De Chirico, Leonardo. A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Mary: Mother of God
Point: The Roman Catholic teaching about Mary ultimately leads one’s attention and heart away from Jesus and the Gospel.
Path: De Chirico, in this concise work, walks the reader through the Biblical teaching of Mary, the Early Church’s teaching about Mary, a historical theology of the Catholic belief of Mary, and the current developments in Mariology. He then highlights the crucial problems and points us back to a biblical view of Mary.
Sources: The author cites numerous councils, sermons, commentaries, and prayers within the Catholic faith.
Agreement: This was a very helpful resource to see the basic view of what Catholicism teaches, not necessary what every Catholic believes. I think the two essential components for me were: 1) What we pray we eventually believe. And 2) the summary of the principles of singularity, fittingness, eminence, and analogy or likeness to Christ. Those two concepts were worth the read.
Personal App: I must recognize how liturgy fashions belief, in my friends who are Catholics, and in my own.
Favorite Quote: “Is there a way to bring all these Mariological strands together? Condensing entire libraries of books, and distilling centuries of reflection and observation, here is a list of principles that need to be taken into account if one is to understand the logic of Mariological development. They are provided by Gabriel Maria Roschini (1900–1977), a Roman Catholic professor of Mariology, author of a four volume standard Mariology in Latin, and a twentieth century leading authority in this field of study. Here they are: Being the Holy Virgin an altogether singular creature, belonging to a specific order in herself, she rightly claims altogether singular privileges that are precluded to any other creature (principle of singularity). All those perfections which are fitting to the dignity of the Mother of God need to be attributed to the Holy Virgin provided that they can be somehow traced from revelation and are not contrary to faith nor reason (principle of fittingness). All the privileges of nature, grace and glory given by God to the other saints must have been given also to the Holy Virgin, being her the Queen of the saints (principle of eminence). Privileges analogous to the various privileges of the humanity of Christ are possessed correspondingly by the most blessed Virgin and according to the condition of the one and the other (principle of analogy or likeness to Christ).21 Singularity, fittingness, eminence and analogy to Christ. Each on its own terms, and interwoven together, they form the Mariological quadrilateral that moved the development of the combination between devotion and doctrine.”
Stars: 4 out of 5
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it to someone who:
– has come out of Catholicism
– Is interested in what Catholicism teaches