Friday, March 9, 2007

Old E-mail

Before I started this blog, most of my research and debate, theological and otherwise, took the form of e-mail, some to lists, some to individual correspondents or small groups of friends. Beginning with this post on the Second Council of Orange, I will dredge up some of my more interesting e-mails and post them here. I will backdate them to the date when I originally wrote them, so they won't show up at the top of page 1.


Anonymous said...

Good idea-- I look forward to reading these.


N. Johnson said...

What does the concentration on Mary (praying to her, etc) actually do for the individual? Is there a personal reason you choose this tradition? Scripturally, is there a foundation for that act/belief/faith to pray to Mary? (I have always been interested in the believers/denominations who practically reverence Mary as a Diety, and always wanted to ask one whom is credible and believes in that tradition.)

Roland said...

1. We honor Mary as Theotokos as an indirect affirmation of the Church's teaching about the Incarnation of Christ.

2. We honor Mary for the same reason we honor any saint - because she is an example of holiness worthy of our emulation.

3. We honor Mary as she is identified with the Church as type, advocate, and representative.

We ask for the prayers of Mary - or of any other saint - in the same way that we would ask for the prayers our fellow Christians in this life. The saints remain united with us in the Body of Christ, despite their having fallen asleep.

I think it is possible to go too far in one's devotion to Mary. To treat her as a deity in her own right poses the danger of compromising belief in her humanity, which in turn would compromise belief in Christ's full humanity. Some Christians might have strayed too far in this direction, but the Church has not endorsed their excesses.

I recently promised the editor of the ESBVM newsletter a piece on the origin of my devotion to Mary. At some point I will post it to the blog.