Mary: The Mother of God


JMJ

Many Protestants are so anti-Catholic that they would find any Catholic dogma to argue about even though it isn't worthy of an argument. One example of a dogma is the title of Mary: Mother of God. Anyone with common sense would not disagree with this dogma, but sometimes, common sense isn't so common these days. Fulton Sheen writes,

"It will be discovered that so called Christians who think they believe in the Divinity of Christ but do not believe in Mary as the Mother of God fall generally into four ancient heresies. They are Adoptionists, who believe that Christ was a mere man but after birth was adopted by God as His Son. Or they are Nestorians, who held that Mary gave birth to a man who had a close union with Divinity. Or they are Eutychians, who decided the human nature of Christ and hence made Mary merely, an instrument in a theophany. Or they are Docetists, holding that Christ's nature was only a phantom or an appearance. Those who are offended at reverence paid Mary, if they will analyze their thoughts, will discover that they are holding a Docetist or some similar ancient error. Even if they profess the Divinity of Christ in His earthly existence, such people shrink from affirming that His human nature is glorified with Him at the right hand of the Father, where He makes intercession for us. As some no longer think Christ as God, so some no longer think of Christ as a glorified Man. If He is no longer Man, the relation of Mary to Him extends beyond Bethlehem and Calvary even to His Mystical Body the Church. No one, therefore, who thinks logically about Christ can understand such a question as: 'Why do you speak so often of His Mother?' " (The World's First Love, pg 71)

Jesus never ceased to be God in the womb nor after He was born. And His mother was Mary. As Cyril of Alexandria writes,

"When (the Word) took His most chase body, animated by an intelligent soul, from the Holy Virgin, and came forth a Man, He did not cease to be God nor did He reject the dignity of His own preeminence; for in this, as I said, no change is known." (Against the Emperor Julian, 8)

My Protestant friend who agrees with me on this dogma made this logic: "Anyone with common sense knows that Jesus was the God-man. Who is the mother of this God-man but Mary? Would the Protestants be more relaxed on this dogma if we call Mary the mother of God-man?" We see how any logical person would not disagree on this dogma. Let us examine this logic. Mary is the Mother of God-man. Take off the word God, and we would have Mother of Man. Is it correct to say this? Of course it is. How about we take off the word man instead? Maybe my friend is right. He may be wrong though, because many anti-Catholics would just love to debate on this dogma.

One might say, "If Mary is the Mother of God, does that mean she is the mother of the Trinity?" Well, to make them go in the right direction, let us relate Mary to the Persons of the Trinity. Mary is the daughter of the Father; therefore she is the daughter of God. Mary is the wife of the Spirit; therefore she is the wife of God. And of course, Mary is the mother of Jesus therefore Mary is the mother of God.

I think it is worth quoting the early Church Fathers to prove this dogma --

"For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God's plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit. He was born and baptized so that by His submission He might purify the water." (Ignatius of Antioch, Letters to the Ephesians 18,2)

"The Virgin Mary being obedient to His word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5,19,1)

"This Virgin became a Mother while preserving her virginity; And though still a Virgin she carried a Child in her womb; And the handmaid and work of His wisdom became the MOTHER OF GOD." (St. Ephraim, Songs of Praise 1,20)

"After this, we acknowledge the resurrection of the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the firstling; who bore a body not in appearance but in truth, derived from the MOTHER OF GOD." (Alexander of Alexandria Letters, 12)

"Accordingly, the Son of God became Son of Man, so that the sons of man, that is, of Adam, might become sons of God. The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably, incomprehensibly and eternally, is He that is born in time here below, of the Virgin Mary, the MOTHER OF GOD" (The "great" Athanasius, Incarnation of the Word of God, 8)

"Many, My beloved, are the true witnesses to Christ. The Father bears witness from heaven to His Son. The Holy Spirit bears witness, coming down bodily in the form of a dove. The Archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing good tidings to Mary. The Virgin MOTHER OF GOD bears witness" (The "great" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 10,19)

"If anyone does not agree that Holy Mary is the MOTHER OF GOD, he is at odds with the Godhead." (Gregory of Nazianz, Letters 101)

" who took on the human flesh and soul; being perfect at the side of the Father and incarnate among us, not in appearance but in truth, He reshaped man to perfection in Himself, from Mary the MOTHER OF GOD through the Holy Spirit." (Epiphanius of Salamis, The Man Well-Anchored 75)

"When, therefore, they ask, "Is Mary Mother of Man or Mother of God?" we answer "BOTH!" Mother of Man because it was a Man who was in the womb of Mary and who came forth from there; and MOTHER OF GOD, because God was in the Man who was born" (Theodore of Mopsuestia, The Incarnation 15)

Council of Ephesus (431) 

Canon 1: "If anyone does not confess that God is truly Emmanuel, and that on this account the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God (for according to the flesh she gave birth to the Word of God become flesh by birth), let him be anathema."

I can quote many more and if anyone wants to I would love to quote. It is clear that the early Church Fathers believed in this dogma. I wonder though, why would anyone want to be the new Nestorius? This dogma is probably the most simple of all. The reason perhaps is that it is Catholic. If the modern "Nestorians" do accept this, it would mean that they agree with a Mary doctrine, and no Protestant would want to do that, especially those who are opposed to ECT.

I wonder where Protestant apologetics are going these days. They would rather be associated with an old error, than to agree with Rome. 

A.L.


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