Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Queen of Heaven

One of the greatest, last, barriers for those converting to Catholicism is often Catholic devotion to Mary. For many of those coming from the Protestant faith an authentic understanding of Mary and her place in salvation history is a difficulty. One that is often hard for Catholics to help them overcome, because they themselves do not have a sufficient knowledge of Scripture to explain this devotion in a biblical framework.
A statement one often hears from those raised in the Protestant traditions is that honoring Mary is not biblical. This is an understanding that is not based on biblical fact. A prime understanding of the new covenant, the new kingdom is that during biblical times the Davidic kingdom is a model for the eternal kingdom. That is, God uses Israel and its Davidic dynasty to model what the proper relationship is between a king and his people and our Heavenly King and his people. So just as David was a shepherd and a king, so too is David's decedent, Our Lord, Jesus Christ both a Shepherd and a King. As David was a father to his people, so too is our God a Father to his people.
Now in the Davidic kingdom from the time of Solomon until the very end of the kingdom the Queen Mother was a position of unique power and authority. The cultural reasons for this extend beyond Israel to all of the nations of that part of the world...Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Persia. It is easy to see why. Polygamy was a common practice and the king might have many wives, but he would only have one mother.
In 2nd Kings it says:
Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king's mother, who sat at his right.
This was not a one-time act. The positioning of the Queen Mother at the King's right hand was an indication of her relationship to the king. It was a position of power, down to almost the present day, when the prestige position is at a leaders right hand, so the phase "right hand man." Further, throughout the rest of the books of Kings whenever it lists the name of the king in the genealogy of the Davidic Line it also lists the name of his mother.
So this is model of our proper relationship to Mary and her Son. The Queen Mother holds no power or authority through her own person, but only through her son. So too does Mary hold no power or authority on her own, but only though her Son. Still in the ancient kingdom the Queen Mother was often brought petitions so that she would intercede with the king on behalf of others.
An authentic relationship with Mary includes the understanding that Mary always directs the penitent to her Son. In the Magnificat Mary says:

Magnificat anima mea Dominum,

My souls does magnify the Lord,
In every word spoken by Mary in Scripture it is evident that she points to her son. Nowhere is this more evident than in her final words in Scripture, in John 2:5

Do what ever He tells you.
The mark of an authentic Marian Apparition is always "how does it point to Chris?" for Mary never points to herself.

1 comment:

Denny0417Mahurin said...

最敏捷的,未必贏得競賽:最強大的,未必贏得戰爭:時間與機會才是主人 ..................................................