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Author Topic: Mary Save Us?  (Read 958 times) Average Rating: 0
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Timon
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« on: August 01, 2011, 12:30:54 PM »

When talking to Protestants (who still believe that Catholics and Orthodox worship Mary) this always seems to be an issue that comes up.  This is supposed to be their proof that they worship Mary.  However, I do understand that even that prayer is an intercessory prayer.  I guess my question is why is it worded like that?  Arent there some parishes that actually say "Mary, intercede for us" instead of "Mary, save us?"

I have done the studies, so I understand what is actually happening.  However, I do understand how this would certainly make a protestant visitor uncomfortable if they knew nothing about the Church.  It would certainly seem like, on the surface level at least, that this is worship to Mary.  This seems even more so like worship than the hail Mary itself, in my opinion. (Remember, I know it isnt worship. Just may seem that way on the surface without any knowledge.)

What are some ways to defend this type of prayer?  Are there any historical examples to show the early church prayed this type of prayer?  As someone who is currently in the process of leaving Protestantism, the "Mary Save Us" has been one of the harder things for me to deal with.  The reason it is a concern now is because pretty much all of my friends and family are protestant, and I have come under some heavy fire for questioning the teachings of the modern church that I have always known.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 12:31:38 PM by Timon » Logged

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

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zekarja
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O Holy Prophet Zechariah, intercede to God for us!


« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2011, 12:36:37 PM »

Romans 11:13-14 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

Ask them if St Paul saves people. Cool
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that is not the teaching of...


« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 12:40:12 PM »

Some thoughts on what's going on...

- God uses human instruments to save people sometimes
- According to the Bible and Tradition, intercessory prayer works
- Protestants pray all the time for other people to be saved; if their prayer works, they had a hand in saving that person
- Orthodox believe the saints are alive in heaven and able to pray for us
- If someone in heaven prays for us and we are saved... (same deal as when someone on earth prays for our salvation)
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 03:33:10 PM »

Romans 11:13-14 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

Ask them if St Paul saves people. Cool

This ^

When we say, "Theotokos, save us", we mean it in the same sense that St Paul meant it when he used it about himself.
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NicholasMyra
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When in doubt, say: "you lack the proper φρόνημα"


« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2011, 03:35:11 PM »

Even more provocative:

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions." -Colossians 1:24
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 03:41:15 PM »

Ok, the problem is the definition of Worship. If I kneel 3 hours and kiss the picture of a girl and do whatever I can think of, like giving gifts is not worship because I do not consider her to be equal or above God.

St Mary is not equal or above God so St Mary can not be worhipped.SaME THING FOR SAINTS.

In the moment the people believe that x knows better than God then you can start thinking of worship even if no exterior manifestation is necessary.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 03:43:35 PM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 03:56:55 PM »

"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." - 1 Corinthians 9:22

Ask them if you can save them if they are drowning, or hanging off the edge of a cliff...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 04:07:18 PM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 04:07:24 PM »

σώσω/σώσων/σώσον are the Greek words used in the New Testament (well, its all 1 word, just different cases), at times it is used to denote earthly salvation, and other times to denote heavenly/eternal salvation.

In our services, it is Ύπεραγία Θεοτόκε, σώσον ημάς. (Translated, Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!)

You just have to look at the overall context, and the fact that we just simply do not believe the Theotokos can offer us eternal salvation. But through Christ and through her intercession, she can save us. Any human being can save another, but it is only through Christ that we can attain everlasting salvation.
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 04:08:09 PM »

Romans 11:13-14 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

Ask them if St Paul saves people. Cool

Good one!
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 04:09:44 PM »

σώσω/σώσων/σώσον are the Greek words used in the New Testament (well, its all 1 word, just different cases), at times it is used to denote earthly salvation, and other times to denote heavenly/eternal salvation.

In our services, it is Ύπεραγία Θεοτόκε, σώσον ημάς. (Translated, Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!)

You just have to look at the overall context, and the fact that we just simply do not believe the Theotokos can offer us eternal salvation. But through Christ and through her intercession, she can save us. Any human being can save another, but it is only through Christ that we can attain everlasting salvation.

And it is by the power and through the grace of Christ that the saints do anything. They are united to Him.
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 04:32:48 PM »

Thanks for the responses.  I certainly understand.  This is just a tough issue for protestants, as it was for me.  I always try to be patient and understanding of their concerns.  As i mentioned, I understand how hearing that without knowing anything about the church, or intercessory prayer, would sound like worship. Especially since most of them think the Orthodox and Catholics worship Mary to begin with.  Sometimes you just have to pray to yourself, "Lord, have mercy" and move on! 



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Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 05:17:14 PM »

(This is not directed at you, Timon, but at the people who never seem to give up on this misunderstanding.)

It's amazing how many times people hear the same thing, get the same answer, have the same books and documentaries available to them, and yet continue to believe whatever they want. The Protestants have been told "No" on this issue again and again, but it never goes away. How long does this have to go on? How long until people accept the answer for what it is?

 Huh

Sometimes it's like talking to people who still believe we did not really land on the moon. What is it going to take?  Smiley
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Timon
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 11:28:02 PM »

(This is not directed at you, Timon, but at the people who never seem to give up on this misunderstanding.)

It's amazing how many times people hear the same thing, get the same answer, have the same books and documentaries available to them, and yet continue to believe whatever they want. The Protestants have been told "No" on this issue again and again, but it never goes away. How long does this have to go on? How long until people accept the answer for what it is?

 Huh

Sometimes it's like talking to people who still believe we did not really land on the moon. What is it going to take?  Smiley

Good point!
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Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 12:37:39 AM »

Along similar lines to what has already been said...

When talking to your Protestant friends, you might take a similar tactic as Christ took, and respond with a question, such as:

Who raised Tabitha from the dead? (Acts 9:40)

Who healed all the people on the island of Melita? (Acts 28:9)

Who drove the demons out of the people of Jerusalem? (Acts 5:16)

It was the Apostles, or more generally, righteous human people. Yes, ultimately Christ did these things through them, but we do not adamantly draw thick lines between the two. Because as we grow in holiness, we take on Christ and His life begins to live within us.

The life of Christ transforms us as people, and it transforms matter itself: people were healed by St. Paul's handkerchief, and even St. Peter's shadow passing over them.

Or to say it another way: we don't become mere channels of Christ's power, rather Christ's power becomes an integral part of our being. This is basically what Theosis is all about. And the Virgin Mary has the greatest part of that power possible, because she is the Mother of God. The Mother of God does not save us, rather Christ who lives within her saves us.

When a person becomes God by grace (not in essence, but by grace—theosis), it becomes hard to draw a line between "Mary saves us" and "God saves us". Mary has so perfectly submitted and conformed to God's will in every way, that it's impossible to differentiate the two.

Mary is not the Divine Essence of God. But through grace she has become so much like God that we certainly must be careful where we draw our lines, lest we deny the ultimate conclusion of Salvation.

(I wouldn't generally go into this much detail with a belligerent Protestant, just because it can be scandalous without the proper framework of understanding.)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 12:42:08 AM by bogdan » Logged
Timon
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 02:13:23 AM »

Along similar lines to what has already been said...

When talking to your Protestant friends, you might take a similar tactic as Christ took, and respond with a question, such as:

Who raised Tabitha from the dead? (Acts 9:40)

Who healed all the people on the island of Melita? (Acts 28:9)

Who drove the demons out of the people of Jerusalem? (Acts 5:16)

It was the Apostles, or more generally, righteous human people. Yes, ultimately Christ did these things through them, but we do not adamantly draw thick lines between the two. Because as we grow in holiness, we take on Christ and His life begins to live within us.

The life of Christ transforms us as people, and it transforms matter itself: people were healed by St. Paul's handkerchief, and even St. Peter's shadow passing over them.

Or to say it another way: we don't become mere channels of Christ's power, rather Christ's power becomes an integral part of our being. This is basically what Theosis is all about. And the Virgin Mary has the greatest part of that power possible, because she is the Mother of God. The Mother of God does not save us, rather Christ who lives within her saves us.

When a person becomes God by grace (not in essence, but by grace—theosis), it becomes hard to draw a line between "Mary saves us" and "God saves us". Mary has so perfectly submitted and conformed to God's will in every way, that it's impossible to differentiate the two.

Mary is not the Divine Essence of God. But through grace she has become so much like God that we certainly must be careful where we draw our lines, lest we deny the ultimate conclusion of Salvation.

(I wouldn't generally go into this much detail with a belligerent Protestant, just because it can be scandalous without the proper framework of understanding.)

Great response! That certainly helps a lot! And yes, sometimes its hard to go into detail about this stuff with protestants.  While it really only takes a few minutes to explain this point to someone, you really need to set a side an hour or two to explain the fundamental differences between Orthodoxy and Protestantism to help them understand.   I ran into a similar problem when explaining to someone why the Orthodox reject the  Roman Catholic dogma of the immaculate conception.  You can explain it, but it helps to first explain the different church teachings on original/ancestral sin. 

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Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2011, 10:52:55 PM »

I heard Father Reardon speak on the issue of "save us" versus "intercede for us" in a podcast once.  As I recall, his response was something along the lines of being against it because we were doing so to avoid being stumbling blocks to our weaker brethren, but we end up just propping up a weak, Protestant view of salvation.
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