Did mary have a vaginal Birth.
#31
Chestertonian Wrote:See, that response would really bother me, and I think it is insulting to a child's intelligence to dismiss their curiosity in this way.  As a teacher, I don't think there is anything to be gained by telling your students not to think.  How do you think a young St. Thomas Aquinas would have felt if someone told him at the age of 8, "See, the Holy Trinity is a mystery.  Don't worry about it, just believe it"?  Perhaps some people are simpler than others and this answer would satisfy the minds of simpler souls.  But I know many intelligent people who were turned off by the faith because asking questions and posing challenges was discouraged.  I think it's because sometimes students ask questions that the teacher is not prepared or qualified to answer.  It is better for a teacher to say, "I don't know.  Let's do some research and I'll help you figure it out as much as I can." than to say, "Don't question it, just believe it."

I agree entirely. This "pious" anti-intellectualism is really a terribly destructive mindset. The notion of "blind faith" has no basis in Catholicism and it belies a belief that faith and reason are contradictory faculties.

This question is actually quite fascinating when we give it further thought and it's a question that I personally don't have an answer to. If we reject the possibility of our Lord's birth occurring through the normative means of human physiology, what more must we necessarily reject? If Christ's birth was entirely detached from natural processes, was He nourished in the womb with a placenta, umbilical cord, etc.? Was Christ's human form derived (at least in part) by Mary's own genetic makeup? Is Christ biologically related to Mary? ... The question which many here are simply dismissing as icky and yucky actually has some rather deep concepts.
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#32
(05-01-2013, 04:32 AM)Joshua Wrote:
Chestertonian Wrote:See, that response would really bother me, and I think it is insulting to a child's intelligence to dismiss their curiosity in this way.  As a teacher, I don't think there is anything to be gained by telling your students not to think.  How do you think a young St. Thomas Aquinas would have felt if someone told him at the age of 8, "See, the Holy Trinity is a mystery.  Don't worry about it, just believe it"?  Perhaps some people are simpler than others and this answer would satisfy the minds of simpler souls.  But I know many intelligent people who were turned off by the faith because asking questions and posing challenges was discouraged.  I think it's because sometimes students ask questions that the teacher is not prepared or qualified to answer.  It is better for a teacher to say, "I don't know.  Let's do some research and I'll help you figure it out as much as I can." than to say, "Don't question it, just believe it."

If Christ's birth was entirely detached from natural processes, was He nourished in the womb with a placenta, umbilical cord, etc.? Was Christ's human form derived (at least in part) by Mary's own genetic makeup? Is Christ biologically related to Mary? ... The question which many here are simply dismissing as icky and yucky actually has some rather deep concepts.

I believe if we look at other areas of teaching and tradition, etc. , we see that these questions can be deduced to a tenable answer.

Starting out, Sr. Lucia has been quoted as saying the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima bears the closest resemblance she's ever seen of Mary:
[Image: 4e33476216227.preview-300.jpg]

Compare this with Shroud of Turin facial reconstruction images and popular images of Our Lord; very similar, and definitely bears the resemblance of a son of genetic makeup from a mother:
[Image: jesus.jpg]

The Word was made Flesh; what flesh did He take on, but Mary's? St. Augustine wrote this very thing.
http://www.marys-touch.com/Eucharist/ch6.htm

By the very biological/physiological processes God Himself created, all people receive certain things for sure only from their mother. A main one is the mitochondria, which is the energy processing station of the cell. This is how science has, though now largely ignores, come to the conclusion of the "Mitochondrial Eve". It would follow that Christ received, in His human nature, this from Mary.

Going back to the idea of placenta, etc., I'd say yes. He is the God-Man, and I would think looking at these things in light of the Shroud of Turin would provide a material understanding of this process, leading to spiritual comfort and awe at the Mystery of the Incarnation, which always will remain a Mystery in certain regards. Where, then, one might ask, is this biological Shroud? That seems as unanswerable at the present as many other questions.

To discount Christ's receiving from Mary that which He gave to her anyway, being her flesh, etc. is to reduce Our Lady to an incubator... a surrogate mother in a sense. Such a concept is repugnant and offensive to both God and Mary. In her fiat, I believe we see the inkling of poverty in spirit and why it was important that she ask the Archangel Gabriel "how can this be?" She replies to his announcement, behold the handmaid of the Lord. She gives all, including her flesh. Everything, including flesh. A motherly Eve, submitting to her God: Daughter of the Father serving for the purpose of the heavenly family, the mother of the Son, and the spouse of the Holy Ghost.

Would love to "flesh this out", but I gotta run.
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#33
Jesus Christ's birth has nothing to do with him being formed in Mary's womb. The point is His birth is supernatural. I am the light the truth and the way. Mary remained a Virgin after His birth, and Christ's flesh comes directly from her. There is no way for Mary to remain a Virgin and have a natural birth. The frame of reference is the first century and no one would have believed if she had a natural delivery. This is why the passing as light through the glass, because Jesus Christ is the Light, from the Creed. Now better minds with the help of the Holy Ghost have not been able to explain His birth the same as other things which are way over our heads. Faith by definition is believing with out proof, otherwise it is called knowledge. The Apostles did not believe they knew. Christ's admonition to Thomas is where we are at, and we will not know until we die. For 2000 years with the apostles, Apostolic Fathers, the Fathers, and the Doctors, then the Popes and Saints and no one  has an explanation

tim
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#34
Beautiful, jonbhorton.
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#35
(05-01-2013, 08:16 AM)jonbhorton Wrote: To discount Christ's receiving from Mary that which He gave to her anyway, being her flesh, etc. is to reduce Our Lady to an incubator... a surrogate mother in a sense. Such a concept is repugnant and offensive to both God and Mary.

I totally agree. I have always rejected such a sterilized version of Jesus and Mary. The "porcelain doll Mary" does not do honor to God.
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#36
(05-01-2013, 08:48 AM)Tim Wrote: The frame of reference is the first century and no one would have believed if she had a natural delivery.
Why wouldn't they believe?  If they could accept that a child is conceived through the Holy Ghost and not through "knowing" a man, why wouldn't they also believe that she gave birth vaginally and still remained a virgin?  It is rather silly to base a woman's virginity on the existence of a hymen, which could have easily been damaged by the donkey ride to Bethlehem.  Call me ethnocentric, but if this is how people in the culture thought, then the culture is silly too. 

[Image: pregnant-mary-on-donkey-and-joseph-trave...=672&h=384]

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#37
(05-01-2013, 12:30 PM)Chestertonian Wrote: If they could accept that a child is conceived through the Holy Ghost and not through "knowing" a man, why wouldn't they also believe that she gave birth vaginally and still remained a virgin?

That is not the teaching of the Catholic Church (assuming you mean a natural, vaginal birth).  The teaching of the Catholic Church is that the Blessed Virgin Mary is a perpetual virgin who remained a virgin before, during and after giving birth.

This is not a matter of opinion.  Some of you are throwing out your opinions as if it were.  This is not optional.  I fault your catechesis.

If you have any doubts about this tenet of our faith, talk to a traditional Catholic priest.  Don't waste your time assuring each other how you think it ought to be.  We're Catholics here, not Protestants.
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#38
Forgive my ignorance..

How would a regular birth negate her virginity? 'Virginity' is defined by the hymen being intact?
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#39
(05-01-2013, 04:00 PM)Armor of Light Wrote: Forgive my ignorance..

How would a regular birth negate her virginity? 'Virginity' is defined by the hymen being intact?

STOP THIS NOW.  THIS IS NOT A DEBATE.  THIS IS THE CATHOLIC FAITH.  ASK YOUR PRIEST.
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#40
In so much as it is not a defined doctrine as to whether Christ was born normally or as "light through glass" and in so much as the state of the hymen is not defined doctrine we are allowed to discuss and debate these things Impy, so long as we remember to give due respect to the person of the BVM.
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