Did Mary need a savior?


#1

I guess most of you are working from the assumption that she never sinned. Let’s see what comes up.


#2

Yes, she did need a savior, and she had a savior. And she was the first to admit it: My spirit rejoices in God my Savior. She never sinned; that is true. But that is not to say that she did not need a savior. How could she be sinless without a savior? The problem that comes up here is how everyone thinks about the salvific power of God as running along our cosmic timeline. It doesn’t. God exists outside of time, and thus, to say that Mary could be born without sin even before her Son, who made that very thing possible, was born is not nonsense. Jesus Christ is, after all, the “Lamb of God who was slain from the foundation of the world.” And by “foundation,” we mean beginning, and by “world,” we mean universe. Thus, Christ, being God, sacrificed himself before the universe was ever made, because with God, there is no time. And thus, Mary can be saved by her Son’s sacrifice even before she is born! Jesus is also, however, man, and thus he died on the Cross at a certain place on the earth at a certain point along our timeline.


#3

Let’s see…

God is the Savior
God created humans
Humans can’t save themselves
Mary is human
God created Mary sinless
Therefore, Mary needed the Savior


#4

Yes, you are correct-- Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin and did not commit personal sin. The Church teaches Salvation is necessary for all of us, including Mary.

The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception states: 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.

The Catechism also quotes St. Iraneus, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”


#5

No, actually we are not working from an assumption but from a divine revelation. Not the same things at all.

As to Mary never sinning, the key point is that she required the constant gift of God’s grace to remain without sin. She did not, and could not, remain sinless without that grace. Thus God is Mary’s savior.


#6

Isaiah 43:11 says “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.”


#7

What’s the source?

As to Mary never sinning, the key point is that she required the constant gift of God’s grace to remain without sin. She did not, and could not, remain sinless without that grace. Thus God is Mary’s savior.

You have a special name for that kind of grace?


#8

God, as delivered through his Church. Same source as the canon of scripture, among other things. “He who hears you, hears me.”

You have a special name for that kind of grace?

I’m not enough of a theologian to know.


#9

St. Iraneus, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”

Iraneus isn’t calling Mary the savior, but her obedience (“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”) made it possible for salvation to come to us in the person of Christ.


#10

Mike-

Welcome back! Did you graduate?

As to your post, it is true that Mary never committed personal sins; however, as a descendant of Adam, she would have inherited the stain of original sin that all are subject to.

However, by a singular privilege God saved Mary from inheriting this sinful nature. He saved her BEFORE she was stained by sin and not AFTER as you and I experience.

God saved Mary - he just did it differently.

Try this analogy: I can save you from death AFTER you have fallen into a deep well by pulling you out. Or I can save you from death by preventing you from falling into the well in the first place. In either case, I have saved you from death.

Most of us get pulled out. Mary was protected from ever falling.

God was her savior.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


#11

Sacred Tradition.

You have a special name for that kind of grace?

Yes. Amazing grace. :stuck_out_tongue:


#12

mmmcounts, do you acknowledge the previous posts on the fact that Catholics DO believe Mary needed a savior? I’d like to know what you think on what was said. :slight_smile:

Sanctifying grace is what kept her sinless:
“The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature.”

The angel Gabriel said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene
Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.
- source

What we believe is simply that Mary was saved in an anticipatory manner instead of after falling, but Catholics have NEVER said that she didn’t need a savior.

Why was this done only for her? *“by reason of the merits of her Son” (CCC 492). **She has more reason to call God her Savior *than we do, because he saved her in an even more glorious manner!

Remember that Adam and Eve were created without sin, so why is it so hard to accept that God would chose to do this again? Jesus as the new Adam and Mary as the new Eve were both without sin, but she is only sinless because of Him and not anything she did on her own. *Sinning does not make one human. On the contrary, it is when man is without sin that he is most fully what God intends him to be. *


#13

BTW, a stillborn baby has never sinned. Do those babies need a savior? Why or why not?


#14

It is true that Mary never sinned. The reason that this is true, is that Mary had a Saviour.
The difference between her and the rest of us, is that the Saviour saved her at the moment of her conception. Instead of through the waters of baptism, like the rest of us.
HTH


#15

So true.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

This is the greatest weakness in the argument of many non-Catholics against the IC. Many (particularly Orthodox) claim she did not receive the graces that the dogma asserts until the Annunciation. Yet, these same Orthodox maintain she remained sinless throughout her life, by the power of her own will. Imagine that! Sinlessness without grace! And THEN these particular Orthodox go around accusing Catholics of making Mary more than human, when in fact it is their own position that makes Mary more than human!:rolleyes: Even more, their position is actually the heresy of Pelagianism.

Blessings


#16

Yea! Thanks. Good to see you again.

I finally got around to making a new thread on those articles by Scott Hahn. This is the link. (I don’t know if you saw it on the other thread). forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=344402

As to your post, it is true that Mary never committed personal sins; however, as a descendant of Adam, she would have inherited the stain of original sin that all are subject to.

Yea, that’s what I’m saying. Unborn babies have this too (someone mentioned that in another post), but they didn’t have the chance to actually commit any sins. Mary did.

Mary did have a chance, that is. Oh, and Mary also did sin. But that’s where we diverge.

However, by a singular privilege God saved Mary from inheriting this sinful nature. He saved her BEFORE she was stained by sin and not AFTER as you and I experience.

Is this based on another apocryphal text similar to the Gospel of James?

God saved Mary - he just did it differently.

Has he done this with anyone else? If not- and if this is also something that doesn’t appear in the Bible but comes instead from an apocryphal text- it sounds like a bit of a novelty.

Try this analogy: I can save you from death AFTER you have fallen into a deep well by pulling you out. Or I can save you from death by preventing you from falling into the well in the first place. In either case, I have saved you from death.

Not a bad analogy.

Most of us get pulled out.

The Bible says all, because all are under a curse.

Mary was protected from ever falling.

I asked for a source, and you told me “Sacred Tradition.” Now if I may use an analogy…

Sacred Tradition is like a megaphone. There is a mouth on the other end of it. Who does the mouth belong to? What is the source of this belief that Sacred Tradition transmits?

In other words, I’m calling Sacred Tradition a transmitter rather than an original source.

I don’t believe the Catechism even claims itself as an original source. You know those little numbers that correspond to footnotes? They’re there for a reason. And I somehow doubt there’s any citations in the CCC that read “Sacred Tradition.”

I did go as far as looking this up in the CCC, and this leads me to the Ineffabilis Deus issued by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Given the timing, I’m sure Pope Pius IX is not an original source. He’s relying on someone from much earlier. But who? The question remains.

I looked at the Ineffailis Deus as well, but no original sources are cited. It’s not much of a surprise, though. It wouldn’t go over well if a papal decree were explicitly grounded in the necessity of putting complete faith in an apocryphal book. Even the Ever-Virgin stuff wasn’t cited directly- though it clearly is where the material came from. I’m still looking for that source. Some kind of very old piece of paper. I realize it’s been a popular belief for many years, but I’m looking for the reason why.

If your response involves nothing more than saying it was revealed to this particular Pope via infallible revelation from the Holy Spirit, I will probably compare Pius IX to Montanus in an unfavorable way. Just so everyone knows.

Please understand that I am quite open to extra-Biblical evidence on all matters of history, but these sources will be subject to the ordinary scrutiny given to any other historical document.

For example, the author of the Gospel of James claimed to be James the brother of Jesus, and he claimed to have written it in 90 AD or so. The author actually is not James and it was written sometime in the mid to late second century, and the author was certainly not a contemporary of the people-group (and far less the people) of which he pretended to write as a contemporary. That’s a historical source that gets a big thumbs down for confidence.

On the other hand, there is also a commonly accepted story about Peter being crucified upside down. It doesn’t appear in the Bible, but it is commonly believed by many Christians. I don’t just accept a story as true because I’ve heard it from enough people, though. I check to see if they have good reason for believing it’s true.

In this case, the historical documents in question are found in the catacombs of Rome, where Peter was crucified. They provide reliable testimony telling us that something along those lines happened, even if the exact story isn’t repeated with all details precisely intact. That’s the kind of extra-Biblical source that makes me say “OK, there’s quite a bit of truth to that story. Peter was probably crucified upside down. Cool.” That’s all I need- some kind of historical document that engenders a degree of confidence in the story. Does anything like this exist?

God was her savior.

Fair enough. Seems like he’s the only viable option.


#17

Mike-

I’m rushing out the door this morning so remind me to talk about the scriptural basis later. But for now, I want to address the idea that “all” have sinned.

For All Have Sinned
A Refutation of the Attack on the Immaculate Conception of Mary from Romans 3:23
(Based on a talk by Karlo Broussard on Catholic Answers Live on 2/11/08)

Many people reject the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and argue that Mary was not born sinless and that she did not remain sinless all of her life. In support of their position, they often quote a passage from Paul’s Letter to the Romans which declares, **“**for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

However, does this passage really prove that Mary could not have been without sin? And is this really what Paul intended to teach in this passage? Let’s take a closer look.

The primary question to be asked concerning Romans 3:23 is this: When the Bible uses the word “all”, does it necessarily exclude exceptions? The answer is “no” as several scripture passages suggest.

For example, Matthew 3:5 tells us, “People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.” Does this mean that there were no places from which people did not go out to see Jesus? This is not likely. The author attempted to convey an idea that a large number of people went out to see Jesus by using hyperbole.

Similarly, 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Does this mean that every single person ever born will die? Well, the Bible tells us that Enoch and Elijah were taken up into heaven without dying, so we know that obviously not all die because these two exceptions exist. From this, we know that the Bible does not necessarily exclude exceptions when it uses the word, “all”.

Returning to Romans 3:23, we should ask further whether Paul intended to exclude exceptions when he used the word, “all”, or is he using it in a non-absolute way? To understand the context of Paul’s thought, we should look at Romans 3:10-12 wherein he quotes Psalm 14:2-3: **“**As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Does Paul really believe that there no righteous people? Of course not! The Bible tells us that Joseph was a just man (Mt 1:19), John the Baptist’s parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, were declared righteous (Luke 1:19), and Psalm 14 goes on to speak of “the company of the righteous” in verse 5 while Psalm 15 references those who walk blamelessly and do what is right. So, if Paul is using the word “all” to mean “absolutely no exceptions”, then he is using the word very differently from the verses he quoted from Psalm 14 and from other passages of scripture.

Finally, it is also reasonable for us to assume that Paul would agree that infants and those who are mentally deficient cannot sin personally—two additional exceptions to the concept of “all” having sinned.

Therefore, when Paul uses the word, “all”, it is obvious that he is not attempting to declare that every single individual who ever lives will be guilty of committing personal sin; rather, he is attempting to communicate with clarity the universality of sin and the idea that both Jews and Gentiles alike are sinners before God. He is not attempting to exclude the possibility of exceptions.

Thus, the word “all” in Romans 3:23 cannot be used to disprove the doctrine of sinlessness of Mary.

If you agree that there is nothing in scripture that REQUIRES all to have committed personal sins, then it has to be admitted that Mary did not have to commit personal sins. Consequently, the only question that would remain is whether she inherited original sin.

So what do you think so far?


#18

I’ll try to get right to the point and hit the important stuff.

All things considered, I’d say it should lead you to believe Mary was a sinner, just like you and me.

The primary question to be asked concerning Romans 3:23 is this: When the Bible uses the word “all”, does it necessarily exclude exceptions? The answer is “no” as several scripture passages suggest.

Sure there’s exceptions, for certain types of people. Mary does not belong to any of those groups of people, though.

Finally, it is also reasonable for us to assume that Paul would agree that infants and those who are mentally deficient cannot sin personally—two additional exceptions to the concept of “all” having sinned.

For example, Mary did not die as an infant, nor was she mentally deficient. She was, in all aspects relevant to this issue, just like you and me. She does not belong to any particular group of people that would be excluded from the “all” who have sinned. It requires a type of special pleading for just one special person. It requires, according to what you’ve described, and unseen act of God performed in utero whereby Mary was rescued from the sinful nature that, even according to you, would otherwise have caused her to sin.

Given the nature of this alleged act on the part of God, can you see why I would ask for some kind of evidence? How, exactly, did anyone know about this? I don’t think Mary would have told anyone. She was a fetus when it (supposedly) happened. Who knew about this and how? In the absence of a good answer to this question, I will be forced to conclude that someone made this story up after the fact- probably someone in southern Europe who’d never been to the Mideast, much less knew Mary- and then this story became extremely popular and well-loved.

Thus, the word “all” in Romans 3:23 cannot be used to disprove the doctrine of sinlessness of Mary.

It does, however, force you to plead a special case for Mary whereby the normative sinfulness of her life (and, in all of history, hers alone) was derailed by God. The next step is easy: I ask you how you know that. Did God tell anyone? If so, why isn’t that in the Bible? If not, can you see how easy it is for me to conclude that it’s a made up story?

If you agree that there is nothing in scripture that REQUIRES all to have committed personal sins, then it has to be admitted that Mary did not have to commit personal sins.

Actually, since she doesn’t qualify for any of the groups that are exempt, it has to be admitted that, in the absence of a freaky miracle (which is never mentioned in the Bible or in any historical documents), Mary certainly did have to commit personal sins.

So what do you think so far?

Well, I just have two questions. One’s been asked: Who knew and how? I realize you firmly believe God told the Pope about this in the mid to late 19th century, but the story had been around for quite some time. Who started the story? If you can’t provide any details about it in any way whatsoever, why would you expect me to have any confidence in a nameless faceless person such as this?

My second question is this: Imagine for a moment that Mary had sex with Joesph on a regular basis, Mary had other kids, Mary sinned, and Mary needed to be saved from her sins just as much as we need it. The question is this: So what? Does it really make a difference to you if all of that is true, yet she’s still the Mother of Jesus?
I have a sneaking suspicion that you aren’t defending these ideas because you want to defend Mary’s honor. You aren’t even defending them because the veracity of historical documents (in this case, what historical documents?) is at stake. Those things aren’t at stake for you, and that’s not why you’re defending them. Trust me, I’d rather have that be the case, but I don’t think it is. I think this all comes down to “Church Authoritah.” That is the single reason why you must continue believing these things- because this Authority is so important to you.

I really wish it wasn’t about that. I truly wish we could have a meaningful discussion exploring the relevant evidence surrounding stories like this and evaluate the historical documents pertaining to these sorts of things. But I fear that you can’t fully involve yourself in such a discussion because it would require that you set aside the faith you have in this Authority and test it to see if it’s well-placed. It’s a kind of blind faith in that way. Do you think I’m coming kind of close to the truth in this assessment?

That’s what I’m thinking so far.


#19

Yes. Not because of sin, but to rescue her from the enemy.

Rev 12:1 A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
Rev 12:2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.
Rev 12:3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.
Rev 12:4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.
Rev 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
Rev 12:6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
Rev 12:8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
Rev 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Rev 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
Rev 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
Rev 12:13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
Rev 12:14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.
Rev 12:15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.
Rev 12:16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
Rev 12:17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

It’s in the bible.


#20

You sure that’s Mary? I’d be totally fine with it if that was the case, but you have to convince me. There’s a ton of things in this apocalyptic vision that don’t seem to readily correspond to anything that happened in Mary’s life.


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