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The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

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The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:26 am

Roguejim had started a discussion on this at Pasc's, and the discussion was very good, but went off on a tangent. Anyway, the discussion is gone.

Let's see if we can pick it up again.

To start, I quote from St. Alphonsus in his book, The Glories of Mary:

It must now be evident to all that when these saints and authors tell us in such terms that all graces come to us through Mary, they do not simply mean to say that we "received Jesus Christ, the source of every good, through Mary," as the before-named writer pretends; but that they assure us that God, who gave us Jesus Christ, wills that all graces that have been, that are, and will be dispensed to men to the end of the world through the merits of Christ, should be dispensed by the hands and through the intercession of Mary.

And thus Father Suarez concludes, that it is the sentiment of the universal Church, "that the intercession and prayers of Mary are, above those of all others, not only useful, but necessary" ("Senit Ecclesia Virginis intercessionem esse utilem ac necessariam"—D. Inc. p. 2, d. 23, s. 3). Necessary, in accordance with what we have already said, not with an absolute necessity; for the mediation of Jesus Christ alone is absolutely necessary; but with a moral necessity; for the Church believes with St. Bernard, that God has determined that no grace shall be granted otherwise than by the hands of Mary. "God wills," says the saint, "that we should have nothing that has not passed through the hands of Mary" ("Nihil nos Deus habere voluit, quod per Mariae manus non transiret"—In Vig. Nat. D. s. 3); and before St. Bernard, St. Ildephonsus asserted the same thing, addressing the Blessed Virgin in the following terms: "O Mary, God has decided on committing all good gifts that he has provided for men to thy hands, and therefore he has intrusted all treasures and riches of grace to thee" ("Omnia bona quae illic summa Majestas decrevit facere, tuis minibus voluit commendare: commissi quipped sunt tibi thesauri . . . . et ornamenta gratiarum"—In Cor. Virg. c. 15). And therefore St. Peter Damian remarks, "that God would not become man without the consent orf Mary; in the first place, that we might feel ourselves under great obligations to her; and in the second, that we might understand that the salvation of all is left to the care of this Blessed Virgin" (Paciuncch. In Ps. lxxxvi. Exc. 1).

Probably the best way to approach this is by comparison with the necessity of water baptism - since the absolute necessity of "baptism" for regeneration and the application of the "mediation" of Christ ("baptism" including baptism of blood and desire) seems to be of a different order.

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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Roguejim on Wed May 11, 2011 5:49 am

I don't remember the discussion before...

Anyway, can you offer a definition of "moral necessity", for starters? I believe I asked this same question on the old forum.

Tangential, yet related:http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=227902&highlight=devotion+to+our+lady+is+necessary+for+salvation

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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Guest on Wed May 11, 2011 8:28 am

In theology the notion of necessity is sometimes applied with special meaning. Theologians divide necessity into absolute and moral. A thing is said to be absolutely necessary when without it a certain end cannot possibly be reached. Thus revelation is absolutely necessary for man to know the mysteries of faith, and grace to perform any supernatural act. Something is said to be morally necessary when a certain end could, absolutely speaking, be reached without it, but cannot actually and properly be reached without it, under existing conditions. Thus, we may say that, absolutely speaking, man as such is able to know all the truths of the natural order or to observe all the precepts of the natural law; but considering the concrete circumstances of human life in the present order, men as a whole cannot actually do so without revelation or grace. Revelation and grace are morally necessary to man to know sufficiently all the truths of the natural law (cf. Summa Theologica, I:1:1; "Contra Gentil.", I, iv).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10733a.htm

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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Roguejim on Fri May 13, 2011 2:38 pm

Okay then...is there an authentic Church teaching we can point to that clearly defines Her necessity in the economy of salvation, a teaching that binds me as a Catholic?

Eventually, I hope we can touch on the Marian devotional aspect, i.e., whether it is morally necessary, as well.
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Fri May 13, 2011 3:34 pm

Rasha,

Something is said to be morally necessary when a certain end could, absolutely speaking, be reached without it, but cannot actually and properly be reached without it, under existing conditions. Thus, we may say that, absolutely speaking, man as such is able to know all the truths of the natural order or to observe all the precepts of the natural law; but considering the concrete circumstances of human life in the present order, men as a whole cannot actually do so without revelation or grace.

This certainly provides a distinction and gives us something to work with.

Do all men live under the same "existing conditions"? If so, no one can achieve salvation (in fact) without devotion to the Blessed Mother - just as no one can observe the precepts of the natural law (in fact) without revelation or grace?

I used to get wound up about the so-called "necessity" of baptism when I considered that the grace of "baptism" was confined to the sacrament. All I had to do was read St. Thomas properly and peel back my ignorance to overcome that. But I have no idea how this is going to resolve: if devotion to Our Lady is "morally necessary" under "existing circumstances" for salvation . . . can you have devotion to Our Mother implicitly and by an unconscious desire? Uh oh. No simple attention to St. Thomas will resolve this one.

If men don't all live under the same existing circumstances, that has to be developed.

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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Fri May 13, 2011 3:38 pm

Jim,

Okay then...is there an authentic Church teaching we can point to that clearly defines Her necessity in the economy of salvation, a teaching that binds me as a Catholic?

Good question, let's get hunting.

Eventually, I hope we can touch on the Marian devotional aspect, i.e., whether it is morally necessary, as well.

Yeah, I sort of jumped the gun with my last response. We're talking about her intercession and prayers being necessary right now . . . I think. scratch
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Guest on Fri May 13, 2011 9:41 pm

Thought this article might be of interest... it's actually part of St. Alphonsus Liguori's work The Glories of Mary

"Mary's Intercession is Necessary for Our Salvation" http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr97/cr97pg77.pdf


As far as discussing the necessity of Mary's intercession--that is essentially the doctrine of Mary as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.

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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Guest on Fri May 13, 2011 10:35 pm

Just a couple Magisterial statements attesting to the necessity of Mary's intercession:

"The foundation of all Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary." Pope Pius IX, Ubi Primum, February 2, 1849 http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/p9ubipr2.htm

"Since faith is the foundation, the source, of the gifts of God by which man is raised above the order of nature and is endowed with the dispositions requisite for life eternal, we are in justice bound to recognize the hidden influence of Mary in obtaining the gift of faith and its salutary cultivation-of Mary who brought the "author of faith" into this world and who, because of her own great faith, was called "blessed.""O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee."" Pope Leo XIII, Adiutricem Populi, September 5, 1895 http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13adiut.htm

"The Eternal Son of God, about to take upon Him our nature for the saving and ennobling of man, and about to consummate thus a mystical union between Himself and all mankind, did not accomplish His design without adding there the free consent of the elect Mother, who represented in some sort all human kind, according to the illustrious and just opinion of St. Thomas, who says that the Annunciation was effected with the consent of the Virgin standing in the place of humanity. With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother." Pope Leo XIII, Octobri Mense, September 22, 1891 http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ro1.htm

"Among the saints in heaven the Virgin Mary Mother of God is venerated in a special way... she is the Mother of God, who happily gave birth to the Redeemer for us... She became our Mother also when the divine Redeemer offered the sacrifice of Himself; and hence by this title also, we are her children. She teaches us all the virtues; she gives us her Son and with Him all the help we need, for God "wished us to have everything through Mary."" Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, November 20, 1947 http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12MEDIA.HTM

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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Allie on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:10 am

The following is taken from the book, The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life, by Fr. Garrigou-LaGrange. Pgs 216-217. (bolding is mine)
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Article III

The Universality of Mary’s Mediation and Its Definability

In this article we shall consider the universality of Mary’s mediation, the decree of certainty we have concerning it, and its precise meaning.

As a matter of fact the universality of Mary’s mediation follows so evidently from the principles we have established that the onus of proof lies altogether on our opponents. Mary Mother of the Redeemer and Co-Redemptrix has merited de congruo all that Jesus has merited for us and has made satisfaction in union with and in dependence on Him. Does it not follow that she can obtain in heaven the application of the fruits of these merits, and that she thereby obtains for us not only all graces in general but all graces in particular?

This assertion is more than pious opinion, however probable. It is theologically certain in virtue of the principles on which it rests, it has been commonly accepted by theologians, it has been part of the Church’s preaching and has been confirmed by the encyclicals of different Popes. To quote but one striking papal pronouncement, we find Pope Leo XIII teaching in the encyclical Octobri Mense on the Rosary, September 22nd, 1891 (Denz. 3033), “Nihil nobis nisi per Mariam, Deo sic volente, impertiri”: No grace is given to us except through Mary, such being the Divine Will.

The universality of Mary’s mediation is affirmed also in the prayers of the Church, which are an expression of her faith. Graces of every kind, temporal and spiritual- and among these latter all those which lead to God, from the grace of conversion to that of final perseverance- are asked through Mary. She is prayed also for the graces needed by apostolic workers, by martyrs in time of persecution, by confessors of the faith, by virgins that they may preserve their virginity intact, etc. The Litany of Loretto gives some idea of the many graces which the Church asks through her intercession.

Thus through her are granted all the graces men need, in their different conditions and stages of life. It has been so for twenty centuries: it will remain so till the end of time. Mary obtains for us all we need for our journey towards eternity.

Among all the different graces that which is the most peculiar to any particular wayfarer is the grace of the moment in which he finds himself. That too comes from Mary. We pray for it daily and many times each day when we say ‘Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death’. By the word ‘now’ we ask for the grace required to fulfil the duty of the present moment, to practice this or that virtue asked of us here and now. Even if we do not ourselves realize what grace we need, Mary in heaven does, and it is through her intercession that we obtain it. The succession of graces of the moment, varying from one moment to the next, is like a spiritual atmosphere which we inhale and which renews our soul as air does blood.

Mary’s mediation is therefore truly universal: such is the teaching of Tradition. It extends to the whole work of our salvation, without being limited to graces of any particular kind. On this point, there is the moral unanimity of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and of the faithful whose belief is expressed in the liturgy.
-----------------------------------------------------------

There is actually more from the book that pertains to this conversation - let me know if anyone is interested in me posting it. And in the meantime, might I add that I am humbly grateful to be a Catholic and to know and believe what a pivotal role Our Lady's intercession plays in our lives and in our salvation. I cannot imagine the horror one would feel in finding out how they spurned this holy and Immaculate Mother's love and prayers, all the while thinking this would be pleasing to The Son.
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:16 pm

Thanks Allie, and Marian (long overdue to you).

I think maybe we have another "necessity of infallibility" in Our Blessed Mother.
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Roguejim on Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:43 pm

I asked the "retired theology professor"the following:

Dear Professor,

In light of the universalty of Our Lady's mediation per LaGrange, Liguori, de Montfort et al, how does the devotional aspect play into it? In other words, is devotion to Our Lady morally necessary for salvation? I realize that both de Montfort and Liguori taught this, but, is this actually an authentic teaching of the Church? Pretty much of an ecumenism killer there, if you ask me!

Jim


The Professor's response:
"I would see this moral 'necessity' of Our Lady, as being a necessity of precept, as theologians call it. It is like the necessity of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ as a condition for eternal life, as Our Lord repeatedly says in John ch. 6.
It means there is a command of God - a "standing order" form Heaven, as it were - to practice devotion to Our Lady and to receive the Eucharist. Knowingly rejecting that command is a mortal sin and leads to Hell if unrepented. But the Church has never taught that if people die before being able to receive the Eucharist, they all go to Hell. If that were the case, even infants would have to receive the Eucharist right after baptism. So we don't have to believe that Protestants who because of negative prejudices have a sincere problem of conscience with Marian devotion will all go to Hell."
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:19 pm


The Professor's response:
"I would see this moral 'necessity' of Our Lady, as being a necessity of precept, as theologians call it. It is like the necessity of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ as a condition for eternal life, as Our Lord repeatedly says in John ch. 6.
It means there is a command of God - a "standing order" form Heaven, as it were - to practice devotion to Our Lady and to receive the Eucharist. Knowingly rejecting that command is a mortal sin and leads to Hell if unrepented. But the Church has never taught that if people die before being able to receive the Eucharist, they all go to Hell. If that were the case, even infants would have to receive the Eucharist right after baptism. So we don't have to believe that Protestants who because of negative prejudices have a sincere problem of conscience with Marian devotion will all go to Hell."

Far be it from me to comment. Very Happy
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:21 pm

Jim,

Maybe I'll comment . . . but if I do, promise you won't show the "retired professor."

I will promise not to refer to his comments in any way.
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  Roguejim on Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:27 pm

tornpage wrote:
The Professor's response:
"I would see this moral 'necessity' of Our Lady, as being a necessity of precept, as theologians call it. It is like the necessity of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ as a condition for eternal life, as Our Lord repeatedly says in John ch. 6.
It means there is a command of God - a "standing order" form Heaven, as it were - to practice devotion to Our Lady and to receive the Eucharist. Knowingly rejecting that command is a mortal sin and leads to Hell if unrepented. But the Church has never taught that if people die before being able to receive the Eucharist, they all go to Hell. If that were the case, even infants would have to receive the Eucharist right after baptism. So we don't have to believe that Protestants who because of negative prejudices have a sincere problem of conscience with Marian devotion will all go to Hell."

Far be it from me to comment. Very Happy

Since when? Shocked
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:43 pm

I meant, with regard to the "retired professor." As in, "far be it from me to comment, since he 'doesn't have time for this,' " i.e. exchanges with people like me on the internet. jocolor
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:55 pm

This is one of those thorny little questions that really puts the blaring lights on the truth of our faith, and what it means. Like God's willing the salvation of all men and giving them "all" the equipment to "save themselves," when He doesn't give that equipment to infants to "save themselves."

This, "Pope Leo XIII teaching in the encyclical Octobri Mense on the Rosary, September 22nd, 1891 (Denz. 3033), “Nihil nobis nisi per Mariam, Deo sic volente, impertiri”: No grace is given to us except through Mary, such being the Divine Will," seems to be one of those.

Unless, seems to me, there are in fact certain "necessities of infallibility," such as a veneration for and faith in the intercessory power of Mary, explicit faith in Christ, the power of efficacious grace itself, which the elect infallibly experience according to that Divine Will.

The only way this thing makes sense to me is through these infallible necessities willed by God. The consistency and truthfulness of these utterances is otherwise severely pulled to the breaking point, if not broken.

I trust that observation doesn't have to go to the sede forum. Or does it?

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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

Post  tornpage on Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:01 pm

And, no, "this thing" doesn't have to make sense to me . . . but it does have to make sense; it's the truth, after all.
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Re: The "Necessity" of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation

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