Acceptance of all Marian theology


#1

I am considering converting to the Catholic Church. However, one of my hesitations is Marian theology. I’m not sure that I can fully accept all that is tought by the CC. Is it possible to convert and not accept ALL of these beliefs. I also wonder if ALL current Catholics truly accept all of those beliefs as well. Any thoughts?


#2

What is it **specifically **that you have difficulty with?

To answer your question-- yes a profession of faith made when converting to the Catholic Church includes belief in all the Church teaches.

Doctrine and Dogma are not optional-- so the Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Perpetual Virginity, Mother of God, etc, are required beliefs of a Catholic.

Devotions/spirituality is not required-- so if you don’t want to pray the Rosary or something then you don’t have to.


#3

Hopefully, the reason you are converting to the Catholic Church is because you have come to understand that the Holy Spirit guides it into all truth.

Take for your motto, “Faith Seeking Understanding” and you will be just fine. :slight_smile:

The Marian doctrines will eventually make sense to you - it takes time and study to figure them out, but they are actually very Biblical and very Christo-centric.


#4

My specific difficulty is her being without sin. I can accept the other beliefs. If she was without sin - then what pupose did Christ serve? God sent His Son - to live a sinless life - by doing that do be the perfect sacrifice by which we may all partake in the gift of eternal life. If Mary was sinless - she could have done that and therefore Christ was not necessary. I’ve heard the explanation that when Paul says “all have sinned” that he doesn’t literally mean “all” - but I’m not sure I buy that. Again, I know also the arguement that Mary being “full of grace” also implies without sin - but again - I’m not too sure about that. Is there any evidence that the early christian fathers believed in her sinlessness?


#5

Mary may have been sinless, but she wasn’t sacrificed like Jesus was…ie, an unblemished lamb, the lamb of God, the ultimate sin offering. Mary was the Ark of the New Covenant.


#6

She was saved by Christ outside of time. She didn’t remain sinless under her own power; it was by God’s grace, through Christ, that she was saved from sin, because Christ was going to die on the Cross.

Is there any evidence that the early christian fathers believed in her sinlessness?

Yes; they were continually referring to her as “the new Eve,” which means that they understood that Mary, like Eve (and unlike every other woman ever born), was conceived without sin.

When you ask yourself, "Why wasn’t she thought of as “the new Rebecca,” who was the mother of Israel, or “the new Hannah,” mother of Samuel, etc., who were great because of the great men to whom they gave birth, then you realize that there has to be some quality about Eve herself, and not just to whom she was the mother, that makes Mary uniquely important.

But it was because of Christ that Mary received this great gift, and it was through Christ, though outside of time, that she received it; she didn’t gain it by her own efforts.


#7

My specific difficulty is her being without sin. I can accept the other beliefs. If she was without sin - then what pupose did Christ serve? God sent His Son - to live a sinless life - by doing that do be the perfect sacrifice by which we may all partake in the gift of eternal life. If Mary was sinless - she could have done that and therefore Christ was not necessary. I’ve heard the explanation that when Paul says “all have sinned” that he doesn’t literally mean “all” - but I’m not sure I buy that. Again, I know also the arguement that Mary being “full of grace” also implies without sin - but again - I’m not too sure about that. Is there any evidence that the early christian fathers believed in her sinlessness?


#8

Also, Christ was God, and His sacrifice was infinite. Mary was a human being, so even if she had sacrificed herself for sins, it could not have saved more than one other person from sin besides herself, since she only contained the sinlessness of one person; not the sinlessness of God.


#9

My wife is converting and she had a similiar concern. I look at it from a larger context than just sin. Mary when she was pregnant carried not only her soul but the soul of Jesus. And some try to say he wasnt divine yet, but that carries no wieght because her cousin Elizabeth reffered to her as “mother of my Lord.” Because of the trinity i believe that his soul has always been divine and I dont believe Jesus soul was tainted by our original sin. As far as actual sin if you read her canticle, Luke 1:4? something cant remember the exact number it starts on at the second, she professes to her love even before Jesus is born. I think it adds to rather than takes away from the power of Jesus that he spared his own mother and himselft from actual sin. Sometimes we try to say this God is all powerful, yet he cant make his mother sinless and so forth. Jesus is our saviour and no Mary. I hope this helps you in your journey.


#10

Have you ever considered reading a book on this issue? Many go into much depth, including her being “full of grace” or the Church Fathers talking about her as the New Eve. For instance "Our Lady and the Church" by Hugo Rahner. I have flipped through that and it looked good and easy to read.

You might also want to listen to the first 20 minutes or so of Gary Michuta getting interviewed on Mary as new Eve (MP3 from March 2005).
Here’s John Henry Newman on Mary without sin (quite long).

Church Fathers on her full of grace.

Browse here for convert Dr. Scott Hahn on many Mary topics.

And one of my favorite shows ever…a Catholic host (Phil Krill) and a long time Protestant minister convert (Gary Coates) discuss Mary conceived without sin in her Immaculate Conception. MP3 here. Highly recommend!! :smiley:

God bless you.


#11

Hi Nate,

There are two ways we are saved from sin. The way we sinners think of, because we recognize our sins is that God forgives us. The other way is God protects us. I think all Christians pray for both, God’s forgiveness and protection. God watch over me today or I will betray you by sin. We recognize we are vulnerable. God saves us in this case, before we sin. Either way, He is our savior. Mary full of grace was protected from sin by God’s grace. That means He is still her Savior, and she claims that in the Maginficat. Her soul magnifies the lord who is her savior. If a cup is full of water then there is no room in it for anything else, orange juice, whiskey or coca cola. Mary’s soul was full of grace. If that is true as the Bible proclaims then she had no sin.


#12

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