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phatcatholic

How Would You Answer This Question?

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Fides_et_Ratio
interesting. my first reaction was the same as L_D's, but I think I need to think it through some more.

I'm just not sure I'm comfortable with the language "holiness"

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StColette
lol I went searchin through the internet like a crazy person for quotes that would explain why the Virgin Mary's intercession is more powerful.

St Bernard, St. Bernardino, and St. Bonaventure among others tell us that everything has submitted itself to the Blessed Virgin, even God because so great is the authority that the Lord has bestowed upon Mary, that it appears she has the same power as God and that her pleas and petitions are so effective before God's throne that He would never resist what is asked by his Mother who always conforms to His Will. In the book of Exodus (32:10-14) the Almighty turns away his anger from the Israelites at Moses' pleas; how much more powerful must be the humble prayer of Mary, the Mother of God before the Most High? Surely her intercession must be greater than all the angels and saints together.

St. John Damascene says about the devotion to Mary: "To be devoted to you, oh Virgin Mary, is a great weapon that God gives to those He wishes to be saved". St. Luís María Grignion de Monfort preaches that no one can have an intimate union with God or perfect fidelity with the Holy Spirit without being closely united with and dependant on Blessed Mary ever Virgin.

[url="http://www.deaconlaz.org/DevotionstoMary.html"]http://www.deaconlaz.org/DevotionstoMary.html[/url]

And Saint Vincent Ferrer, speaking particularly of the sanctity of Mary before her birth, says 'that the Blessed Virgin was sanctified' (surpassed in sanctity) 'in her mother's womb above all Saints and angels.'

The grace that the Blessed Virgin received exceeded not only that of each particular Saint, but of all the angels and saints put together, as the most learned Father Francis Pepe, of the Society of Jesus, proves in his beautiful work on the greatness of Jesus and Mary.

The first is, that Mary was chosen by God to be the Mother of the Divine Word. Hence Denis the Carthusian says, 'that as she was chosen to an order superior to that of all other creatures (for in a certain sense the dignity of Mother of God, as Father Suarez asserts, belongs to the order of hypostatic union), it is reasonable to suppose that from the very beginning of her life gifts of a superior order were conferred upon her, and such gifts, that they must have incomparably surpassed those granted to all other creatures.

Saint Thomas, who says, 'the Blessed Virgin was chosen to be the Mother of God; and therefore it is not to be doubted but that God fitted her for it by His grace;' so much so, that Mary, before becoming Mother of God, was adorned with a sanctity so perfect that it rendered her fit for this great dignity. The holy Doctor says, 'that in the Blessed Virgin there was a preparatory perfection, which rendered her fit to be the Mother of Christ, and this was the perfection of sanctification.

Saint Gregory, explaining this passage, says, 'It is a mountain on the top of mountains; for the perfection of Mary is resplendent above that of all the Saints.'

And Saint John Damascen, that it is 'a mountain in which God was well pleased to dwell.' Therefore Mary was called a cypress, but a cypress of Mount Sion: she was called a cedar, but a cedar of Libanus: an olive-tree, but a fair olive-tree; beautiful, but beautiful as the sun; for as Saint Peter Damian says, 'As the light of the sun so greatly surpasses that of the stars, that in it they are no longer visible; it so overwhelms them, that they are as if they were not;' 'so does the great Virgin Mother surpass in sanctity the whole court of heaven.'

So much so that Saint Bernard elegantly remarks, that the sanctity of Mary, as so sublime, that 'no other mother than Mary became a God, and no other Son than God became Mary.'

Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, asserts that the reason for which the Archangel Gabriel called her full of grace, "Hail, full of grace!" was because only limited grace was given to others, but it was given to Mary in all its plenitude: 'Truly was she full; for grace is given to other Saints partially, but the whole plenitude of grace poured itself into Mary.'

Saint Thomas adds, that some Saints have so much grace that it is not only sufficient for themselves, but also for the salvation of many, though not for all men.' The angelical Doctor adds, that some Saints have so much grace that it is not only sufficient for themselves, but also for the salvation of many, though not for all men; only to Jesus Christ and to Mary was such a grace given as sufficed to save all: should anyone have as much as would suffice for the salvation of all, this would be the greatest; and this was in Christ and in the Blessed Virgin.

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Above all we must remember why she is so special.

She was created by God, without sin, to bear His Son. He poured more grace into her than any other creature. Her small yet powerful "yes" to God is part of her powerful intercession. For after that "Yes" she would bring forth the Messiah. No one else was ever chosen for this, only her alone, that alone makes her special above all Saints. While Mose carried the Word of God on stone tablets, Mary carried God incarnate in her womb. No single person has ever been as close to God as Mary.

At Cana we see her powerful intercession already at work. When Mary asked Christ to help with the problem of the wine, He did not refuse His mother. It was not yet His time, but for His mother He would do this task. For what good son would refuse his mother?

At the Cross we see Mary standing faithful by her Son. Never leaving His side. She suffered more than any other Saint that has ever lived. She at that moment of His death became the Queen of Martyrs. For while many future Saints would die in the name of Christ, Mary would die with Him. "And a sword shall pierce your soul" Now while she did not die physically, she did die spiritually, a white martyr. Who suffers more? A Saint who dies for the faith or a Mother who must give up her only Son for the sake of the world and then must continue to live without Him?

We must also remember that she was given to us by Christ to be our Mother and we were given to her as her children. No other Saint is our Mother or Father. She was given this role for the purpose of bringing all of God's children closer to Him. It is her motherly love for all her children that makes her intercession so powerful.

Remember also one of her titles. She is Queen of Heaven and Earth.

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Fides_et_Ratio
I can see Mary's intercession being more powerful.. I was only curious about ordering the Saints in Heaven by "levels of holiness".. the fact that they ARE indeed holy by being in Heaven would seem to suffice.

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StColette
[quote name='Fides_et_Ratio' date='Jul 28 2005, 12:24 PM']I can see Mary's intercession being more powerful.. I was only curious about ordering the Saints in Heaven by "levels of holiness".. the fact that they ARE indeed holy by being in Heaven would seem to suffice.
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Trying to find some sources on that. I guess the same thing could be said about the Angels, remember they are 9 different Choirs

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StColette
DIFFERENT REWARDS IN HEAVEN

For, in heaven, there are different rewards for different people.

John 14:2 “In my father’s house, there are many mansions.”

St. Augustine and other Church Fathers said that the many mansions refer to different levels of reward in heaven for different levels of merit acquired by believers on Earth.

[quote]St. Augustine of Hippo: Tractates on the Gospel of John

TRACTATE 67 (JOHN 14:1-3)

But why have we this that follows, "In my Father's house are many mansions," but that they were also in fear about themselves? And therein they might have heard the words, "Let not your heart be troubled." For, was there any of them that could be free from fear, when Peter, the most confident and forward of them all, was told, "The pickle shall not crow till thou hast denied me thrice"? Considering themselves, therefore, beginning with Peter, as destined to perish, they had cause to be troubled: but when they now hear, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you," they are revived from their trouble, made certain and confident that after all the perils of temptations they shall dwell with Christ in the presence of God. For, albeit one is stronger than another, one wiser than another, one more righteous than another, "in the Father's house there are many mansions;" none of them shall remain outside that house, where every one, according to his deserts, is to receive a mansion. All alike have that penny, which the householder orders to be given to all that have wrought in the vineyard, making no distinction therein between those who have labored less and those who have labored more: by which penny, of course, is signified eternal life, whereto no one any longer lives to a different length than others, since in eternity life has no diversity in its measure. [b]But the many mansions point to the different grades of merit in that one eternal life. For there is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory; and so also the resurrection of the dead. The saints, like the stars in the sky, obtain in the kingdom different mansions of diverse degrees of brightness; but on account of that one penny no one is cut off from the kingdom; and God will be all in all in such a way, that, as God is love, love will bring it about that what is possessed by each will be common to all. [/b]For in this way every one really possesses it, when he loves to see in another what he has not himself. There will not, therefore, be any envying amid this diversity of brightness, since in all of them will be reigning the unity of love

(Source: Catholic Encyclopedia: [url="http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701067.htm)"]http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701067.htm)[/url][/quote]

St. Thomas Aquinas agreed, writing: "The more one will be united to God the happier will one be."

The Catechism of Trent puts it this way: [For in my Father's house, says our Lord, there are many mansions," in which shall be distributed rewards of greater and of less value according to each one's deserts. He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings]

“ Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings shall also reap blessings.” [2 Cor 9:6]

[url="http://www.stillcatholic.com/CATHHeaven.htm"]http://www.stillcatholic.com/CATHHeaven.htm[/url]

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StColette
[b][color=blue]Okay I just went hunting through EWTN Q&A section lol[/color][/b]

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heaven
Question from on 01-22-2005:

At a recent RCIA meeting, one of the converts stated there are seven levels of heaven and that the bible supports this view. Are there levels of heaven? What are they? Who goes / lives there.

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 01-22-2005:

Paula, The more holy saints will enjoy greater happiness in Heaven than the less holy. I am not aware that there are only seven grades or levels of Heaven. The Catechism says nothing about this except that there are degrees or stages or levels of happiness, of being closer to God.

Fr. Bob Levis

[url="http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=426044&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2005&Author=&Keyword=levels+of+heaven&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=3&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at="]Heaven[/url]

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Levels of Heaven - Scripture Proof
Question from on 11-11-2004:

Father, a recent post asked about levels in heaven and hell. Do these verses support that Catholic teaching?

Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called LEAST in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called GREAT in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19 RSVA)

Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11 & Luke 7:28 RSVA)

But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, (Mark 10:43 RSVA)

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 11-11-2004:

Sreve, You could well be correct! Many thanks.
Fr. Bob Levis

[url="http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=418457&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2004&Author=&Keyword=levels+of+heaven&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=2&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at="]Levels of Heaven[/url]

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Levels of Heaven???

Question from on 09-30-2003:

2 Cor 12:2 has me wondering. Are there different levels of Heaven? Paradise, third level, Purgatory, Sheol of the Old Testament have peaked my curiosity. A friend told me that one of the early church fathers taught that there are muliple levels of Heaven. I have been taught by my father that there aren't in Heaven, but are multiple levels in hell. I can't find an early church father that taught that or an official statement of the Church that addresses the issue at all. Could you help me. Thanks.

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 10-10-2003:

Dear Monessa,

It is a common teaching of the Church that there are different levels in heaven. Even the angels are ranked in different levels. The early Church Fathers like St. Augustine took this diversity in people as a sign that one type of creature like the angels was not enough to show the great glory and power of God. Thus God created men and, on a different level, animals and plants and rocks and sand. All differences show the power and glory of God.

Dr. Geraghty

[url="http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=378872&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2003&Author=&Keyword=levels+of+heaven&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=1&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at="]Levels of Heaven?[/url]

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Levels of Heaven

Question from on 02-14-2002:

In Karl Keating's book "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" he states in Chapter 13 dealing with salvation "[w]hen they [the saint who never committed a mortal sin and the lifelong sinner who repents on his deathbed]get to heaven,the one with the greater capacity for love will enjoy greater blessedness there, although each will enjoy it as fully as he is capable." This implies that there may be different levels of heaven or at least different ways in which people may experience it. Does the Church have any position on this issue, and if so, what is it? If not, what would be your thoughts?

Thank you.

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 02-14-2002:

Mark, Mr. Keating is right on the button, his is the teaching of the Church. God bless.

Fr.Bob Levis

[url="http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=327529&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2002&Author=&Keyword=levels+of+heaven&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=3&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at="]Levels of Heaven[/url]
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prophecies

Question from on 03-09-2002:

What are the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah that Our Lord fulfilled to prove He was the Christ?

On a different note are there different levels of Heaven? Was that what our Lord meant when He said " My Father's house has many mansions."

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 03-15-2002:

The prophecies run throughout the Old Testament, from start to finish. They include prophetic words of prophets and persons, places, circumstances and so on that prefigure Christ. It would take a lifetime to identify the countless connections.

Jewish writings reveal a view of different levels of heaven. We can say that the more a soul loves and is loved by God in eternity, the higher the place in heaven, as reflected in the many rooms of the mansion, of which you ask.

Thanks, Mario

Father Echert

[url="http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=314012&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2002&Author=&Keyword=levels+of+heaven&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=2&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at="]Prophecies[/url]

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phatcatholic
well, this whole concept is new to me, but i guess it makes sense. thanks Jennie for all ur research!!! u make ur big bro proud!!! :D:

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StColette
[quote name='phatcatholic' date='Jul 28 2005, 06:39 PM']well, this whole concept is new to me, but i guess it makes sense. thanks Jennie for all ur research!!! u make ur big bro proud!!! :D:
[right][snapback]663035[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]

:blush:

:D: My pleasure ;) Edited by StColette

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phatcatholic
btw, Jennie, this was an old thread that i dug up. we discussed this while you were on ur hiatus :)

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StColette
[quote name='phatcatholic' date='Jul 28 2005, 06:58 PM']btw, Jennie, this was an old thread that i dug up. we discussed this while you were on ur hiatus :)
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Gotcha lol how dare yall discuss Mama Mary without me :P

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