Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In Whom Do You Trust? Through Whom Does your Salvation Come?

Christians are those who follow Christ, who have faith in Christ for salvation. They ascribe to him power and glory, which they do not ascribe to any creature. They have one mediator, as it is written:

1 Timothy 2:5-6
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

We have faith in God and in no other, thus we sing:;

Psalm 62:6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

And we remind ourselves this:

Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

What spirit then, is behind this pen?
Great indeed is Our trust in Mary. The resplendent glory of her merits, far exceeding all the choirs of angels, elevates her to the very steps of the throne of God. Her foot has crushed the head of Satan. Set up between Christ and His Church, Mary, ever lovable and full of grace, always has delivered the Christian people from their greatest calamities and from the snares and assaults of all their enemies, ever rescuing them from ruin.
Ubi Primum, February 2, 1849, Pius IX (link to source), section 4
The foundation of all Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary.
Ubi Primum, February 2, 1849, Pius IX (link to source), section 5

What Scripture will someone try to claim tells us to speak this way about Mary? There are many that teach us to speak this way about God, but none that teach us to make Mary a mediatrix or tell us to have faith in Mary.

I anticipate the usual responses from Rome's advocates for whom an absence of apostolicity is no obstacle. They will first assert that this encyclical is not infallible. Indeed the encyclical does not claim to be infallible: it is paving the way for an allegedly infallible proclamation that was to follow.

Accordingly, We have appointed certain priests of recognized piety and theological learning, as well as several cardinals of the Holy Roman Church who are renowned because of their ability, piety, wisdom, prudence, and knowledge of the things of God; and We have directed them to make, carefully and thoroughly, a most diligent examination into this most important matter and then provide Us with a complete report. Through such a procedure, We feel that We are following in the clearly marked footsteps of Our Predecessors and that We are emulating their example.

Ubi Primum, February 2, 1849, Pius IX (link to source), section 5

The second thing that they may wish to claim is some sort of poetic license for this bishop of Rome. But are we really to take Pius IX's words only poetically? The context of his words is the preparation for inserting the false dogma of the Immaculate Conception into the religion of Rome:

No sooner had We been elevated to the sublime Chair of the Prince of the Apostles and undertook the government of the universal Church (not, indeed, because of Our own worthiness but by the hidden designs of Divine Providence) than We had the great consolation, Venerable Brethren, in recalling that, during the pontificate of Gregory XVI, Our Predecessor of happy memory, there was in the entire Catholic world a most ardent and wondrous revival of the desire that the most holy Mother of God -- the beloved Mother of us all, the immaculate Virgin Mary -- be finally declared by a solemn definition of the Church to have been conceived without the stain of original sin. Both to Our Predecessor and to Us this most devout desire was clearly and unmistakably made manifest by the petitions of illustrious bishops, esteemed canonical chapters, and religious congregations, among whom was the renowned Order of Preachers. These appeals vied with one another in the insistent request that official permission be granted for the word Immaculate to be publicly used and be added to the sacred liturgy, particularly in the Preface of the Mass of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin. With the greatest delight, both Our Predecessor and We acceded to these requests.

Ubi Primum, February 2, 1849, Pius IX (link to source), sections 1-2

One thing is wrapped up in another - devotion to Mary is an essential component of Rome's religion, though it was not a part of the apostolic faith. But the faith of Pius IX is the one in which he was raised - which he described this way:
From our earliest years nothing has ever been closer to Our heart than devotion-filial, profound, and wholehearted-to the most blessed Virgin Mary. Always have We endeavored to do everything that would redound to the greater glory of the Blessed Virgin, promote her honor, and encourage devotion to her.
Ubi Primum, February 2, 1849, Pius IX (link to source), section 4

Ought not devotion to God to be closer than devotion to any mere creature? Ought not filial, profound, and wholehearted devotion be given to our Father in heaven? How did Jesus teach us to pray - to "Our mother, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name" or "Our Father"? Which is the prayer that has been prayed continuously for nearly 2000 years? Who on the other hand can produce for us some record of the "Hail Mary" before Nicaea? Who can show us one Western father from the first millennium who said something like "[Mary is] set up between Christ and His Church"?

And even if one could find a "Hail Mary" prayer very early, and some early person who mistakenly used the Marian axe to sever the head (Christ) from the body (His church), what of it? It is not what the apostles taught - it is not the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

It is an innovation whether it was developed in the 19th century with Pius IX, in the middle ages with St. Bernard, or even if it was developed earlier.

The bottom line, dear reader, is this: in whom do you trust? through whom does your salvation come? If it comes through Mary - if you are trusting in her like Pius IX did - you are not properly trusting in Christ, and you will face judgment on that dreadful day of the Lord.



Anonymous said...

Many verses come to mind to answer the question.

I would offer two citations:

Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

louis said...

It's blatant idolatry. May God grant that we never cease to be shocked at such things.

Coram Deo said...


Anonymous said...

Church fathers weren't any better.

"O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides."
Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216 (ante AD 373).

"This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one." Origen, Homily 1(A.D. 244).

"Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother."
Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8 (A.D. 370).

"Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin."
Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388).

"We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." Augustine, Nature and Grace,4 2[36] (A.D.415).

"For as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against His Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word. The former was seduced to disobey God, but the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. As the human race was subjected to death through [the act of] a virgin, so it was saved by a virgin." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:19,1 (A.D. 180).

"Under your mercy we take refuge, O Mother of God. Do not reject our supplications in necessity, but deliver us from danger,[O you] alone pure and alone blessed." Sub Tuum Praesidium, From Rylands Papyrus, Egypt (3rd century).

"Hail to thee Mary, Mother of God, to whom in towns and villages and in island were founded churches of true believers." Cyril of Alexandria, Homily 11 (ante A.D. 444).