Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, but do so with gentleness and reverence.”
cf. 1 Peter 3:15-16
A daily morsel of Catholic education and faith formation.
Mother of God
QUESTION OR COMMON OBJECTION:
You call Mary the Mother of God! She is just the mother of Jesus’ human nature.
Jesus had both a human and divine nature, and they can’t be separated. Mary gave birth to the Lord Jesus. Of Mary, Elizabeth said…
And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
She who was created … gave birth to her Creator. That’s awesome!
Other References: Lk 1:28-33, Mt 1:22-23, Is 7:14; Gal 4:4-5
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From the author
To try and separate Jesus’ human nature from his divine, or his divine from his human nature, is what the Arians tried to do, and the Catholic Church fought vigorously against, in the earliest centuries of Christianity. It was the Catholic Church who defended this doctrine of the faith. This “Arianism” still persists today in some circles. Mormonism, for example, arguably the most contemporary example of this stubborn Arian heresy, separates Jesus’ humanity from his divinity. It is wrong. Jesus Christ is both fully human and fully divine.
As God in the flesh – God Incarnate – Jesus is God. Therefore, the Catholic Church’s teaching that Mary is Mother of God, is not just a title the Church bestows on Mary – it’s much more important than that. For, in fact, the title we bestow on Mary demonstrates Jesus’ full divinity and is, therefore, less a “title” about who Mary is, but more a proclamation of who Jesus Christ is. You cannot separate Jesus’ full divinity from his full humanity. To do so tears away at the fabric of the understanding that Jesus is, as St. Paul says, the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). Even the most hardcore anti-Catholic Fundamentalist Protestants don’t want to do that. Think about it.
The Catholic Church understood this in the fourth century at the height of this troublesome heresy, and the Church understands this still today. During the time Arias, the leading proponent of Arianism and its founder (and another in a line of break-away priests who believed he knew better than the teachings of Mother Church) was on the march trying to confuse the Christian faithful of who Jesus Christ is, the Catholic Church was defending the doctrine of who Jesus is. This doctrine is upheld still today in the Christian profession of faith we call the Nicene Creed. It is a profession Catholics recite every Sunday at Mass. This Arian heresy, on the other hand, was ultimately rejected by the Church and explained by the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.
As has been needed down through the centuries, the Church will convene councils to address important matters of Christianity when confusion erupts. As subsequent church councils have later shown, her teaching on Mary as Mother of God and other doctrines of the Christian Faith is rock solid. And why wouldn’t the teachings of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ not be rock solid? For upon this rock He built his church (cf. Mt 16:18) – thanks be to God!
These aren’t traditions of men. Rather, these doctrines and explanations are among the Sacred Traditions the Church has passed down through the centuries to the Christian faithful, guiding and leading the faithful from going astray. Such is the beauty of Catholicism, for the faithful can trust that the Church’s teachings are apostolic in their origin, to the earliest days of Christianity, as understood by the early Church Fathers, the Apostles, and Jesus himself. Why would anyone want to break away from that and follow the traditions of men like Arius and others?
If you should ever confuse the Catholic understanding of honoring Mary just remember Jesus obeyed the Ten Commandments too – and most especially honored his mother and his father, as we are all called to do. We can also remember the wise words of Saint Maximilian Kolbe who said…
“Never worry about loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You could never love her more than Jesus did.”
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
How true! For more about the Catholic understanding of Mary and the Communion of Saints, please see our blog post Articles of Faith | All Saints Day: A Celebration of God’s Family.
Karlo Broussard challenges the Protestant claim that there is no evidence in the Bible that Mary is the mother of God, showing biblical support for the Catholic belief.
catechism of the Catholic Church
For information about what the Catholic Church believes, answers to FAQs, and an encompassing resource addressing common objections and misconceptions non-Catholics and Catholics alike may have about the Church and what it teaches, we invite you to visit the online version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Let us pray.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you.”
Saint John Paul II, pope
Jesus, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (cf. John 6:68).
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.