In Defense of the Virgin

The Virgin Mary was a wonderful, awesome person.  She had to be or God would not have chosen her.  But I have seen a growing problem.  She is constantly and consistently being maligned.  No, I am not talking about you, Protestants, but you might want to read this anyway because I am going to go over something that is of particular interest to all Christians.  I’m looking right at you, Catholics. What I am talking about is a slap in the face to her and it is something that I won’t stand for!  It is wrong and it is blasphemous!  And if you know me I almost never use that word.

Prepare for a rant!

First, let me tell you what I have seen.  It started innocuous enough.

You go to Reconciliation and they have you say “Hail Mary”s as Penance.  Why Mary?  God was the one you hurt?  I get that Mary is praying with you (or for you depending on who you talk to).  But it never seemed quite right to me.  At Reconciliation my focus is on God and I can talk to Mary later.  And yes talking, by the way, is what is supposed to be meant when Catholics say that they pray to Mary.  Protestants talk to their dead relatives, praying to Mary is exactly the same thing.

Another time, I was having a major migraine and was asked, “Do you want to pray the rosary? Mary will help you if you pray the rosary.”  What? No, I don’t want to pray the rosary.  If I could stop screaming in pain and throwing up I would pray to God.  Moreover why would Mary help me only if I say the rosary?  The rosary is not some kind of magic spell that bends Mary to my will.  What is wrong with you?

And another time I was worried about something and was told, “I will pray for you.” Before I could reply, they continued, “You have to lift everything up to Our Lady.”  What?!? Since when did Mary become God?!

And again, I was at a Baptismal and at the end of the ceremony all of the parents and godparents gathered next to the statue of Mary and symbolically laid their child at the statue’s feet as the priest dedicated the child to Mary’s service.  Have you lost your minds!?!  What is wrong with people!?!  A baptismal is first and foremost a dedication of your child to God.

As a Catholic, again I ask, since when did Mary become God?

Mary is not Divine.  Although if you look at the way people have been acting, you would think that the Holy Trinity is The Father, The Son and Mary.  Actions speak louder than words, people!  This is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit!

28Most certainly I tell you, all sins of the descendants of man will be forgiven, including their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme; 29but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” Mark 3:28 – 29

So why do I think this divination of Mary is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit?  I will answer that by asking this what do we know about the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is the giver of Life, bringer of God’s Love.  The Holy Spirit is the one that speaks through the prophets.  Other than that, what do we know?  So if you ask most people who is the Holy Spirit they say, “um… the… Dove?”  It is always the Father, the Son, and the… Other one. What family do you know of that consists of a Father, a bird and a child?  The Holy Spirit in the original Biblical texts was female.  Sometimes referred to as the Wisdom of God, the Spirit of God, or sometimes Sophia (Greek for wisdom).  But at all times it was the Holy Spirit and the noun used was feminine.   In Aramaic, the language Jesus used, the word for Holy Spirit was female as well.

I know someone will bring up that spirit was just a feminine noun. But if you look at older images, we used to all know She was female.  Here is where someone mentions the Female Holy Spirit Heresy.  It is not heresy.  It is fact.  But why does this cause such a problem?  We all know that God is only revealed to us in tiny little ways that our mind can comprehend.  Now, I am not going to get into the debate of how the Holy Spirit lost gender, or how the Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to in the masculine.  We all know that God is beyond gender – neither male nor female, nor not male nor not female.  God is.  What is important however, is that the aspects of God, the Holy Trinity, that God has revealed to us allows us the ability to identify with and love God as a whole.  God is One! Think about it, which is easier to love: a non-corporeal, all supreme entity, or Our Father?

Like many of you I had no problem with God being male in all three aspects.  Not a problem in the world.  Jesus was all male.  God is One.  It works.  Then while reading up on the Holy Spirit I came across this fact from the Bible.  Now, of course, that only caused me to investigate further.  For most of the history of Christianity it was an understood principle that the Holy Spirit was female.  There are old churches in Europe that still have mosaics and paintings on the walls of the Holy Trinity with the Holy Spirit as a woman.  It is true!

HolySpirit-Bavaria_445x448

This image is from a fresco of the Trinity in the parish church of Prien bei Chiemsee in Bavaria, Germany, from the first half of the 1400s.   Some have said, no that’s not the Holy Spirit, that’s Mary.  To that I say:

HolySpirit-Eggfelden_445x389

This statue in the Eggfelden, Germany, also from the 1400s.   Which depicts the crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven.

To most of you this revelation of historic truth will not matter in the least.  Some will still cling to the all-male trinity and some to the Father, Son and Dove. And that is all well and good.  You be you!  God is One!  And that is the important part!

But to me, and maybe some of you, this new/old way of picturing the Holy Spirit as Our Mother, fills a need which we never knew we had.  And I think that is where the problem with people and the amazing Virgin Mary comes into play.

Mary is being used as a substitute for the Holy Spirit.  They are missing their Divine Mother and are substituting Mary because they have forgotten who the Holy Spirit is.  They have been giving Mary the attributes of the Holy Spirit.  In the song, “Hail Mary Gentle Woman” part of the refrain is:

Gentle mother peaceful dove
teach us wisdom; teach us love

This is a tragedy.  The Virgin Mary being given the attributes of the Holy Spirit is a determent.  It takes away from her human, vulnerable and heroic nature, and further obscures the Holy Spirit.  However it does point out how much we need Our Mother.

With the Holy Spirit as the female aspect of God, I feel so much closer to God.  I feel, for lack of a better term, more loved by God.  It is an ingrained, subconscious feeling that when things are bad, sometimes you don’t call for your powerful, protecting Dad, you want your caring, comforting Mom.  You don’t want Dad to fix it, you want Mom to tell you it will be alright.  They say that even the bravest of men when facing death will cry out for their mothers.  That is the cry my soul has been making and I didn’t even know it.  I need Our Mother.  We need Our Mother.  That is what some of the recent trend in Mary worship is about.  We all, sometimes, just want our Mommy.

Peace be with you.

UPDATE: People have said that the worship of Mary is because Jesus said that she is our mother.  That does not make her divine.  What it means is think of Mary like your physical mother – respect her, learn from her, and emulate her best qualities.

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