Author Topic: Suppliant Omnipotence?  (Read 2482 times)

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Offline Hesychios

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Suppliant Omnipotence?
« on: July 21, 2005, 10:07:47 AM »
Greetings all,

In the course of some outside reading I came across an Roman Catholic theological term I had never heard of before. It concerns the Holy Theotokos. Basically the assumption is that God will grant the Theotokos anything she asks for.

This is similar to the "Mediatrix of all graces" line of thinking. What bothers me is that it seems to proclaim that God yields all judgment to the Theotokos. This has perhaps also had the disturbing effect of making some Christians into sycophants in their relationship with Mary. At least that is what strikes me from certain conversations I have had.

I have concerns about this term on several levels but rather go into more detail I thought I would crop a section of this article by the late Father William Most, a Roman Catholic priest for your review.

We get this from a teaching of Pope Pius XI in "Explorata res" of Feb. 2,
1923: ". . nor would he incur eternal death whom the Most Blessed Virgin
assists, especially at his last hour. This opinion of the Doctors of the
Church, in harmony with the sentiments of the Christian people, and
supported by the experience or all times, depends especially on this
reason, the fact that the Sorrowful Virgin shared in the work of
redemption with Jesus Christ."

Let us note well: here we have crossed over from the area of merely
private revelations into that of public revelation. There the Church does
have teaching authority, and Pius XI has just told us that the protection
of the Blessed Virgin will protect one from eternal death. Further,
besides this teaching of Pius XI, we have very similar words from Pius XII
and Benedict XV.
 
But we want to note specially the very wording of Pius XI. He said flatly
that, "he will not incur eternal death." Now there is a vital question of
final perseverance. To illustrate: If I look ahead to the next time I will
have a temptation, and ask: Will God then give me the graces needed to
win? The answer is of course: Yes. And it is yes no matter how many times
I look into the future. But - and this is the critical point - to continue
cooperating with these graces, not just once, but over a long period, even
to death - that needs something extra and special. That something special
is called the grace of final perseverance. Does God offer everyone such a
gift? Some older theologians, sadly, said no. He might decide simply not
to offer it to some. Would it be to those who were in mortal sin? Not
necessarily, they used to reply. He might decide simply without any such
reason not to give it. . .

But this amounts to heresy. For St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: (1
Ths. 5:23-24): "May the God of peace make you holy in all things, so that
your entire spirit and soul and body may be kept without complaint at the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who called you is faithful and He will
also do it." Similarly, he wrote in Phil 1:6: "He who has begun a good
work in you will complete it, up to the day of Christ Jesus." And in 1 Cor
1:8-9: "He will confirm you even to the end without blame, on the day of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. God through whom you were called into sharing with
His Son Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful."

So we have triple assurance from St. Paul of this: God will offer this
grace of final perseverance to everyone. How then could the Council of
Trent teach that we cannot be sure of having this grace? Very easily. We
watch the wording. St. Paul made clear God will offer it - but it is one
thing for God to offer it, another thing for me to have it. If He offers,
but I do not accept, but instead reject, I will not have it.

Is there then any way of protecting against such a possibility, that I
might reject it? There is no promise in Scripture for that. But yet Pius
XI said flatly that he whom the Blessed Virgin assists at his last hour
will not suffer eternal death. In other words, he is promising that one
devoted to her will not, as a matter of fact, reject that grace of
perseverance. She, of course, whom Pope Benedict XV called "suppliant
omnipotence" will bring it about. That expression "suppliant omnipotence
"is fascinating. It means that everything that God Himself can do by His
own inherent power, she can obtain by her intercession. So she will obtain
for those devoted to her that they will not fail that all important final
grace.

Again, we recall that this assurance comes not from private revelation,
over which the Church does not have the authority to guarantee it, but it
comes from the Pope speaking without the support of any private
revelation. Rather, he appeals to the fact that she, "shared in the work
of redemption" with Jesus.
Any comments?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2005, 10:08:12 AM by Hesychios »
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Offline Sabbas

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Re: Suppliant Omnipotence?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2005, 11:27:33 AM »
I am used to hearing Roman Catholics refer to the Virgin Mary as the coredemprix and daughter of the Father so I was not at all shocked upon reading this. This whole idea about the Theotokos taking part in the Redemption seems to spring from a faulty understanding of Jesus Christ being the New Adam and the Virgin Mary being the New Eve.
Quote
But it was because Eve was seduced by the sweetness of the fruit of the tree of life, that a sword pierced the soul of Mary, when she saw her Son on the tree of the Cross. Christ redeemed the sin of Eve. The rib, from which Eve was fashioned, was pierced in the second Adam and, as a sign of expitiation and cleansing of the first sin, blood and water poured therefrom. But to the Cross of her Son Mary brought her guiltless, redemptive moral affliction and suffering for the sin of Eve, because it was on account of the sin of Eve that her Son ascended the Cross. Mary suffered on account of Eve and at the very Cross itself, where the sin of Eve was washed away. Luke 2:35; John 19:34.

We see that if Christ is the second Adam, then Mary is in reality the second Eve, and if Eve was made as a help, meet for and like unto Adam (Gen. 2:18, 20), so Mary in all her qualities appeared as "help, meet for and like unto" the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself And in so far as the greatness of the second Adam is boundless, so too the greatness of the second Eve is holy and exalted, worthy of this Adam.
What I just quoted is from an essay on the Orthodox Veneration of the Theotokos but you can clearly see from this quote how Roman Catholics got the idea the Theotokos somehow takes part in the work of the Redemption.

The problem with this idea of the Theotokos being a coredemptrix is that Orthodox believe that the Virgin Mary needed to be redeemed from sin with the rest of mankind and that Redemption comes solely through the Sacrifice of our Lord on the Cross, that is through God. The work of Redemption cannot in any way be that of a creature but solely comes from the Creator.

As for Suppliant Omnipotence, I was suprised to read that it does seem to surrender judgment to the Thetokos. Orthodox believe that the Virgin Mary intercedes for us and that as she cannot be denied anything she asks as she would never ask of anything contrary to the will of God. However this idea that the Virgin Mary is a Judge seems rather odd.

I am not well read in Roman Catholic theology but I think I can safely say that Roman Catholicism has turned the Virgin Mary into an idol.
www.hungersite.com  Ãƒâ€šÃ‚  www.freedonation.com you can donate up to 20 times at freedonation.  http://www.pomog.org/ has online 1851 Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton English translation of Septuagint.http://www.cnrs.ubc.ca/greekbible/ Original Koine Septuagint and New Testament.

Offline yBeayf

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Re: Suppliant Omnipotence?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2005, 11:51:19 PM »
Quote
As for Suppliant Omnipotence, I was suprised to read that it does seem to surrender judgment to the Thetokos.

Interesting -- I didn't read that at all in the text. What I thought was the key point was near the end: "one
devoted to her will not, as a matter of fact, reject that grace of perseverance." Essentially, it's saying that the grace is offered to all, and that one cannot reject the grace while simultaneously being devoted to the Theotokos; hence, someone who is devoted to the Theotokos at the hour of death will be receiving the grace to persevere till the end.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2005, 11:51:41 PM by Beayf »

Offline JoeS

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Re: Suppliant Omnipotence?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2005, 04:18:10 PM »
Interesting -- I didn't read that at all in the text. What I thought was the key point was near the end: "one
devoted to her will not, as a matter of fact, reject that grace of perseverance." Essentially, it's saying that the grace is offered to all, and that one cannot reject the grace while simultaneously being devoted to the Theotokos; hence, someone who is devoted to the Theotokos at the hour of death will be receiving the grace to persevere till the end.

I dont think the Blessed Virgin Mary would appreciate her being elevated to the same or close to the level of her Son.  Im sure she is more humble than that even in heaven.  She plays a pivotal role in asking our Lord to bestow graces but bestowing graces of her own accord - I dont think so.  I do think she can influence her Son though (witnessed the changing of water to wine at Canaan.) Can she dispense grace?  Not without the Son. Does she dispense grace. Im sure that with the Son she may have. 

JoeS

Offline Saint Polycarp

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Re: Suppliant Omnipotence?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2005, 08:55:56 PM »
I always understood the Catholic understanding of Mary's being co-redemtrix as similar to the roles that all Christian's have in God's plan of salvation. We all play some role by living out our Christian life and if we are doing it normally we are all co-mediating in some manner or another but we see Mary and the saints as mediating in a more powerfull manner if you will than the average Christian. As Saint Paul pointed out we all can participate in the sufferings of Christ for the greater good of all.

I am used to hearing Roman Catholics refer to the Virgin Mary as the coredemprix and daughter of the Father so I was not at all shocked upon reading this. This whole idea about the Theotokos taking part in the Redemption seems to spring from a faulty understanding of Jesus Christ being the New Adam and the Virgin Mary being the New Eve. What I just quoted is from an essay on the Orthodox Veneration of the Theotokos but you can clearly see from this quote how Roman Catholics got the idea the Theotokos somehow takes part in the work of the Redemption.

The problem with this idea of the Theotokos being a coredemptrix is that Orthodox believe that the Virgin Mary needed to be redeemed from sin with the rest of mankind and that Redemption comes solely through the Sacrifice of our Lord on the Cross, that is through God. The work of Redemption cannot in any way be that of a creature but solely comes from the Creator.

As for Suppliant Omnipotence, I was suprised to read that it does seem to surrender judgment to the Thetokos. Orthodox believe that the Virgin Mary intercedes for us and that as she cannot be denied anything she asks as she would never ask of anything contrary to the will of God. However this idea that the Virgin Mary is a Judge seems rather odd.

I am not well read in Roman Catholic theology but I think I can safely say that Roman Catholicism has turned the Virgin Mary into an idol.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2005, 08:56:42 PM by Saint Polycarp »
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Offline SeanMc

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Re: Suppliant Omnipotence?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2005, 11:31:00 PM »
According to St. Irenaeus, the Blessed Virgin is the cause of our salvation:

"In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin (for in Paradise "they were both naked, and were not ashamed," inasmuch as they, having been created a short time previously, had no understanding of the procreation of children: for it was necessary that they should first come to adult age, and then multiply from that time onward), having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race" (Against the Heresies III:22:4).

What this means exactly, well I'm no St. John Chyrsostom so I couldn't tell you.