There really is ‘something about Mary’

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This Virgin and Child subtly incorporates traditional allusions to the miraculous. Mary's long, loose hair identifies her as a virgin, alluding to the virgin birth.

Photo courtesy of Anthony van Dyck [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This Virgin and Child subtly incorporates traditional allusions to the miraculous. Mary's long, loose hair identifies her as a virgin, alluding to the virgin birth.

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(RNS) Look around. The Virgin Mary is everywhere -- tattoos, roadside shrines, phone cases, even drawstring pants. The mother of Jesus, it seems, can be all things to all people.

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  • Kimberly Chastain

    You’ve got a bit of a howler in the paragraph beginning, “one reason we can do that…” where the author says that Mary “pondered these things in her heart” when the wise men came to visit. But the wise men only show up in the gospel of Matthew, and Mary ponders in Luke (citation correctly linked)

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    As was accurately pointed out in this story Mary was silent at the foot of the cross. BUT her son said something to her and to John: Behold your mother—Behold your son.

  • Clare Julian

    Wonderful article! It may be of interest to some to know that in the 1950’s while visiting a Benedictine monastery, Sufi/Christian mystic, teacher and author, John G. Bennett had a profound experience in which he heard the voice of Jesus say to him, “It is my will that Christianity and Islam should be united”. In response to Bennett’s question, “Who can accomplish such a task?”, the voice responded, “Mary”. Apparently Bennett converted to Catholicism shortly after this experience, recorded on page 281-82 of his biography, “Witness”,

  • Kyle

    Marian apparitions and the cult of Mary are some of the most dangerous deceptions leading the world in the direction of the one world religion envisioned in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 17, Rev 19:20). The article does an excellent job in pointing out how adoration of “Mary” is a bridge between religions. There truly is no better way to distract people from trusting wholy in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for salvation. She has been elevated from the godly woman who said “yes” to a goddess in her own right. Many see her as more approachable than Jesus and pray to her so she can pray to her son. If we are to pray to Mary, then why are Christians told to boldly approach the throne of grace and that there is one mediator between ourselves and God, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:16, 1 Timothy 2:5)? The last point is so important I will reproduce it here as the Catholic Douay-Rheims says it: “For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.

  • clare julian

    Dear Kyle,
    Just a thought – but I am wondering if in your very admirable desire to be faithful to the “one mediator between men and God, the man Christ Jesus” you may be missing an essential point? Jesus expressed his wishes for us just hours before his death when he prayed , “That all may One, as you and I Father are One.” Healing humanity’s fragmentation is what our sole mediator came to do. He welcomed, healed and loved all who came to him from a diversity of backgrounds. Our common humanity is what Jesus came to mediate and make whole again.
    When we participate in this effort, respecting and protecting the diversity of our humanity and human Oneness we are in essence being faithful to Christ. When we engage in acts of spiritual superiority, exclusivity and the elimination of diversity we are in essence being unfaithful to him. The remarkable presence of Mary to us these days is, in my perception, a work of faithfulness to Christ and his desire for our healed…

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    How can one truly claim he loves Jesus while disparaging His Mother.??? Most of the things I see or hear Protestants say to put Mary “in her place” would be considered supremely insulting or callous if said about their own mothers.

  • Kyle

    John, If you read my comment, you will see that I differentiated between the true Mary of the Bible and the false Mary of the RCC and new age religion. The real Mary said yes to God, acknowledged she needed a savior from her sin, and was given someone to care for her by her divine Son in His dying moments on the cross. The false Mary shows up around the world, spreading false, works based deceptions that, if we are truly being honest, contradict each other, the Bible and are only shakily reconciled with the teachings of the RCC itself (ie pray the rosary and get pulled up to heaven, wear the scapula, consecrate the world to MY heart…just to name a few).
    Clare: yes, Jesus does want us to be one. But he also said this: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.(Matthew 10:34). The key is how we become one. We are one when we are part of a local new testament church, which is admonished with keeping purity in doctrine (Titus 3:10, Rev…

  • clare julian

    One final response, Kyle, in reference to your comment on “purity of doctrine”. Jesus, if you remember, was arrested, tortured and crucified because he often challenged the power structures which hid behind the banner of “purity of doctrine”. People, not doctrine, were Jesus’ primary concern. The Gospels are pretty clear on this.
    Jesus gave us a new ‘pure doctrine’ or commandment – to love one another as he loved us. Pretty challenging – and the human ego is a master at finding ways to skirt around it! 1Cor.13 gives us a good description of how we can often be sidetracked with other pretentious acts of faith.
    If one’s devotion to Mary is bringing them closer to Christ and closer to caring for and respecting others, is that not a good thing and the very thing Christ desires of us?
    Many blessings in the New Year!

  • Ben in Oakland

    Most of the things conservative Christians say about everyone who is not them would be insulting if they said it about themselves.

    Funny how that works.