This appeared in a special section of this morning's print and on line editions of the Augusta Chronicle:
Blessed Mary, the mother of God The chosen of women, to fullfill this job Cleansed by the sprit without and within The mother of he who was without sin Blessed Mary, when your child was first born Could you see in the future the hate and the scorn Did your heart skip a beat when you saw his first smile Did you draw him real close and hold him a while Blessed Mary, how far could you see How much did you know, as he sat on your knee Could you know of the heartaches and pain you would face Did you know of God’s plan for the whole human race And blessed Mary could you see that old cross Did God give you a glimpse of a world that was lost Did he sweeten your tears as they fell from your eyes Behold now your son, rejected, despised Thank you blessed Mary, for you answered God’s call Placed your life in God’s hands, and gave him your all For now when he calls us we must answer too For he still calls his children yes, both me and you
I don't think there's anything here that evangelics might find offensive, apart from the dodgy rhyme 'cross' and 'lost'. Oh, and the bit about Mary answering God's call, as the Gospel passages don't suggest she had any choice about it.
I think most Protestants would have a problem with the title "Mother of God" albeit because they don't understand the title or the history that led Ephesus to declare this title.
Howevever, theoretically Mary could have said "no" and could have committed actual sin thus confirming the Calvinist ere of total depravity. But she was sinless through complete free will fortified by the fullness of Grace and never committed actual sin thus making the Calvinist "total depravity" heretical. Keep in mind that Baptists, at least in the south, are of the Calvinism tradition.
Calvin's views on Mary are not that simple. He believed that, since Christ was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit, no original sin was passed on to Christ through her. He rejected the Catholic doctrine of "plenitude of grace" as being unnecessary. He accepted the perpetual virginity of Mary, but denied the Immaculate Conception. He only objected to her being called the "Mother of God" because he felt that this term was confusing to the "ignorant" and would be understood in a non-Trinitarian manner. He referred to her only as the "Mother of our Lord." He rejected the Assumption as being "un-Biblical." His commentaries on Luke are very interesting because he struggles with his Catholic upbringing and his strong love for Augustine, from whom Calvin took much of his theology. Calvin remains, in my opinion, the best basis for Catholic/Protestant dialogue because his positions are clear and unambiguous, his love of Augustine, the Fathers, and the Church gives a common ground for discussion, and he was a devout believer and passionate in his search for doctrinal clarity. Total Depravity is the greatest hurdle, it seems, for Catholic theologians, but he takes his doctrine from Augustine's view of sin and free will, which is in itself, ambiguous somewhat. I had a seminary professor who made the following nursery rhyme: "Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any will? Yessir, nosir, I can't tell."
RE: Mary's choice: "My soul sings, for God has smiled on me." Mary's will was enslaved to God's will as St. Augustine says, "We are never free until our wills are enslaved to the will of God." What will can be freer than this...a will enslaved to truth and righteousness? Language limits us to the paradox, but God's will transcends our language.
It is nice, although a little bit of a downer at the part about the Crucifiction. There was a house in North Carolina that used to put up a huge Passion diorama next to the neighbor's Christmas displays. I always preferred to let Mary and her Child enjoy some happy time for a few days.
Gene, perhaps that is why we speak of a 'leap of Faith'. Cheterton wrote of seeing the beautiful land from a distance as being the only way a human could really see it at all. Eve was too close to Paradise to appreciate it, Mary was too far from it to want any other path.
Due to the secularism of the current age, some Southern Baptists and others become Catholic for about a month, with graven images (albeit plastic) of the Blessed Virgin, et cetera, in front of their churches and homes, something their forebears would never countenance.
One church outside Rome uses wooden panels with the images painted on them; that way, they're not using statues. As if that made a difference.
So, Catholics keep their statues of the Blessed Virgin for 12 months; modern Baptists only have them for 1 month. I guess it's the other 11 months that make Catholics idolaters.
At one time several years ago a Baptist church in Gainesville had installed two... not one, but two... statues of Christ on either side of the front doors.
I had driven past that church for over two decades and was shocked to see statues, so I pulled into the parking lot. Even more shocking was that they were statues of the Sacred Heart.
Obviously something was going on in the congregation. The statues did not last that long. But they were there at one time. Two of them. About three feet tall, right out front.
Trinity Baptist Church, 989 Dawsonville Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30501.
Man has both a human nature and a spiritual nature. As in the natural order of things, through the seed of man, biological traits and physical characteristics are transmitted to his progeny; likewise in the supernatural and spiritual order, Original sin, with its effects is transmitted to his offspring. Baptism, a gift from God made possible by the Suffering and Death of Christ, washes us of the Sin, but the spirtual effect which resides in our fallen nature, or concupiscence -the inclination and propensity toward, and affection for,those actions that are sinful- remains. This unfortunate effect which remains within us, is what man with the help of God's grace must continually struggle against and to control and rise above.
God in becoming incarnate in the human estate, while still being of the Divine nature, would in the the order of human nature be as to that of man, but in the order of grace above that of man. It was only fitting, just, and proper that the Blessed Virgin would be created without the sin of Adam and likewise highly favored with fullness of grace, in order to be a worthy spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the Mother of Christ. It testifies to the power that God possesses, and the love He has for His creatures, that one of them, the Blessed Virgin, by a singular and unique privilege and blessing, and for her Divinely ordained role in being the Mother of our Savior, was granted an exception to the sin we all inherit. Being full of grace, and directed by its salutorious effects, she was therefore ever willing and ready to obey the will and desire of God.
It seems to me that some protestants are much more Catholic in thought and in deed then many Catholics are these days. In the past the majority of Catholic parishes would have midnight Mass. Now only a few and others prefer to have a vigil or only a day Mass. However the local protestant churches mostly have midnight services. It is refreshing to see that some protestants are willing at least make reference to Our Lady.
Cardinal Burke recently offered a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He spoke about Our Lady and also the beauty of the older form of the Mass. He said:
"The Blessed Mother’s December 12 feast during Advent has particularly rich significance, Cardinal Burke said at the Marian Shrine’s Pontifical High Mass, as “It is the Blessed Virgin who keeps our eyes fixed upon Him who alone reveals to us eternal truth and enables us to live the truth in pure and selfless love.”
Cardinal Burke also made reference to the Tridentine Mass:
"The older form of the Mass powerfully personifies the apostolic tradition of priests who have carried Christ’s presence forth in the Eucharist since its inception at The Last Supper, he said.
“The offering of the Pontifical Mass according to the 'usus antiquior', the more ancient usage in the Church, makes evident to us how divine grace flowing immeasurably and unceasingly from the glorious pierced heart of Jesus comes to us in the highest and most perfect manner in the Holy Eucharist,” Cardinal Burke told an estimated 500 Mass pilgrims in his sermon.
“The more ancient usage,” he continued, “which was the ordinary form of the Roman Rite of the Holy Mass from the time of Pope Saint Gregory the Great until the reforms of the sacred liturgy after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, powerfully manifests the apostolic tradition, the unbroken line of Christ’s abiding presence with us in the Church by means of the apostolic ministry, by means of the pastoral charity of the apostles and their successors from the Last Supper, to the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning.”
The uplifting beauty of Mass in the ancient form “unveils the truth” that Christ, along with His sacrifice for us on the Cross, comes down to earth during the Mass, he said.
“The sublime beauty reflected in the careful articulation of the more ancient usage unveils the truth that here on the altar of this church, Heaven descends to Earth — Christ seated in glory at the right hand of the Father — descends to the altar and makes sacramentally present his sacrifice on Calvary and its incomparable fruit, the heavenly bread of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
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