Friday, May 18, 2007

Full of Grace

ave maria
Just another one of those cool pictures I ran across out there somewhere. This one is for Dean.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Dean said...

I am virtually certain that that is the work of Kay Nielsen. If not then someone very much in the same tradition.

And it's very beautiful by the way. How could you possibly give birth to God and not be a special person? I honestly don't understand how some protestants think of Mary as a sort of brood mare who happened to be convenient. God chose to become human and to go through all the things that every human must go through. But he didn't choose a mother, and his mother was nothing special? What??? Is that even scripturally sound?

Saturday, May 19, 2007 9:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

In a word - no.

Sunday, May 20, 2007 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Eh, this is what I get when I try to be pithy.

That link answers the "brood mare" charge rather well. But the full apology for the Blessed Virgin can be found here and for the Incarnation here.

Sunday, May 20, 2007 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Dean, I've never heard the term "brood mare" used before in this connection; but I would agree with you that some Protestants take a shamefully low view of Mary.

More generally, I think at the time of the Reformation some of the Protestants made a mistake in pitching Mary and the saints out the window. Actually the first generation of Reformers held her in higher regard. Did you know, Luther and Zwingli and (probably also) Calvin believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary, which is also affirmed in the [Reformed] Second Helvetic Confession, chapter XI? Minor cognitive dissonance note: the Second Helvetic is today one of the confessions accepted and contained in The Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian Church (USA) :-)

As for myself, I do shy away from certain terms such as "Co-Redemptrix" which I consider rather over the top; but making allowance for that I hold overall to a view of the Theotokos which you might expect to find more often among Catholics, Orthodox, or traditional Anglicans than among Presbyterians.

Monday, May 21, 2007 9:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

*warning -- long comment -- this is my pet peeve*

I rather think it comes down to common sense. Think about it. Christ is on the cross. The one that doesn't forsake him is Mary. The one that doesn't turn away from him is Mary. The one that would have LOVED HIM ANYWAY even if he had indeed come down off that cross is Mary. She may be the only one who really loved him for himself, regardless of his actions (like all good mothers) (And, yes, of course I realize his actions were indeed exemplary!) It is inconcievable that she would not hold a special place in his heart! Afterall, his last individual thought was for her future.

I remember as a small child being told (or under the impression) that the sin Jesus accepted on himself on the cross made him so repulsive that God couldn't bear to look at him and turned away. Later it occurred to me that God isn't stupid.

Like HE couldn't figure out that Jesus was innocent! And it was because of that He turned away because if he had looked, He would have stopped it. Still, its my personal experience that the only thing worse than "anything" is "anything while being alone". So, God arranged for Jesus not to be alone. Which meant he put a lot of responsibility on Mary.

She must have had nerves of steel, moving to when Herrod was after them. Racing back to Jerusalem when Jesus stayed behind and you'll notice she's the one that gave him a piece of her mind. She doesn't strike me as a shrinking violet!

And it was probably a dangerous position, where she was publicly standing. Families could be targeted just as easily as the "criminals". And it must have personally been horrific, watching your child crucified. Yet, still she never left him. Showing not just faith, but loyalty.

Yet, saying that she is important just because she is his mother and putting her on a pedestal looking like a stoned hippy is almost wrong too. If it's done in such a way that it erases the parts of her personality that made her a good mother. Being a "good mother" is hard and tough and isn't all smiles and bliss. Ignoring how tough she must have been seems a bit condescending.

I just don't have this image in my head of her as some vacant-eyed cult-follower. I suppose its sacriligious to imagine her as LindaHamilton from the first Terminator movie. But I think God will forgive me for erroring on the side of imagining Mary as amazingly strong and determined, as my imagination is too weak to grasp the full import of her.

Monday, May 21, 2007 10:51:00 AM  

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