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4 Dogmas of The Catholic Church

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Mary, Mother of God

That Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and named as the “Mother of God” or in greek term “Theotokos” or “Birthgiver of God”. According to what I’ve researched in the internet, Mary’s divine motherhood was proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus in 431. According to CCC 509, “Mary is the “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself”. Hence, in CCC 495, the Church confesses that Mary is truly the “Mother of God”. Mary is really the Mother of God because she is the one who gave birth to our Lord Jesus Christ, as she offered her life to God to take care and to receive Jesus Christ in her life, and also as she knows that Jesus Christ will be crucified she remain her trust to God as God promised that he has plans for His people and also for His Son. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom”. In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested”, (CCC 721). Mary is the holy blessed virgin Mary as she received Jesus from God through the Holy Spirit. Mary gave birth to the two natures of Jesus Christ one is divine and the other one is human, thus two natures in one person. Mary did not give Jesus His divinity. He always was God, is God now, and always will be God. He did take his humanity from Mary because, He fully possesses the divine nature and the human nature, Jesus is true God and true man. But Mary did not give birth to a nature, but to a person in which she give birth to a person who is divine and holy. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity honored Mary above all women by becoming her Son. Jesus is Son of God and Son of Mary. If he honored her so, then we should honor her and love her. She is considered as the “Ark of the New Covenant”. Thus, we can never love Mary more than Jesus does.

Mary, Immaculate Conception

It was the doctrine that God preserved Virgin Mary from the taint from the original sin. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception states “that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege from Almighty God and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, was kept free of every stain of original sin”. Mary was conceived sinless, and reedemed at her conception in which it was established in 1854. According to Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854 “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” In the apparitions of Mary to St. Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858, she was referring to herself saying “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Genesis 3: 14 -15 – “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” Enmity = complete opposition. Genesis 3:15 is the protoevangelion. This dogma has both a “negative” and a “positive” meaning which complement each other. The “negative” meaning stresses Mary’s freedom from original sin because of the grace of Christ’s redemptive act. By the same token, the dogma suggests Mary’s all-holiness. This “positive” meaning is the consequence of the absence of original sin. Mary’s life is forever or permanently relates to God for she the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and thus she is the all-holy. By God’s grace and her willing cooperation with His grace, Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

Mary, Perpetual Virgin

Mary is definitely virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus Christ. She was impregnated by the power of God the Holy Spirit in a holy unique way, cf. Lk. 1:35. Mary’s virginity is in no way to be understood as the Church saying that sex is evil or bad. To the contrary, sexual union, in its proper context, is good, even holy. The marital act is created by God for procreation and the union of spouses and sanctified by Christ through the Sacrament of Matrimony. According to what I’ve researched, the perpetual virginity of Mary of Nazareth is expressed in 3 parts: in her virginal conception of Christ; in giving birth to Christ, and her continuing virginity after His birth:

  • virginitas ante partum: virginity before birth;
  • virginitas in partu: virginity during birth;
  • virginitas post partum: virginity after birth;

Mary is perpetual virgin because she received Jesus in a unique way, in which she received it by the power of God or through the Holy Spirit she didn’t get it through sexual intercourse but she have Jesus through the power of God, and she received Christ whole heartedly. Christ is the only Son of Mother Mary as she offered her love to God. According to St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999, “Mary “remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin”. Mary’s virginity is the sign of her undivided gift of herself to God.

The Assumption of Mary

Mary’s Assumption is a result of her perfect obedience and cooperation with her Son. It is the reception of the Virgin Mary bodily into heaven, this was formally declared a doctrine of the Roman Catholic in 1950. Mary, was elevated or assumed into heaven by the power and grace of God. According to Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1950 “Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords, and conqueror of sin and death.” As Mary was preserved from all the sins that she have before, she was exalted by the Lord to be the Queen of all things and now, she is not only called as The Assumption of Mary but also as The Immaculate Conception as she declared it. The dogma states that “Mary, Immaculate Mother of God ever Virgin, after finishing the course of her life on earth, was taken up in body and soul to heavenly glory”. This means that the Assumption had been a part of the Church’s spiritual and doctrinal patrimony for centuries. As what I’ve been read that this dogma has no direct basis in scripture because it was declared as “divinely revealed” it means it is contained in divine Revelation. The Assumption tells us that this association continues in heaven. Mary is indissolubly linked to her Son on earth and in heaven. Mary is the “eschatological icon of the Church” (CCC 972), meaning the Church contemplates in Mary her own end of times.

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