Friday, August 31, 2007

Mary


There are two things I sometimes wonder about regarding Protestants and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Do they pray the Magnificat and do they call Mary "Blessed?" After all, both appear in the Gospel of Luke, and since most Protestants really like to read the Bible, they must also be familiar with these verses:

1:46
And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.

48 "Shall call me blessed"... These words are a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to the Blessed Virgin. Let Protestants examine whether they are any way concerned in this prophecy.

51 He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54 He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: 55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

With the dedicated memorizing of chapter and verse that many Protestants commit to, I wonder how it is possible for them to not have a deep realization of the holiness of Mary. They balk at Catholics praying the Hail Mary, but if they really knew their Bible they would know that the first part of the Hail Mary is taken straight from the words of the Angel Gabriel in his salutation to Mary, while St Elizabeth was the first to refer to Mary as the Mother of God (proving it's not a Catholic invention).

26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

True, the Church did complete the prayer when she asked Mary to "pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death." And what a comforting thought! Just think how many times you have asked for the Blessed Mother's intercession at the hour of your death each time you have prayed a Hail Mary! It's indeed a wonderful thing to be Catholic.

10 comments:

Divine Mercy said...

it is wonderful to be a catholic. i know someone close to me who is a protestant, and i will ask her if she calls Mary blessed. :)

Ritualist said...

I think it is not so much that they balk at the first part (the second naturally) but the perception of addressing a salutation to someone who is (according to them) dead, which they believe borders on necromancy.

paramedicgirl said...

DM, yes, ask Margi, by all means! (I asked her once, but that was years ago...)

Ritualist - Protestants believe there are saints in heaven, (since that's where all Protestants go the instant they die;}, but I guess what you mean is they don't believe in the intercession of the saints. Maybe if they understood that intercession means asking the saints to help us by their prayers, they would be more favourable towards this practice.

Karin said...

Maybe if they understood that intercession means asking the saints to help us by their prayers, they would be more favourable towards this practice.


That would make them Catholic PG :)

paramedicgirl said...

That would make them Catholic

It would be a start, Karin. They would also have to accept the Real Presence, the authority of the Pope, and all those beautiful Traditions that go along with the Catholic Faith. You know, the ones that are perceived as superstitions.

I bet if they started with the Gospel of Luke and read the Magnificat and the Ave Maria as though they were prayers, the Blessed Virgin would intercede for them and lift the veil from their eyes.

Anita Moore said...

I think it is not so much that they balk at the first part (the second naturally) but the perception of addressing a salutation to someone who is (according to them) dead, which they believe borders on necromancy.

Hmmmm...I guess Jesus was either only kidding or in error when he said God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22, Mark 12, Luke 20).

Ritualist said...

I don't think that all the Protestants have a belief in the particular judgment?

But no, I meant that they believe that once someone is dead (whether in heaven or no), they are dead, can't contact them, can't ask them to pray for you, until you die and go to heaven (where presumably then, you won't need their prayers). To me,therefore, the issue is also with an understanding of the communion of saints.

AV

Manfred said...

Just to play devil's advocate:

You are aware that no Protestant bible version contains the phrase "Hail, full of grace"; KJV has "Hail, thou that art highly favoured"; NIV has "Greetings, you who are highly favoured".

As for calling her "blessed": Proverbs 31:28, in discoursing on the ideal wife, has this: "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her."

So, I would conjecture that for Protestants there is nothing in Luke that renders Mary "full of grace" or more blessed than the ideal wife.

paramedicgirl said...

Manfred, I guess that might be one reason why the Protestants don't think Mary is anything special, but it still doesn't explain why they don't pray the Magnificat or understand that Mary is the Mother of God, as quoted in the Gospel of Luke by St. Elizabeth.

Manfred said...

paramedicgirl,

Protestants simply don't attach much significance to Mary, let alone Elizabeth. So, if the former declares, "Henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed", and the latter asks, "And how is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" there's little reason to regard these as anything more than words recorded by Luke as part of his Infancy narrative.

Ever notice that Protestants spend more time poring over the epistles of Paul (but not those of Peter or James or Jude or John), than they do over the Gospels? An Episcopalian cleric in my town made this observation re his Congregationalist brethren when the CCD class I was teaching visited his church.