Did God Need Mary’s Permission?

On a non-Catholic board, a current question is: Did the angel of the Lord need Mary’s permission in order for Christ to be born or is this a command?

Luke 1:31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.”

The Catholics’ position is that Mary was asked and had to consent to God; that God did not force Himself upon Mary. For me, I always interpreted that Mary had the option of saying “no,” just like any of us have the option of saying “no” to God, but Mary was obedient and was rightly praised by Jesus as an example of obedience to God. Luke 11:27. And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee and the paps that gave thee ****. 28. But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.

The non-Catholics position is “She did not permit, she affirmed. She conceded. She could not alter it. There is nothing that says ‘Would you mind if…?’ She did exercise her free will by admitting she could do nothing to change what the angel declared. “Let it be” makes perfect sense in that context” “Mary was not ASKED anything, she was TOLD what would take place. She wasn’t giving permission. The angel said “you will conceive” not “will you conceive”… “Mary had no power to prevent anything. Her “permission” is simply agreement with God. That’s conceding that God will do what He wants.” “God needs our approval for His will to be done? You might want to read Job 38 if you have not already”

Any suggestions to refute the non-Catholic position?

This is a tough non-Catholic site. Just last week, several Catholics, some currently on CA, were banned because of a confrontation with the non-Catholic site’s moderator/administrator. It was pretty heated and ugly, and it also showed how fortunate we are with the CA Forum (and how blessed we are with unobtrusive, professional and all-around even-keel forum moderators)!

Thank you.

[quote=jim1130]Any suggestions to refute the non-Catholic position?
[/quote]

If Mary didn’t consent, and God impregnated her against her will, what would you call that?

What would it be called if a man did it?

Applying that to God and knowing the respect that God affords our Free Will, what do you think the chances are that Mary “had no power” to say no and God just forced His will on her?

I’d say that’s a pretty strong case that Mary gave her permission. If they deny it, God becomes a rapist. If they say that He is, I would “shake the dust off my sandles”.

God Bless,
RyanL

As Our Blessed Mother was born without sin, I believe she was incapable to say No , but in the same way that Adam and Eve were made with no sin, but they chose to sin. She still said yes, not only through consent but through complete submission:

**Luke 1:38. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. **

To say you are a handmaid, a servant being submissive, is a pretty good way to say YES LORD I AM YOUR SERVANT

Our Lady was perfect and gave a perfect answer. She said yes. She said it in a beautiful way. We can learn from her answer.
YES LORD I AM YOUR SERVANT

[quote=RyanL]If Mary didn’t consent, and God impregnated her against her will, what would you call that?

What would it be called if a man did it?

Applying that to God and knowing the respect that God affords our Free Will, what do you think the chances are that Mary “had no power” to say no and God just forced His will on her?

I’d say that’s a pretty strong case that Mary gave her permission. If they deny it, God becomes a rapist. If they say that He is, I would “shake the dust off my sandles”.

God Bless,
RyanL
[/quote]

That pretty much sums up my answer.

  • Liberian

The consideration that God requires our own assent for us to receive our own salvation.

Or do they think we are saved in spite of ourselves? (That is a Calvinist position).

So just as our own consent is needed for our own salvation, so was Mary’s consent needed for everyone’s salvation. And all Hebrew generations prepared the way for Mary and her “Yes”, so we have them to thank as well.

It is hard to be grateful for something you think was “supposed” to happen anyway.

hurst

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