3

According to Pope Francis:

Mary is not only the bridge joining us to God; she is more. She is the road that God travelled to reach us, and the road that we must travel in order to reach him.

How do catholics explain this in light of John 14:6 (NASB)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me?

9
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? How is 1 Timothy 2:5 interpreted relative to the Mediatrix concept? – Grasper Mar 29 at 15:12
  • @Grasper just edited to remove that passage and focus in John 14:6 only – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Mar 29 at 15:18
  • 2
    I don't know what is hard to understand. If Mary followed Christ perfectly, following Mary's way is like following the Christ's. She is our example on how to follow God. This example you can call a "road". Any person who ended up in heaven is our road, an example on how to get to God and we must follow it in order to get to heaven. And what does it mean that she is a road? It means: to follow God's commandments, be humble and so on. – Grasper Mar 29 at 16:21
  • @Grasper ok so you'd say there's nothing wrong with the affirmation because «Mary followed Christ perfectly». Yet that's not necessarily intuitive. Do you care to provide references for that statement? (ideally in the Bible) – Tiago Martins Peres 李大仁 Mar 29 at 16:25
  • 1
    @TiagoMartinsPeres李大仁 It's not necessarily intuitive? In that case you shouldn't be asking for a catholic view. That's like asking why 2+2=4 without studying Math. First learn the catholic theology and then try to ask a question about Mary if you don't understand something. There is ton of references on why Mary was sinless... – Grasper Mar 29 at 16:29
3

According to Pope Francis

Mary is not only the bridge joining us to God; she is more. She is the road that God travelled to reach us, and the road that we must travel in order to reach him.

Pope Francis like Pope St. John Paul II famous "Totus Tuus" originated from the Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary written by St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort.

The phrase known to Catholic was the phrase, "To Jesus through Mary". More on this can be found in the book True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort.

Other expression instead of the word "road" is "path, ladder of paradise, gate of heaven, etc", the expression was, like in the Franciscan:

"Mary is our path to Jesus Christ"

And St. Lawrence Justinian asks: "How can she be otherwise than full of grace? She has been made the ladder to paradise, the gate of heaven, the most true mediatrix between God and human beings."

St. Bonaventure says Mary is called "the Gate of Heaven because no one can enter that blessed Kingdom without passing through her."

But the most famous one came from St.Louis de Montfort and this is shared also by St. Maximillian Kolbe and other Church Theologians: see below.

To Jesus through Mary, Origins

Q: What is the origin of the expression "To Jesus through Mary"?

A: The origin of "To Jesus through Mary" is generally attributed to Louis Grignion de Montfort in his True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. That is to say that he used the expression most explicitly, and presented devotion to Mary as the most effective means of consecration to Jesus. Therefore, according to Grignion, we ought to entrust ourselves to Mary in imitation of Christ (True Devotion 121, 123, 124). According to Montfort, true devotion "consists in giving oneself entirely to the Blessed Virgin, in order to belong entirely to Jesus Christ through her." (True Devotion, 121) However, the idea of going through Mary to Jesus is much older, and was promoted by such authors as Ildephonse of Toledo (+667), Germanus of Constantinople (+773), John of Damascus (+750), Ambrose Autpert (+781), Fulbert of Chartres (+1028), Odilo of Cluny (+1049), Peter Damian (+1072), Anselm of Lucca (+1086), and Anselm of Canterbury (+1109). Geoffrey of Vendôme (+1132) would say, for example, "...let us hasten to his mother, and through her to the Son Himself." (PL 157, 266A) And Bernard of Clairvaux insists: "...be careful to commit to Mary the little thou desirest to offer, that the Lord may receive it through her hands...." ("De Nat"., in: Bernard's sermons on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Augustine Publ.: Devon, 1987, 101-103). In Odo of Canterbury (+1200) we find a passage which is even closer to the consecrated expression attributed to Montfort. Odo uses these words: "In fact, one goes to Christ through Mary, one goes to the Son through the Mother. By means of the Mother of Mercy one reaches mercy itself." (Testi Mariani, ed. L. Gambero, vol. 3, 490).

How do Catholics explain this in light of John 14:6 (NASB)

Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.

Since, Pope Francis, St.John Paul II and other well known Marian Pope's like Pope Leo XII, Pope St. Paul VI and numerous great Marian Saints like St. Liguori, St. Kolbe, not to mention the well know Church Fathers and Theologians, etc. have embraced and taught the important role of Mary in the salvation of souls. It follows that the Catholic Church affirmed Pope Francis view when he said:

Mary is not only the bridge joining us to God; she is more. She is the road that God travelled to reach us, and the road that we must travel in order to reach him.

If Mary is the "road", it doesn't mean that there's no other road as scriptures teaches us;

The Narrow Gate

13Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it. 15Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves - Matthew7:13-15

Pondering deeply this passage, one may ask who or what is the "narrow gate"? Because if one do not know the narrow gate, then it follows as the passage immediately speaks of false prophets, that one is following the false prophets and wolves in sheep clothing and can be deceive.

What is the narrow gate?

We can find the answer to Pope Francis himself, and the explanation of the cited statement saying Mary is the road to God.

Pope Francis: Mary helps Christians enter heaven through the 'narrow gate'

The way to heaven is difficult and the gate to enter small, but Jesus’ mother, Mary, who herself entered through the narrow gate, will help those who ask, Pope Francis said Sunday.

Mary can be invoked under the title “Gate of Heaven,” he explained in his Angelus address Aug. 25.

“She welcomed [Jesus] with all her heart and followed him every day of her life, even when she did not understand, even when a sword pierced her soul.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary is “a gate that exactly follows the form of Jesus: the gate of the heart of Jesus, demanding, but open to all,” he said. “May the Virgin Mary help us in this.”

In closing, "Jesus said I am the Way", and Jesus came down from Heaven to show us the way, it's called the "Way of the Cross". If we follow the path of Jesus Christ in carrying our own cross like Jesus, we also need the accompaniment of a Mother. Like Jesus, we cannot endure the weight of the cross and climb the Calvary without the powerful intercession of a Mother. That's is why, the agonizing Jesus at the Foot of the Cross, commanded all the redeemed with His words and this words was both a command and a gift. Jesus gave us the most precious gift of all, Jesus gave us his Mother who accompanied Him from "womb to tomb".

If we want to enter the narrow gate, and travel the road, the shortest and safest road to the Kingdom of God and not be deceive by false prophets and wolves in sheep clothing. All the redeemed, the People of God including the Christian and Non-Christian, all must heed Jesus command saying,

"Son, behold your Mother..." (John19:26)

If we do not welcome Mary in our home especially in our hearts, then, when the Blessed Virgin Mary knocks at our door, to help us in our Christian journey like St. Elizabeth and St. John the beloved Apostle did, then, we are missing the gifts of the Holy Spirit, because if we hear the voice or greetings of the Theotokos, that's enough for us to be "filled by the Holy Spirit", and proclaim "Jesus is Lord".

All the redeemed must welcome Mary's visitation as She brings salvation to all souls who seek it, because seeing the Face of Mary the Mother of Mercy, we can also see the Face of God, the Mercy of God which is Jesus Christ the Divine Mercy made flesh. And hearing the voice or greetings of Mary, we can experience the sanctifying gifts of the Holy Spirit because Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces, all graces pass thru the Maternal hands of Mary.

By the merits of Jesus, Mary was made the mediatrix of our salvation; not a mediatrix of justice, of course, but of grace and intercession --- as St. Bonaventure expressly calls her: "Mary, the most faithful mediatrix of our salvation."

This necessity goes back to the very will of God Himself, Who had decreed that all the graces He gives human beings should pass through Mary's hands. This is the opinion of St. Bernard --- an opinion which we may now safely call the general opinion of Theologians and Doctors.

More on this teaching coming from the Catholic Church thru the words of the Church Fathers, Saints, Doctor of the Church and Theologians can be found here in this link.

1

Jesus gave us a good example in following the commandments, he honoured his father and mother by obeying them. At the Wedding Feast of Cana when they ran out of wine Mary commanded her son to help them (John 2:1-11), when he protested that it wasn't his time, she ignored the statement and told the staff to do whatever he commanded. He then turned the water into wine. By this example we can see how Mary can intercede for us on our behalf.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.