Saturday, March 15, 2008
A special hello to all members of CSGSAR who may visit. I first-of-all created this Blog in order to have a supplemental source for communing with that admirable forum of women and men.
I've just spent a wonderful day learning crown points of our living Catholic Faith from engaging and engaged Baptist-turned-Catholic apologist Steve Ray (Stephen K. Ray). His web site: www.catholicconvert.com/
Other Catholic Blogs where you can learn about Steve Ray: www.catholicblogs.com/date/steve_ray
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You are asked to check back for further notes-derived-postings regarding "apologies" Mr. Ray made about Mary our Queen, our Eucharist and our Successor to Peter.
The Conference site was the National Shrine of The Infant Jesus of Prague, located in Prague, Oklahoma. Their web site is below:
I picked up a Commentary on the Gospel of John which was authored by Mr. Ray. Looks VERY readable, creative and thorough. Watch for future Blog entries to be devoted to it.
God bless ALL who read and post at this Blog.
Posted by Clulus at 3:48 PM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
But my insertion of this "official" Blog entry will enable visitors to click on the comments link below and "leave a message" to me if they want to. And truly I would like for them to.
Monday, March 17, 2008 Conference Notes: "Mary Our Queen"
1. Why do Catholics focus so much on Mary?
Ans: Mary is God's masterpiece! His greatest human creation. There is nothing wrong with admiring her..... as long as you are conscious of the Composer.
It's the same thing when you admire a piece of great, say, classical music. Part of you is regarding the pattern of the music, but at the same time you do not forget the one who brought it into being.
2. Why spend your time praying / talking to Mary and other dead Saints?
Ans: Where, in the Bible, does it say Saints are dead? More accurate to say that they have found their way to the Grand Terrace, taking the Fresh Heavenly Air.
3. How can Catholics call Mary "Co-Mediatrix?"
Ans: Have to admit, this one looks scandalous on its face until you study it, and if you do not know what Catholics are brought up (if they received proper catechizing) to know.
"Co" means with, and not "Equal to."
Every time you pray for someone, you are a Co-Mediator.
---[Steve Ray "Marian Tour" continued]---
4. It is non-biblical to say that Mary is sinless. The Bible says "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Ans: Besides what could be said about babies who perish soon after birth, and also what could be argued concerning persons whom always have lived with profound mental disabilities, we can point out that there is a "no-commission-of-sin human" who has lived on earth, whom all Christians accept as such, and that person is..... Jesus. So, we must look again, since we discover facts which are exceptions if we take the above Bible passage literally.
Mary very well could have been intended by God as His planned exception to the fallen-soiled-mankind rule. If endowing her with outstanding qualities seems unfounded, we should remember that she taught her Son to pray before He ever taught prayer to us.
What kind of ensouled pillar would God have desired, and been searching for, when he selected the feminine Ark who would be portal and educator for His Only Son? It's within all women and men to be just as sinless as Mary, if we moved to become slaves-in-imitation of her constant clarity of mind and maturity of soul and love in heart.
5. Didn't Mary need a Savior like all of humankind?
Ans: Mr. Ray presents Original Sin by this illustration: Standard-issue mankind skips into this world and promptly falls, face down, in the mud-puddle of fallen sinful nature.
But here's a what-if?..... What if God intervened in the case of Mary's entrance into this world? What if He took the preventive measure of spreading His mantle over the slimy/sinny mud-puddle before she could take her step?
She is still the same exact creation as we others, but, Mary, unmarred, would not have required the stain-of-committed-sin in her to be wiped away by Baptism. She was slated by God to step over Original Sin. "We Shall Overcome," if we keep our eye on the prize, but Mary... overleaped.
[FYI, The Catholic term "Immaculate Conception" refers exactly to the above-- the sinless conception of Mary as a human being. It's a common error for people to think the term refers to Jesus and not to her. Come to think of it, since Jesus didn't have a human father, and his Mother had no Original Sin to "hand on" to offspring, God did not HAVE TO step in to exempt Jesus from Original Sin....."a man like us, in all ways but sin."]
Yes (straight answer to the question), Mary needed a Savior. She was a veering-toward-sin daughter of Adam and Eve. But God did His saving of her BEFORE her part in the sin.
----[At this point, the "Arguer's Questions" format stops.]----
Tuesday, March 18, 2008-- Steve Ray's "Marian Tour" continued
Mr Ray spoke of how the First Eve tied the knot of sin that became our unfortunate lot-- and how Mary the New Eve untied the knot.
Let us call the following a prophecy that was realized-- "The Daughter of Jerusalem will do what you, Israel, failed to do. For nothing in her is repugnant to God."
And WE are members of the New Jerusalem.
Mr. Ray remarked that the Angel Gabriel was being smart to lead with "Hail Mary..." when he thus addressed Mary as one would address a Queen. For he knew something that she did not know-- He knew to proceed with maximum reverence when talking to the slip of a Hebrew peasant girl whom, by "Fiat," would become his boss. He was after all an emissary of the Royal Court who knows what position the girl whom he has traveled far to see is destined to... before she herself knows any zip thing.
---[Halfway mark of my notes of Mr. Ray's Marian Tour]---
OK Infant Jesus Shrine History
St. Wenceslaus [pron. Wen'/ses/loss] Catholic Church
Thursday, April 2, '09-- Stephen Ray's "Mary Tour"-- More from Notes
Thus it is no wonder that Mary was hailed by the early Church as the living Ark. She was in fact much more than a holder of sacred objects like the first Ark... the early Church honored her for being the enfolder and container of God Himself. How can we ever thank her enough? Marianly and Christianly speaking, let us thank her without ceasing. [Judging from the praises he spun out about her, that was St. Louis Marie de Montfort's perspective precisely.] And to fill in those times besides the times when we are thanking her without ceasing, let us unceasingly thank God for her.
Mr. Ray asks us... how could Luke have known the intimate thoughts and memories of Mary (information which would have been available from her only) so that he could include them in his Gospel? Mr. Ray reminds us that it is evident from Luke's Gospel that the inspired author was an assiduous seeker of information and compiler of sources. Very likely he would not have been satisfied with some second-hand filtered rehash of events-- not if he could get hold of the eyewitness herself.
Mr. Ray: "Imagine Mary, under an olive tree, telling Luke how it happened."
Mr. Ray reminds believers of the curiosity that we should bring to true Bible study... We tend just to be rolling on the surface, hearing events we've heard in Mass hundreds of times-- like leafing through a scrapbook of old newspaper clippings. Nothing could be new about doing that. BUT.... there is ANOTHER WORLD under there that's exciting to discover. Perhaps we can add to "Take and read" by urging this in additon-- Take and lift what you are reading, and look under.
The Early Christians' comparison of Mary to the Ark of the Covenant, says Mr. Ray, provides an important insight into the way Catholic Christians regard Mary.
Catholics do not worship Mary. And likewise, the Jews did not worship the Ark. We see from the Jewish Scriptures that Moses worshipped the Source of the shekina glory, Him the Giver to the Hebrews of all that was therein contained. Mary too is "gold within and gold without." Inside her, we children of the Hebrews behold NOT the stone tablets-- but the Personal Glory written in flesh.
Think how, to enable our comprehension (because we the intended recipients are such limited human
creatures), something must CARRY or hold the Word for us. Such shaking spilling serving-up is wholly necessary-- before we can detect It even, before we can take ANY of It in, before we can share It with others.
And then we humans have to have RECORDS or we will lose what little we've grasped. For a long while
we carried alphabet-mumblings by paper-- computerized vessels are no less clunky or brutish a means.
It's our human fleshly lot to have to employ some mundane means by which to take hold of the Word,
before It can enter into our earth-wired consciousness. For this purpose, in fact for US, God
provided his Manself.....