Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:23 am
Sarah_Angel's Avatar
Sarah_Angel Sarah_Angel is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2009
Posts: 122
Religion: Catholic
Default Why Is Only Mary Sinless?

Here is what I do understand about the Catholic teaching of Mary:

-She is Immaculately Conceived, born without original sin
-This is necessary so that she can give birth to the Messiah
-That also makes her the New Eve, Ark of the Covenant, etc

I ask this question because I was looking through a songbook that had the song, "Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All," and at the beginning of the second verse, it says, "Had I but Mary's sinless heart." And it made me think - if God can make us so that we can be sinless, and have the heart to choose only Him, why doesn't He?

I understand that Adam and Eve introduced the world to Original Sin, and that their rejection of God has brought the rest of humanity to reject God at least in some way, and that free will is better than being a robot programmed to do everything that God says.

But Mary wasn't a robot. She had free will too, didn't she? She could have said no to Gabriel when he said that she was going to be the mother of Jesus. What is it that she had that made her only choose for God, and why can't the rest of us have it?

Any insight and wisdom on this subject would be highly appreciated. I did a Google search asking this question first, but the only one I saw asking this question was on Yahoo Answers, and the responses made me angry. So having people who are actually, you know, Catholic and believe in this stuff is a treasure.
__________________
"Our personal distaste for things we don't understand should never stand in the way of learning what those things actually are and what they can mean for us."
~Della from CAF
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Sep 29, '12, 11:58 am
michaelmas michaelmas is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2011
Posts: 419
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why Is Only Mary Sinless?

Excellent question and I would like to add to it.

Why did Mary have to be sinless? God can do anything why have Mary be sinless? God knew the Jews would not follow Jesus so what was the point.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Sep 29, '12, 12:36 pm
Della Della is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 14,437
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why Is Only Mary Sinless?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah_Angel View Post
Here is what I do understand about the Catholic teaching of Mary:

-She is Immaculately Conceived, born without original sin
-This is necessary so that she can give birth to the Messiah
-That also makes her the New Eve, Ark of the Covenant, etc

I ask this question because I was looking through a songbook that had the song, "Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All," and at the beginning of the second verse, it says, "Had I but Mary's sinless heart." And it made me think - if God can make us so that we can be sinless, and have the heart to choose only Him, why doesn't He?

I understand that Adam and Eve introduced the world to Original Sin, and that their rejection of God has brought the rest of humanity to reject God at least in some way, and that free will is better than being a robot programmed to do everything that God says.

But Mary wasn't a robot. She had free will too, didn't she? She could have said no to Gabriel when he said that she was going to be the mother of Jesus. What is it that she had that made her only choose for God, and why can't the rest of us have it?

Any insight and wisdom on this subject would be highly appreciated. I did a Google search asking this question first, but the only one I saw asking this question was on Yahoo Answers, and the responses made me angry. So having people who are actually, you know, Catholic and believe in this stuff is a treasure.
I see you quoted me in your signature line. How humbling for me. My answers had better be up to snuff. Although, others will have more and better insights, I'm sure.

Well actually, the question becomes: Why didn't God simply cleanse Adam and Eve of orginal sin or start all over again with a new pair of human beings?

The answer lies in God's unfathomable love and wisdom. God's love is such that he created our human parents with the ability to decide for all their descendants whether or not the human race would serve God or not. Adam and Eve were innocent until they defied God's law and chose to be wise in their own eyes, which is why we're all in the same boat.

God gave humanity ways to be reconciled to hiim, choosing various people to whom he revealed his laws/requirements. All this looked forward to the coming of Christ, God's own Son, who would fulfill all laws and requirements through his life, death, and resurrection.

Like all those who came before her Mary had a choice to make. What God did was apply the benefits of Christ's redemption to her before hand to give her the grace to accept his will, this created her in perfection because she was to be the Theotokos, the God bearer. All of us are redeemed through Christ, even Mary, so God didn't do for her what he cannot do for us. It's just that he applied his grace to her at her conception out of his love for us. Mary could have refused, but then we'd all be in the same boat again. If you like, God was hedging his bet, out of love for us. We must not think that Mary had no struggles or never had any difficulties in her life. It was not smooth sailing for her to flee into Egypt with Herod hot to kill her child, or see him disputed and dispised by the leaders of her own people or see him die on the cross. Those who are chosen for such special "duties" also bear many more sorrows than we do. Being conceived free of sin in a sinful world was a trial and a penance, not for her sins, but for ours.

As to why Mary remained sinless--would we want her to have sinned? Seriously, though, it was so she could be an example of how God can work his grace in us, and as a testimony to the fact that she indeed bore the Christ. One person who never committed a mortal sin in her life was St. Therese of Lisieux. She was not conceived without sin, but she is one of those persons who came as close to perfection as possible in this life. She's not the only one, but my point is that we ought to be wanting to be like such saints and Our Lady. Each of us has the ability to be saints if we only want it bad enough. Whether it be Mary or any of us, we need to cooperate with God in all things no matter how great or small the tasks he has set before us.
__________________
The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. -- Pope Benedict XVI

Tiber Swim Team, Class of '87.

Inklings!

"Sanctum erit, facere bonum" Della's blog: http://dellakmg.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Sep 29, '12, 1:34 pm
Todd Easton Todd Easton is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2004
Posts: 3,269
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why Is Only Mary Sinless?

Why only Mary? God does not always reveal to us the reasons behind his decisions. This is one of those mysteries.

Perhaps, if everyone was similarly immaculately conceived they would miss out on experiencing that special manifestation of God's love that is only found in the forgiveness of personal sins.

By the way, the Catholic Church does not teach that Mary's immaculate conception was absolutely "necessary," only that it was fitting or "appropriate" for her role as the mother of the Savior. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 490)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Sep 29, '12, 2:58 pm
Gabriel Serafin's Avatar
Gabriel Serafin Gabriel Serafin is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 31, 2009
Posts: 687
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why Is Only Mary Sinless?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah_Angel View Post
I understand that Adam and Eve introduced the world to Original Sin, and that their rejection of God has brought the rest of humanity to reject God at least in some way, and that free will is better than being a robot programmed to do everything that God says.

But Mary wasn't a robot. She had free will too, didn't she? She could have said no to Gabriel when he said that she was going to be the mother of Jesus. What is it that she had that made her only choose for God, and why can't the rest of us have it?
Adam and Eve were also created sinless. Mary was full of Grace. Jesus also had a free will. Jesus was tempted too.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Sep 30, '12, 6:29 pm
Mintaka Mintaka is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: August 6, 2005
Posts: 2,587
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why Is Only Mary Sinless?

Why wasn't Mary created an opera star?

Why wasn't John the beloved disciple born as a movie star?

Why didn't all the disciples get cars? I mean, God could easily have created cars in ancient Palestine, and then they wouldn't have had to waste time walking from place to place with their sandals getting dusty.

We all have gifts and circumstances given to us, and we all have our own trials and troubles. We all have many chances to use our free will for good or evil. Considering that I haven't used what I got very well, I don't really blame God for not giving me Mary's sinless heart, because if He had, it would soon have been Eve's sinful heart!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Oct 1, '12, 3:10 pm
neophyte neophyte is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2004
Posts: 1,168
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Why Is Only Mary Sinless?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah_Angel View Post
-This is necessary so that she can give birth to the Messiah
That's a widely held belief that is permitted to be believed, but it's not actually part of the dogmatic teaching. We are not required to believe that it was necessary for her to be immaculately conceived, but only that she was.

I find the argument for necessity only moderately compelling; I prefer the argument from it being the right thing for God to have done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah_Angel View Post
And it made me think - if God can make us so that we can be sinless, and have the heart to choose only Him, why doesn't He?
I imagine that part of the answer has to do with the degree to which we lack willingness. I don't think I'm any smarter than Adam, and I suspect that if God did for all of us what he did for Mary a lot of us would have fallen just as Adam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah_Angel View Post
But Mary wasn't a robot. She had free will too, didn't she? She could have said no to Gabriel when he said that she was going to be the mother of Jesus. What is it that she had that made her only choose for God, and why can't the rest of us have it?
She set her will on doing God's will. I think that we can do that, too.
__________________
Tiber Swim Team - Class of '04.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics

Bookmarks

Tags
immaculate conception, mary, original sin, sin, sinless

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8305Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: GLam8833
5071CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: mountee
4355Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: Marla Frances
4035OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: 3DOCTORS
3853SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3615Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3264Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3211Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3201Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3068For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Holly Christine



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 4:19 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.