Author Topic: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?  (Read 555 times)

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Offline XavierSem

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Fr. Garrigou Lagrange explains the Traditional Teaching of the Church that Our Lady is Mediatrix of All Graces and Co-Redemptrix with Christ. These two doctrines go together, the Church had already instituted a feast for one under Pope Benedict XV, and taught the other in Her Ordinary Magisterium. Catholics need to renew our understanding and deepen our appreciation of all Our Lady suffered (1) even during the First 3 Years of Her Life, in Her Loving Prayers and Tears and Supplications for the Messiah to Come, So Pleasing in the Sight of God, (2) During Her 12 Years in the Temple of Jerusalem, (3) During the 33 Years of Her Life Together with Her Son, when She shared in His Sorrows, for our sake, and (4) During the about 20 years of Her Life after that, until the day of Her Assumption into Heaven and Coronation there. Do you believe the doctrine of Mary Co-Redemptrix should be dogmatically defined?

At Vatican II, one of the bad decisions made was not to define this dogma. The original draft of a statement on the Blessed Virgin Mary, prepared by the Conservative Fathers, read, "Although, with regard to the topics treated, "the complete and integral Catholic Doctrine is presented and set forth" (“Instruction of the Holy Office on the Ecumenical Movement,” AAS 42 [1950] 144), we have kept the separated brethren and their ways of thinking in mind. Therefore: a) Expressions and words used by the Supreme Pontiffs have been omitted which, although most true in themselves, may be more difficult for the separated brethren (Protestants) to understand. Among such words are the following: "Co-redemptrix of the human race" (St. Pius X, Pius XI); "Reparatrix of the whole world"(Leo XIII); "She renounced her maternal rights over her Son for the world's salvation" (Benedict XV, Pius XII); "She can truly be said with Christ to have redeemed the human race" (Benedict XV); etc." According to this statement, the doctrines of the traditional Pontiffs like Mary is Co-Redemptrix and Reparatrix of the whole world "are most true in themselves", but allegedly are to be kept out because of "the separated brethren and their ways of thinking". In other words, it was not denied that the doctrine was true, but claimed that its definability was not opportune, for the sake of a false ecumenism. And already even in this early statement, we see a liberal, false, minimalist ecumenism that seems to be what St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe had in mind when he taught, “There is no greater enemy of the Immaculata and Her Knighthood than today’s ecumenism, which every Knight must not only fight against, but also neutralize through diametrically opposed action and ultimately destroy.” In the final draft, all reference to Co-Redemptrix was omitted altogether.

From: https://catholicism.org/no-greater-enemy-of-our-lady-than-modern-ecumenism-saint-maximilian-kolbe.html

"The Influence of Mary, Mediatrix
Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
TAKEN FROM THE THREE AGES OF THE INTERIOR LIFE, VOL. 1
Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, 1948


WHEN the bases of the interior life are considered, we cannot discuss the action of Christ, the universal Mediator, on His Mystical Body without also speaking of the influence of Mary Mediatrix. As we remarked, many persons delude themselves, maintaining that they reach union with God without having continual recourse to our Lord, Who is the way, the truth, and the life. Another error would consist in wishing to go to our Lord without going first to Mary, whom the Church calls in a special feast the Mediatrix of all graces.

Protestants have fallen into this last error. Without going as far as this deviation, there are Catholics who do not see clearly enough the necessity of having recourse to Mary that they may attain to intimacy with the Savior. Blessed Grignion de Montfort speaks even of "doctors who know the Mother of God only in a speculative, dry, sterile, and indifferent manner; who fear that devotion to the Blessed Virgin is abused, and that injury is done to our Lord by honoring too greatly His holy Mother. If they speak of devotion to Mary, it is less to recommend it than to destroy the abuses that have grown up around it." [1] They seem to believe that Mary is a hindrance to reaching Divine union. According to Blessed Grignion, we lack humility if we neglect the mediators whom God has given us because of our frailty. Intimacy with our Lord in prayer will be greatly facilitated by a true and profound devotion to Mary.



To get a clear idea of this devotion, we shall consider what must be understood by universal mediation, and also how Mary is the mediatrix of all graces, as is affirmed by tradition and by the Office and Mass of Mary Mediatrix which are celebrated on May 3 I. Much has been written on the subject in recent years. We shall here consider this doctrine in its relation to the interior life. [2]  ...

MARY MEDIATRIX BY HER CO-OPERATION IN THE SACRIFICE OF THE CROSS

During the entire course of her earthly life, the Blessed Virgin cooperated in the sacrifice of her Son. First of all, the free consent that she gave on Annunciation day was necessary for the accomplishment of the mystery of the Incarnation, as if, says St. Thomas, [10] God had waited for the consent of humanity through the voice of Mary. By this free fiat, she cooperated in the sacrifice of the Cross, since she gave us its Priest and Victim. She cooperated in it also by offering her Son in the Temple, as a most pure host, at the moment when the aged Simeon saw by prophetic light that this Child was the "salvation ... prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel." [11] More enlightened than Simeon, Mary offered her Son, and began to suffer deeply with Him when she heard the holy old man tell her that He would be a sign which would be contradicted and that a sword would pierce her soul.

Mary cooperated in the sacrifice of Christ, especially at the foot of the Cross, uniting herself to Him, more closely than can be expressed, by satisfaction or reparation, and by merit. Some Saints, in particular the stigmatics, have been exceptionally united to the sufferings and merits of our Savior: for example, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Catherine of Siena, and yet their share in His suffering cannot be compared with Mary's. How did Mary offer her Son? As He offered Himself. By a miracle, Jesus could easily have prevented the blows of His executioners from causing His death; He offered Himself voluntarily. "No man," He says, "taketh it (My life) away from Me: but I lay it down of Myself. And I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again." [12] Jesus renounced His right to life; He offered Himself wholly for our salvation. Of Mary, St. John says: "There stood by the Cross of Jesus, His mother," [13] surely very closely united to Him in His suffering and oblation. As Pope Benedict XV says: "She renounced her rights as a mother over her Son for the salvation of all men." [14] She accepted the Martyrdom of Christ and offered it for us. In the measure of her love, she felt all the torments that He suffered in body and soul. More than anyone else, Mary endured the very suffering of the Savior; she suffered for sin in the degree of her love for God, whom sin offends; for her Son, whom sin crucified; for souls, which sin ravishes and kills. The Blessed Virgin's charity incomparably surpassed that of the greatest Saints. She thus cooperated in the sacrifice of the cross by way of satisfaction or reparation, by offering to God for us, with great sorrow and most ardent love, the life of her most dear Son, whom she rightly adored and who was dearer to her than her very life ...

In that instant, the Savior satisfied for us in strict justice by His human acts which drew from His divine personality an infinite value capable of making reparation for the offense of all mortal sins that ever had been or would be committed. His love pleased God more than all sins displease Him. [15] Herein lies the essence of the mystery of the redemption. In union with her Son on Calvary, Mary satisfied for us by a satisfaction based, not on strict justice, but on the rights of the infinite friendship or charity which united her to God. [16]

At the moment when her Son was about to die on the Cross, apparently defeated and abandoned, she did not cease for a moment to believe that He was the Word made flesh, the Savior of the world, Who would rise in three days as He had predicted. This was the greatest act of faith and hope ever made; after Christ's act of love, it was also the greatest act of love. It made Mary the Queen of Martyrs, for she was a Martyr, not only for Christ but with Christ; so much so, that a single Cross sufficed for her Son and for her. She was, in a sense, nailed to it by her love for Him. She was thus the Co-redemptrix, as Pope Benedict XV says, in this sense, that with Christ, through Him, and in Him, she bought back the human race. [17]

For the same reason, all that Christ merited for us on the Cross in strict justice, Mary merited for us by congruous merit, based on the charity that united her to God. Christ alone, as head of the human race, could strictly merit to transmit Divine life to us. But Pius X sanctioned the teaching of theologians when he wrote: "Mary, united to Christ in the work of salvation, merited de congruo for us what Christ merited for us de condigno." [18] http://www.catholictradition.org/Christ/mediatrix.htm
"Take my advice and every day in Mass ask God to make you a great Saint"-St. Leonard. Go for Holy Mass every day to receive the Holy Body and Precious Blood of God. Do never skip Holy Mass for even one single day, if you want to become a Saint, as the Saints tell us, we should all aspire to become.

Offline Ladislaus

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Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2019, 04:28:33 AM »
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  • At Vatican II, one of the bad decisions made was not to define this dogma.

    That was the LEAST of Vatican II's problems.  Faithful Catholics all believe this anyway.  And the unfaithful apostates are't going to accept it whether it's defined or not.  This doctrine is at least theologically certain, and I would say proximate to faith, as it's taught by the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.  So faithful Catholics believe it anyway.


    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 02:25:19 PM »
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  • I definitely didn't believe these when I first concluded that I needed to convert, but I also don't think I understood them.  Probably still don't completely, but more so than now.

    I'm less bothered by the fact that Vatican II didn't define a dogma that wasn't already defined, in order to avoid making things harder for Protestants, and I'm more bothered that they backtracked from things already established.

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 02:25:31 PM »
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  • I definitely didn't believe these when I first concluded that I needed to convert, but I also don't think I understood them.  Probably still don't completely, but more so than now.

    I'm less bothered by the fact that Vatican II didn't define a dogma that wasn't already defined, in order to avoid making things harder for Protestants, and I'm more bothered that they backtracked from things already established.

    Offline forlorn

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #4 on: October 11, 2019, 08:29:01 AM »
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  • It's a poorly named doctrine. Co-Redemtrix implies equality, that she played an equal role with Christ. If it was made dogma with that name, the average Catholic would think such, and that understanding is heretical. 


    Offline claudel

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #5 on: October 11, 2019, 06:49:59 PM »
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  • It's a poorly named doctrine. Co-Redemptrix implies equality, that she played an equal role with Christ. If it was made dogma with that name, the average Catholic would think such, and that understanding is heretical.

    A very good comment. The first quoted sentence is completely correct, and the others are nearly so. The only changes I would make are these: "Co-Redemptrix can imply equality" and "the average Catholic might easily think such."

    The movie industry's use of the word co-star neatly illustrates the problem with Co-Redemptrix. A co-star can be either (1) one of several leading players in a movie or (2) a supporting player. Context alone supplies the meaning. As theological context is a commodity in short supply in both Trad and conciliar circles today, rock-solid specificity might justly be said to be even more than usually needful.

    In other words, the opposition at play in the discussion is less truth vs. falsehood than prudence vs. rashness.

    Offline XavierSem

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #6 on: October 12, 2019, 08:19:12 AM »
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  • It's a poorly named doctrine. Co-Redemtrix implies equality, that she played an equal role with Christ. If it was made dogma with that name, the average Catholic would think such, and that understanding is heretical.
    As mentioned, (1) Co-Redemptrix of the world/Reparatrix of the whole human race has already been used by many Popes. (2) Co-Redemptrix does not imply equality at all, but sub-ordinate co-operation. St. Alphonsus calls the Blessed Mother of God the "Co-Operatress in our Redemption, because by Her Sorrows and Dolours at the Foot of the Cross, She Co-operated in giving us new birth.

    Theologians explain the sub-ordinate co-operation of Mary in Redemption by the distinction between condign and congruous merit and satisfaction. Condign merit is merit in strict justice, such as only Jesus Christ merited. Congruous merit is merit based on friendship or charity, and in this way the Blessed Mother merited for us. Thus, Fr. Garrigou Lagrange, citing Pope St. Pius X, explains in the OP, "For the same reason, all that Christ merited for us on the Cross in strict justice, Mary merited for us by congruous merit, based on the charity that united her to God. Christ alone, as head of the human race, could strictly merit to transmit Divine life to us. But Pius X sanctioned the teaching of theologians when he wrote: "Mary, united to Christ in the work of salvation, merited de congruo for us what Christ merited for us de condigno."

    Pope Leo XIII is just one of many Popes who have taught Co-Redemptrix. Here's an Encyclcal on it, specially suited for this month of October devoted to the Rosary, From: http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_le13is.htm

    Quote from: H.H. Pope Leo XIII
    Iucunda Semper Expectatione
    Quote
    On the Rosary
    His Holiness Pope Leo XIII
    September 8, 1894

    To the Partiarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.
    Venerable Brethren, Greeting and Apostolic Benediction.
    IT IS ALWAYS with joyful expectation and inspired hope that We look forward to the return of the month of October. At Our exhortation and by Our express order this month has been consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, during which for some years now the devotion of her Rosary has been practiced by Catholic nations throughout the world with sedulous earnestness. Our reasons for making this exhortation We have made known more than once. For as the disastrous condition of the Church and of Society proved to Us the extreme necessity for signal aid from God, it was manifest to Us that that aid should be sought through the intercession of His Mother, and by the express means of the Rosary, which Christians have ever found to be of marvelous avail. This indeed has been well proved since the very institution of the devotion, both in the vindication of Holy Faith against the furious attacks of heresy, and in restoring to honor the virtues, which by reason of the Age's corruption, required to be rekindled and sustained. And this same proof was continued in all succeeding ages, by a never failing series of private and public benefits, whereof the illustrious remembrance is everywhere perpetuated and immortalized by monuments and existing institutions. Likewise in Our age, afflicted with that tempest of various evils, it is a joy to Our soul to relate the beneficent influence of the Rosary. Notwithstanding all this, you yourselves, Venerable Brethren, behold with your own eyes the persistence--nay, the increase--of the reasons for renewing again this year Our summons to the Faithful to turn with increased ardor in prayer to Mary, the Queen of Heaven. Besides, the more We fix Our thoughts upon the character of the Rosary, the clearer its excellence and power appear to Us. Hence, while Our wish increases that it may flourish, Our hope grows also that through Our recommendation it may come to be more greatly prized, its holy use become more extended and flourish abundantly. But We shall not now return to the various instructions which in past years We have given upon this subject. We shall take instead the opportunity of pointing out the particular ruling and designs of Providence which ordains that the Rosary should have new power to instill confidence into the hearts of those who pray, and new influence to move the compassionate heart of Our Mother to comfort and succor Us with the utmost bounty.

    2. The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and, therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven. Now, this merciful office of hers, perhaps, appears in no other form of prayer so manifestly as it does in the Rosary. For in the Rosary all the part that Mary took as our co-Redemptress comes to us, as it were, set forth, and in such wise as though the facts were even then taking place; and this with much profit to our piety, whether in the contemplation of the succeeding sacred mysteries, or in the prayers which we speak and repeat with the lips. First come the Joyful Mysteries. The Eternal Son of God stoops to mankind, putting on its nature; but with the assent of Mary, who conceives Him by the Holy Ghost. Then St. John the Baptist, by a singular privilege, is sanctified in his mother's womb and favored with special graces that he might prepare the way of the Lord; and this comes to pass by the greeting of Mary who had been inspired to visit her cousin. At last the expected of nations comes to light, Christ the Savior. The Virgin bears Him. And when the Shepherds and the wise men, first-fruits of the Christian faith, come with longing to His cradle, they find there the young Child, with Mary, His Mother. Then, that He might before men offer Himself as a victim to His Heavenly Father, He desires to be taken to the Temple; and by the hands of Mary He is there presented to the Lord. It is Mary who, in the mysterious losing of her Son, seeks Him sorrowing, and finds Him again with joy. And the same truth is told again in the sorrowful mysteries."

    Claudel, thanks, that's a reasonable objection. I hope the foregoing addresses it. We know some people misunderstand "Immaculate Conception" to mean Immaculate Conception of Jesus by Mary, rather than the Immaculate Conception of Mary Herself. We will have to explain it to those who misunderstand. 

    Quote from: Ladislaus
    Faithful Catholics all believe this anyway
    Perhaps all faithful Catholics would be ready to believe it, but many right now have not even heard that Mary is Mediatrix of all Graces. Saints like Catherine of Sienna, St. Bernard, St. Alphonsus, St. Padre Pio, St. Maximillian Kolbe etc lay great emphasis on believing it, living it, teaching it. Mary dispenses all graces from first justification to final perseverance. It is certainly definable dogma, implied in Luk 1:28 itself, the Angelic Salutation, as well as in passages like Sir 24:25 which the Church applies to Her.

    Quote from: ByzCat
    making things harder for Protestants
    The intention is not to make things hard for Protestants, but for Catholic Christians to grow in love, devotion and gratitude to our Mother, for Her sufferings, dolours and sorrows all Her life and especially at the foot of the Cross in Union with Christ Crucified. 

    St. Alphonsus: "But if Mary's lips were silent, her heart was not so, for she incessantly offered the life of her Son to the Divine Justice for our salvation. Therefore we know that by the merits of her dolours she cooperated in our birth to the life of grace; and hence we are the children of her sorrows. "Christ," says Lanspergius, "was pleased that she, the cooperatress in our redemption, and whom He had determined to give us for our Mother, should be there present; for it was at the foot of the cross that she was to bring us, her children, forth." If any consolation entered that sea of bitterness, the heart of Mary, the only one was this, that she knew that by her sorrows she was leading us to eternal salvation, as Jesus Himself revealed to Saint Bridget: "My Mother Mary, on account of her compassion and love, was made the Mother of all in heaven and on earth." And indeed these were the last words with which Jesus bid her farewell before His death: this was His last recommendation, leaving us to her for her children in the person of Saint John: "Woman, behold thy son." From that time Mary began to perform this good office of a Mother for us" Source: From the Glories of Mary, On the Dolours of Mary, by St. Alphonsus: On the Fifth Dolor
    "Take my advice and every day in Mass ask God to make you a great Saint"-St. Leonard. Go for Holy Mass every day to receive the Holy Body and Precious Blood of God. Do never skip Holy Mass for even one single day, if you want to become a Saint, as the Saints tell us, we should all aspire to become.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #7 on: October 12, 2019, 08:27:37 AM »
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  • It's a poorly named doctrine. Co-Redemtrix implies equality, that she played an equal role with Christ. If it was made dogma with that name, the average Catholic would think such, and that understanding is heretical.

    I don't think so.  I see "co" ... from the Latin cum, meaning "along with", as implying subordination and COoperation.  When you cooperate with something, you are joining something that's already in motion.  Co-pilots are subordinate to the pilots.  You would never call our Lord the co-Redeemer of the world ... precisely because of the subordination connoted by that prefix.  CO only implies equality in certain modern usages, in very specific contexts, like "these two were co-champions this year" or when Novus Ordo priests CON-celebrate (although even then there's still a primary celebrant).

    If there's any confusion, all that's needed is clarification in the actual definition that would come out.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #8 on: October 12, 2019, 08:29:21 AM »
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  • Perhaps all faithful Catholics would be ready to believe it, but many right now have not even heard that Mary is Mediatrix of all Graces.

    That's just not true.  Every even-serious-Novus-Ordo Catholic has heard of it and already believes it.

    I believe we have much bigger fish to fry, about 100 errors that need to be solemnly condemned first.

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Theological Status of the doctrine of Mary Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix?
    « Reply #9 on: October 12, 2019, 08:24:30 PM »
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  • I'm sympathetic to the notion of not wanting to put *unnecessary* stumbling blocks in front of Protestants wanting to come into the Church.  But I think we've already done that by watering down our views on salvation outside Christianity* (and I'm talking even the post Vatican II positions vs the 1850s positions, I'm not even getting into the Feeney issue here).  I also think there's a big difference between waiting longer to define something, so as not to set another stumbling block, vs actively deconstructing our worship and actively moving to make things MORE Protestant (as we did.)


     

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