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Another question about Mary

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Hoonbaba, May 3, 2002.

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  1. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering about Mary. Actually, I'm concerned about her supposedly having remained sinless. I can understand her immaculate conception as well as her assumption but I don't know if I can believe that she remained sinless throughout her entire life.

    How do Catholics reconcile Mary having been sinless and needing a savior? Or more specifically how do Catholics reconcile Mary's sinlessness with Roman 3:23? Actually I noticed the 'all' doesn't necessarily mean 'all'. Otherwise we can say something like:

    Jesus was shown 'all the kingdoms of the world' (Matthew 4:8)

    or God gave Cyrus 'all the kingdoms of the earth' (Ezra 1:2)

    And their understanding of 'the world' or 'earth' was different from ours. So in that sense I can somewhat believe that 'all' doesn't necessarily mean 'every', like in Matthew 3:5, which says that 'all Judea was baptized'. I doubt every single person literally went out to Judea to get baptized.

    I found the following comments from a website to be somewhat relevant:



    But this argument seems a bit weak with Rom 3:23. Actually I don't find this all too convincing.

    Anyone want to share?

    -Jason
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
     
  3. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic


    Hm..this makes some sense to me.

    Of course God commands us to remain sinless but it's impossible isn't it? How is it that Mary managed to remain sinless her entire life? And again, doesn't that go against Rom 3:23?

    -Jason
     
  4. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    Christ never allows more to be placed upon us than we can bear. When we fail it is our lack of faith. Mary had faith, and that is why we look up to her. She followed Christ beautifully.

    She saw Gabriel and consented to the message he brought from God. That consent meant that she would bear God in her womb! Can you imagine that!?!? Wow...

    When I became Catholic, the hardest thing for me to face was Christ in front of me. Before, Jesus and the Father were pretty much the same to me...they were both in Heaven watching me. My conversion brought Christ much closer and into my life, literally. When Father Wiatt asked me, "will you bear the cross?" that was Christ asking me. I have a family of saints and angels in Heaven supporting me through prayer, I have people like you and Wols and Zoo and Vow, and Avila, and my parents comforting me here. Most importantly, though, Christ dwells within me. So to answer your question ;-) Yes, I believe that the wonderful God Almighty who loves even me, could have given the strength to others who love him more than I ever could.

    Neal
     
  5. ZooMom

    ZooMom Thanks for the memories...

    +983
    United States
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    Married
    Excellent post, Neal. :)

    Jason, Catholics all agree that Mary needed a Savior as she herself proclaims in the Magnificat. The sticking point seems to be *when* His saving Grace was applied to her. Catholics believe it was at her conception. Thus, the Immaculate Conception. Early Church writings are full of references to Mary as the 'New Eve', just as Christ was the 'New Adam'. It's an awesome parallel when you look at it that way. Eve is always referred to as 'the woman' in Genesis. Christ always addresses His mother as 'Woman'. Eve, by rebelling and turning from God, brought sin and death into the world. Mary, by submitting perfectly and completely to God, brought Life, the Christ, into the world. Eve was the mother of our 'old man', the sinful man. Mary, through Christ's words on the Cross, is the mother of our 'new man', the 'beloved disciple' of Christ. Eve was the first woman. Mary was the very first Christian. The very first to accept, wholly and without fear or reservation, the Christ! She bore 'God with us' in her body, raised Him, taught him, loved Him. Her faith was incomparable, and unfailing. She points forever to Christ, and says, "Do whatever He tells you." Christ Himself pointed out her virtue when the woman in the crowd said, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." And Christ said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey." Give birth? Nurse? Any woman could do that. Mary, though, heard the words of God and obeyed. She continued to hear and obey, and her Son pointed her out as an example of obedience. Would Christ have done that if Mary was not a 'perfect' example? He didn't say 'those who *mostly* hear and obey' or '*sometimes* hear and obey'. Think and pray about it.
     
  6. Nick_Loves_Abba

    Nick_Loves_Abba Bulls On Parade

    +45
    Christian
    didn't job say whoever says he's perfect is perverse?
     
  7. ZooMom

    ZooMom Thanks for the memories...

    +983
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    Matthew 5:48
    Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


    Mary never said she was perfect. That would have been pride, or vanity. And she was sinless, remember? :) Not boasting your virtues doesn't mean you don't have any, it just means you're humble. ;)
     
  8. Fr. Rob

    Fr. Rob Defender of the Primitive Faith

    270
    +1
    A few points.

    1. Not all Catholic jurisdictions teach that Mary was sinless. . . not in life, not in conception. It is not an article of the faith (as defined in the Three Ecumenical Creeds) and therefore cannot be required for salvation.

    2. The First Eve passed on sin and unrighteousness as a result of her disobedience. She perverted perfection. Mary (Eve II) passed on truth and life as a result of her obedience. She perverted imperfection. To me (and many branches of the Church Catholic), Mary saying yes *in spite of* her nature to rebel is much more miraculous than God intentionally protecting someone so that they could not say no.

    3. If indeed Mary had to be pure to bear the perfect-sinless Christ, why were not Sts. Anne and Joachim cleansed as well? They, after all, were to bear the immaculate mother. . . The Immaculate Conception, therefore, fails one of the most basic ancient tests of faith. . . it is illogical.

    4. I still maintain that many Marian beliefs are based on personal piety and rank emotionalisim.

    5. If Mary had no original sin, and no temptation to fall (like Eve) then God created her specifically for the purpose of not refusing him. Why do we honour so a woman who had no free choice in the matter? The greater miracle is that Mary, a young girl. . . perhaps as young as 16. . . was able to lay aside her doubts, and cast out her fears, and instead through the challenges of Satan and the uneasyness of her day, receive the calling of God and be the Theotokos. . . the God bearer, and thus an example for us today.

    My $.025

    Father Rob
    Catholic - Anglican Catholic
     
  9. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Fr Rob:

    Oy! Inflation!


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  10. ZooMom

    ZooMom Thanks for the memories...

    +983
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    The Catholic Church absolutely affirms that Mary was preserved free from sin at her conception and remained free from sin her whole life.

    From the Catechism:

    411. "The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the 'New Adam' who, because he 'became obedient unto death, even death on a cross', makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.[Cf. 1 Cor 15:21-22, 45 ; Phil 2:8 ; Rom 5:19-20 .] Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the 'Proto-evangelium' as MARY, the mother of Christ, the 'new Eve'. MARY benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.[Cf. Pius IXs Ineffabilis Deus: DS 2803; Council of Trent: DS 1573.]"

    The Immaculate Conception is defined as Doctrine (or maybe it's Dogma) in the Church. And for that, Catholics are required to believe it. Whether or not it is a salvific issue is beside the point. Truth is truth.


    What do you mean by 'protecting her so that she couldn't say no'? That makes no sense, especially in light of the fact that you brought up Eve. Was Eve not created perfect? Wasn't she sinless? Didn't she still say no? Preserving Mary didn't 'tip the cards' in God's favor. It leveled the playing field. Mary was able to stand from the exact same position as Eve. And standing there, freely chose to submit utterly to God.

    No, it isn't. I don't understand why people will say that that is 'illogical' and not bat an eye at the Virgin Birth.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    You are doing it again. *Eve* had no original sin when she chose against God! Do you maintain that God created her specifically for the purpose of refusing Him??
     
  11. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hm...

    At the moment, I agree with some of those statements. Again, I can understand the immaculate conception, but her perpetual sinlessness? I don't know about that.

    Even though Philippians 4:13 is a true statement, I think we're avoiding the fact that mankind is still sinful. Even apostle Paul understood the 'body of death' (Roman 7:24), in fact Rom 7:7-25 is all about struggling with sin. Then Rom 8 talks about freedom through Christ.

    If Mary was free from sin, then she wouldn't need such freedom because she's already free. Why would Mary say that Jesus was her savior if she was free from sin. So if she was sinful all her life then she wouldn't need a savior.

    I can understand and agree with her immaculate conception, assumption, perpetual virginity, mother of God, spiritual mother, and even devotion/veneration. But her sinlessness through her entire earthly life is EXTREMELY questionable.

    God bless!

    -Jason
     
  12. Nick_Loves_Abba

    Nick_Loves_Abba Bulls On Parade

    +45
    Christian
    Where does it say in the Bible that she was sinless?
     
  13. ZooMom

    ZooMom Thanks for the memories...

    +983
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    Married
    Where does it say that she wasn't?


    This is one of those instances where the Bible does not hold forth on the complete story. The Bible was not intended to do so anyway. Apostolic Tradition 'fills in the gaps', so to speak, on what Scripture does not tell us, and complements and enhances what Scripture does tell us. Scripture does tell us that she was 'full of Grace', that her soul magnified the Lord, that all generations would call her blessed, that she was blessed among women, and that she embodied obedience to God. Couple that with Apostolic Tradition, evidenced in the writings of the early Church, and you get the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the belief that Mary remained sinless her whole life.

    You're almost there, and it's looking you right in the face. :) She was free from sin because Christ was her Savior. As I said before, it only a matter of *when* His Saving Grace was applied to her. Catholics believe it was applied at her conception.
     
  14. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Unfortunately, I don't know how much I can trust Apostolic Tradition. Then again I don't fully understand everything about it, but how can we trust that what they said was true? Irenaeus said that Jesus lived until he was 50. Yet we all generally agree that Jesus lived somewhere around his 30s..

    Plus, many of them had contradicting statements about the 'end times'. How do we know who's right? I, as a preterist, believe that Christ's 2nd coming already happened in the first century, because the apostles and Jesus said it would happen during their life time (see Matt 24:30,34; Matt 16:27-28).

    Yet the church fathers believed Christ would come in their own generation. If I'm right many believe the world would end by 400 AD, I think that's what Augustine believed.

    So what's to say they're right or not?

    I guess I'm making a false assumption on apostolic tradition

    -Jason
     
  15. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Jason,

    As Catholics we are free to debate anything the Church has not ruled on. The same was true for the Ancient Fathers of the Church. Before Nicea, any Orthodox Christian could debate the second coming of Christ until the cows came home, but after Nicea, the Holy Spirit had spoken and as the Creed states "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end." To remain within the bounds of Orthodoxy, then, this had to be accepted.

    The same was true with the Canon of Scripture. There were great debates concerning the validity of Revelations, 2 Peter, Hebrews, Jude, The Apocolypse of Peter, etc. Many Churches held various books to be inspired that we do not today, and vice versa.

    Can you imagine going to church one Sunday and being told that the Acts of Paul, which you and your fathers had believed to be the inspired word of God, were no longer to be read as authoritative? Not only that, but 2 Peter, which you thought to be spurious, would now have to be believed as God-breathed Scripture? As amazing as it sounds to us today, 1500 years after the canon was defined, these things happened to our forefathers.

    Following Christ takes more faith the closer you get to Him. The path of Christ is much easier for me than it was for Paul or Peter who had their faith tested much more mightily than I have. Their reward, though, was reflecting the Glory of God so profoundly that we honor their memory and are brought to tears be their stories even today.

    Christ said that we are to be perfect, even as our Father is. He told us to sin no more after we come to Him. His Apostle told us that all things are possible through Christ who will give us strength. Is it hard to believe...yes. Can we believe that it is possible to live without sin? I ask you, would Christ command it if it weren't? The greater the gifts we receive, the greater the responsibility to use them correctly. To those whom much is given, much is required.

    Lord, God, give us a mighty faith.
    We believe, O Lord, help our unbelief!
    Father, you are the source of our Faith,
    let us return it to you with happy hearts!

    Neal
     
  16. ZooMom

    ZooMom Thanks for the memories...

    +983
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    Jason, the Church Fathers are not the source of Apostolic Tradition. Christ is, and the Apostles who passed on what they learned from Him. As Neal said, Tradition (note the big 'T'), once defined by the Church falls under the term Deposit of Faith. The Deposit of Faith is the fullness of Divine Revelation. There are no 'new' Traditions. Tradition contains only that which was Revealed before the death of the last Apostle, John. Tradition includes Scripture, which is why you get mixed results when trying to interpret Scripture apart from Tradition.

    Peace. :)
     
  17. Chili

    Chili Member

    163
    +0
    Hello Jason

    The liberation of Mary was needed to guide Jesus through purgatory. Mary was the head waitres in charge of the banquet and remained in charge until the victory at Calvary where she was standing below the cross and Jesus introduced her to John with "woman, there is your son" and to John with "there is your mother". Jesus and John were bosom buddies with John born of the "netherworld" and Jesus born of "this world"--which in the case of Jesus was "his world." John of the netherworld was to pave the way for successful completion of the task of Jesus, hence his final words "it is finished."

    Mary was woman and should not be confused with Eve. "Woman was taken from man to be flesh of [his] flesh and bone of [his] bones" while Eve was the conjectured identity that Adam "called his wife." Eve was the serpent of the TOK and woman was the serpent of the TOL. "[Woman] will strike at the head of [Eve] and [Eve] will strike at the heel of [Adam].] From this follows that woman (Mary), always was, and still is, in charge of our destiny (including yours to some extent). The liberation of Mary is when we meet her at the gate of purgatory from where she will lead us to our Calvary if we dare to pick up our cross and follow Jesus.

    So where do you get the idea that Mary had an earthly life?
    The liberation of Mary was from heaven to purgatory and the Assumption of Mary is from purgatory to heaven where she was crowned queen of heaven and earth. Maybe you fail to recognize that heaven is not a place to go but a state of mind to achieve.

    Chili
     
  18. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi Chili,

    I don't have much time right now to share my comments but I'm also highly questioning purgatory as well...which makes things even more confusin =) LOL!!

    -Jason
     
  19. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Chili:

    Where ARE you getting this stuff??


    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  20. Chili

    Chili Member

    163
    +0
    Hello VOW, this actually begins in Gen.1 when earth was first juxtaposed with heaven, man was created in the image of God and Adam in the image of like god.

    Careful reading should tell you that Man fell and the second identity of man (wherein man felt shame) was called Adam ("Adam where are you)." So the redemption of man will be the annihilation of the "like god" identity and this is what happens in purgatory. The engagement of woman is needed to ensure a safe journey home. So yes, it is in the bible.
     
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