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One of the most common charges against Catholic-minded Christians concerns imagery, and one of the most contested areas is one where, if we heeded the message of Christ, we should be most united – because it concerns the Blessed Virgin Mary.

My thoughts here are prompted by yet another long screed from the long-time commentator here, Bosco. There are those, I know, who would say “ignore him,” but that is not, I think a good way. Those same voices will say “but you have made these points before and he will take no notice.” They may be right, but then others may read and they may take notice. The job of the sower is to cast the seed. If it is good seed it will take root in the right soil.

So let us begin with what Bosco says here:

hi good brother. i dont understand. the biblical accounts i mentioned are there for all to see. maybe its the conclusions i draw that you say are wrong.
i maintain that catholic imagery gives false impressions and that catholics have fallen prey to them. yourself included. for instance….the panting of supposed mary holding a baby supposed to be jesus, not even old enough to talk. in the picture they both are wearing big fat gold crowns. there are also graven images of the same with both wearing big gold crowns. this leads people to think they were on top of things right after the birth. but the scriptures dont support this idea. why did mary reprimand jesus for staying behind if he is the king and she is the queen. kings do what they want.


When Jesus says he is “the living water,” I am sure that Bosco does not suppose that He is saying that He is made out of water; Jesus is using an image to help us understand. The Church does the same. If we take the images to which Bosco refers, they are aids to understanding. There is the world of difference between, for example, the cherubim and seraphim on the Ark of the Covenant (aids to worship) and the Golden Calf (an object of worship). I am sure Bosco knows this difference, so it is unclear why he persists in a literal reading. It may be that to him kings are “on top of things right after the birth,” but if he were to pause for a moment, two things might become clear. There has never been a moment in history when a king has been “on top of things right after the birth,” and the crowns are an image to help our worship.

What is being symbolised here is the Kingship of Christ. I am sure that Bosco acknowledges Christ is King, so what more natural than an image of Him crowned? His mother is the mother of the King, and as such, is also worthy of a crown. She is also the crown of our race as the handmaiden of the Lord through whom salvation was born into the world. The imagery is clear and an aid to worship.

The critics of Bosco are right, these things have been pointed out to him before. But for Bosco, and others, there is one way, their way, of looking at things, and all other ways are wrong, facts and arguments which are not congruent to that view are ignored. Bosco will not engage with the argument advanced here, which raises the question of his purpose?

heres something else you can claim is false….mary never interacted with jesus ministry after he left home. there is no account of her traveling with him or cooking for the guys or helping him preach or anything. the closest she came was standing outside a house where he was, calling for him, and he didnt even come out to see her. some big queen of heaven. absentee queen. not one word from her.only time she saw him was at the crucifixion, and even then no words of hers were recorded. even at pentacost, no wise words from the all powerful queen of heaven and earth were recorded.

The idea that Our Lady “never interacted with Jesus’ ministry is tenable on only the narrowest reading of what one imagines that Ministry to have been. Without Our Lady’s “yes” to God’s will, there would have been no ministry. In the Magnificat we see the central themes of that Ministry highlighted, as we do in the words of the Song of Symeon. The first miracle sees Our Lady modelling the perfect Christian response to the words of Christ – “do as He tells you.” She is there at the foot of the Cross. Christ’s last earthly command is to have St John care for his beloved mother. It is a sadly impoverished view of Ministry that relegates Our Lady to having no part in it.

you still maintain that im not born again and am usually wrong in my opinions. i go by what is written in scripture while your religion is based on things not in scripture. not only are they not in scripture, they contradict scripture.

There is, as ever, the trope that “I go by scripture” without any acknolwedgement of what Scripture is. The Blessed Apostles show no signs of calling their own work “scripture” and yet the Church, of which they were part and which their Lord founded, recognised it as such. Sciptural fundamentalism is again, a sadly diminished view of what the Apostles did and one of the purposes of the Church which Christ founded.

Then, sadly and predictably, there is the attack on intercessory prayer.

catholic literature vacillates back and forth on some subjects. i read were its good to ask mary to send jesus a prayer request, and i read where you have to go thru mary to get a prayer thru to jesus. the majority says you cant get thru to jesus, that you have to go thru mary. louis de montfort says one can only get to jesus thru mary. i “talk” to catholics in other sites, and it seems to be a 50 50 split on this. half pray to jesus most of the time and half only pray to mary. its not funny anymore when your whole prayer life is wasted praying to nothing. salvation comes from asking jesus to come into your life. if one dies expecting this queen of heaven to save them at the hour of their death, well, their fate is sealed. the reason you or I are here is to work out salvation.mary is fine, but she didnt die for my sins.

I am sure that Bosco has access to a book where the following words appear: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (St James 5:16) These words of St Paul’swould also suggest that intercessory prayer is expected of us:

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Then, of course, there is Jesus Himself, who tells us “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

When we pray to Our Lady, or the Saints, it is asking them to intercede for us before the Throne of God. It is an act of humility and piety.

Now, these things have been explained to our brother Bosco many times, but usually only in the replies to his comments. If he cares to respond to the arguments made here, I guarantee him a hearing. if he simply wishes to restate exploded myths, then he must find someone with greater patience.