Sunday, September 27, 2015

Questions for Catholics - Part 2 - Questions of Co-

As a continuation of the "Questions for Catholics" series, which are in response to the Moriel Ministries, Jacob Prasch website this section we will answer to the questions of "Co-" which Moriel/Prasch has put forth.  
We are told in the New Testament there is one intercessor between God and man, Jesus the righteous. (1 Tim. 2:5) One intercessor, only one, Jesus. Man can’t reach God so God had to reach man by becoming one of us. If there is one intercessor, how can I be expected to believe that Mary “co-redeemed” us, “co-saved” us, and she is the “co-mediatrix” if there’s only one Savior? The Hebrew prophets said all along, “Yahweh – God is our Savior; there is no Savior but Me”. (Is. 43:11; Hos. 13:4) Only one Savior, only one intercessor.
We must begin by explaining that "co-" does not mean "another" it means "with."  That being said, the use of such "co-" terms in Catholicism, thus far, are not dogmatically defined.  No Catholic is "bound" to use such terms, but even so - what do they really mean?  Are these terms fundamentally wrong?  Let us take them one at a time in the order Moriel/Prasch has presented them.

Co-Redeemed:  The title used by some (and again, not all) Catholics is actually "Co-Redemptrix." In, what we refer to as "the economy of salvation," the Blessed Virgin most definitely plays a role.  While she is not THE Redeemer, it was through her fiat that the Redeemer came to us.  Had she not consented we can be sure that God would have chosen another vessel/ark to carry the Only Begotten Son of the Father and through the Holy Ghost, but since she gave her fiat such speculations are a bit of a waste of time.  The Blessed Virgin and Mother was with the Christ throughout his mortal life and now in eternity.   So how did she assist with the redemption process?

  1. She said "Yes" (her fiat).  When confronted by the archangel Gabriel, she consented "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38).
  2. At the first public miracle, the Wedding at Cana, she instructed the servants to "do as He told them," even though just previous to that Jesus had shown reluctance to begin the public ministry and miracles but through His mother's prompting and perhaps due to her prompting - the water becomes wine.
  3. She passively followed Him throughout His life and even through the via delorosa, for which she is also known as Our Lady of Sorrows.  Through life, death and then in resurrection and beyond, the Blessed Mother was and is with her Son.
  4. In John 19:25-27 we see with Jesus on the Cross giving His Mother over to St. John to be his Mother and he her son, as a handing on of that relationship to all of us.
  5. During the formation of the Church, the Blessed Mother was there with the Apostles at the Pentecost gathering and post-paschal events.
  6. Our Blessed Mother remains at Jesus' side in Heaven.

Now, is our redemption due to the actions of the Blessed Mother?  Yes!  Is she THE Redeemer?  No!  While not being THE Redeemer, she most definitely played a role - and thus the title of "Co-Redemptrix" is appropriate.  Not only is it appropriate for her, but each of us should work as co-redemptors in bringing more to the One, True Faith.

Co-Saved:  I am not familiar with any Catholic teaching or title for the Blessed Mother co-saving us or her having the title of Co-Savior.  This assertion is nothing more than a red herring argument attempting to draw us off-track from real teachings and/or practices of the Catholic Church.

Co-Mediatrix:  Now here I believe Moriel/Prasch is confusing topics.  While this IS a topic of apologetics for Catholics - this article appears to be equivocating "mediatrix" with "savior" since the author states:  
If there is one intercessor, how can I be expected to believe that Mary “co-redeemed” us, “co-saved” us, and she is the “co-mediatrix” if there’s only one Savior? The Hebrew prophets said all along, “Yahweh – God is our Savior; there is no Savior but Me”. (Is. 43:11; Hos. 13:4) Only one Savior, only one intercessor.
There is a theological difference between one who intercedes and one who saves.  The Blessed Mother (again) is not our Savior, who is Jesus Christ, alone but this author mixes and interchanges the terms as if they are equal.  As Catholics, we believe in, as the Apostles Creed professes, "the communion of saints," which refers to ALL the saints - whether part of the Church Militant (those of us still here on Earth fighting for our Faith), the Church Suffering (those in Purgatory who can surely use our prayers) and the Church Triumphant (those saints who are in Heaven).  We do not believe that the death of the body equates to the death of the person.  The person carries on into eternity either in or on the way to Heaven, or in Hell and eternal damnation.  Those saints who are part of the Church Triumphant are alive in Heaven, and we ask them - through the communion of saints - to pray with and for us.  The Blessed Mother, in her very special role and relationship to her Son makes her a very special one among the Church Triumphant to intercede for and with us.  No Christian is an island, we all rely upon each other for support and the death of the body does not end the life of the soul, so again we turn to those in Heaven and ask them to continue praying for us who still struggle with the trials and temptations of this life.

I would add as well, while the term "Co-Mediatrix" is used by many Catholics, like "Co-Redemptrix" there is no dogma binding all Catholics to accept this terminology.  While, as I have explained above, there is nothing "wrong" with the terms - if they make you feel uncomfortable, do not use them - you don't have to.

Part One - Mary

Part Three - Purgatory

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep in mind while posting:
1) Please respond ON TOPIC to the article at hand.
2) Posts more than 4 weeks old are set to automatically save new comments for moderation - so your comment may not show up immediately if you're responding to an older post.
3) The "Spam Filter" is on - and randomly messages get caught in that filter. I have no control over which messages get caught in the spam filter and those that do must wait for me to mark them as "not spam." A message caught by the spam filter may show up for a moment, making you think it posted, and then disappear. Do not assume I have deleted your comment, it's probably just the spam filter and it will show up.