Mary

20130213-061925.jpgQuestion 1

Do you understand why this is a picture of Mary? (Hint: Catechism paragraph no. 724.)

Question 2

Is Moses kneeling to worship the bush?

Question 3

Why is the picture to the left a “statue of Mary” (Hint: Heb 9:4)?

Question 4

What is in the womb of Mary? (Hint: Jn. 6:48-50; Jn. 1:1, 14) See also Catechism 2676 where it talks about the Ark of the Covenant. For my article on this visit Responding to a Protestant’s Objection to Mary Ark of the New Covenant

 

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A Southern Baptist writes:

I am a Southern  Baptist who has a lot of respect for the Catholic faith. The Immaculate Conception is a hard concept for me. Does it also include the belief that Mary never sinned? How does that pass muster with Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God?” It seems like Paul would have noted the one exception here in Mary if that were the case.

 From my limited studies, I think Catholics have a very good argument on their position regarding the Eucharist. But wasn’t it several centuries before this concept of Mary arose in the Church?

 Dear Friend: yours is a good question. From the early centuries Mary was considered the All Holy One and considered as without sin. Rom 3:23 is a general statement but does not mention exceptions to the rule. For example, Jesus was a man without sin, therefore an exception. 

 The New Adam (Jesus) is without sin. From the 1st century Mary has been viewed as the New Eve. It would be appropriate, actually proper, that the New Eve be without sin also. 

 Those who die before the age of reason, or who are mentally deficient are also exceptions. Job could even be called an exception if you take God’s report of him literally (Job 1:8).

 Romans is also discussing that it is not only the Gentiles that have sinned but also the Jews. All can be a collective of peoples. “You Jews think you are righteous because you are of Abraham? You think only  the Gentiles are in sin. No, all have sinned, Gentile and Jew alike”

 This is born out in Psalm 14 from where Rom 3:9 (parallel passage to Rom 3:23) is quoted. Here is says, Psalm 14:2–3 “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.”

 Yet immediately following we find that God has his righteous. Psalm 14:5–6 ”There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.”

As a Baptist I used to use the Bible often for proof-texts and sound bites. Scripture is much more subtle than that. It is our tradition, whether Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, etc., that guides us in our approach to Scripture. The real question is, which tradition will you allow to direct your interpretation and study? I chose the tradition that was practiced from the first century until today – which is Catholic.

Wish I had more time. I warn you (tongue in cheek) that if you want to stay Baptist you are asking dangerous questions and dancing very close to the fire :-)

 You will find helpful writings on this matter here, especially the short explanation of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption.

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts

by Steve Ray on April 5, 2015

A non-Christian friend found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?”

Here is my explanation. If you readers have anything to add, please post it in the Comments below. Thanks.

Thanks. Beautiful images. Full of biblical representation — NOT pagan influences. They are devotional images to remind Catholics of the sorrows of Jesus and Mary and the resultant purification, joy and new life that come from them.

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Hearts represent love and life as the center of our being. Jesus’ heart beats with the fire of love (at the top of the heart) which was demonstrated at the cross. The fire also represents the purifying fire of God by which he purifies men. It exudes the transformative power of divine love.

The crown of thorns brought suffering which was endured for the love of man to redeem him — to bear man’s pain in his own heart. The cut in the heart is that made by the lance that was thrust through his heart when he was on the cross.

The blood dripping represents the new life secured through his death (life came through dead). The Blood of Jesus also cleanses us, washes us from sin. The result is the heart of man (below surrounded by flowers) is given new life. The flowers represent a garden of delights, new life, freshness. The Garden of Eden which brought about death by sin is now replaced by the Garden of Heaven which brings new life because of holiness and the work of Christ.

Adam and Eve experienced death at the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden; The New Adam (Jesus) brings about life at the Tree of Death (the cross) in another garden (John 19:41). This cross is at the top of the heart. Heaven and the glory of God is represented by the clouds and the blazing sun or heavenly light from God behind the hearts.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary:
This one is similar to the Sacred Heart. The roses surrounding Mary’s heart represent her sinlessness and purity, sweetness and new life. The seven swords piercing the top of the heart represents the “Seven Sorrows of Mary,” (“Mater Dolorosa”).

The first of her sorrows was the Prophecy of Simeon that a sword would pierce her soul because of her son’s death (Luke 2:35), 2) their flight into Egypt, 3) the loss of Jesus in the Temple; 4) the fourth sorrow is Mary watching Jesus carry the cross, 5) the crucifixion imagining a mother watching her son die this way; 6) receiving his limp, cold body after the crucifixion, 7) the body of her son buried in the tomb.

When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple as a baby the prophet Simeon said that the life and death of Jesus would be like a sword that would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). The lower heart, the one of Mary surrounded by roses, shows a cut in it which is symbolic of her sorrows. But her sorrows have brought us new life and pure hearts represented by the garden of roses below.

The Mystic Rose:
The mystic rose, symbolizes Mary’s mystical participation in the Holy Trinity as Heaven’s Rose or Mystical Rose. In medieval times the mystic rose symbol was drawn with four petals on a stain glass background or on a multi-colored background like a popular quilt pattern which is still stitched today.

Conclusion:
It is a very popular and insightful devotion to Jesus and his mother — the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Every aspect is taken from the Bible and nicely illustrated in the pictures you sent. You have a nice few items there :-)

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Responding to Protestant Objections to Mary, Ark of the New Covenant

February 6, 2015

A while ago I wrote a somewhat comprehensive article on Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant and then a follow up with Quotes from the Fathers of the Church. Recently a Protestant seminarian wrote an email with objections to my article.  My good friend Gary Michuta, a class act apologist, did me the [...]

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Eastern Orthodox Challenges the Immaculate Conception

December 8, 2014

An Eastern Orthodox Christian wrote to complain about, or to see how we Catholics explain the Immaculate Conception. He said he had asked many Catholics and none could answer. I find that hard to believe. After I answered his long and slightly edgy e-mail, I received his response – “Thanks.” Picture One: Statue of Mary [...]

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Joachim & Anna: The Birth and Presentation of Our Lady, from a 2nd Century Document

November 20, 2014

Join us this year on our Holy Land pilgrimages or St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise or next year on a pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal, Avila in Spain and Lourdes in France or to see the Italy, Rome and the Holy Shroud of Turin. Visit http://www.footprintsofgodpilgrimages.com/upcoming-pilgrimages ************************* “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (as it [...]

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Did Solomon’s Mother Bathsheba Demonstrate Mary is NOT a Good Intercessor?

November 9, 2014

I put up a post a few days ago with a video of my talk in Ephesus about Mary being Queen of Heaven and an Intercessor for the people of God’s kingdom. Someone wrote to object saying, It is interesting Steve, as to what you left out in your reference to 1 Kings 2:19 , Solomon’s Mother [...]

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Glorious Ephesus: Mass at House of Mary, Bishop Conley’s Homily and more

November 5, 2014

Great day in the city of St. Paul, St. John and where Mary lived. Also the 3rd Ecumenical Council where bishops declared Mary the Mother of God. Also Bishop Conley’s excellent homily during Mass at Mary’s House at Ephesus. Enjoy! Bishop Conley’s Homily at Mary’s House in Ephesus Turkey

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A One-Hour Jaunt through the Rosary Sites

October 21, 2014

I recently did a one-hour radio show with Dina Maria Hale, host of KBVM in Portland Oregon. The title was “Mysteries of the Rosary: Then & Now.” We wanted to give everyone an idea of what the places were like at the time of Mary and Jesus, and what they are like today. We also [...]

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“Why do you Catholics believe Mary ascended into heaven?”

August 13, 2014

Nice article from LifeTeen: About twelve years ago a teen named Billy asked me this question, “Why do you Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven, when it’s not even in the Bible?” He said “you Catholics” because he went to a local Bible Church but had been coming to a Life Teen Summer Bible [...]

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Queens in the Old Testament – They Were Mothers

August 13, 2014

While on the radio this morning a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother to Queen of the Kingdom was the ONLY case of a mother being queen in the Old Testament. [...]

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2nd Joyful Mystery, More Joyful than Most People Realize, Feast of Visitation

May 31, 2014

Today is the Feast of the Visitation. At the Visitation Mary traveled about 100 mile to visit her relative Elizabeth – pregnant! Very few Catholics (and almost no Protestants) understand the Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant with the Word of God inscribed in flesh in her womb. (see Chart below.) Here is [...]

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Do Catholics Worship Mary?

May 11, 2014

A friend named Lenard Alt sent this to me — a response he wrote about an anti-Catholic verbal assault: Is Mary being worshiped as a God or equal to Jesus?  Is this Catholic or Protestant teaching? When people ask you the question, “Why do Catholics worship Mary as God?” there is a fallacy built into [...]

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Do Catholics Worship Mary?

May 7, 2014

In response to the show I did with Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio: I thought it would be a good time to respond to an e-mail I received a while ago. It was a questions from a friend wrote to ask me for my take on Mary. He was corresponding with someone that said Catholics [...]

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Pictures from Nazareth over 100 Years Ago (see the Virgin Mary :-)

March 25, 2014

Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation. These pictures are over a hundred years old from Nazareth. Not much changed between then and the first century. When you look at these old pictures and hundreds more I have in a book I purchased in Nazareth (written in Arabic), you can imagine Mary as [...]

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Jeremiah Condemns Worship of Queen of Heaven

February 15, 2014

I recently received an e-mail.  How would you answer this question? Now if I could get past Jeremiah, chapter 44, I’d really be a happy camper, (LOL).  Stumbled on that passage this morning and wondered about the “Queen of Heaven” that the people of Judah were burning incense to.  God sure was mad! Who was this [...]

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