Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
back
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Shawn wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Why do we say Mary dispenses all graces?
  • Where did this come from?

I see absolutely zero basis for this in the Scriptures.

Thanks!

Shawn

  { Why do we say Mary dispenses all graces and where did this idea come from? }

Bob replied:

Shawn,

There is no Scriptural basis for that nor is it Catholic dogma. Read the Catechism, paragraph numbers 967-971 for clear explanation of the Church's view of Mary with respect to grace.

The phrase you mentioned is a pious extrapolation of Mary's motherhood of Christ, who is the source of all grace. It is not a formal doctrine nor an official teaching of the Church.

We can however say that since Mary is the mother of all Christians by virtue of her grace in Christ, then in some way, her motherly role does become a channel of grace for us; a tangible blessing from God in a way any mother is, only better, because it is supernatural in the order of divine grace.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Hi Shawn,

I addition to what Bob said I think, being a new Catholic, it is important to change the way you look at objections from Protestant challengers to your faith.

They will always ask you for the Biblical foundation for something they want to know but Truth isn't founded on a book but the Person of Jesus Christ who found one Church on St. Peter and his successors. Remember the Bible is not the pillar and foundation of truth. (1 Timothy 3:15)

When your Protestant challengers ask, Where is that in the Bible, they are erroneously treating the Bible like a Catechism (or a book of doctrines) when it is not a Catechism.

For doctrinal answers to questions about anything having to do with Jesus, we look to the Church's Teachings which come down to us in both Her Written (the Scriptures) and Oral Tradition.

If they only accepted the Oral Tradition that has been passed down by the Apostles we would be much closer to total Christian unity.

Mike

Shawn replied:

Hey Mike,

I understand, but this person is not a Sola Scriptura Protestant.

  • They view the Scriptures as God's Holy Words, but he is saying if these teachings about Mary were so important, why is it only seen in Tradition and not in the Scriptures, since Scripture and Tradition, though separate, come from the same source?
  • Why would they not both mention something that Catholics say is binding, which means it's dependent for ones salvation?

Shawn

Mike replied:

Hi Shawn,

You are overlooking what Bob said:
The phrase you mentioned is a pious extrapolation of Mary's motherhood of Christ, who is the source of all grace. It is not a formal doctrine nor an official teaching of the Church.

The Catechism tells us:

107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."

Vatican II, Dei Verbum 11

Ask him if he communicates with everyone from the time he gets up in the morning to the time he goes to bed, by writing everything down that goes on during the day.

For that matter Shawn . . . do you?

Mike

Shawn replied:


No, I do not but I also am not being inspired by God to write revelations and His Holy Words down for all mankind to read, especially when ones salvation could depend in it.

From your standpoint, you are saying that what was said orally, doesn't match with what was written, but that's what the Scriptures are for.

They are words inspired by God, written by men that have happen; it won't have something that is not even mentioned or wrote about in the Scriptures. If Mary dispensing all graces was so important, it would have been written in the Scriptures.

This is his point and the one I'm starting to take.

Shawn

Mike replied:

Shawn —

Again, you are treating the Bible like a Catechism. You also have a misunderstand of how Apostolic Truth comes down to us.

I have no idea on what authority you hold your views so I will just give you the Catholic view.

The Catechism states:

II. The Relationship between Tradition And Sacred Scripture

One common source. . .

80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal." (Vatican II, Dei Verbum 9) Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age". (Matthew 28:20)

. . . two distinct modes of transmission

There is nothing in paragraph 80 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that state the Church’s Written Tradition has to be identical to the Church’s Oral Tradition.

In fact, there are many teachings we believe that come down to us solely by Oral Tradition.
There are two streams of truth that flow into one deposit of Catholic Christian faith.

No one is questioning that the Bible is the inspired Written Word of God but from the Catholic view, the Written Word of God is not equal to the Word of God.

The Word of God rather is both Sacred Scriptures and Sacred (Oral) Tradition.

Man’s salvation is not dependent on interpreting a book but on obeying, the one Church Jesus founded on St. Peter and his successors. When we obey the Church, we are obeying what Jesus wants.

I have a concern that you are falling into the heresy of Bibliolatry, or that of worshipping the Bible, instead of worshipping Jesus and obeying the teachings of His Church. Before Jesus gloriously ascended into Heaven He said:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Up to Matthew 28:

  • How many books of the Bible did Jesus write?
  • How many books of the Bible did Jesus read?
  • Which books of the Bible did Jesus recommend we read?
  • Where in the Bible does it give us a list of books that are inspired, like an inspired Table of Contents?
  • Where in the Scriptures, up to this point, does Jesus tell us to read the Bible?
  • If the Bible were so critical to our salvation, why didn't He say anything before His Ascension into Heaven?

The only logical thing you can conclude from Matthew 28:18-20 is that He wanted his disciples to follow the Tradition of the Apostles (meaning their example: by oral words and deeds) on which He founded His Church.

Mike

Shawn replied:

Mike,

His main argument is that the disciples never were told to preach about Mary and her works because God never mentioned such things in the Scriptures.

Remember this is not me saying this; this is a conversation with my Protestant friend.

I'm speaking for him on these issues so I can better witness to him about the Church.

Shawn

Mike replied:

Shawn,

Tell your friend to ask us his question. When one goes back, and forward, and back, and forward, saying what they think their friend said, or saying what they though we said, confusion can arise.

With this communication medium, it would be impudent for me to get into long unending back and forth dialogues with someone who is not directly asking the question.

Mike


Shawn replied:

Hi Mike,

I agree, but he won't respond. That's why I've been mediating on this. I will send him to your site to checkout the question and answers in the database.

Shawn

Bob replied:

Shawn,

Nor were the disciples instructed to preach about:

  • the nature of the Trinity (which wasn't understood or worked out for years) or
  • abortion or
  • a multitude of issues that are critical to our faith.

Even the nature of Christ Himself wasn't clear to the Early Church and many heresies arose because of it. Again, the Holy Spirit guiding the Church developed the clarity and core of the Creed, the Catechism and the dogmas of the faith. While the Scriptures are germane, they are not the only factor in the development of doctrine.

Think of it this way, if Sola Scriptura were the defacto doctrine of the Apostles, then all they would have had to work with was the Old Testament and that would have undermined the revelation of the New Covenant as unscriptural.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.