Explaining CCC 507

Mary was preserved from sin by the grace of Christ. Thus, she speaks rightly when she says in Luke 1:46:

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.’”

For, even though she had never sinned, if it were not for the grace of Christ, she would not have been preserved, and thus she would not have been saved.

In Luke 1:28, the angel greets Mary:

“Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.”

First, note that the angel does not greet Mary with her name. What this implies is that “Full of Grace” is a title, or perhaps even Mary’s true name (as is in harmony with the rest of Scripture when God gives a new name to those He tasks with a particular mission or blessing).

Second, the word that is translated into “Full of Grace” is the Greek word Kecharitomene. The root word here is charito, which may be translated as “grace” or “favor.” The reason for the double-meaning is that it might be understood that if you favor one, you will grace him, or if you’ve graced one, it’s because you favor him. So the two meanings go hand-in-hand.

The prefix ke indicates this word is in the perfect tense. As shown here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_(grammar), the perfect tense, in Greek (and English) refers to something having been completed in the past, with reference to present consequences of that past action. So, with respect to Mary’s grace or favor, this is an event that was completed in the past with reference to Mary in the present moment.

The suffix mene indicates this word is a passive participle. As shown here: thefreedictionary.com/Passive+participle, a participle is a word that can act independently as an adjective, or it can be used with an auxiliary verb to indicate tense, aspect or voice. That kecharitomene is a passive participle, indicates this is something happening to the noun, as opposed to something being done by the noun.

If taken as an adjective, it may be translated as “Favored (or Graced) [one])” (one would be implied, since there’s no noun the adjective is modifying). If taken with an auxiliary verb, it may be translated as “[You who] have been Graced (or Favored).” However, given that this is in the perfect tense, we know the past action is complete and this action carries through to the present. Thus, you may translate it as either “Completely (fully/wholly/entirely/perfectly) Graced (or Favored) [one, who is as such even now]” or “[You who] have been, and continue to be,] Completely Graced.”

The bottom line of what this word means is this: God *completed *His action of saving grace upon Mary in the past, and that action carries forward to the present (i.e., she continues to be fully graced by God). This is who Mary is, the one who God has graced more than any other, fully and completely, from her creation to eternity. This is her title, her true name: Kecharitomene. She still fulfills Ephesians 5, because it was and is God who sanctifies her.

I understand that bit the bit I’m confused with is since Mary is a reflection of the Church, is the NT church that Jesus builds different/separate from the OT Church? I can understand that the NT church had Jesus as the saviour. But if the 2 are the same church then it was not pure at one point (OT), so how does that Church match a Mary who is pure at all times (not denying).

No, the NT Church is not the same as the OT.

If Jesus is to be our reference point, He is the new Adam. As the new Adam, He was obedient and saved, while the old Adam was disobedient and damned.

Mary, then, is the new Eve, and was a helper to our Lord in His saving work, whereas the old Eve was a helper to Adam in His damning work.

After the Fall, God made a Covenant with Adam, one that looked forward to a Saviour. That’s the Old Covenant, and like the founders of the Old Covenant, it was marked by failure to live up to it.

After the work of Salvation, God made a New Covenant with man, and like the founders of the New Covenant, it is marked by faithfulness to it.

The Old Covenant was renewed throughout the OT, and through those renewals, it gained new “features” through time, eventually becoming a Kingdom (of David), with a central Temple (at Jerusalem) as the dwelling place of the Lord and a Priesthood. The New Covenant is the Kingdom of God, with the Temple of the Body as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and the Priesthood of Christ.

The Old and New Covenants are related, but not the same. Both are oriented toward the Messiah. But they are not the same, inasmuch as Jesus and Adam are different, and Mary and Eve are different. Jesus and Mary are what Adam and Eve should have been, and the New Covenant is what the Old Covenant should have been: perfectly faithful from the beginning.


How to use the Catholic Answers Forum Quote Function

If you want to respond to something that someone else posted, you can simply hit the “Quote” button on the lower right…not the “Post Reply” button on the lower left. Simply begin typing after the text that the forum automatically copies for you. That’s what I did at the beginning of this post above.

If you want to insert your comments into the middle of something you are quoting, you have to manually insert square brackets. Here is the original passage I want to comment on:

Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was black as soot, and everywhere that Mary went, his sooty foot he put.

In order to show you what you need to do, I have to use a different set of brackets for illustrative purposes only. I’ll use { and } instead of and ] so that you can see where the brackets should be located, and I’ll insert my comments in red text. To begin a quote, you must insert {quote} at the beginning of the passage and {/quote} at the end. The / is the key to ending the quoted section. Here’s what it would look like:

{quote} Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was black as soot, {/quote} I’m inserting my comments here in red. {quote} and everywhere that Mary went, his sooty foot he put. {/quote} Hope this helps.

Remember, wherever you see the { or } you have to actually use a square bracket or ] so that the paragraph above comes out like this:

Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was black as soot,

I’m inserting my comments here in red.

and everywhere that Mary went his sooty foot he put.

Hope this helps.

One more thing: the quote function will automatically insert the name of the person to whom you are replying so that person can find your response more easily.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.