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Jovan
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« Reply #180 on: June 21, 2013, 03:51:29 AM »

Dear NotAnHourGoesBy

I would like to post a part of a reply Mor Ephrem did once on the issue of Mary. I really like the information and spirit of the answer, and I could not in any way answer it better. It was originally a reply to a long thread, so forgive me if things may sound out of context.

" He is impressed when a woman cries out in a crowd "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed", and rather than contradict those words, he amplifies them by declaring blessed those who hear the word of God and keep it (cf. Lk. 11.27-28).  No one in Scripture heard the word of God and kept it better than Mary, who heard God's word with the ears and heart of faith and brought it forth in her manner of life even before she heard God's word through the angel with the same ears and heart of faith, bringing forth God's Son made flesh, flesh of her flesh, bone of her bone, blood of her blood.  It was because there was no one who heard the word of God and kept it better than Mary that God chose her to be the mother of his Son; he didn't just scour the world looking for an incubator and say "That Jew will do."   

LBK and others have given you a lot of Scripture and a lot of ideas from Scripture to consider.  If you are really interested, interact with that material, as others in this thread have, who may not understand at first but are willing to ponder and learn.  No one expects you to understand or believe immediately, but there's a way to seek understanding and then there's simply the obstinate refusal to believe nothing but your own wisdom.  Don't do the latter.

When LBK wrote about the role of the Queen Mother in the OT, I couldn't help but think of the Wedding at Cana (cf. Jn. 2.1-11).  When Mary approaches Jesus with the problem of the lack of wine, he at first doesn't seem disposed to do anything about it: he tells her that it's not their concern, and that his hour has not yet come.  But Mary's insistent plea for her Son's help takes on another form, as she prepares the servants to "do whatever he tells" them.  And Christ, even though his hour had not yet come, advances that hour--alters his schedule and plan, as we might say--to provide wine for a wedding (relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things), because it meant so much to his mother that he help.  He advanced his approach to Calvary in order to answer the seemingly insignificant request of his mother.  Are we to believe that he won't listen to her when she asks for even more important things? 

And at Calvary, on the cross, he thought of his mother: "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'  Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!'  And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home" (Jn. 19.26-27).  Now, we believe that this "beloved disciple" was John himself, but it's surely not an accident, but the intention of the Holy Spirit, that he is not named, but is simply "the disciple whom Jesus loved".  Jesus gives his mother another son: his beloved disciple.  And the beloved disciple receives a mother: Jesus' own mother.  If we would be another of Jesus' beloved disciples, how can we ignore the gift he gave us in his mother, his dying gift to us from the cross?  If we would be another of Jesus' beloved disciples, how can we not but take his mother into our own homes and lives as immediately as that beloved disciple did? "

- And please, both Mor Ephrem and NotAnHourGoesBy, pray for me a sinner. May God bless you all on your journeys and discussions Smiley
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NotAnHourGoesBy
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« Reply #181 on: June 21, 2013, 08:00:01 AM »

Hi Jovan,

Thanks for the reply! 

What I have most trouble with is not Mary's role as intercessor -- though I did not grow up believing in praying to saints and Mary, I can give it a try, I suppose...

It's the very...flowery...language and "attention" given to Mary (mostly on the Catholic side, only because I'm more familiar with them) --- basically, it *appears* that what can only be attributed to God is attributed to Mary. 

It's hard to differentiate between exaggerated language and what is actually meant in the heart and intent.

When Jesus was in the temple when He was 12, did Mary know that He was God the Son, the Messiah?

Also, why didn't any written record of Mary's intercession make it into Scripture?

Lastly, if we pray to Mary for her intercession, are prayer requests granted that they normally would not be?  If a request is not according to God's good will, wouldn't it be not granted regardless of who asks no matter how humbly requested?
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« Reply #182 on: June 21, 2013, 08:04:26 AM »

When Jesus was in the temple when He was 12, did Mary know that He was God the Son, the Messiah?

She knew.

Quote
Also, why didn't any written record of Mary's intercession make it into Scripture?

It did

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Personal Text? We can have personal text?


« Reply #183 on: June 21, 2013, 08:35:31 AM »

Put simply would you ask someone here on earth to pray for you?  Why? Aren't our prayers to God directly good enough?  Same reason we ask our pastor or friends for prayers we ask Mary and the saints.
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NotAnHourGoesBy
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« Reply #184 on: June 21, 2013, 09:15:40 AM »

When Jesus was in the temple when He was 12, did Mary know that He was God the Son, the Messiah?

She knew.

Quote
Also, why didn't any written record of Mary's intercession make it into Scripture?

It did



But when Jesus said He was in His Father's house, Mary and Joseph did not seem to know exactly what He was talking about, according to the account.

Ah, I meant intercession as in someone asking Mary to pray for him/her.  None of the Apostle's contributions to Scripture mentions anything about asking Mary, before or after her Assumption/Dormition.
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« Reply #185 on: June 21, 2013, 09:23:32 AM »

Put simply would you ask someone here on earth to pray for you?  Why? Aren't our prayers to God directly good enough?  Same reason we ask our pastor or friends for prayers we ask Mary and the saints.

The difference is that I get the impression that if Mary asks, it will be done.  Period.  That because she is the Mother of God, her requests must be granted.

The Trinity still boggles my mind.  Mary is the Mother of Jesus-God, but she's not the mother of God the Father (right...?), even though God the Father and God the Son are One.

When Jesus gave us an example to pray, He prayed "Our Father who art in heaven". 

So does Mary ask Jesus or God the Father when she intercedes for us?

When we ask for things in the name of Jesus, is it Jesus who grants or God the Father who is the ultimate source and through Our Lord (and through Mary?) our supplications are heard?

"To thee [Mary] do we cry" (I know that's not Orthodox but perhaps the sentiments in Orthodoxy is the same) --- Do we not cry to God...?  If we cry to Mary first, does she take up our prayers and present them in a manner that would provide greater mercy from God?
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« Reply #186 on: June 21, 2013, 09:30:52 AM »

Put simply would you ask someone here on earth to pray for you?  Why? Aren't our prayers to God directly good enough?  Same reason we ask our pastor or friends for prayers we ask Mary and the saints.

The difference is that I get the impression that if Mary asks, it will be done.  Period.  That because she is the Mother of God, her requests must be granted.

The Trinity still boggles my mind.  Mary is the Mother of Jesus-God, but she's not the mother of God the Father (right...?), even though God the Father and God the Son are One.

When Jesus gave us an example to pray, He prayed "Our Father who art in heaven". 

So does Mary ask Jesus or God the Father when she intercedes for us?

When we ask for things in the name of Jesus, is it Jesus who grants or God the Father who is the ultimate source and through Our Lord (and through Mary?) our supplications are heard?

"To thee [Mary] do we cry" (I know that's not Orthodox but perhaps the sentiments in Orthodoxy is the same) --- Do we not cry to God...?  If we cry to Mary first, does she take up our prayers and present them in a manner that would provide greater mercy from God?

Let me confuse you even further - what about the prayers of a righteous man availing much? Does that mean that the prayers of a righteous man will be granted no matter what?
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NotAnHourGoesBy
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« Reply #187 on: June 21, 2013, 09:59:17 AM »

Put simply would you ask someone here on earth to pray for you?  Why? Aren't our prayers to God directly good enough?  Same reason we ask our pastor or friends for prayers we ask Mary and the saints.

The difference is that I get the impression that if Mary asks, it will be done.  Period.  That because she is the Mother of God, her requests must be granted.

The Trinity still boggles my mind.  Mary is the Mother of Jesus-God, but she's not the mother of God the Father (right...?), even though God the Father and God the Son are One.

When Jesus gave us an example to pray, He prayed "Our Father who art in heaven". 

So does Mary ask Jesus or God the Father when she intercedes for us?

When we ask for things in the name of Jesus, is it Jesus who grants or God the Father who is the ultimate source and through Our Lord (and through Mary?) our supplications are heard?

"To thee [Mary] do we cry" (I know that's not Orthodox but perhaps the sentiments in Orthodoxy is the same) --- Do we not cry to God...?  If we cry to Mary first, does she take up our prayers and present them in a manner that would provide greater mercy from God?

Let me confuse you even further - what about the prayers of a righteous man availing much? Does that mean that the prayers of a righteous man will be granted no matter what?

Much -- yes.  But everything?  I've read some people saying that Jesus does not refuse Mary.

I get the veneration part, but did the righteous people in Scripture or the Apostles ask Mary or pray to Mary for intercession? 

Does Orthodoxy have apparitions of the Theotokos saying Country X should be consecrated or that the Rosary-equivalent should be prayed to her and that she is interceding on our behalf so that Jesus would delay/assuage His wrath and punishment?
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« Reply #188 on: June 21, 2013, 10:02:12 AM »


Does Orthodoxy have apparitions of the Theotokos saying Country X should be consecrated or that the Rosary-equivalent should be prayed to her and that she is interceding on our behalf so that Jesus would delay/assuage His wrath and punishment?

No.
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Nephi
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« Reply #189 on: June 21, 2013, 10:09:54 AM »

Does Orthodoxy have apparitions of the Theotokos saying Country X should be consecrated or that the Rosary-equivalent should be prayed to her and that she is interceding on our behalf so that Jesus would delay/assuage His wrath and punishment?

We have apparitions of the Theotokos, but definitely not like that. We also don't tend to think of her intercessions keeping away Christ's wrath like the apparitions of Fatima and others teach, and none of our apparitions that I'm aware of begin to portray something of that sort.
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Jovan
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« Reply #190 on: June 21, 2013, 04:19:28 PM »

I think that a basic understanding to take into consideration when it comes to Mary is that she as a person before Christ, cannot do anything by herself. All the way back to Abraham and even further, untill the time of Mary. What made these persons so wonderful and loving in their being is just the fact that Gods grace has worked through them. The difference between these persons, and the rest of humanity, is that they totally submitted their living and will to let God work through them. So when we Orthodox regard Mary as the Queen and the most holy Theotokos, it is not because she did something by herself. But it is because 1: God gave her an opportunity to say Yes or No to fulfill the ultimate grace of God by giving birth to the Christ. And lastly 2: She submitted her total will to let Gods grace work through her.

Now when we ask of her intercession, or a saint that God in any way gave an opportunity to say Yes or No. We don´t do it because of them being special in their nature. But because Gods grace worked through them in accordance to the persons free own will. If Mary would say no to the angel, she wouldn´t keep her status. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that she probably is one of the few on planet earth that God knew would answer yes to his merciful offer. Even though every single Christian may claim that: "Yes God, I would also say yes to the offer you gave Mary." Then we just lie and the truth is not in us Smiley She took an very important decision and God granted her, not by scriptural sense, but by a truthful and logical one, a status through whom we might gain a lot.
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Jovan
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« Reply #191 on: June 21, 2013, 04:23:29 PM »

Therefore, intercession from Mary is ultimately of course a grace from God. But Gods grace works in union with Marys will when she in a most loving and humble spirit prays for us in heaven, all the time. It´s always about Gods grace + the persons full own will on a matter. Exclude the latter from Mary and God maybe would have to wait much much longer for a person like her to say Yes to the Christ.
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« Reply #192 on: June 27, 2013, 07:42:56 AM »


Does Orthodoxy have apparitions of the Theotokos saying Country X should be consecrated or that the Rosary-equivalent should be prayed to her and that she is interceding on our behalf so that Jesus would delay/assuage His wrath and punishment?

No, but we do have the glorious Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God when she appeared and Constantinople was spared from the attacks of the (then-pagan) Rus'.
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