On the 27th of July at mass in Rio de Janeiro Pope Francis declared the need for Christians to go to Mary – to whose “immaculate heart” he consecrates the world on Oct 13th – for their spiritual guidance. But is this implied demotion of Christ’s role as guide appropriate for Christians and the idea not oddly incongruous for a Pope otherwise assured against the imperative of faith that all and any good unbelievers are heaven bound? Who and what is Mary for believers?
Apparelled blue and milky white, to bless or pray
She stands upon her pillar set apart. Her gaze is pity,
She appears demure. Within her gentle hands
She holds a rosary and her whole being speaks repose;
Light from the window rests its shaft upon the youthful image
Of “God’s mother”, “Daughter of her Son”, The Spirit’s “Bride.”
Devout believers here make busy with their beads
Soft candles flame, sweet incense curls above
Their heads as faith, or simply hope, contend to lodge
Sincere request. If now the haloed image wept or if
By chance this Mother spoke, both church and world would
Hear as though God’s heart and will could be revealed
Uniquely, and more purely through this single one.
But now there’s silence and she remains resigned.
Great is Diana of the Ephesians and greater still
Since murderous Cyril declared a highest Mother, (1)
Is she called heaven and the angels’ queen, great Mary
Of the Catholics. For her unnumbered shrines arose
And everywhere devotion thrives. Regina she is
Rightly called because indeed her rule is wide
For in her name were seized those worldly kingdoms
Christ refused. In quest of glory and her grace, for Mary
Armies marched to conquer peoples and enslave (2)
While orphans and the defenceless child were left
Abused by priestly minions of her cult. For had
Not Dominic, chief saint of faith imposed by force,
Served Mary most, and out of deepest love for her
Taught ways of counting beads and decades so
Each thought of God would honour Mary always Mary?
More humble it was said to go to her than Jesus (3)
And she, the mystics’ patron, she it was who smiled
The mystic’s look of peace while swords were raised,
While prisons filled and fires of Inquisition burned
And all that tyranny unfurled whose consequence
Would be her Son – true conversation with the Word
Quite lost and he become an axiom for philosophies
Of God – would be reviled when not ignored.
The Mary’s look is mild. So it must be to hide how much
As Queen of Heaven and the Church, she has usurped
Christ’s stated headship of those realms (4) and would partake
In what pure omnipresence solely owns, accorded attributes
Bespeaking theft from Wisdom’s house in which reside
The names and character of God.(5) Without full immanence
Of the divine not she nor any saint can hear the voices
Of a million prayers, nor to a human soul deceased
May any soul address their pleas. It is idolatry and this
Is known (6) – familiar as it is ignored – but even if a Pope
Declares that prayers, unless unto the Lord, are made
As though to Satan, he’ll hasten to the nearest shrine
To dedicate his words and rule before an icon of the Mary (7)
Whom he declares the model for the life of Christians.
It’s seeming answered prayers alone will justify
What’s product of pure custom, but surely as
Dark Enki made and then unmade the maladies
He loved to send, (8) Heaven’s queen with all her saints
Delight to post rare message and the rarer cure
That keep the wheel of Hades’ lies in motion.
Be not deceived; beneath the stained glass and the candlelight
What looks demure may yet disguise what’s subtle as the serpent.
This maiden mild, it’s said, is God’s own garden, city, world and
Even his magnificence. (9) For which no need to feel surprise
This Virgin tests her visionaries by brief disguise as Satan. (10)
It was the devil’s will to rise above the stars
Of heaven and make the throne of God his own.
In meek and humble guise what else is sainted
Mary’s true intent if in her hands lies
God’s own will, direction of the angelic realm
And distribution of the Spirit’s gifts? (11)
And why did she, who calls herself “Immaculate”
Make her own bearer for the word and miracles
Scrape in the dark and dirt of what the rituals of God
Would set apart as most imperfect and unclean? (12)
Not least because, as though in ignorance of the
Hebrew word, it is for costly shrine, basilica and
Monument, for sites of passionate devotion to herself
She makes appeal amid the abandoned, destitute
And poor, forgetting how by falsities of
Jerome alone she has become repository of grace
To whom all prayer, appeal and reverence may flow. (13)
Faith without truth declares a Pope is none; the soul
Must live by what is true. (14) But vision itself
Outside of God is void.
The age runs on and to its end,
Though Mary’s work is not complete;
Time still remains to serve the plan
That silences and obscures her Son.
The faith she blesses is political,
Rule, ritual and automatic grace
Pietas of ancient Rome reborn
Its gospel less new fellowship with God
Than earning favour by good deeds
And/or imposing laws as Natural Law
Defined by Aristotle. And thus
You’ll hear the leaders say their
God and Allah are the same, yet
Still protest state law on marriage. (15)
So far this house of heresy avoids the truth
It managed to deny its Lord
On even treatment of the child
And call great crime but ordinary sin
Mere errors to counsel and ignore
Whereas the millstone should not lack
To drown the culprits in the sea. (16)
Let night descend on too great sin,
All dire infection must be set apart
And ancient houses should be let to fall.
It’s often better to begin anew –
Even to abort – religion loses right to life
Where righteousness and truth aren’t found. (17)
Now that this faith, more nearly cult ,
Shows steep decline and scriptures play
As ever minor part, the faithful follow any
Whim believing almost what they will,
Yet Mary’s banner leads them still.
So little’s known of Mary’s life
She’s symbol of most things and none
But her new consecrated role
(When not half feminist to the fight),
Is what serves tolerance and unity
In harmony with Faustina’s Christ
Of mercy, heart and pyramid
(Revere it and you can be saved!).(18)
Soon Mary’s Son will be less saviour to
The human race than all humanity itself
In non distinction of belief. All persons
And all creeds will find they’re one
And feel there is but Being to absorb.
And to its mystic door and light
The Mary of the many names will lead.(19)
When Christians bow to Buddha and
They offer praise at Mecca’s shrine (20)
It’s then this Virgin smiles once more
And last, for finally her task is done.
The believer’s work is first and last
Their right belief. (21) For which discernment
Is the greatest gift the Spirit gives
To those bound by illusion here below.
1) The spirit of violence and intolerance attaches to Marian cult from the first. Saint/Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, notoriously behind the murder of Hypatia, and early developing anti-Semitism (he had the Jews driven out of Alexandria) was particularly instrumental in driving the Theotokos (Mother of God) formula through the Council of Ephesus in 431. The title is ridiculous and mendacious making Mary sound as though she were a Magna Mater Ur Creator. Within the Christian context plainly Mary could not be anything and at most mother to or for God.
2) Christian wars for which Christianity is reviled tend to be Marian wars and especially Latin America became “Christian” through imposition of a Marian faith by armies who imagined they were serving the Mary who aided or even appeared to them. Argentine theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid, though much she says much that seems provocative for the sake of it, is substantially correct to maintain “The religious colonization of the people [of Latin America] was done through the worship of the Virgin Mary and not through Christ. The traditional saying of the Catholic Church in Argentina, To Jesus through Mary... A Cristo por Maria, has left Christ an ambiguous deity, difficult to approach in his identification with God” (Indecent Theology, p.80).
3) It is more humble to go to Mary than Christ according to St Louis de Monfort’s Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin citing various saints like St Bernard of Clairvaux and St Bonaventura. See http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm
4) The NT is explicit Christ is head of the Church. Eph 5:23, Col 1:18.
5) The cult of Mary draws upon Biblical and apocryphal Wisdom literature where Wisdom is presented as a unique female figure who is God’s companion apparently divine. The early church understood Christ, self- identified with this figure, to be the Wisdom as well as the male Logos though in turn failing to recognize the psychological and sexual implications. These are briefly evoked in the concluding Wisdom section of last month’s Songs of Puritania.
6) Contact with the dead is biblically forbidden (Deut 18:11) and attempting to contact the prophet Samuel was the final downfall of Saul. Granted Christians are not under the Jewish covenant and Catholicism argues that the prayers of the saints are offered in Rev.5:8 but this ignores that all believers are referred to as saints in the NT and the 24 elders before the throne are representing the church and transmitting the will and intercession of specific saints as themselves intercessors.
7) Pope Francis declares prayer must be to the Lord but the first act of his reign was to pray before an icon of Mary at Santa Maria Maggiore.
8) Enki is a trickster cum Satan type in Sumerian myth and can cure disease to the extent he withdraws what he sends. I explore this point in my Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency.
9) Louis de Monfort, Treatise (6). The Virgin is “the magnificence of the Almighty”, Treatise (7) her love “is wider than the world”. Treatise (48), Mary is the City of God and Solomon’s Temple.
10) See for example: http://www.medjugorje.org/greypart1.htm. On April 14th 1982, Mirjana, a leader of the group of young people receiving Marian visions on a regular basis at Medjugorje while waiting for Mary to appear claimed “Our Lady” arrived “disguised” as Satan. (She says he was ugly though she could only have realized this when Mary later appeared and regretted the necessity of having to see the devil for her own good). It is said the devil can transform into an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), so why not Mary?
11) Louis de Montfort Treatise (25). St Paul is explicit it is the Spirit distributes the Spirit’s gifts (1 Cor 12:11).
12) St Bernadette of Lourdes was made to find proof and miracle in a filthy grotto called a pigsty (because pigs had been stalled there). Biblically the pig is a non kosher (unclean) animal probably because originally sacred to the rejected moon goddess and while Christianity does not reckon to follow the covenant laws of Israel, it does not and cannot reject all its meanings and symbolism wholesale. It is most unlikely the biblical God would permit revelation in the alleged way. For other reasons the French clergy were perplexed by Bernadette’s claims but papal influence overcame all theological objections. And the local Marian priest almost talked Bernadette into accepting what she originally so believed to be demonic she wanted holy water to throw at the apparition.
13) The virginity obsessed St Jerome did not initiate Virgin cult but his error riddled Latin Vulgate Bible helped seal it by making Mary “full of grace”) rather than just a “favoured one”.
14) Pope Francis’ first encyclical Lumen Fidei insists that faith without truth is illusion.
15) Cardinal Dolan of New York caused controversy both by his criticism of gay marriage and finding God and Allah the same. For Jews and Christians the revealed name of God is Yahweh.
16) Matt 18:6 maintains that those who mislead children in any way would better put a millstone round their necks.
17) It is a scandal that abortion, which is at least sometimes justifiable, and blanket opposition to is encouraged by Immaculate Mary doctrine which has the Virgin free from taint from the moment of conception (Jewish tradition had the foetus quickened by the spirit after 3 months), is occasion for excommunication while child abuse which is more sinfully heinous in scriptural terms may not even be regarded by the church as worth reporting to police. Ritual cleanliness effectively often required “abortion” of evil to the extent if one can take the OT laws literally, many foetuses would have died in assuring holiness via the capital punishment which again modern Catholicism, after centuries of religious war, won’t even countenance. The contradictions in the Catholic position can seem endless.
18) Reference to the cult of the Christ of Mercy picture based on visions of St Faustina of Poland who maintained souls could be saved if they revered the picture. The now popular image has an occult quality in that the beams of light from Christ’s heart shape a pyramid suggestive of new age pyramid power.
19) Mary is becoming focus of interfaith ecumenism. Buddhists, and Hindus who would not acknowledge Christ in any normal way are drawn to Mary and the shrine of Fatima. Islam might be said almost to revere Mary more than Christ whose divinity it denies while it accepts his virgin birth.
20) Ireland’s favourite psychic, Lorna Byrne, surprised many a few years ago with an alleged vision that included Christians worshipping at Mecca. Certainly Chrislam tendencies have been accelerating if not in Ireland, America.
21) In Joh 6:29 Jesus states, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent”