Concerning the Imaculate Conception, Mary, and her free choice to conceive Jesus


#1

I don’t exactly understand somethings concerning the Imaculate Conception, Mary, and her free choice to conceive Jesus.

So, Mary was conceived without original sin. What does that mean in specific terms? Does that mean that she COULDN’T sin or she was born without DESIRE to sin, sin didn’t appeal to her?

(Excuse the way I post, my question follows a certain train)

My religion book says that our true end is to do the will of God. Any action that leads us to this end is a good action, and any action that leads us away from this end is an evil action, therefore a sin.

God wanted Mary to conceive Jesus, therefore, it was His will.

According to this train of thought, if Mary had chosen not to conceive Jesus, she would have sinned.

If she COULDN’T sin, or was born with no natural DESIRE to sin, it was only natural for her to agree to conceiving Jesus, and God did not actually give her free will in this choice…

As you can tell, I’m a bit confused. If anyone can give me an answer here, that would be great!! If not, I’ll just have to consult the AAA board… Thanks for listening!!!


#2

[quote=Theano]If she COULDN’T sin, or was born with no natural DESIRE to sin, it was only natural for her to agree to conceiving Jesus, and God did not actually give her free will in this choice…
[/quote]

Others may correct my answer, but Original Sin is also known as concupiscience, and is basically our damaged sense of what is right and wrong. Mary had no such damage. This being the case, she recognized sin for what it was (extremely hurtful to God and offensive to our own dignity) and had no desire to sin. This didn’t remove free will, however. The choice was there, it was simply repugnant.

Make more sense?

God Bless,
RyanL


#3

The best way I’ve heard it put is that Mary had perfect reasoning over her desires.

She was imbued with God’s Love and Grace from the moment of her conception. She was able to understand God’s Will in her life- and though she saw, and experienced human temptation, she was able to see the greater picture of what God had in store for her. (Please don’t think I’m insinuating that she could see the future.)

It is this perfect reasoning over desire, that makes Adam and Eve’s sin against God so dispicable. As the first beings with perfect reasoning over desire, they STILL choose to do their OWN will- in leiu of God’s.

Imagine having perfect reasoning over your desires. You wish that earthly desire- but it makes no SENSE- it is ILLOGICAL for you to partake, knowing what you know to be spiritually true. I’m sure all of us cannot imagine murdering a member of our family in cold blood. The very thought gives us the chills. I imagine that Mary- being born with the Grace of Adam and Eve- felt this way with EVERY temptation that came her way. She could barely think of doing something against God.


#4

Thank you so much!! That makes very good sense!!

See, I think the problem was, no one ever explained to me exactly what “Mary was born without original sin” meant.

I’m sure my mom will be glad to hear that I got that off my chest, and that I won’t be bugging her for the answer any more!! Thanks again!!


#5

Very good question, Theano. I, myself, had the exact same difficulty with this doctrine a few years back. However, thanks to Jesus prodding me to continue seeking His truth in prayer I found the following explanation quite satisfactory.

Consider the condition of Adam and Eve before the Fall and ask yourself if your concerns about Mary apply to them. After all, Adam and Eve were also created without sin – one might say “immaculately” as well. Now, did they still sin? Of course. Did they desire to sin within themselves? Well, no they didn’t, but they still possessed free will and the ability to be tempted to sin.

For them, temptation didn’t originate within themselves or from a fallen creation, but from the devil. Today, the rest of us grapple with temptation from the three aformentioned sources: the flesh, the world, and Satan. Mary, though immaculate, was still subject to temptation by the latter two sources just like her son. God only preserved her from possessing “sinful flesh” in order for Christ to be conceived within a completely sanctified “arc” (and take His flesh from hers), and like Eve was subject to the temptations of Satan. But unlike Eve, Mary also lived within a fallen creation and therefore had an even greater propensity to sin than Eve.

Mary definately had free will, so, yes, she could have sinned by disobeying God like Adam and Eve did; but unlike Adam and Eve, Mary chose not to even in the face of certain social ostracism as an unwed mother which warranted death by stoning according to Jewish custom. Not being yoked to the effects of Original Sin in no way diminishes one’s capacity to say “No” to God. Adam and Eve are proof of that.

I hope this helps.

In Christ,
Mike


#6

One clarification if I may. God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, she had no choice in the conception of Jesus. Mary freely chose to cooperate with and accept the will of God, which was for her to be the mother of Jesus, but she had no say in being the virgin mother. The angel’s announcement was not in the form of a question but rather a statement.

Luke 1:30-33 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, **you will conceive ** in your womb and bear a son, and **you shall **name him Jesus. **He will be great ** and **will be called **Son of the Most High, and the Lord God **will give him **the throne of David his father, and **he will rule ** over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Emphasis Added)


#7

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