Monday, August 17, 2009

The role of the Virgin Mary in devotion

By some standards I am a bit too Protestant when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary. All Protestants including myself should honour and respect Mary in accordance with what Scripture teaches us about her, from being the one marked out by God to bear Jesus Christ, God incarnate, to the one who demonstrated in various ways before and after Jesus' birth that she was a singularly devoted servant of God. But this biblically grounded honour and respect is extended in the case of Mary (compared, say, to devoted servants of God such as Paul or Mary Magdalene) in some Christian traditions to a veneration of and a trust in a human person which, well, raises questions for me. The essential question being, is this extension supported by Scripture? In the communion of the saints in the days before Pentecost, for example, in the words of a great saint of my childhood and youth, the first Christians prayed with Mary and not to (or through) her (Acts 1)!

Well, be that as it may, I happily draw attention - a few days after Mary's feast, 15 August - to two reflections on Mary. One is by Bosco Peters, Anglican priest and Liturgy's presiding compiler, the other by Catherine Fox, ex-Baptist, clergyman's wife, and novelist.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that there are more Anglican Churches in NZ dedicated to S. Mary than there are Roman Catholic ones.
Barry Smithson

Peter Carrell said...

What an interesting fact, Barry!