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)


3. God’s Footprints

Pages 93-94: God is not bound to stones; rather, he binds himself to living men. Mary’s Yes opens to him the space wherein he can pitch his tent. She herself becomes his tent and, in this way, is the beginning of the holy Church.
Note: The birth of the Church was future to the birth and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:16-19.
Note: An individual’s confession of Jesus Christ builds the Church not Mary or Peter.

Page 94: The Church, in turn, points forward to the New Jerusalem, in which there is no more Temple, because God himself dwells in her. The faith in Christ we profess in the Creed of the baptized is thus in one respect, a spiritualization and purification of all that the religions of history have said and hoped about God’s dwelling in the world.
Note: An individual’s confession of Jesus Christ builds the Church not Mary or Peter.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-10.
Note: Baptized and unbaptized Christians will have confessed Jesus Christ from their hearts for salvation.

Page 94: But it is at the same time an “embodying” and concretization of God’s being with men that transcends all possible expectations. “God is in the flesh” – precisely this indissoluble joining of God with his creature constitutes the center of Christian faith. If this is true, it is natural that from the very beginning Christians also venerated as sacred the places where this event had come to pass. These places became an enduring guarantee that God had entered into the world. Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem thus became places where one could see, as it were, the footprints of the Redeemer, where the mystery of God’s Incarnation came into immediate contact with us.
Note: True worshipers of God the Father will not venerate Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:19-24.
Note: Will you believe Jesus Christ or the Roman Catholic Church dark-age dogma?

Page 94: Concerning the story of the Annunciation: the Protoevanelium of James, which dates back at least to the second century and, despite its numerous legendary elements, may also have preserved real reminiscences, spreads this event over two places. Mary took the jar and went out to draw water. And behold, a voice said: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, thou are blessed among women.” She looked about to the left and the right to see where this voice was coming from. And she trembled, went into her house, put the jar down, took the purple robe, sat down on her chair and spread it out. And behold, and angel of the Lord suddenly stood in front of her and said: “Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor before the Almighty and shall conceive of his Word.” (11:1ff.)
Note: Sadly, the Roman Catholic Church creates Mariology dogma from works of fiction.
The document presents itself as written by James: "I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem." The purported author is thus James, the brother of Jesus, but scholars have established that the work was not written by the person it is attributed to. That conclusion is based on the style of the language and the fact that the author describes certain activities as contemporary Jewish customs that probably did not exist. For example, the work suggests there were consecrated temple virgins in Judaism, similar to the Vestal Virgins in pagan Rome, although this is unlikely to have been a practice in mainstream Judaism. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: Will you base your beliefs on dubious works of fiction?

Page 95: Corresponding to this double tradition are two shrines: the eastern well-shrine and the Catholic basilica built around the Grotto of the Annunciation. Both have a profound meaning. Origen calls attention to how the motif of the well shapes the whole story of the Old Testament patriarchs. Wherever they went, they dug wells. Water is the element of life. The well thus increasingly becomes the symbol of life itself until at Jacob’s well Jesus reveals that he is the well of true life whom the thirst of humanity awaits. The well, the living water of the spring, becomes the sign of the mystery of Christ, who proffers us the water of life and from whose side blood and water flow. The well becomes a proclamation of Christ. But next to the well is the house, the place of prayer and recollection. “When you pray, go into your room” (Mt 6:6). That most highly personal event, the Annunciation of the Incarnation and the Virgin’s answer, requires the discretion of the house. The investigations of P. Bagatti have brought to light that as early as the second century someone had scrawled in Greek the angel’s greeting to Mary in the Grotto of Nazareth: Ave Maria. Gianfranco Ravasi remarks very nicely that Bagatti’s research confirms “that the Christian message is, not a collection of abstract theological theses, but God’s encounter with our world, with the reality of our houses and our life.” This is precisely what we are about here at the Holy House of Loreto in this year of its great Jubilee: we allow ourselves to be touched by the concreteness of God’s action, in order to profess with new gratitude and certainty: He took flesh of the Virgin Mary and became man.
Note: Christians will be touched by the concreteness of God’s love toward them.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:8-11.
Note: Christians will rejoice in God for the reconciliation obtained through Jesus Christ.