Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mariolatry Exemplified

Steve Hays (and others) have already pointed out a Roman Catholic Psalter to Mary (link to Steve Hays' post)(link to "psalter"). I'm not sure the depth of the blasphemy involved is fully appreciated by most readers. In the following post, I will give both some high level information as well as a specific example, so that it can be seen just how idolatrous this "Psalter" is.

I. High Level Comparison

Here are a few things to note: the psalter numbers the "psalms" 1-150, including multiple parts for the number corresponding to Psalm 119, as well as additional "canticles" designed to imitate various extra-psalter songs in Scripture. Not content with parodying (that's not really the right word, is it) Scripture, the "psalter" even comes up with a Marian version of the "Te Deum" (an ancient song attributed to Ambrose) and a Marian "creed" imitative of the Athanasian creed. It is not too extreme to say that if you wanted to worship Mary in the same way you worship God, this is how you would go about it.

II. Detailed Comparison By An Example

It is not simply a matter of copying the number of the psalms in the Psalter, but even the content of the Psalms is converted from worship of the LORD to worship of the Lady. Here's one example. First, the Psalm section (Schin from Psalm 119/118):

Psalm 119:161-168 (SCHIN)
Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.
My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.
I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

I've broken off the Psalm there, because it is the natural breaking point for that particular Psalm, based on the spelling of the first word of each line. In fact, as we'll note below, the author of the Marian "psalm" actually continues on a few verses further.

Below you will find the Marian version (designated Psalm 118J in the translation at this source). I've provided footnotes to assist the reader in further identifying how closely the "psalm" imitates the divinely inspired psalm.

Marian "Psalm" 118J
Princes have persecuted me without cause [FN1]: and the wicked spirit fears the invocation of thy name [FN2].
There is much peace to them that keep thy name [FN3], O Mother of God: and to them there is no stumbling-block [FN4].
At the seven hours I have sung praises to thee, O Lady [FN6]: according to thy word give me understanding [FN7].
Let my prayer come into thy sight [FN8], that I may not forsake thee, O Lady, all the days of my life[FN9]: for thy ways are mercy and truth [FN10].
I will long forever to praise thee, O Lady [FN11]: when thou shalt have taught me thy justifications [FN12].
Glory be to the Father, etc.

[FN1] Direct copy of Psalm 119:161.
[FN2] Seeming allusion to Deuteronomy 28:10 (Douay-Rheims Version) And all the people of the earth shall see that the name of the Lord is invocated upon thee, and they shall fear thee. It would seem ironic as an adaptation of the remainder of Psalm 119:161.
[FN3] Adaptation of Psalm 119:165.
[FN4] The fact that this whole line is adapted from Psalm 119:165 becomes more apparent when one looks at the Douay-Rheims version of this verse: Psalm 119:165 (Douay-Rheims Version) Much peace have they that love thy law, and to them there is no stumbling-block.
[FN6] Adaptation of Psalm 119:164.
[FN7] Direct copy from second half of Psalm 119:169 (Douay-Rheims Version) Let my supplication, O Lord, come near in thy sight: give me understanding according to thy word.
[FN8] Adaptation from the first half of Psalm 119:69 (see FN7).
[FN9] The allusion here is not clear, perhaps: Isaiah 38:20 (Douay-Rheims Version) O Lord, save me, and we will sing our psalms all the days of our life in the house of the Lord. or
[FN10] Apparent allusion to Psalm 25:10 (Douay-Rheims Version) All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, to them that seek after his covenant and his testimonies.
[FN11] Note FN12, but praising God forever may be found in various psalms. One example is Psalm 30:12 (Douay-Rheims Version, where it is numbered as verse 13) To the end that my glory may sing to thee, and I may not regret: O Lord my God, I will give praise to thee for ever.
[FN12] Adaptation from Psalm 119:171 (Douay-Rheims Version) My lips shall utter a hymn, when thou shalt teach me thy justifications.

For the reader's convenience, here is the Douay-Rheims version of the paraphrase/parodied/imitated portion in its entirety.

Psalm 119:161-171 (Douay-Rheims Version)
161 Princes have persecuted me without cause: and my heart hath been in awe of thy words.
162 I will rejoice at thy words, as one that hath found great spoil.
163 I have hated and abhorred iniquity; but I have loved thy law.
164 Seven times a day I have given praise to thee, for the judgments of thy justice.
165 Much peace have they that love thy law, and to them there is no stumbling. block.
166 I looked for thy salvation, O Lord: and I loved thy commandments.
167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies and hath loved them exceedingly.
168 I have kept thy commandments and thy testimonies: because all my ways are in thy sight.
169 Let my supplication, O Lord, come near in thy sight: give me understanding according to thy word.
170 Let my request come in before thee; deliver thou me according to thy word.
171 My lips shall utter a hymn, when thou shalt teach me thy justifications.

(I should point out that this sort of thing is a great example of why Calvin and the Puritans wanted to avoid hymns of human composition - while I should also point out that the abuse of human composition, as here, doesn't prove that the whole category of human composition is bad.)

- TurretinFan

6 comments:

natamllc said...

Sad thing is TF, there are those who should heed this knowledge succinctly laid out!

Excellent word!

Viisaus said...

It is worth noting that writer this Marian Psalter was not just some insignificant enthusiast.

Bonaventure is today (besides a canonized saint) a "doctor ecclesiae" - a teacher of the Roman church. A member of small magisterial elite that comprises only 33 historical persons in total:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universae_ecclesiae_doctor#List_of_Doctors_of_the_Catholic_Church

Turretinfan said...

I'm not sure whether that attribution is authentic. That is why I didn't mention it. Can you confirm that it is authentic?

Turretinfan said...

Alex:

Thanks for reminding me of the "Hail Mary" prayer. It's another example, but not this particular example.

-TurretinFan

Viisaus said...

Well, RCs themselves are not ashamed to attribute this pseudo-Psalter to Bonaventure - from Modern Catholic Dictionary:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=35891

Turretinfan said...

Yes, but RCs are notoriously bad at misattributing patristic works. For debate purposes then, we can note that they claim this as the product of one of their doctors, while not slurring the name of a man who may not have written this document.