Thursday, April 28, 2005


Wayfaring Strangers, Part 4

(Wayfaring Strangers is a continuing series about our experiences as my wife and I study to convert to Catholicism.)

Questions About Mary
I'm going to meet with Father Ken tonight. I have a list as long as my arm of questions for him. Some of them… the most important ones… are about the annulment process. Most of them, though, are about the great stumbling block for Protestants who are converting to Catholicism. That stumbling block is the Holy Mother herself.

I'm posting these questions mostly because I wonder if others, converts and birth-Catholics alike, have ever wondered about them. I'm posting them before I meet with Father Ken because I don't want to spin them later, in light of what he may or may not tell me. That way, I suppose, I'll write more honestly about it later.

Anyway, my questions about Mary include:

  • Does this passage from Mark imply that Mary was no more important in the eyes of Christ than anyone who does the will of God?

    From the third chapter of Mark:
    31 His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.
    32 A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers (and your sisters) are outside asking for you."
    33 But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and (my) brothers?"
    34 And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.
    35 (For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

  • Protestants see Christ's command to John from the cross ("This is your mother") as an example of Christ's selflessness even during the passion. Does the Catholic church see this verse as a command for Christians to exalt Mary?

  • Mary never sinned? Not even a venial sin?

  • Mary's assumption seems to imply a corporal view of Heaven. Is this correct? I can not imagine Heaven as a corporal existence as we'd imagine it. Is this an area where I'd be in conflict with church teaching?

  • With regard to my confirmation, will it be sufficient for me to still believe that the Lord will reveal to me the understanding of the assumption of Mary that he wills for me in time?

  • If Mary was born without original sin, it seems to me that she couldn't help but be obedient to God. This seems to de-emphasize her role as "co-redeemer." It implies that she didn't really have free will.

  • I hope to have a better understanding... or at least to be on my way toward a better understanding... when I post about this again.

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