Book Critique of MARY, The Church at the Source by Ratzinger and Balthasar
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
MARY, The Church at the Source
Thoughts on the place of Marian Doctrine and piety in faith and theology as a whole
By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)
HAIL, FULL OF GRACE – Mary in the Paschal Mystery
Pages 75-76: This brings me to the second aspect of the figure of Mary
I would like to mention. To magnify God: this means, as we were saying,
to free ourselves for him. It signifies the true exodus, man’s exodus
from himself, the Maximus the Confessor matchlessly describes in his
interpretation of Christ’s Passion as the “transition between the two
wills from opposition to union”, a passage leading “through the
sacrifice of obedience”. Luke’s first express mention of the Cross as
an aspect of Mary’s grace, prophecy, and mysticism occurs in her
encounter with the aged Simeon. The old man says to her in prophetic
language: “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in
Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce
through your own soul also)” (Lk 2:34-35). I am reminded here of
Nathan’s prophecy to David after the latter’s fall into sin: “You …
have slain (Uriah the Hittite) with the sword of the Ammonites. Now
therefore the sword shall never depart from your house” (2 Sam
12:9-10). The sword that hangs over David’s house now strikes Mary’s
heart. In the true David, Christ, and in his Mother, the pure Virgin,
the curse is suffered through and overcome.
Note: The prophecy about David was specifically for David and not Mary.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you
from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and
give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the
sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing
before all Israel, before the sun.’” 2 Samuel 12:11-12.
Note: David’s neighbor and son Absalom slept with David’s wives and this prophecy was fulfilled.
Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give advice as to what we should do.”
And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines,
whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you
are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you
will be strong.” So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the
house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of
all Israel. 2 Samuel 16:20-22.
Note: Why does the Roman Catholic church misinterpretate Scripture to maintain dark age doctrines?
Page 76: The sword shall pierce her heart – this statement foreshadows
the Son’s Passion, which will become her own passion. This passion
already begins with her next visit to the Temple: she must accept the
precedence of Jesus’ true Father and of his house, the Temple; she must
learn to release the Son she has borne. She must complete the Yes to
God’s will that made her a mother by withdrawing into the background
and letting Jesus enter upon his mission. Jesus’ rebuffs during his
public life and her withdrawal are an important step that will reach
its goal on the Cross with the words “behold, your son.” It is no
longer Jesus but the disciple who is her son. To accept and to be
available is the first step required of her; to let go and to release
is the second. Only in this way does her motherhood become complete:
the “blessed is the womb that bore you” comes true only when it enters
into the other beatitude: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word
of God and keep it” (Lk 11:27-28). By this means Mary is prepared for
the mystery of the Cross, which does not simply end on Golgotha. Her
Son remains a sign of contradiction, and she is thus kept to the very
end in the pain of this contradiction, in the pain of her messianic
Note: Mary did not care for the ministry of Jesus Christ as she had a large family.
Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent
to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they
said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking
You.” But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?”
And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said,
“Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God
is My brother and My sister and mother.” Mark 3:31-35.
Note: Mary was out of the will of God for trying to stop the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Pages 76-77: The image of the grieving (leidend) Mother, who in her
suffering had become sheer compassion (Mitleid) and who now holds the
dead Christ on her lap, has become especially dear to the Christian
piety. In the compassionate Mother, suffers of all ages have found the
purest reflection of the divine compassion that is the only true
consolation. For, looked at in its deepest essence, all pain, all
suffering is solitude, loss of love, the wrecked happiness of the
rejected. Only the “com”, the “with”, can heal pain.
Note: Mary holding the dead Christ on her lap and came from Michelangelo’s sculpture not Scripture.
Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named
Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went
to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the
body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it
in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn
out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the
tomb, and departed. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary,
sitting opposite the tomb. Matthew 27:57-61.
Note: Mary was grieving for having lost her first-born son though she had other children.
Page 77: In Bernard of Clairvaux we find the wonderful statement that
God cannot suffer (leiden), but he can suffer with (be com-passionate,
mit-leiden). With these words, Bernard brings to a certain conclusion
the Fathers’ struggle to articulate the newness of the Christian
concept of God. Ancient thought considered the passionlessness
(Leidenschafts-losigkeit) of pure intellect to be an essential
attribute of God. It proved difficult for the Fathers to reject this
notion and to think of “passion” (Leidenschaft) in God. Yet in the
light of the Bible they saw quite plainly that “Biblical revelation …
upsets (everything) … the world had thought about God.” They saw that
it even constitutes his true essence: love. And because he loves,
suffering (Leid) in the form of compassion (Mitleid) is not foreign to
him. In this connection, Origen writes: “In his love for man the
Impossible One suffered (erlitten) merciful compassion.” We could say
that the Cross of Christ is God’s compassionate suffering with the
Note: Sadly, the Roman Catholic church draws many of its doctrines from the dark ages.
According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115,
naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux. There Bernard
would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the
Virgin Mary." In the year 1128, Bernard assisted at the Council of
Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights
Templar, who soon became the ideal of Christian nobility. Wikipedia
Note: God is longsuffering with mankind but does not suffer pain in compassion.
And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God,
merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and
truth, 7keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and
transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children
to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7.
Note: Why does the Roman Catholic church misinterpretate Scripture to maintain dark age doctrines?
Page 78: The Hebrew text of the Old Testament does not draw on
psychology to speak about God’s compassionate suffering with man.
Rather, in accordance with the concreteness of Semitic thought, it
designates it with a word whose basic meaning refers to a bodily organ,
namely, rahmim. Taken in the singular, rahmim means the mother’s womb.
Just as “heart” stands for feeling, and “loins” and “kidneys” stand for
desire and pain, the womb becomes the term for being with another; it
becomes the deepest reference to man’s capacity to stand for another,
to take the other into himself, to suffer him (erleiden), and in this
long-suffering to give him life. The Old Testament, with a word taken
from the language of the body, tells us how God shelters us in himself,
how he bears us in himself with compassionate love.
Note: There is no pain, sorrow, crying, or death in the literal presence of God.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of
heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I
heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God
is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.
God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away
every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow,
nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have
passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all
things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and
faithful.” Revelation 21:2-5.
Note: Will you believe Saint John or the Roman Catholic church dark age doctrines?
Pages 78-79: The languages into which the Gospel entered when it came
to the pagan would did not have such modes of expression. But the image
of the Pieta, the Mother grieving (leidend) for her Son, became the
vivid translation of this word: In her, God’s maternal affliction
(Leiden) is open to view. In her we can behold it and touch it. She is
the compassion of God, displayed in a human being who has let herself
be drawn wholly into God’s mystery. It is because human life is at all
times suffering that the image of the suffering Mother, the image of
the rahmim of God, is of such importance for Christianity. The Pieta
completes the picture of the Cross, because Mary is the accepted Cross,
the Cross communicating itself in love, the Cross that now allows us to
experience in her compassion the compassion of God. In this way the
Mother’s affliction is Easter affliction, which already inaugurates the
transformation of death into the redemptive being-with of love. Only
apparently have we distanced ourselves from the “rejoice” with which
the narrative of Mary begins. For the joy announced to her is not the
banal joy clung to in forgetfulness of the abysses of our being and so
condemned to plunge into the void. It is the real joy that gives us the
courage to venture the exodus of love into the burning holiness of God.
It is the true joy that pain does not destroy but first brings to its
maturity. Only the joy that stands the test of pain and is stronger
than affliction is authentic.
Note: Despite tribulation, Christians will be filled with joy, peace, and hope by the Holy Spirit not Mary.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans
Note: Will you believe Saint Paul or the Roman Catholic church dark age doctrines?
Page 79: “All generations will call me blessed.” We call Mary blessed
with words woven together from the angelic salutation and Elizabeth’s
greeting – that is, with words not of human invention. The Evangelist
tells us, in fact, that Elizabeth uttered her greeting filled with the
Holy Spirit. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of
your womb”; these are the words of Elizabeth, which we repeat after
her. Blessed are you – God’s promise to Abraham resounds once more at
the beginning of the New Covenant: “You will be a blessing … and by you
all the families of the earth shall bless themselves” (Gen 12:2-3).
Mary, who recapitulated the faith of Abraham and brought it to its
goal, is now the one blessed. She has become the Mother of believers,
through whom all the generations and races of the earth obtain
blessing. We place ourselves in this blessing when we praise her. We
enter into it when, together with her, we become believers who magnify
God because he dwells among us as “God with us”: Jesus Christ, the true
and only Redeemer of the world.
Note: Why didn’t Saint Jude (Matthew 13:55 & Mark 6:3) praise Mary his mother?
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you
faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God
our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and
power, both now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25.
Note: Will you believe Saint Jude or the Roman Catholic church dark age doctrines?
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