1.Mary being born free from original sin makes sense to me and I feel I can explain the reasoning behind it, but after Jesus’ birth what is the evidence and proof that she remained sinless? Was it possible for her to “fall” and if she had would it have been equivalent to the kind of fall of Adam and Eve into sin?
Mary was free like the rest of us. Grace is something that the will cooperates with (the possibility of cooperation being itself a grace), it does not coerce the Will.
Mary was in a state like Eve before the Fall. At least spiritually, though we know she had the bodily infirmities such as hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, sorrow, and death that fallen bodies are subject to.
Eve was free and had grace available to her…and she sinned. Mary was free and had grace available to her…and she didnt. That is the wonderful difference.
Mary was definitely not some automaton whose will was overruled by grace.
Mary could have sinned inasmuch as she had free will. But the whole reason God chose her is because He foresaw that, given His grace, she wouldn’t.
2.Since Mary was free from original sin was it “easier” for her to resist temptation having been free from it all her life, with the whole St. Francis de Sales analogy of a fruit unblemished can be preserved in hay but once bruised it can only be preserved in honey. So since she was unblemished to begin with was it possible for her to go through her life easier.
It is generally believed that, as a result of her Immaculate Conception, Mary did not have concupisence. Her body and mind suffered like ours, and her soul was created in a state “already baptized”…but it had one possible difference from a baptized person’s soul:
In baptism, it is like a sword is removed from the soul. But the wound, concupiscence, is still there. Mary was preserved from every having that “sword” in the first place, so there never was any wound.
Now, does this make it more or less easy for her to sin?
Eve did not have concupiscence and yet still sinned. Christ did not have concupiscence (it would be incompatible with his divinity to have his will favor evil), and couldn’t have sinned, being God and having the Beatific Vision…but he still was tempted in a real sense. Externally tempted, but not internally. And Mary probably was too.
You see…in his original state, man still had two appetites. An upper and a lower. And the lower, by nature, was and is attracted to those things for the good of the body, and the upper is attracted to those things for the good of the soul. And even in his original state, sometimes this conflicted.
BUT, in his original state, the upper was firmly in control. Reason was firmly in control. The lower appetite might find something attractive, but it would present it’s request to Reason, and if reason said no, that’s not good for the soul…that would be the end of it. The lower appetite would submit and quiet itself immediately…though the free will would still be the final judge.
Now, however, with concupiscence…the lower disobeys the upper. The lower finds something attractive…and even when reason says that it isn’t good for the soul…the lower lusts against it, refusing to submit and quiet itself. The lower keeps asking for it, keeps trying to persuade the will. Normally, reason would merely have to dismiss the request once, but now…it keeps arguing in favor of the flesh before the Will and unless reason wrestles with it and argues just as strongly and persistantly…the will is heavily inclined to choose the evil.
Would lacking this make Mary’s life any easier? Did it make it any easier for Adam and Eve to resist sin? Did it make Christ’s life any “easier”? I can’t really say.