Actual sin, original sin, and the immaculate conception


#1

Question:

Mary was preserved from original sin, as were Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve also “actually” sinned.

Mary did not “actually” sin.

What is the difference?

Did God invade Mary’s free will?


#2

Could you clarify what you’re asking please?

From reading your post a few times, I’m personally not sure if you’re asking for

  1. An explanation on the difference between “original” and “actual” sin.

or

  1. An explanation on the difference between Adam & Eve and Mary, regarding their potential for sinning.

If you’re asking #1, you’ll probably get great, clear answers. But if you’re asking #2, it maybe won’t be so easy to give a good answer.


#3

God did not invade Mary’s free will. He made her as perfect as he made Adam and Eve. But Mary had Faith in God’ Wisdom, whereas Adam and Eve didn’t, hence Original Sin.

Notworthy


#4

[quote=cardenio]Question:

Mary was preserved from original sin, as were Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve also “actually” sinned.

Mary did not “actually” sin.

What is the difference?

Did God invade Mary’s free will?
[/quote]

Before Adam and Eve, there was no “original” sin because nothing had happened to taint the race of humanity. The first person born with original sin was, well, as far as we know from the Scriptures, was Cain (Genesis 4:1).

Perhaps it’s ok to think of THE Original Sin to be “Actual Sin” for Adam and Eve. They actually did the sin.

Original sin causes the newly implanted soul to be devoid of grace. It is propagated through all mankind.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is helpful…

CCC 404 - By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state… And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sinse; it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed” - a state and not an act.

That last part helps quite a bit, because you can sort of perceive what actual sin is, but original sin is different. It’s too easy to think of it as a theory, because it’s so intangible. But it is real and it affects us significantly.

Hope that helps a little.


#5

[quote=Reformed Rob]If you’re asking #1, you’ll probably get great, clear answers. But if you’re asking #2, it maybe won’t be so easy to give a good answer.
[/quote]

#2.

I guess what I’m wondering is… how is it that Mary turned out okay whereas Adam and Eve messed up? Considering how much suffering Mary went through, how didn’t she sin? Her lack of “actual” sin I’ve always seen attributed to her lack of “original” sin. But Adam and Eve (originally) lacked “original sin” - but, unlike Mary, they did have a problem with “actual” sin.

In my experience, sin is usually a result of suffering. Someone makes me angry and I snap at them. Mary went through an insane amount of suffering, but there was no “actual” sin. So now I’m confused.

Thanks, everybody for your help… but I’m still confused.


#6

[quote=cardenio]#2.

I guess what I’m wondering is… how is it that Mary turned out okay whereas Adam and Eve messed up? Considering how much suffering Mary went through, how didn’t she sin? Her lack of “actual” sin I’ve always seen attributed to her lack of “original” sin. But Adam and Eve (originally) lacked “original sin” - but, unlike Mary, they did have a problem with “actual” sin.

In my experience, sin is usually a result of suffering. Someone makes me angry and I snap at them. Mary went through an insane amount of suffering, but there was no “actual” sin. So now I’m confused.

Thanks, everybody for your help… but I’m still confused.
[/quote]

God didn’t violate her free will.

She could have chosen sin.

God, however, give her an extra amount of grace to help to in her decision to avoid sin.

The answer to why is that she was the ark of the New Covenant and he wanted to her be pure in a way worthy of bringing him into the world.


#7

[quote=cardenio]#2.

I guess what I’m wondering is… how is it that Mary turned out okay whereas Adam and Eve messed up? Considering how much suffering Mary went through, how didn’t she sin? Her lack of “actual” sin I’ve always seen attributed to her lack of “original” sin. But Adam and Eve (originally) lacked “original sin” - but, unlike Mary, they did have a problem with “actual” sin.

In my experience, sin is usually a result of suffering. Someone makes me angry and I snap at them. Mary went through an insane amount of suffering, but there was no “actual” sin. So now I’m confused.

Thanks, everybody for your help… but I’m still confused.
[/quote]

Maybe it will help to think of it this way.

Do you think God made Adam and Eve so they HAD to sin? Did he make them flawed so they had no choice but to sin?

Of course not. Adam and Eve could have chosen to live forever and never sinned. With their free will, they choose sin. But God originally created a perfect being with free will and the ability to choose perfect obedience to God.

In the same way Mary was created in a manner that she could choose to never sin, created without that defect that we all inherit, (which is why we find it so difficult to not sin), and Mary choose perfect obedience to God instead of sin.

God Bless,
Maria


#8

[quote=cardenio]#2.
In my experience, sin is usually a result of suffering. Someone makes me angry and I snap at them. Mary went through an insane amount of suffering, but there was no “actual” sin. So now I’m confused.

[/quote]

There are numerous examples in the Old Testament that dispute your hypothesis - Job being the biggest.

Also, look at the story of Israel. When they prospered, they turned away from God, as it did during Solomon’s reign. But when they suffered, as they did during the exile and occupation, they drew closer to God.

There is something to be said about suffering.
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit…
Blessed are those who are persecuted…
Blessed the meek…

yada, yada, yada…

Notworthy


#9

[quote=cardenio]#2.

I guess what I’m wondering is… how is it that Mary turned out okay whereas Adam and Eve messed up? Considering how much suffering Mary went through, how didn’t she sin? So now I’m confused.

Thanks, everybody for your help… but I’m still confused.
[/quote]

As “NotWorthy” pointed out, Job went through a lot of suffering. I expect he was getting at the fact that even though Job suffered a lot, he wasn’t led to sin because of it. He didn’t suffer because of sin, nor did the suffering lead him to sin. To the contrary, the suffering led him to, in a way, help God prove to Satan that Satan couldn’t make Job turn from God by physical suffering.

However, in Job 42:6, he says he retracts and “repents in dust and ashes.” I’m understanding, from the context, that Job was basically saying he’s sorry for questioning God’s wisdom and realizes that God by no means has to explain His grand design to a lowly servant like him. Besides, there’s nothing in Scripture or Tradition (that I’m aware of) that hints even remotely at Job being free from all sin all his life, even with Job 1:22 taken into consideration. That verse, however, does show that a person can do things and it not be sinful on any level.

Also, Jesus Himself was the “suffering servant.” But He never sinned.

Suffering, in a way, can bring out the best in people who cooperate with amazing grace.

So, to conclude, I’d ask you…Why do you sometimes choose to not sin when put in situations of temptation? Other people with a free will can choose the same also, and yes even more often. For Mary, it was always.


#10

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