Statues & Veneration of Mary

On the identity of Jews who have found Yeshua. Dialog between Messianic Jews and Catholic Jews. What unites us and what divides us? How can we work towards unity?

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What is the major stumbling block for Messianic Jews to convert to Catholicism?

Poll ended at Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:47 am

Eucharist as true Body & Blood?
1
17%
Statues in Church?
1
17%
Veneration & prayers to Mary?
2
33%
Hiearachy system - Pope as "head" of the Church?
0
No votes
Treatment of Jews by Catholics in the past (ie. Inquisition/Crusades etc..)
0
No votes
Other
2
33%
 
Total votes: 6

Hadassah
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Post by Hadassah » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:52 am

Hello Rob,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I suppose what I was thinking about as I read your original message was how to balance the concern voiced by both you and Ariel to refrain from offense with the actual practice of Catholics in the pews. I venture to say that there will always be a May Crowning, for example. Or those who want to touch the image or kiss the statue. What is the solution?

I liken it to my personal issue which is the St. Jude Novena. No issue with a novena. Or Jude, of course. It's just the make 9 copies for 9 days part that gets me. And the, "your prayer will be answered no matter what" business. I take them out of the church. I explain it to people who ask why I'm taking them all away. I write periodic paragraphs about it. Yet 9 more show up the next day. One day 9 showed up in English and 9 in Spanish. Our associate pastor made up a song about them because he knows that they drive me crazy (which he translated spontaneously into Spanish the day the Spanish novenas showed up). It's actually pretty entertaining. We should put it on You-Tube. What will people think, I responded?! We don't pray like that!! God decides what's best for us. And we're not superstitious. Ahhh... The bottom line is that I have no solution. The teaching of the Church regarding prayer will have to stand firm against the appearance of the St. Jude novena. Because I can't make them go away.
So I take there are some "liberal" (for lack of a better word) Jews that dont have a problem mentioning the name of God, ie YHWH in general discussion etc...?
I am sure there are, but I don't think it would be this man. An Orthodox Jew... By his dress, by what he said, by the fact that he is a sofer, by the fact that it was a Friday around noon and the store was closing at 2 so that they could go home and prepare to celebrate Shabbas. All this indicated that he was probably fairly observant. I am learning a little Hebrew, so we spoke of the ways by which God is called. For example, "Elyon" (supreme or most high) or "Shaddai" (Almightly). I have always been fascinated with passages like Isaiah 9:5, "For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace." Learning Hebrew words for the Lord is also fascinating to me. They seem to have an even greater import or weight. Hard to explain perhaps. The tetragrammaton never came up. He seemed to have no problem with the conversation.

God bless,
Hadassah

Fidesetratio
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Post by Fidesetratio » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:36 am

Hadassah wrote:Hello Rob,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I suppose what I was thinking about as I read your original message was how to balance the concern voiced by both you and Ariel to refrain from offense with the actual practice of Catholics in the pews. I venture to say that there will always be a May Crowning, for example. Or those who want to touch the image or kiss the statue. What is the solution?

God bless,
Hadassah
Hi Hadassah,
OK, I understand now. I guess theres probably a fine line in not trying to be offensive while remaining a devout Catholic in the pews!
I guess i dont have a solution and unfortunately I feel many Jews that do find the Messiah in Yeshua will probably be more like the Evangelical type than Catholic....I dont know.

Since coming to know more about Israel & learning more on the significance of the Old Testament feasts & traditions etc & how they relate to the new, and always wonder whether the early Gentile Christians did mess up a bit by ignoring the importance of the Jewish feasts & traditions?

Anyway...have many more questions to ask so i will leave that for another thread! :)

Peace[/b]

Hadassah
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Post by Hadassah » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:19 pm

Hi Rob,
OK, I understand now. I guess theres probably a fine line in not trying to be offensive while remaining a devout Catholic in the pews! I guess i dont have a solution...
Well, I think you're absolutely right that some people go too far. But I also think that we both probably need to be ok with the fact that we can't control everything that happens. We just need to be clear about Church teaching. The behavior of individuals will always run the gamut.
...and unfortunately I feel many Jews that do find the Messiah in Yeshua will probably be more like the Evangelical type than Catholic....I dont know.
I personally don't understand why this would be. This would be something to figure out.
Since coming to know more about Israel & learning more on the significance of the Old Testament feasts & traditions etc & how they relate to the new, and always wonder whether the early Gentile Christians did mess up a bit by ignoring the importance of the Jewish feasts & traditions?
You are probably correct about this too, but we also need to recognize what has not been ignored. On New Year's Eve I had dinner with friends, mostly Catholic, but also with a couple who are Evangelical Protestants. They had been to Israel just before last New Year's Eve and so we were discussing that, given the current situation. The wife is currently doing a woman's Bible study on Exodus and she was talking about the significance of all the aspects of the Passover under the New Covenant and how they were really being brought out in the study. I said, "Oh, yes! And of course in the Catholic Church the celebration of the Eucharist reflects all of that and more that we find in the Old Testament." and I proceeded to draw parallels for her, even down to the elements we find in the sanctuary of a Catholic Church. She just stared at me as if amazed that that would be true, but with a look that said that she knew that it is (her kids have all gone to Catholic schools, so she is familiar with things Catholic). I think that we really have "kept" more... Perhaps someone else has a comment on this.

Blessings,
Hadassah
Last edited by Hadassah on Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ariel
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Post by Ariel » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:11 pm

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Cherie
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Mary and statues

Post by Cherie » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:21 pm

Hi everyone! My Messianic Jewish friend hates the RCC. Full stop! She believes that because of the RCC all christians have been lied to + led astray. The Greek name Jesus comes from the pagan god zeus. My trying to defend our faith falls on deaf ears! I've given up! We are still good friends, but we don't talk about the RCC. I could never join another denomination. I really LOVE our Church. I really LOVE Jesus/Yeshua. But if one is a Catholic, a lot of non-Catholics just can't get it into their heads that CATHOLICS DO LOVE JESUS/YESHUA THE MESSIAH!!! God Bless! Cherie

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Post by Ariel » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:48 pm

yes Cherie, it's sad, but I know many Messianic Jews who think like that, and it seems nearly impossible to get through to them. Did you direct your friend to our website?
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Hadassah
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Yeshua and Misunderstanding of Catholicism

Post by Hadassah » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:02 pm

Dear Cherie,

I really don't know why the Greek transliteration of Yeshua is SUCH an issue for your friend. There is nothing pagan about "Jesus", regardless of any theories, speculations, and even books to the contrary. Does your friend find perhaps it difficult to acknowledge that the same name can have different spellings and pronunciations in different languages? Alphabets (or alephbets) differ. Perhaps she is not conceding that most of the New Testament was written in Koine Greek? I understand that some people might claim this, but most biblical scholars do not agree. It would be interesting to look at the original Greek of, for example, St. Paul's Letter to the Philipians. It would follow logically that a letter to people in this region, even the Jews there who embraced Christianity, would have been written in Greek. So Paul writes, "Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philipians 2:9-11) Did he write the letter in Greek, writing "Yeshua" in Hebrew instead of Iota-Eta-Sigma-Omicron-Upsilon-Sigma (or similar) in Greek letters? Seems unlikely. If Paul, clearly a good Jew, used the Greek name, would it be ok with your friend? It's simply a matter of difference in language, not anything to do with the pagan God Zeus!

Of course we love Our Lord and Savior, however we pronounce his name! Anyone who denies that doesn't know who we are. It seems from your messages that you have tried valiantly to convey what the Church holds and teaches and I admire that immensely. For some reason, Catholics are often caricatured and misrepresented. It makes sense now that you would pull back from conversation about the Church, and I understand your frustration. But perhaps you might not want to "give up" entirely. Pray for the Lord to let you know what He wants for you to do in this situation and let Him guide you. He might still have a mission for you :-). He always provides for us in such situations, even when we feel inadequate and frustrated.

God bless,
Hadassah

Fidesetratio
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Re: Mary and statues

Post by Fidesetratio » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:29 am

[quote="Cherie"]The Greek name Jesus comes from the pagan god zeus.
/quote]

Hello Cherie,

Here is a link that may help with how "Yeshua" became "Jesus".
http://jesusisajew.org/YESHUA.php

Hope that may help - all we really can do is plant the seeds & pray and hope the Holy Spirit does the watering!
Peace,
Rob

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Post by Ariel » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:32 am

The idea that the name "Jesus" comes from Zeus is total baloney.

As the linked article says, Yeshua simply is "Iesous" in Greek (and in the NT) and from there it was passed on to Latin/European languages.
Last edited by Ariel on Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Cherie
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Mary, Veneration, statues

Post by Cherie » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:05 pm

Thanks Guys! I will read the link for more 'ammunition'. My friend is a very tough lady + is a Rabbi on top of it. But there are many non Catholics who believe that our Faith has its roots in paganism. I once got into an 'argument' with a gentleman who works with Jack Chick - the one who publishes all those anti Catholic comics. I also have a problem with some of the Marian devotions. Some of the titles which Catholics bestow upon her are also dodgy? I never take part in any processions involving a statue of Mary, because I feel very uncomfortable. Some will ask why I don't become an Anglican? The answer is - it's not my Church. I'm a Roman Catholic. I ask the Mother of our Saviour to pray for me, and will pray the rosary(sitting not kneeling). Am I a 'funny' Catholic guys? Be honest please!

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Post by Ariel » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:19 pm

hi Cherie,

I thought the linked article is very wordy but does not say much. Basically the simple answer is what I have said in my last post: Jesus just comes from the Greek form Iesous in the New Testament. Call him Yeshua if you like - that is his original name. But I personally think there are more important battle to fight.

To avoid unbalanced Marian devotion I would just study what the Church teaches about Mary. Good faith formation is the key, beginning with the Catechism and also reading some good books on Mary. For the biblical background, see Hahn's "Hail Holy Queen" (easy) or (denser) Manelli's 'All Generations will Call Me Blessed'. See what books Catholic Answers has (www.catholic.com).

Fulton Sheen's 'The World's First Love' is beautiful - less apologetics/biblical and more philosophy/theology.
Last edited by Ariel on Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Hadassah
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Post by Hadassah » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:51 am

Ariel wrote:Call him Yeshua if you like - that is his original name. But I personally think there are more important battles to fight.
Amen ~ my thoughts exactly. It's hard to tell what she's implying. She may not agree with a host of other Catholic beliefs and practices, but what is the importance of this name issue? Is she somehow implying that we have a skewed, somehow pagan, view of Our Lord and Savior, Redeemer, and Messiah because we have adapted his name from the original Hebrew? I gently challenge her to find anything in actual Catholic teaching (not fabricated or imagined teaching) which offends her view of who Jesus actually is. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is readily available.

Cherie, what do you mean when you say that some Marian titles are "dodgy"?

Blessings,
Hadassah

Cherie
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Veneration, Mary, Statues

Post by Cherie » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:58 pm

Hi once again guys! I have sorted out Jesus/Yeshua with my friend now. Both names in my opinion are sacred. Dodgy titles given to Mary are co-redeemer,mediatrix,advocate + spouse of the Holy Spirit. There are others I have seen, but I can't remember off hand. I just know that these titles lead non-catholics to believe that catholics do worship Mary! Mother of God + Theotokos (God-Bearer) I understand + know how to explain them. However, some catholics do go overboard. I've seen people praying their rosaries during Mass, or getting up to light candles. I believe that Mary was/and is a very special Lady! I believe that the catholic concept of the communion of saints is correct. Pope JP2 even said 'Jesus 1st + then Mary'. Many catholics are closer to Mary than they are to her Son. That is my 'gripe'. God bless! Cherie.

Hadassah
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Re: Veneration, Mary, Statues

Post by Hadassah » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:35 pm

Hi Cherie,

Glad you worked the Yeshua/Jesus issue out :-).
Cherie wrote:Dodgy titles given to Mary are co-redeemer,mediatrix,advocate + spouse of the Holy Spirit.
I would be hesitant about calling some of those titles "dodgy" Although I am not sure what dodgy means, I assume that you mean inappropriate or at least suspect. Let's separate out co-redemptrix from the rest. I happen to agree that, no matter what the theological explanation, it is not helpful (in many ways) to describe Mary as "co-redeemer" with Jesus who is God Himself. If the Church proclaims the doctrine I am on board, because I trust the Church. At present, however, I am of the mindset that it might simply lead to misunderstanding and confusion. But the rest of the titles we do see defined, and appropriate, and are not a matter of Catholics going too far. See Catechism of the Catholic Church 969, 970, for example.

Blessings and Good Wishes,
Hadassah

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Post by Glory71 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:55 am

Hello to all. I have just registered. It is wonderful and I am elated to have seen your forum.

To answer the topic at hand, I have to go back right from the beginning. The key to understanding everything about God is be like a little child - trusting, loving, and obeying. Loving a perfect God with perfect obedience and perfect love. As a father to my 3 children, I came to this realization. In a family, we are dependent to our parents (as we grow and mature in our lives) and co-dependent with our brothers and sisters.

Surprisingly, seeing God with the eyes of a child, reading the bible became easy to understand. I began to realize that the Holy Bible actually speaks or tells of a story of a family (ever wondered why the Holy Bible is littered with stories and parables about a father and his children?). It is a blueprint of our past, present, and future and who God is in relation to us. It speaks of our God wanting to have a BIG family...us. He started creating a stable environment that would support life, especially His precious children thus He created earth and everything around it. Then there is the story of our fall. All these can be found in the book of Genesis.

Rather than abandon His children, as a loving Father, God decided to save us. Work with us and make us whole again. Thus the story goes on as reflected in the succeeding books in the Old Testament with the promise of a Savior proclaimed by the prophets.

When Christ came, not only did He shared in our humanness but also He shared to us His divine Son ship. He even taught us how to pray to His Father...The Our Father prayer. Again everything is about a family.

It is important for us to understand about this family so that we can better understand everyone's role (including the saints and mama mary) in the entire salvation history AND about the family of God revealed to us by Christ.

First about Mother Mary.


Without her, the salvation of mankind cannot happen. Same is true as without the prophets, mankind will not be waiting for anything or anyone to give them hope - The Messiah.

God, in His infinite wisdom uses instruments to bring about salvation to the world. 1st was His 10 commandments written in stone. It was placed in an ark and was then brought to the heart of the Jewish nation. To be clear, inside this ark was the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD. Same is true with mama mary. Inside mama mary's womb (ark) was the LIVING WORD OF GOD - His only begotten Son.

Moreover, nothing impure can hold THE LIVING WORD OF GOD for Christ is God. So in a single act of pure love to all humanity, to fulfill His promise of salvation to us, God made mama mary immaculate (conceived without sin). Mama Mary was in the same state as that of adam and eve before the fall - sinless. This is what the Angel Gabriel meant when he said - "Hail Mary FULL OF GRACE!" - gospel according to Luke.

Lastly, on the cross Christ said looking at His mother "woman, behold your son" and after that He then looked at His disciples and said "behold your mother". Christ who is God is now giving us this precious wonderful gift. His own earthly mother. As God used mama mary to bring His Son to the world so is He using His own mother to bring the world closer to Him. And who can better do this; to bring the world closer to God than His own mother who is intimate with Him right from the beginning. Who knows Him far better than any known mortal. She played her role as God commanded, obedient to Him to the very end.

What I have said is not to be confused with something else. Mama Mary IS Mama Mary. And Christ IS God who alone is the Lamb of God that redeemed the debt of the world. The term "co-redemptrix" is properly translated "the woman with the Redeemer". The prefix "co" comes from the Latin term "c u m" which means "with" and not "equal to." Co-redemptrix therefore as applied to Mary refers to her exceptional cooperation with and under her divine son Jesus Christ, in the redemption of the human family, as manifested in Christian Scripture. Oh how I praise God for giving us His own earthly mother. Glory! Glory! Praise be Your Name oh Holy God.

Now about the saints.

Christ said it Himself "I am the way, the truth, and the life”. Christ revealed this truth to us...who God is in relation to us. In the Old testament, God was a father of a nation – Israel. In the New Testament, through His own Son, God became the Father of the gentiles too demanding nothing less but perfection from everyone who listens and to act on it.

Also, Christ did not just re-opened the doors of this divine kinship with Him (this door was closed after the fall – and if Salvation did not come, we were all doomed to die), He has shown us the way AND how to do it by following Him without ceasing. And those who followed Him, some of them are elevated by the Church to sainthood...to be our 'idols' for everyone to see. In lay mans term - like heroes in a military sense or the american idol winner...lol. Like Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa, Saint Paul, etc. as a visible reminder of how we ought to live our lives if we truly want to follow Christ. Every generation have a saint for those who have eyes to see. People don't need miracles to see God's grace. All they have to do is to look at lives of these people. It actually is so simple to really see this...yet due to our bondage to sin...is quite hard to do. Thus the Holy Spirit works with us.

Some people may confuse this 'using' saints to go to heaven or worst, as a form of worship. No! To worship saints is fallacy. An error that can cause someone’s salvation. Catholics used saints as models. In my case I look at Pope John Paul II as my visible guide towards my own salvation. Comparing his acts to mine…I know right now…I still have a looong way to go…LOL. This is a man completely intimate with Christ.

As I participate in God’s fatherhood (as I am a father myself) and in God’s family (as His adopted son), I am more than willing to kneel down and pray for my lost brothers and sisters. I ask for prayers too from the saints and mama mary herself. I know this is pleasing to God as I myself am pleased when I see my children help each other. Oh how I love this sight.

To end let me just profess this:

I love God so much! So much! My heart is burning to know Him more each day. Like a loving child to a loving parent. I know I do not deserve His love for my sins ARE great. And yet I feel Him. Loving me. I see how He truly blessed my life. Not of the material things but I mean...from my earthly parents, my beautiful loving wife, three wonderful obedient children...I mean I see it! There is nothing I could ask that is better than this. And I love Him even more because I see this. I am so so x infinity grateful to Him because of what He has given me. I love you Lord with everything I am.

I strive to please Him each day. To follow Him without ceasing. So that one day, through His grace coupled with my works, I'll worship Him, serve Him for all eternity.

This may sound crazy to some...I see God two ways. He is Holy, He is mighty, He is all powerful, He is all knowing, He is ever present, He is Glorious that deserves nothing else from us but our perfect obedience and perfect love. I worship Him each day and give Him Glory every single second of my life. Yet I also see Him also as a humble, loving parent having all these emotions (we were created in His image and LIKENESS)...like being upset with us because we don't know Him, Someone that I fear when angry (just like the way I fear my earthly father when he is angry - when I was still a child).

With all this, I have come to fully appreciate my Catholic background. I approach God as both my GOD and my Parent at the same time.

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