Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lucia Undeservedly, Wellington is protected from damaging earthquakes

"I am the Immaculate Conception."

A couple of days ago, Christchurch, one of our larger cities was hit with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.  There was widespread structural damage, but so far no loss of life.  As John Key says, a miracle.

It got me thinking about why earthquake prone Wellington hasn't had a major earthquake for a very, long time.  I grew up in Wellington and I've experienced some pretty full on earthquakes, but they've never caused damage.  Then I remembered.

On December 8, each year, the Bishop of Wellington consecrates the city to The Blessed Ever Virgin Mary under her title of Immaculate Conception, asking her to protect us from earthquakes which have devastated this region in the past.  Consequently we are still waiting for the "Big One"*.

Of course, pointing this out to some of the denizens of Kiwiblog causes laughter and derison, which led me to think why Wellington even deserves this protection from Our Lady. 

But then, what greater sign of God's love for undeserving humanity that this?

Related links: I am the Immaculate Conception ~ Catholic Pilgrims

* During WW2, the Bishop forgot to reconsecrate the city, and so in 1942 Wellington was affected by a large earthquake. After that, the Bishop hasn't forgotten.

19 comment(s):

scrubone said...

Unfortunately, while I would not join the derision, I agree that this is superstition.

I would however be interested to see you make a case for this sort of thing from scripture.

Lucia Maria said...

Mary is the Mother of God, she become so at the Incarnation.

Jesus is completely sinless. He took on the flesh of His mother only, therefore it is fitting that she too was completely sinless, ie immaculately conceived.

Jesus was and is the perfect son, therefore he obeys the 4th commandment to honour your father and your mother.

During the wedding feast at Cana, Mary intercedes on behalf of the guests, and Jesus transforms water into wine.

During Jesus' death on the cross, he gives his mother to John, saying, this is your mother. In doing so, Mary becomes the mother of us all.

As our mother, we can ask her for protection. As the Mother of God, she can ask God on our behalf to spare us from harm. As a good son, Jesus would deny her nothing.

scrubone said...

Jesus is completely sinless. He took on the flesh of His mother only, therefore it is fitting that she too was completely sinless, ie immaculately conceived.

I understand (hopefully expanding rather than contradicting your pont) that the RC church declared some time ago that Mary was somehow purified after being concieved in the normal way.

But that lacks credibility, since it uses human assumptions (that Mary *must* have been perfect) to shift the origin of Christ's perfection. It's completely unnecessary theologically and logically.

There's also zero suggestion in scripture that Mary was sinless - in fact, quite the opposite, the scripture makes it clear that Christ, and only Christ holds that distinction.

During Jesus' death on the cross, he gives his mother to John, saying, this is your mother. In doing so, Mary becomes the mother of us all.

No, in doing so he asked John to look after his mother's earthly needs. Even reading that to say that he was John's mother, it is a massive leap, without the slightest basis, to suggest that this act made her the "mother of us all".

Generally, several concepts you expound here appear to be refuted by Mark 3:31-35. Christ refused to see his mother (disobeying an implicit request) and in fact stated clearly that "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

Finally, you forget one thing: God (the father) command us to submit to his will. Even Christ himself did this in Luke 22:42.

So even if all you say is true and Christ ends up with our undeniable requests, he cannot take them to the father as such - God's will must be done, not ours.

Lucia Maria said...

So even if all you say is true and Christ ends up with our undeniable requests, he cannot take them to the father as such - God's will must be done, not ours.

Mary would not bring requests to her son that she knew were against the will of God.

I've just summarised the case. For a fuller set of proofs from Scripture, read this page : The Blessed Virgin Mary - Scripture Catholic

David Winter said...

...there is also the fact that the Wellington fault gives way about once every 900 years. So I'm not sure we need God or Mary oily the earth's plates to explain why Wellington hasn't been knocked over...

Lucia Maria said...

David, except there was a major earthquake in 1855 and one causing damage less than 100 years later, in 1942.

scrubone said...

Mary would not bring requests to her son that she knew were against the will of God.

Ok, I accept that. But you've just left open the strong possibility that Mary looked at your request and said "this isn't the will of God".

Lucia Maria said...

Scrubone,

But you've just left open the strong possibility that Mary looked at your request and said "this isn't the will of God".

That's presuming that God does not want Mary to be seen to be acting in the world. But what is the opposite is true, that the will of God is that He wants Mary to be the instrument of His will? Why else would such things as the image of Guadalupe exist?

Lucia Maria said...

I have to add, the link I've given to Wikipedia is very biased, as can be seen from the discussion page.

scrubone said...

That's presuming that God does not want Mary to be seen to be acting in the world.

Like I said from the start, convince me from scripture. Mary is barely mentioned in scripture, and her veneration by the church is (I understand though I forget the source) a product of populism rather that solid theology.

Why else would such things as the image of Guadalupe exist?

To distract us..

Lucia Maria said...

Scrubone,

In Scripture, Mary is the one who brings Jesus into the world. During the wedding feast at Cana, she says to the servants "Do whatever He tells you."

Her role is always to bring Jesus into the world, to point to Him. And, she is the one who crushes the serpent's head.

All these references (and more) are in the link I gave you.

Have you read it?

scrubone said...

Ok, I missed it :)

I have had a look through it now. While it certainly contains a number of references, many of these (the entire sections VI and VII) are not about Mary at all, or certainly not on plain reading.

Section I - there's no doubt that Mary is blessed, and no Protestant would say she was not. Firstly, scripture is clear, secondly being the mother of Christ most certainly is an honour.

The rest of scripture sections are devoted to either reading into the verses far more than is actually written, or trying to excuse away what is. Some of it is frankly fanciful and quite dangerous.

You've referred to the wedding feast at Cana. Now, it is certainly recorded there that Mary said that. But to read that as some magnificent grand statement is as bad as the women who once quoted my mother Exodus 12:51 as proof that Christians should leave the organised church.

It's a clear abuse of the text.

But as I pointed out earlier, even if all you say is true, by your own admission Mary does not necessarily take our petitions to Christ.

I would rather not argue on something we will never agree on (the deity of Mary) but rather, I'd like to see you reconcile that apparent contradiction. It seems to me that you can't claim protection from Mary and at the same time acknowledge that Mary is limited by what she knows is God's will.

David Winter said...

, except there was a major earthquake in 1855 and one causing damage less than 100 years later, in 1942

On the Wairarapa fault, that only really caused damaged in Wellington because of all the brick/stone buildings. Even if you extend it to earthquakes that might effect Wellington the city isn't overdue

Lucia Maria said...

Scrubone,

At no point is there ever any argument for the "deity" of Mary. This is like me saying that you have deified the Bible, because you only want to believe what is clearly written there.

I can claim protection from Mary, as it is God's will that Mary be able to ask for that protection from Him. I get that you don't believe, that is fine. However, your position is not consistent with the great majority of Christians over the last 2000 years.

MrTips said...

I personally find this post extremely offensive.

Living in ChCh, it somehow seems that we deserved it because our Bishop didn't follow a mass dedicated to earthquake protection?

the last four days have been very hard and it will continue for weeks given the aftershocks -

the hard grind is only just beginning

and all you can do Lucyna is pontificate about something like this?

Thanks...thanks a lot.

Lucia Maria said...

Mr Tips,

First of all, I don't blame you for being offended. From what I understand of the situation down there, everyone's nerves are completely shot.

Be assured that I have been praying for you and for everyone in Christchurch since this whole thing started. And I'm very glad to hear from you, no matter the manner.

However, this post is not so much about Wellington or Christchurch, but about Mary. To whom I have been praying to for you. She is the one that I have been "pontificating about" in the comments, most especially.

The post also is about Wellington not deserving the protection Mary gives us when we ask for it. This protection was first put in place in 1855, when Wellington was pretty must destroyed by a massive earthquake. It was obvious then, that protection was needed.

I grew up in an area of land that was raised by that earthquake - it used to be separated from the mainland by sea. I've also experienced a number of very large earthquakes as a child, where nothing was ever damaged. There's always been an expectation here, that Wellington could have another massive earthquake. But I never knew about the protection of the Immaculata until recently.

With Christchurch, though, as far as I know there hasn't been an expectation of the same sort that it could be destroyed by an earthquake. So I guess that protecting the city from earthquakes would not have been high in your Bishop's mind. I assume that it certainly wasn't something the Bishop in Wellington prior to 1855 gave much consideration to.

When it comes to deserving to be destroyed by earthquakes, the whole of NZ really should be flattened due to the crimes against the unborn we commit daily that cry out for vengeance.

In the meantime, if there is anything you need, let me know. If you'd like to leave the Christchurch, and need a place to stay, we can put you up. We don't have very large house, but we could reorganise things.

scrubone said...

At no point is there ever any argument for the "deity" of Mary. This is like me saying that you have deified the Bible,

That statement may be badly worded as you appear to have taken offense. I accept that you have a place in your faith for Mary that I do not share in mine. What I was saying is that I am not arguing with that. I am simply trying to respectably reconcile what appear to me to be two conflicting statements that you have made here.

because you only want to believe what is clearly written there.

Actually, while I may give that appearance that's just because of the specific instances here. There are a great many cases where more context must be provided to explain a text. My problem here is that the text quotes something fairly mundane, and you are treating it as something that shapes a major plank of your version of the christian faith.

But as I said above, I'm going to accept that we have a different opnion on the matter and leave it at that.

I can claim protection from Mary, as it is God's will that Mary be able to ask for that protection from Him.

That sounds like you know God's will. That is one logically possible answer to the conundrum, but I must ask how you know what is God's will? How do you know that it's God's will to protect Wellington from earthquakes?

However, your position is not consistent with the great majority of Christians over the last 2000 years.
Lucia, I have never heard any theologian worth his salt ever claim truth based on what the "majority" of Christians believe. That's an atheist trick.

scrubone said...

You might be interested in these podcasts on the Catholic teaching on Mary - though they're a bit old.

Pt1

Pt2

Sproul has a newer series on Mary (these two are part of a series on Catholicism) that's advertised at the end, after our discussions here I am seriously thinking about purchasing it.

Lucia Maria said...

Sub Tuum Praesidium, dated to A.D.250:

Beneath your compassion,
We take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble:
but rescue us from dangers,
only pure, only blessed one.

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.