Category: Mary

Why Did Jesus Address His Mother, As “Woman” In The Bible?  

Why Did Jesus Address His Mother, As “Woman” In The Bible?  

Why is it that Jesus calls His Mother “Woman” in the Bible?

In few parts of the gospel, we noticed that Jesus addressed his Mother Mary as “Woman”. Many non-Catholics and protestants point to this fact in trying to downplay the importance of the Blessed Mother in Christian life. In fact, many of them seemingly use this to justify NOT giving the Blessed Mother the respect and veneration that Catholics give her.

Is Jesus being disrespectful of His Mother when He calls her woman? And as such, are we supposed to follow the Protestant “logic” that since Jesus called His Mother “Woman”, we should not give her as much honor as we should?

There are two (2) ways of answering this question.

First, does Jesus’ calling Mary “Woman” connote a certain level of disrespect? The answer, of course, is NO! Simple logic will answer this. 

Jesus, the Son of God, gave this as one of His principal commandments: “Honor your father and your mother.” Do you think that Jesus, who is God, will contradict Himself and not practice what He taught? That is, do you think that He Himself, who gave the command to honor father and mother, will NOT Himself honor His own mother?

Second, Jesus’ calling Mary “Woman” has a deeper theological meaning. Church scholars preach that the reason Jesus calls His Mother “Woman” is to refer to her as the “Woman” foretold in Genesis. In Genesis 3:15, after banishing Adam and Eve from the heavenly paradise, God made a promise to the serpent. He said that He will “put enmity between you and the Woman, between her offspring and yours. She will crush your head, and you shall bite her heel.”

At the very beginning of our salvation history, God promised to send a “Woman” whose offspring will crush the head of the serpent. That “Woman” is Mary, and the “offspring” is Jesus.

Whenever Jesus calls Mary “Woman”, therefore, He exalts her by pointing out to us that Mary is the fulfillment of the prophecy and promise that God made at the very beginning of human history. Mary is the “Woman” who will crush the head of the serpent! She is the victorious “Woman” who gave birth to Jesus, her Offspring, who triumphs over Satan.

Does Satan Have To Ask For God’s Permission Before He Can Attack Us? 

Does Satan Have To Ask For God’s Permission Before He Can Attack Us? 

Job 1 and 2 describes Satan requesting permission from God to attack Job’s life. Based on these chapters, some believe Satan must ask God for permission to attack us spiritually. Is this true?

Though Satan requested permission in Job’s case, there is no evidence this is required on other occasions. Luke 22:31-32 offers one additional example regarding Peter. There Jesus states, “Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat” (v. 31 NIV). Typically, however, Satan is portrayed as living as a liar and father of lies, working to destroy others without obtaining specific permission from God.

In fact, Satan is called the ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30). He has already been given authority to operate in this world, tempting people to sin. He even tempted Jesus three times in the wilderness, being resisted by Him (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan was able to work through Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus without any mention of obtaining specific permission from God.

Instead, 1 Peter 5:8-9 teaches, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” We are to expect Satan to attack and are called to be prepared and resist him. James 4:7 promises, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Ephesians 6:10-20 also offers clear advice regarding how to respond to Satan’s attacks. We stand firm, wearing God’s “spiritual armor” to successfully respond to the devil’s schemes: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (v. 11).

Satan comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). 1 John 5:19 teaches, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Yet we are to “give no opportunity to the devil (Ephesians 4:27) and set our mind on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5).

For those who believe in Christ, we can rest in His promise that, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Nothing, even Satan, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39). In the end, Satan will be defeated and his power will end (Revelation 20:10).

10 Thoughts You May Have Had, If You’re Not Crazy About Mary

10 Thoughts You May Have Had, If You’re Not Crazy About Mary

10 THOUGHTS YOU MIGHT HAVE HAD IF YOU’RE NOT CRAZY ABOUT MARY

Like many people, I have struggled very much with Our Lady’s place in my life. I have struggled to understand her or see the need to pray to her. I have resented devotions towards her and seen her as an unnecessary “addition” to our faith. Yet in all this, I longed very much to understand who she was and I wanted to know her love in the way that I saw my friends knew it. I knew I was missing out on something not only wonderful, but important and by the grace of God I was able to overcome my misconceptions. During this journey, I discovered many things that Mary is not and in them, I came to discover what she is and how she has a place in my life.

1. Mary is Not A Goddess or an Idol

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© Waiting For The Word/flickr

One criticism often levied at Catholics is that we worship Mary. This may be a struggle in our own faith as well- how is it right to pray to Mary? Well, we often ask other people to pray for us. Mary is a mediator between us and God. How can Christ reject His mother? She takes our prayers to Him and reminds Him of our sufferings. 


2. Mary is Not Judgmental or There to Point the Finger At You

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© Jun Acullador/flickr

Because Mary was born without sin, I believed that she judged everything I did and looked at my sins with disdain. Yet I did not realize that Mary can go to your darkest places with you and be the light that guides you home. St Augustine described Mary as being like the moon, which reflects the light of the Sun (Christ) a light in our darkness when the light of the Sun is too bright for us to look at. Mary is known as the ‘refuge of sinners’ and like all good mothers, she wants only to bring us home from our brokenness and into the Mercy of her Son. She does not stand in judgement before us, but she does keep nudging us, calling to us, encouraging us to return home.

3. Mary is Not Frightening

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© Angelica Guzman/flickr

The number of apparitions of Our Lady can be a controversial topic. Did she really appear? Can we know for sure that people are telling the truth? Are we required to believe in them? They can seem downright weird and when we don’t understand something, it can be very frightening. It may take a visit to a place of pilgrimage of an apparition to feel any understanding or peace about it. However, all of Our Lady’s apparitions are motivated by her love of us and her messages come, like all good mothers, because she cares about us and wants us to be saved from the consequences of our sins. We are not obliged to believe in these apparitions. They are ‘private’ revelations. However, some devotions surrounding them are very beautiful and with time, you may find yourself drawn to the messages of them.

4. Mary is Not Your Earthly Mother

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© Glenn Marsch/flickr

In order to understand Mary, we naturally look to our own mothers as a model of motherhood. They are the lens through which we see her. However, no matter how wonderful our earthly mothers might be, they are never going to be perfect and so we tend to project the negative characteristics or experiences of our own mothers onto Our Lady, making her into a bigger, more negative version of our own mother. This can be a particular problem if you have a very broken relationship with your earthly mother. But fear not. Mary was without sin, making her therefore the best kind of mother there is. She is all the positive attributes of your own mother and more. She is the best at motherhood! She cares for us and longs for us to know her son better!

5.  Mary is Not Weak

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© Peter Paul Rubens / art-prints-on-demand.com

This is a common misconception about Our Lady and comes from our lack of human understanding of the concepts of obedience and humility. Yes, Mary was obedient and humble, but that doesn’t mean she was a pushover, subservient or grovelling. It means she always knew that God had a perfect plan, better than her own, greater than her understanding. It meant that she was generous with everything and cared deeply about those around her. Whilst maintaining her humility she was also assertive- think of Mary at the Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1) when she was persistent in asking Jesus to do something about the situation. It also takes a strong person to be obedient. It takes a strong person to be a refugee (Matt 2:13), to bring up a child in poverty, surrounded by suspicion and ridicule in a homeland ruled over by violent occupiers from another country. It takes a strong person to watch their only son publicly tortured, humiliated and eventually executed. There is nothing weak about Mary.

6. Mary is Not the Sum of Every Single Devotional Image You’ve Ever Seen Of Her

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© Justin Kern/flickr

We are visual people, we build up ideas and concepts in our mind through what we see. Growing up in our faith or coming to the faith as an adult, we see a lot of images of Our Lady  depicted in one way or another; fine art, prayer cards, statues, icons. These may be extremely helpful to us in our devotion to Our Lady but at the same time others may be hugely detrimental. They are all personal interpretations and therefore may suit one person more than another. If what you have previously seen isn’t your taste, keep searching. I was surprised by how much changed when I was able to find a picture of Our Lady that I identified with. We are a universal church; we have many cultures from which to draw from and these can all help us gain insights into who Our Lady is. In turn, this can strengthen our relationship with her and she then brings us closer to her Son.

7.  Mary Is Not Distant and Uninterested in Your Life  

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© Randy OHC/flickr

Christ gave us His mother at the foot of the Cross (John 19:26). The very moment before He died, in agony, Christ still thought to give us His mother. It takes time and prayer and patience and persistence to build a relationship with her. But Mary is passionately interested in your life. Look to the story of the Visitation (Luke 1:39)- after receiving such huge news, Mary didn’t think of herself but set off on a long journey to share her news with her cousin Elizabeth, giving of herself with a spirit of generosity and interest. In the same way, in our own lives, she wants only to help bring you to the joys of her Son and eternal life. She can cut through the mess and difficulties of our life and bring us straight to Jesus. She teaches us to walk, like a toddler, again and again picking us up when we fall over.

8. Mary is Not Boring

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© Sean MacEntee/flickr

Firstly, Mary cannot be boring- have you ever tried to raise the Messiah?! Mary lived with Jesus for thirty years of His life and then is present in the Gospels in the background for three years of His ministry. She witnessed the miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2: 1), was present at the Crucifixion (John 19:25), must have met with the Risen Christ and prayed with the Apostles after the Ascension (Acts 1:14) to name but a few extraordinary events in her life. This does not a boring person make! Another sure-fire way to believe that Mary is boring is through a poor introduction to the Rosary.  We may believe that Mary wants, inexplicably, to hear endless, dull monotonous prayers for some unspecified reason known only to her. Give the Rosary a second chance! Give it a third, or fourth, or fifth chance! Give it infinite chances! I love the rosary and yet I find praying it so difficult. The beauty of the rosary lies in its deceptive simplicity. The rosary, though we are right to pray it for our intentions, is not about us. It is about walking through Christ’s life with Mary at our side. It is about entering into the mysteries of our faith and meditating on them through the simplicity of repeating the Hail Marys. It is about asking your mother again and again and again for help. Switch off all the distractions, find a quiet space in your mind and heart and use your God given imagination to put yourself into the moments of Jesus’ life. Padre Pio said that the Rosary is the most powerful weapon we have. We have no idea what lies within its straightforward exterior. Pray the Rosary with complete confidence and trust and discover where it takes you.

9. Mary is Not Made Up

© Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P./flickr
© Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P./flickr

Where did all this devotion to Our Lady come from?! When in doubt, go back to the beginning. Meditate on the remarkable nature of a simple girl from a poor background. Read the Bible verses where Mary is mentioned; the Annunciation, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the Wedding Feast at Cana, the Way of the Cross. If you have struggled with all the exteriors of Mary in our faith then simply meditate on who she was in the Gospels. How would she have felt at these times? What would a mother feel like today experiencing these things? Too often we can get used to the miracles and extraordinary stories in the Gospel. Rediscover Mary’s story, and let it surprise you.

10. Mary is Not ‘Just For the Girls’

© Francesco Granacci via Wikimedia Commons
© Francesco Granacci via Wikimedia Commons

Surprisingly, it was the devotion of my male friends to Our Lady that most helped me on my way to understanding her. When I found the ultra girly, flowery approach to Mary too much, I saw how much strength my male friends drew from Mary. To them, she was a strong female role model who spoke both to the little child in them and encouraged them forward into the man they were made to be. It was a man, John, whom Christ gave His mother to, on the Cross. (John 19:27). Mary would have been around the disciples and even prayed with them (Acts 1:14). She brought up a son. She knows how to relate to men! Mary has something to say to everyone, and her motherhood is for everyone.

Source –  

10 Thoughts You Might Have Had If You’re Not Crazy About Mary written By Ruth Baker For CatholicLink 

About Ruth Baker.

Ruth Baker is 26 and comes from England. She loves running, wild camping and writing and thinks there is almost nothing better than the feeling of satisfaction after a day out in the mountains. She is currently studying Creative Writing at university. Her faith means everything to her.

Do You Know The Devil Hates Latin? Here Is Why

Do You Know The Devil Hates Latin? Here Is Why

A few years ago, at Mass, the priest joking said during the homily: “Can you believe that a parishioner told me that the devil hates Latin?!” This was followed by much laughter by the congregation. But I’m not so sure it’s a laughing matter. Indeed I recalled a piece on “The Devil Hates Sacred Music”, (which is going to be our next post). 

And on a personal level I was reminded of coming out of a radiation treatment for cancer some years ago. Seated on a bench and waiting for my wife to pick me up, I pulled out my breviary and began to say the Liturgy of the Hours. In English.

Now, this is either the worst kind of prayer or the best kind. It’s the best in that one is giving an example of “praying in public” unabashedly and unapologetically. It also allows for people to ask, “Is that a Bible? What are you praying? Are you Catholic?” and thus open a gateway for others, by good example, to follow.

On the other hand, it is the worst form of prayer in that it calls attention to oneself, perhaps unduly, and is maybe the worst form of doing something “good”: so that others may see you doing good and admire you. Regardless, my ride was late, and it was time for nones (midafternoon prayer) so I prayed.

All that said, an older Jewish man—a fellow cancer-radiation patient—sat down next to me on that bench. He produced his prayer book and began his prayers, slightly louder than mine and with the concomitant rocking back-and-forth which is unique to “Our Elder Brethren In The Faith” as St. John Paul II called the Jewish people.

Problem was, I was a bit nauseated from the radiation and the rocking back-and-forth on the part of the Jewish man was making the nausea worse. I turned my head to say something to him but when I did I looked at his prayer book: it was entirely in Hebrew.

I’m not sure why this surprised me as much as it did: all of my doctors from Sloan-Kettering were Jewish and one was a Hasidic Jew whose seven children assiduously studied the Talmud from a young age in the original language.

I felt like a bit of a fraud that day. Any idiot can pray in their native tongue. And given the panoply of televangelists, it seems like many idiots do. Moreover: our Church HAS an official language: Latin—hence the term, “The Latin Church.” True, in the Vatican itself the daily language is Italian, but all the official documents are in Latin. All of the official prayer-books, too, are published first in Latin, as are the Catechism, The Code of Canon Law, and of course, the Vulgate version of the Bible.

Soon after that day I bought The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a bi-lingual edition (Latin and English), conveniently side-by-side. However, the only version of this is the 1962 pre-Vatican II edition, so it’s not the same as the revised Little Office. But that’s no great matter. And when I’d get stuck on some multi-syllable Latin word, I’d switch back to English.

But I have no gift for learning languages. Though I’m married to a Spaniard, I know absolutely no Spanish after 13 years. I have seven years of Italian, five of French and a semester of Irish: all to absolutely no effect. I simply do not have the “chip” needed to learn foreign languages.

However, once I got the feel of The Little of the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary down in Latin, a bit of serendipity occurred: Benedict XVI issued his motu proprio reifying the Latin Mass and the Latin Divine Office. I promptly purchased the two volume Breviarium Romanum and tried to keep up with the Latin liturgical hours—without the assistance of English (the volumes are published in Germany).

“Well, so what?” a reader might well ask. Well, for one thing: it takes effort to pray the Office in Latin. The pre-Vatican II Liturgical Hours are all longer than the post-Vatican II vernacular version (and there are more of them), so more time is spent in prayer.

Plus, I think God appreciates effort. While the Liturgy of The Hours is indeed “The Prayer of the Church”, after many years of praying from The Breviary it’s impossible NOT to have learned many of the passages—the “psalm-prayers”, the Office of Readings, the Hymns—by heart. This can lead to little more than rote recitation.

And I think God is always calling us out of our “comfort zone”—whether that zone may be sitting on the couch watching the ball game instead of spending time at a soup kitchen or even just going for a walk with our family—or praying in the official tongue of our Catholic Church.

Maybe the best summation of this comes from the very same priest who laughed when he said “The devil hates when we pray in Latin?!” I emailed him about it and expressed my view. His response is worth repeating and I share it with you:

The Gospel of Matthew 5: 41 says, ‘If someone pressing you into walking a mile with them, go an extra mile as well’, and, Matthew 5: 46 says, ‘For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?’ The Gospel always challenges us to go further, be better and strive for perfection. If our way of showing an extra effort, an act of devotion or love is to pray the office in Latin, then so be it! In so many ways, I personally feel that, the Traditional Liturgy, which I am deeply rooted in since childhood, provides me the opportunity to offer that X+ to God as it requires greater active intellectual energy, precisely because it is in Latin and also requires a great deal of memorization, as well as the fact that it is so precise and sober in its every gesture matched with precise words to be said at that same moment. When celebrated properly, the Traditional Liturgy is like a graceful dance or carefully choreographed ballet in match-step to the polyphonic harmonies of the choir and organ. The melismatic passages of chant provide us a sense of line in motion-evoking a fortified energy compelling inner-spiritual refinement externalized in the dignified movement of word and work.”

I am no more conversant in Latin today than I was the first day I picked up the Latin-English Little Office. However, I am convinced that the Devil, whom we are constantly being told does not exist, must truly hate anyone who, with a sincere heart and extra effort, prays in the official language of the Church—a language which traces itself back to the great Fathers of The Church and their inestimable writings. For that matter, I’m pretty confident that the Devil hates prayer in language of any sort, but I like to think Latin drives him absolutely crazy—and keeps him away.

To pray “to keep the devil away” rather than to keep God close—and keep oneself close to God—is to ring the bell backwards. “Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Resist the devil and he will take flight.” (James 4: 7).


This article was originally posted by Kevin Di Camillo on National Catholic Register – A Service of EWTN

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