Adam & Eve vs. Mary


#1

I have understood that Mary was born without original sin and therefore had no fallen nature; no fallen nature means no personal sin.

And I have understood that this is the basis for the belief in the Assumption of Mary. That, since the penalty for sin is bodily death and Mary had no sin, she would not be subject to bodily death. Rather, at the end of her life she was Assumed body and soul to heaven.

Now, Adam & Eve were created by God, certainly without sin. Therefore, they had no fallen nature; no fallen nature means no personal sin…oh, wait a minute, they did sin!

Now, how do we reconcile this? Neither was born (or created) with original sin, both had free will, yet Mary on the one hand had no personal sin, but Adam & Eve on the other hand sinned hugely.


#2

Mary is like everyone of us. Mary needed to be saved just as we need to be saved. We are saved at our baptism while Mary received a more perfect salvation because she was freed from original sin at the moment of her conception.

Mary suffered from concupiscence just as we do, but by God’s grace Mary never sinned. This is something that was predestined by God because Mary was to be the mother of Jesus. This is particularly fitting as is the Assumption. None of these things are by necessity, but are instead part of the glory of God and his divine plan of redemption.

I hope this helps.


#3

Being born without original sin ***does not ***mean Mary had no fallen nature; it means her soul was filled with the life of sanctifying grace from the moment of her conception. Also, her being born without original sin ***does not ***automatically mean she could not commit a personal sin. She had free will; she just always chose to resist temptation and say “no” to sin.

Nita


#4

[quote=Nita]Being born without original sin ***does not ***mean Mary had no fallen nature;
[/quote]

But I thought that’s exactly what the consequence of original sin was: concupiscence, or a fallen nature; and so if she never had original sin then she never could have gotten a fallen nature.

If what you’re saying is true, then where did her fallen nature come from? (It doesn’t make sense to me that even though she was immaculately conceived, she still retained a fallen nature. How can you have a fallen nature if you never had the original sin?)


#5

Anybody?

Br. Rich, are you out there, can you help me with this one?


#6

The remission of original sin is accomplished within us at our baptism. Infants have no personal sin at the time of their baptism. They receive the Holy Spirit and sanctifying grace. They are also predisposed to the gift of faith. Baptism does not remove concupiscence. Mary is in the same position except that she received these gifts in advance because of her special role in salvation history. Likewise, her holiness is much greater than that of other human beings. Nevertheless, she is like us and was subject to concupiscence. The fact that she remained sinless is the greater work of grace.


#7

This statement is incorrect and the basis of your misunderstanding about Adam & Eve and Mary.


#8

Where do you get the idea that Mary was subject to concupisense? Is not concupisense itself is a result of original sin which Mary was preserved from?

If you have a teaching on this from an official or at least a credible source, I’d be interested in seeing it. Thanks.:slight_smile:


#9

This is inaccurate.

You are correct regarding the Church’s teaching on the effects of original sin:

405 Although it is proper to each individual, **original sin **does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, **erases original sin **and turns a man back towards God, **but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man **and summon him to spiritual battle.

However, you are incorrect regarding the effects of Mary’s Immaculate Conception:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.


#10

I do not disagree with this and my statements should not be construed in such a way as to suggest otherwise.


#11

Construed? I didn’t “construe” anything. You said:

“she is like us and was subject to concupiscence”

Your statement is false.


#12

I really think Mary was not subject to concupiscence.

The dilemma can be boiled down to this: how could Mary have concupiscence if she did not have original sin? Where did the concupscence come from?

On the other hand, if she didn’t have concupiscence, how come she was unable to sin, but Adam & Eve who also didn’t have concupiscence, were able to sin?


#13

This statement is the source of your issue and this statement is not accurate. The Church does not teach that Mary was *unable *to sin.

Mary was *able *to sin just as Adam and Eve were. Mary did not sin, unlike Adam and Eve.


#14

I am doing Thanksgiving today…family gathering issues made us shift the day. I will explain everything I said late this evening and it will be consistent with Catholic teaching. I think at the end of this we will all agree.

Blessings to one and all.


#15

There are a lot of things being discussed here that I know little about, but one question comes to my mind:

“How was Mary able to be tempted in the first place if she had no concupiscence?”

And what exactly does this encompass? Man and Woman have natural desires and thoughts that even the Immaculate and All-holy Theotokos was subject to… Assuming the preassumed anyway, Mary was still, like our first Parents, totally human, and therefore subject to desire. She had sexual desire (as did Our Lord), which itself is good, but did not entertain it inasmuch as giving in to any form of sin, but rather channeled this desire properly and fittingly and did not let it overwhelm her, saying constantly (imagine the difficulty!) “no” to sin. Such was the miracle of her Purest Conception.

But as I stated earlier, it seems totally illogical to say she had no concupiscene–though she was free from the inclinations and dispositions towards sin that we, the children of the fall, are subject to. Mary was not (and neither was Christ, for that matter) a cold and sensationless, inhuman creature, but a pure child of God–and most certainly a Lady in all respects.


#16

In the same waY that Adam and Eve were tempted without having concupiscence.

The definition of concupiscence is the inclination and disposition towards sin. And the Catechism clearly states concupiscence is an effect of Original Sin.

Mary was free of this-- she was free from original sin and its effects:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.


#17

Greetings one and all…I have finished the Thanksgiving celebration and the relatives have all left for home. I will now give the answer that will hopefully reconcile what I had stated earlier concerning Mary and concupiscence.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the following, among other things, concerning concupiscence:

405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

978 "When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy Baptism that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them. . . . Yet the grace of Baptism delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil "

What I placed in bold is was what led me to say what I did about Mary and concupiscence. This was an unfortunate error on my part and I should know better. Catholic teaching does in fact exclude the Blessed Virgin from being subject to concupiscence.

I hereby apologize to my Catholic teachers and instructors from my days in Catholic grammar school, highschool, and beyond. Likewise, I apologize to my friends on this thread for having made the mistatements concerning the Blessed Virgin and concupiscence. Likewise, and most importantly I apologize to our Lord and Savior and his holy mother for the mistatement of the facts.

I hope that my explanation and response has at the end of the day brought me back into one accord with all of you. Thank you for making me reconsider and thus thinking this through and seeing the error of my ways. You made my day better and gave me one more thing to be thankful for.

God Bless.


#18

I was unable to find anything in the Catechism that specifically spoke about concupiscence in connection with Mary. Has anyone?

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma has the following:
Quote:
Freedom from original sin does not necessarily involve freedom from all defects which came into the world as a punishment for sin. Mary, like Christ Himself, was subject to the general human defects, in so far as these involve no moral imperfection. Concupiscence cannot be reckoned among these since it excites a person to commit acts which are materially contrary to God’s Law, even where, through lack of assent, they are not formal sins. It would be incompatible with Mary’s fullness of grace and her perfect purity and immaculate state to be subject to motions of inordinate desire.

Many of the older theologians, with St. Thomas, distinguish between the binding (ligatio) and the complete removal or extinction (sublatio, extinctio) .l… of concupiscence. In the sanctification of Mary in the mother’s womb, concupiscence was so bound that every inordinate motion of the senses was excluded. In Christ’s conception, concupiscence was completely removed, so that the powers of the senses were completely subject to the direction of reason. …
End quote.

(Defects to which Jesus and Mary would still have been subject to would include, I believe, such things as experiencing pain, suffering and death.)

Nita


#19

Nita,

Head over to the Catholic Encyclopedia. It has some great stuff on the Immaculate Conception including concupiscence or rather the lack thereof in Mary. Part of what took me into the ozone on this was reading the ECF’s. The issues surrounding the Immaculate Conception and concupiscence were not fully resolved until the great debate between the Dominicans and the Franciscans around the 12 or 13th century.

Some of the ECF’s spoke of Mary as having “faults” but remaining “sinless.” This is where concupiscence was thought to be within Mary even though she was sinless. The Church later clarified these things when completely defining the meaning and extent of the Immaculate Conception.

The Catholic Encyclopedia is really good on all of this.


#20

Eve didn’t have concpiscence before the Fall.

That perfect humanity was what Jesus united to in the Incarnation.

That is why Mary didn’t have concupiscence.

Perfect True God does not Unite with Concupiscence laden inclined to sin man!


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