MARY: OUR INTERCESSOR
Editor John R. Herbert
The Patriot Ledger
Dear Sir:---These are times when religion is being assaulted by the Communists in expanding Soviet lands; and by secularism within other lands; therefore it seems unwise, to say the least, to attack the teachings of the Catholic Church, which is the one and the only world-wide moral power that is unitedly and uncompromisingly opposed to these anti-God forces.
This is the thought that came to mind upon reading your Patriot Ledger in which there was prominently set forth the objection of Rev. Walter F. Ribbe, of the First Baptist Church, Weymouth, to Catholic devotion to Mary. Considering that God, the Eternal Father, honored the Lily of Israel, by bestowing upon her the sublime honor of being the Mother of His Divine Son, I submit it is eminently fitting for Christians to honor the Virgin Mary, as do Catholic lovers of Our Lord.
If it is proper for religious persons to intercede with God for each other, as it is, then is it not both proper and logical to ask the Saints in Heaven to intercede with God for us? This being so, who in Heaven is closer to Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who has more influence with Him than His Blessed Mother Mary? Catholics believe that Christ loves His mother so ardently, that anything she asks of Him will be as readily granted as He granted her request at the wedding feast in Cana. Hence hundreds of millions of Catholics, in addition to praying directly to Christ, cry out for Mary's powerful intercession with her Son in their behalf, thusly:
"Hail Mary, full of Grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death."
By doing this, Catholics follow the intercessory principle set forth in St. Paul's letter to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:2)---"I exhort that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions be made for all men."
The Baptist Minister's main objection to this practice is that Scripture "nowhere calls Mary the Mother of God." This objection, which questions the intelligence of Catholics, is based upon a misconception of the sense in which Catholics use the term, Mother of God; and a lack of appreciation of the warrant there is in Holy Writ for so designating Mary.
The Catholic Church, protected by the Holy Spirit from error in defining matters of faith and morals, teaches that the human nature of Christ was generated in the womb of Mary; not His Divine nature, which was begotten by God the Father. Since these two natures are united in one Person, Jesus Christ, He is true God as well as true man. Hence the woman through whom this Person came into the world, is not merely the mother of His body, she is the mother of the Person named Jesus Who is God. Therefore it is proper to call Mary the; Mother of God.
This is analogous to the fact that the body of the Weymouth Baptist objector, and his body alone, was generated by his mother; his soul came from God. Yet his female parent is not merely the mother of his body; she is the mother of the man, of his body in combination with his soul. It is the soul in his body, and not the body, through which he assumes to further the Christian cause by questioning the teachings of the one and only Church that teaches with the delegated authority of Christ, her founder.
Right reading of Sacred Scripture is a repudiation of the Weymouth Baptist's objection to Catholics calling Mary the Mother of God, on ground that it is not scriptural. In Chapter 1, verses 35-36, St. Luke tells us that God said, through the Angelic Messenger Gabriel, that "the Holy One to be born (of Mary) shall be called the Son of God," Who is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Again, in the 44th verse of the same Gospel chapter, St. Luke informed the world that Elizabeth hailed her cousin Mary as the "Mother of the Lord." Considering that the term Lord denotes God in hundreds of biblical texts, members of the First Baptist Church, who read the Patriot Ledger, may see how unsound is their Pastor's objection to calling the "Mother of the Lord," the Mother of God.
Catholics, being intelligently guided in their spiritual understanding, know that the Bible is second in authority to the Church; that is the Bible interpreted by the Church to which the world owes the existence of the Christian Bible. This is implied in the statement of St. John, that all Christ taught is not in books (31:35). Catholics know that Christ commanded them to "hear the Church," which has the power to "bind and loose" (St. Matt. 18 and 16), instead of commanding them to read the Bible that the Ministerial advertiser of anti-Catholic statements wrongly interprets, which did not come into existence until the Canon of Scripture was agreed upon at the Council of Carthage, and confirmed by Pope Siricius. That was in the Year 397 A.D., over 350 years after the Catholic Church came into existence.
The Church came before the Bible, and therefore the Bible is second only as a rule of Christian faith. The Bible gives evidence to prove that there is no warrant whatsoever for assuming that the First Baptist Church, or any of the 21 other kinds of Baptist denominations, is of Christ's making. This declaration is based upon the indisputable biblical fact that the Church Christ established came into existence on the First Pentecost Day in the Year 33 A.D., and not in the 16th century.
That Church is a visible, organic, authoritative, sacerdotal Church. That Church is the Catholic Church, the only existing Christian Spiritual Society that dates back historically to the birthday of the Church of Christ. It is that Church Christ promised to remain with until the end of the world; therefore the "gates of Hell" would never succeed in their endeavor to prevail against her. The Church, as I said before, is protected from error by the Holy Spirit in defining matters of faith and morals. Therefore, when Catholics follow the admonition of their Church, to call Mary the Mother of God; to ask for Mary's heavenly intercession, they follow the admonition of Christ.
The image of the Virgiun Mary is titled THE CROWNED VIRGIN, by Jean-Auguste Ingres, 1859.