Now granted, you probably will think that that is pretty stupid. I mean, God's God! Surely he hears everything I say! I don't need to pray to the intercession of Mary to get my pleas answered! And yes, you are right. God does hear us and technically we don't "need" to pray to Mary

But God gave the world His Mother because He loved us. He loves His mother like a child loves his mum. And surely if I were to ask Jesus' Mother to ask God for something, would He not listen perhaps more carefully or with a more willingness to comply because His OWN Mother asks of it?

I know you probably completely disagree with what I am saying, but please try to understand. Praying for the intercession of Mary--all of the saints for that matter--is just like asking your friends and family to pray for you.

I hope that I perhaps clarified what the Catholic Church believes about praying to Mary. Also, I just want to make it clear that when we say "pray to Mary" that just means praying FOR THE INTERCESSION of Mary. Meaning just that. Meaning that we are begging Mary's intercession before God for us.

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia!

Jessica

Jessica | Fri, 04/18/2008

reply to Velocity

OK, this is just a "quick" answer because I have to do some more thinking about this question:

It doesn't say specifically anywhere in the Bible that Mary was without sin, but we believe she is because of two reasons. (1): Symbols, etc. mentioned in the Bible (2): Tradition handed down by the apostles.
(1) There are some symbols and suggestions of Mary's pure and sinless soul in the Bible. For example, the Ark of the Covenant in Genesis and Exodus. This is a symbol of Mary. The Ark of the Covenant was believed by the Israelites to hold God's presence in a symbolic manner. God commanded the people to gild it with the finest gold, and make it out of the rarest wood. All in all, it was an expensive, beautiful resting place for the Ten Commandments, or God's presence. In the same way, Mary was made by God in a very, very special manner. The richness of the Ark symbolizes the richness of Mary's virtues and grace; also it symbolizes the beauty of Mary's sinless soul, for God's actual dwelling place of Mary's womb had to be pure and beautiful, as was the costly Ark which was also God's dwelling place. Also, the Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of God's covenant with the people (hence the name) and Jesus coming into Mary's womb is His way of telling us of His love for us, and His promise of salvation. So from there we can gather that the Ark of the Covenant is a symbol of Mary, which is why we Catholics sometimes call Mary "New Ark of the Covenant".
The Archangel Gabriel also implies that Mary was innocent of sin. When he visits her in Nazareth, he addresses her with these words, "Hail, FULL OF GRACE, the Lord is with you." Notice that nowhere else in the Bible is anyone addressed with these beautiful words. This in itself says that Mary is extremely special. Gabriel calls Mary "full of grace" because she really was full of grace, so completely full that she could not, and did not have any sin. If one thinks about it, it makes sense. After all, if God could cause Mary to be both a mother AND a virgin (at the same time), why couldn't He make her sinless? "With God, nothing is impossible" says the Ohio State motto. Regarding Mary's role in salvation history, she HAD to be sinless, had to be immaculate. We Catholics believe that Mary was conceived sinless and remained sinless in view of Christ's passion, that is, before Jesus' passion, Mary was made sinless by the merits of His passion. We Catholics believe with our whole hearts that Mary's soul is immaculate.
(2) Regarding Mary's sinlessness, we also know she was immaculate because of tradition. From the earliest years of the Church, the apostles have handed down traditions involving Mary, and her immaculate soul is one of them. So we know from Jesus' own apostles that Mary was really sinless.

Hope this helps you and makes you think. I'm glad this isn't becoming a war, and I'm stating my beliefs in a non-angry manner. If you have any other questions regarding the Catholic Church, please feel free to ask. I like to think over my faith. It strengthens me in my beliefs.

Clare Marie | Sun, 04/20/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Thanks, that helps.

Thanks, that helps.

Anna | Sun, 04/20/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Mary's Courage and Faith are Inspirational

Wow. This is some good stuff. You know, as a protestant, it is really good to hear some solid responses to these questions - I have talked to a number of Catholics who do not know the teachings of their church as well as you do. I, also, do not wish to start an argument or a war ;)

That is an interesting connection between Mary and the Ark of the Covenant; although I am not sure that it is necessarily implicit.

But the one thing that I would like to elaborate on is the phrase "Hail Mary, full of grace." The actual original phrase is from two Greek words "Chairo charitoo" (roughly translated) (Hebrew – Greek Key Study Bible, Zodhiates, AMG Publishers).

1) The word chairo is basically a "salutation (on meeting or parting): be well, farewell, be glad, god speed, greetings, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice" (Zodhiates).

2) The word charitoo means "to grace, i.e. to indue with special honor: -make accepted, be highly favored" (Zodhiates).

When the angel Gabriel says to Mary “Chairo charitoo,” he is essentially saying “Greetings, Mary; you have been graced with a special honor because you found favor with God.”

The idea of someone finding favor with God does not imply that they were sinless. David, for example, found favor with God more than any of his seven older brothers, and he was given the kingship of Israel. Even more importantly, he was promised that Israel’s deliverer would come through his line – an honor as great as that given to Mary. And yet we know that he was a sinful man.

Other people who have found favor with God include Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Samuel, and Daniel. So while Mary may have been special, so were Able, Enoch, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Samuel, and Daniel. These characters were not sinless, nor did they have a connection to God that we don’t; they are simply really good examples of faith or obedience. But then I guess I would agree with you in that respect – Mary’s courage and faith are inspirational :)

Ezra | Sun, 04/20/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

wow

Hey Ezra,
Thanks for the info. You really study things, don't you? I mean, I never knew what the Greek translation of "Hail, full of grace" would be. I admire your intellect. And yes, I agree with you: Mary IS inspirational!!!

Clare Marie | Sun, 04/20/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Neat!

That was a really interesting post that you gave Ezra. I didn't know the greek translation either. I hope that we answered your questions Emma, at least to the degree so that you understand why and what we believe. This discussion has really helped me at least to learn and, perhaps understand more myself why the Catholic Church does what it does, and believes what it believes.

God Bless!

Jessica

Jessica | Mon, 04/21/2008

Navigation

User login

Please read this before creating a new account.