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What does Mediatrix of all graces mean? And why is Our Lady such (or not)? If it would be declared a dogma what does it mean? Certain mystics say St. Joseph told them that he is a mediator as well. (Though I don't necessarily believe them, and I don't know what this means in the first place.)
Here's my best shot at it....St. Joseph, along with other Saints is a mediator in that the Saints mediate for us to Jesus Christ.  In other words, Christ is the only mediator between man and God (being the perfect mediator in that He is God), yet the Saints pray for us to Christ.

Mary's role as Mediatrix of all graces is a very unique and special role in that God chose to come into the world through her.  Because God is changeless, he continues to come to us through her even after His (Christ's) assention into heaven.  This means that all grace that is dispensed from God passes to us through the hands of the Blessed Virgin.

I actually think Vatican II summed it up nicely in Lumen Gentium:

62. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.(15*)

Here's another short explanation from St. Robert Bellarmine:

"All the gifts and all the graces which proceed from Christ as the Head pass through Mary to the Body of the Church. Even the physical body has several members in its other parts—hands, shoulders, arms and feet—but only one head and one neck. So also the Church has many apostles, martyrs, confessors and virgins, but only one Head, the Son of God, and one bond between the Head and members, the Mother of God. By virtue of her transcendent merits before God, the Blessed Virgin stands closer than any other creature to the Head of the Mystical Body; it is no exaggeration to say that she unites the Head to the Body, and that therefore through her, before all others, flow the heavenly blessings from the Head, who is Christ, to us who are His members." Concio xlii de Nativitate B.V.M.

Here's a good in-depth explanation from Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori of exactly what this title and role means with plenty of cites and quotes from the Fathers and other Saints and various theologians:
http://www.marys-touch.com/Glories/ChV.htm

Also see pars. 7-9 in this encyclical of Leo XIII:
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13adiut.htm

And pars. 11-15 of this encyclical of St. Pius X:
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10imcon.htm

Those are just a few examples. It seems to me this is a truth which has been held constantly by the Church and taught consistently by the Magisterium and therefore one we are bound to hold.

So it means that since God became man through her that she's responsible for grace being among the faithful? Or does it mean that whenever God does something He consults her first? That's what some of the language sounds like.
(04-02-2011, 10:51 AM)randomtradguy Wrote: [ -> ]So it means that since God became man through her that she's responsible for grace being among the faithful? Or does it mean that whenever God does something He consults her first? That's what some of the language sounds like.

It is pre-figured in that the grace of the Messiah came via the Theotokos.  The grace of Christ Incarnate literally passed through Mary to us.  But that's not the reason; it just pre-figures it.

All graces pass through her;  this is not out of necessity, but by God's choice.  Christ is the head, Mary the neck, the Church the body.  She was the vessel of Christ Incarnate and is the vessel of the graces He bestows upon us.  We don't know why God chose this any more than we know why he chose humans to confer graces to other humans (i.e., priests to confer Sacraments), but dependence on others, including the Blessed Virgin, is a methodology He chose in His Wisdom.

God does not consult with her.  Her will is perfectly aligned with God's.  Whatever He Wills, she immediately answers, "Fiat" - "Let it be so".  She does intercede for us, adding the voice of her prayers to ours, but she accepts God's Will completely.

Does that make sense?

That makes sense. Since she is filled with grace, she understands God's plan for the world, so she knows that His will is correct and agrees. By this same logic, she brought forth the Creator.

I forgot that when one has grace they don't sin, but this doesn't mean that they have no free will. So the Deipara can intercede to her Son for us, but does not disagree with Our Lord's will. Is that right?
(04-02-2011, 01:22 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: [ -> ]I forgot that when one has grace they don't sin, but this doesn't mean that they have no free will. So the Deipara can intercede to her Son for us, but does not disagree with Our Lord's will. Is that right?

Right.  I imagine her interceding the same as we pray.  Like,  she might intercede for me by saying, "Help Quis not be so stupid, if it be thy Will" and accepts what happens.  I think it's more complicated theologically than that since she has the Beatific Vision and is Queen of Heaven and all, but that's how I wrap my tiny human brain around it.
I am leery with the titles of co-Redemptrix and co-Mediatrix. I think we have gone too far to honor the saints, to take away from the latria and contemplation of the divine. God is the source of all grace, redemption and salvation. Jesus, fully divine and human, is the true mediator and intercessor. It is great that we honour the saints, absolutely, but in our efforts to find a human to look to in admiration and as a model, we have forgotten that Christ also is FULLY human. We can always look to Him as our chief inspiration, let us not forget, lest He seem some distant deity like before the incarnation.
St. Louis de Montfort's "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin" is very pertinent to this thread.  The text  is here: http://www.jesus-passion.com/TrueDevotio...20DEVOTION.

Note St. Louis de Montfort  was born in 1673.

Here are some beautiful and well worth reading paragraphs.

True Devotion to The Blessed Virgin/ Section on False Devotions Wrote:Scrupulous devotees

94. Scrupulous devotees are those who imagine they are slighting the Son by honouring the Mother. They fear that by exalting Mary they are belittling Jesus. They cannot bear to see people giving to our Lady the praises due to her and which the Fathers of the Church have lavished upon her. It annoys them to see more people kneeling before Mary's altar than before the Blessed Sacrament, as if these acts were at variance with each other, or as if those who were praying to our Lady were not praying through her to Jesus. They do not want us to speak too often of her or to pray so often to her. Here are some of the things they say: "What is the good of all these rosaries, confraternities and exterior devotions to our Lady? There is a great deal of ignorance in all this. It is making a mockery of religion. Tell us about those who are devoted to Jesus (and they often pronounce his name without uncovering their heads). We should go directly to Jesus, since he is our sole Mediator. We must preach Jesus; that is sound devotion." There is some truth in what they say, but the inference they draw to prevent devotion to our Lady is very insidious. It is a subtle snare of the evil one under the pretext of promoting a greater good. For we never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son.

95. The Church, with the Holy Spirit, blesses our Lady first, then Jesus, "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." Not that Mary is greater than Jesus, or even equal to him - that would be an intolerable heresy. But in order to bless Jesus more perfectly we should first bless Mary. Let us say with all those truly devoted to her, despite these false and scrupulous devotees: "O Mary, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

You need to read about the other false devotions to get a bigger picture.  Of course also you need to read the last section, on true devotion (but I'm reading the book now and haven't got there yet!)

And others:

True Devotion to The Blessed Virgin Wrote:28. Mary has authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and the mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride. Such is the will of almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasures, dispenser of his graces, worker of his wonders, restorer of the human race, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies, and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs.
True Devotion to The Blessed Virgin Wrote:Fourth principle: It is more humble to have an intermediary with Christ

83. It is more perfect because it supposes greater humility to approach God through a mediator rather than directly by ourselves. Our human nature, as I have just shown, is so spoilt that if we rely on our own work, effort and preparedness to reach God and please him, it is certain that our good works will be tainted and carry little weight with him. They will not induce him to unite himself to us or answer our prayers. God had his reasons for giving us mediators with him. He saw our unworthiness and helplessness and had pity on us. To give us access to his mercies he provided us with powerful advocates, so that to neglect these mediators and to approach his infinite holiness directly and without help from any one of them, is to be lacking in humility and respect towards God who is so great and holy. It would mean that we have less esteem for the King of kings than for an earthly king or ruler, for we would not dare approach an earthly king without a friend to speak for us.

84. Our Lord is our Advocate and our Mediator of redemption with God the Father. It is through him that we must pray with the whole Church, triumphant and militant. It is through him that we have access to God the Father. We should never appear before God, our Father, unless we are supported by the merits of his Son, and, so to speak, clothed in them, as young Jacob was clothed in the skin of the young goats when he appeared before his father Isaac to receive his blessing.

85. But have we no need at all of a mediator with the Mediator himself? Are we pure enough to be united directly to Christ without any help? Is Jesus not God, equal in every way to the Father? Therefore is he not the Holy of Holies, having a right to the same respect as his Father? If in his infinite love he became our security and our Mediator with his Father, whom he wished to appease in order to redeem us from our debts, should we on that account show him less respect and have less regard for the majesty and holiness of his person? Let us not be afraid to say with St. Bernard that we need a mediator with the Mediator himself and the divinely-honoured Mary is the one most able to fulfil this office of love. Through her, Jesus came to us; through her we should go to him. If we are afraid of going directly to Jesus, who is God, because of his infinite greatness, or our lowliness, or our sins, let us implore without fear the help and intercession of Mary, our Mother. She is kind, she is tender, and there is nothing harsh or forbidding about her, nothing too sublime or too brilliant. When we see her, we see our own human nature at its purest. She is not the sun, dazzling our weak sight by the brightness of its rays. Rather, she is fair and gentle as the moon, which receives its light from the sun and softens it and adapts it to our limited perception. She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it has never been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.

86. All this is taken from St. Bernard and St. Bonaventure. According to them, we have three steps to take in order to reach God. The first, nearest to us and most suited to our capacity, is Mary; the second is Jesus Christ; the third is God the Father. To go to Jesus, we should go to Mary, our mediatrix of intercession. To go to God the Father, we must go to Jesus, our Mediator of redemption. This order is perfectly observed in the devotion I shall speak about further on.

I guess you might say St. Louis de Montfort is an extremist about Mary,  but would Her Son really mind?

Doing nothing but praying rosaries and other external things or truly not thinking about Our Lord is NOT devotion to Mary.

(04-02-2011, 11:10 PM)UnamSanctam Wrote: [ -> ]I am leery with the titles of co-Redemptrix and co-Mediatrix.

Take that up with God.  It's His Will after all.

Quote:I think we have gone too far to honor the saints, to take away from the latria and contemplation of the divine. God is the source of all grace, redemption and salvation. Jesus, fully divine and human, is the true mediator and intercessor.

We give to Mary only what Christ Jesus Himself gave (though ours is a far more inferior offering).  Jesus is our only mediator between man and God yes.  Mary's role as co-Redemptrix and co-Mediatrix in no way detracts from this.

Quote:It is great that we honour the saints, absolutely, but in our efforts to find a human to look to in admiration and as a model, we have forgotten that Christ also is FULLY human. We can always look to Him as our chief inspiration, let us not forget, lest He seem some distant deity like before the incarnation.

Completely agreed!  Let us use Jesus Christ as are sole model.  And what was His example?  Why, he submitted Himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary!  He chose Mary and Mary gave her "fiat!" to be the treasure trove of all of the Lord's graces.  This is shown by Christ's example of dwelling in her womb.  Jesus Christ crowned Mary as Queen of Heaven and the whole universe.

Let us follow Jesus's command to take Our Blessed Lady as Our Mother and Our Queen.
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