Before 300: Pre-Constantinian Christianity

Featured300

A couple of weeks ago, a lady named Monica raised several objections to the Catholic treatment of Mary. I have been writing a series of responses to these objections and this will be my final post in reply, at least for the time-being.

At the end of her comments, Monica asserted that the Catholic Church was founded by the Emperor Constantine around AD 300. In my previous post I pointed out some of the problems with this theory, but now I would like to set forth the positive historical case for Catholicism in the years prior to Constantine. I will do this by looking at primary sources alone, restricting myself to writings produced prior to Monica’s proposed date of AD 300…

My citations in this post will focus upon the Early Church’s understanding of the Sacraments, Saints, the nature of the Church and, since she was the initial subject of Monica’s comment, the Blessed Mother.

Read more

Mary, the interfering mother? (4)

Continuing my response to Monica’s comments concerning Mary, today I would like to continue providing a Catholic response to her objections, which today will chiefly focus around the subject of mediation.

Mary-at-Foot-of-Cross

Read more

Mary, the centre of attention? (3)

Today we return to the my series of articles about Our Lady. In this post I’d like to look at a reader’s concerns regarding the level of attention which is given to Mary within the Catholic Church.

assumption-of-mary

The concerns expressed by Monica are common among many Protestants. Are they valid? Do we lose Christ when we give attention to His mother?

Read more

Mary, the right “type” of mother? (2)

Yesterday I took a break from my series on Mary, but today I would like to continue looking at some further objections raised by a reader, Monica in the comments section of an old post concerning The Ark of the New Covenant.

stained-glass

Today’s discussion will focus around the notion that Mary is enthroned as Queen of Heaven.

Read more

New Ark of the Covenant Response (Introduction)

ark_of_the_covenant

Last week a comment appeared on my post Biblical Mary: The Ark of the New Covenant by a lady named Monica. Here’s what she had to say:

People praying the rosary, singing Mary songs, etc is a form a worship no matter how much catholics want to deny it. These things only belong to God. I have seen pictures of Mary sitting next to God in His throne as she was was co-equal with God when she was only a human like any of us. Of course she was blessed by God and deserves to be honored but it does not imply a godly position. God chose her by His grace, grace is God giving us something we dont deserve.

Why do we need Mary as mediator when Jesus Christ already paid the price for our sins so that we could approach God directly? Saying that we need Mary as mediator is like saying that what Christ did in the cross is worthless or meaningless. Read Luke 23:45 which says that the curtain in the temple was broken apart in two, this symbolizing that the use of mediators (like in the old testament where only the priests could enter the most holy of the holy places and approach God to intercede for people) was terminated.

Read more

Serenading Our Lady

In Catholic devotion, there are many songs addressed to Mary, such as the Regina Coeli and the Salve Regina. However, it may surprise you to know that the oldest text we have for a Marian hymn comes from about AD 250 written in Greek, preceding the Hail Mary by several centuries. I mention it today because this hymn is often sung at the end of evening prayer in Eastern Christianity during Lent. The hymn is known as “Beneath thy compassion”  and was used in the liturgy around Christmas time.

Beneath your compassion we take refuge, Theotokos!
Our prayers, do not despise necessities,
but from danger deliver us, only pure, only blessed one.

What is particularly significant is that the text refers to Mary by the Greek title of “Theotokos”, which in English means “God bearer”, the name so objectionable to Nestorius, but which was later affirmed by the Council of Ephesus in AD 431.

Mary

Read more

1 2 3 4