28
Jul
08

St. Bernard on the Immaculate Conception

There was a letter posted at Energetic Procession from St. Bernard of Clairvaux. It was posted for the purpose of objecting to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are no historical notes attached with the letter; it would be nice to know for example who it was adressed to, their reply, his reply, etc.

The purpose of this post is first, my objection to the handling of this letter for the purposes of trying to score points against the Catholic Church and second to answer St. Bernard.

The posting of this letter does not take into account that St. Bernard is a son of the Church. He is considered the last father of the Church. He is a doctor of the Church. Should we consider his objections? Yes and no. Yes because it is interesting in the study of the developement of the Dogma of the I.C. but no because it is a settled matter.

I will attemp to answer St. Bernard’s letter; not as someone who has the answers but as a child inquiring of his father. St. Bernard’s letter will be in yellow and my words will be bracketed in green.

“I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, [the Church was once unknown, and now she stretches forth her arms throughout the Earth. Every festival in the Church had a day in which it began] unapproved by reason,[but reason does approve of a pure vessel for our Lord] unjustified by ancient tradition. [the Church is acient, that which she holds in her bosom is acient] Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? [by no means would I dare make the claim, but let me ask you; do you wish to guide the rudders of Christs ship?]You will say, ‘One must glorify the Mother of God as much as Possible.’ This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. [agreed, but shall we not give heed to those who speak for Christ? who is responsible for feeding the sheep? has Peter now poisoned us?] This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, [you see it as glorifying the virgin but is it not truly the glory of our Lord that we seek when we see a holy vessel for Him?] possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of Her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? [again, it is not for her dignity that this is spoken but for the dignity of our Lord]People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? [that this is exactly the point, it is not for her honor but for the Lord] One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her…I say that the Virgin Mary could not be sanctified before Her conception, inasmuch as She did not exist. if, all the more, She could not be sanctified in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable from conception, then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after She was conceived in the womb of Her mother. This sanctification, if it annihilates sin, makes holy Her birth, but not Her conception. No one is given the right to be conceived in sanctity; only the Lord Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and He alone is holy from His very conception. Excluding Him, it is to all the descendants of Adam that must be referred that which one of them says of himself, both out of a feeling of humility and in acknowledgement of the truth: Behold I was conceived in iniquities (Ps. 50:7). How can one demand that this conception be holy, when it was not the work of the Holy Spirit, not to mention that it came from concupiscence? The Holy Virgin, of course, rejects that glory which, evidently, glorifies sin. She cannot in any way justify a novelty invented in spite of the teaching of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of imprudence, the sister of unbelief, and the daughter of lightmindedness” [you say in spite of the teaching of the Church but is it not the Church which proposes it? you object based on matters of time and existence; but was not the lamb slain before the foundation of the world? are not all things possible with God? I understand your objections and your reasoning is fair but I believe you are mistaken]

In Christ,

Richard

Epistle 174

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25
Jul
08

A Mothers Gift

What greater gift (gifts that help a Christian persevere) could be given than the Rosary? What greater help? The Mother of our Lord, Our Mother prays for us, constantly. With the gift of the Rosary our Mother has given us the gift of prayer. When I pray the Rosary I can’t stop talking to Jesus; isn’t this Our Lady’s true desire?

Jesus I Trust In You

24
Jul
08

When I was younger…

I grew up Catholic and I had a great love for Jesus and His Mother (this was before my sabbatical from Catholicism); I even got into a fight with someone because a kid was talking bad about Mary.

I pray for that childlike faith and love. I don’t want to fight anyone but I want the passion that goes with it.

I believe that becoming like a child is one of the reasons Jesus asks us to call Mary, Mother.

In Christ,

Richard

21
Jul
08

Hail Holy Queen

Hail Holy Queen

You are the mother of our lord and savior Jesus Christ, our King.

Mother of mercy

Bearer of mercy, bringing forth mercy.

Our life, our sweetness and our hope

You’ve brought forth our life through the sweetness of your motherly care; your hope is our hope.

To thee do we cry

Please hear us and care for us

Poor banished children of Eve

You are the new Eve, you’ve brought to us hope through the Ark of your womb.

To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

As we struggle in this life please pray for us and comfort us, you who stood at the feet of your son as He died, nailed to a cross.

Turn then most gracious advocate thine eyes of mercy towards us

Watch over and care for us, pray for us; you are are blessed Mother.

And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus

When we arrive in the hope of everlasting life, show unto us your Son, in whom we, as you, have hoped.

O Clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Pray for us that we may be given the grace to persevere.

In Christ,

Richard




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