How was Mary born perfect, if her mother wasn't?


#1

How was Mary born perfect, if her mother wasn’t?

I am trying to carry on a discussion about Mary and they brought up this question. To say that Mary had to be perfect so Jesus could be perfect, wouldn’t that just keep going back like, well her mother was perfect and her mother…ect.

She was set apart before creation correct?

How can I explain this to our protestant brothers and sisters?

Thanks guys.


#2

ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2bvm20.htm

ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marya2.htm

In teaching that Mary was conceived immaculate, the Catholic Church teaches that from the very moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from all stain of original sin. This simply means that from the beginning, she was in a state of grace, sharing in God’s own life, and that she was free from the sinful inclinations which have beset human nature after the fall.


In our RCIA class we discussed this, let me see if I can properly re tell how it was explained.

God bestowed the Grace on Mary - that at her conception she was free of ‘original sin’ the fact that her mother was not, was irrelevant.

People have asked why couldn’t God simply have bestowed on Jesus the immaculate conception?

That if Mary could be conceived without original sin, then why couldn’t Jesus? Well Jesus WAS free of this original sin, as he also God.

Christ is God, God couldn’t inhabit the body of one who was stained with original sin.

The vessel which holds Christ couldn’t be unworthy. God had to create a woman who would be worthy and holy enough for Jesus to be carried in her womb.

Does this make sense. I remember when discussing it in RCIA, the person who explained it did it so eloquently… I don’t think I could do it justice.


#3

[quote=Bob_Bobber0]How was Mary born perfect, if her mother wasn’t? I am trying to carry on a discussion about Mary and they brought up this question. To say that Mary had to be perfect so Jesus could be perfect, wouldn’t that just keep going back like, well her mother was perfect and her mother…ect.

The short answer is because it wasn’t necessary for her mother to be born immaculately conceived. Mary carried Jesus in her womb, not St. Anne or any of her forbearers.

She was set apart before creation correct?

She was preserved from original sin by a singular grace. It had nothing directly to do with her ancestry, if that is what you are asking.

How can I explain this to our protestant brothers and sisters?

Read and then send them the following article. Discuss. Repeat as necessary.

Immaculate Conception and Assumption
catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp
[/quote]


#4

[quote=Bob_Bobber0]How was Mary born perfect, if her mother wasn’t?

I am trying to carry on a discussion about Mary and they brought up this question. To say that Mary had to be perfect so Jesus could be perfect, wouldn’t that just keep going back like, well her mother was perfect and her mother…ect.

She was set apart before creation correct?

How can I explain this to our protestant brothers and sisters?

Thanks guys.
[/quote]

This is an old saw, caused by a misunderstanding of the purposes behind the Immaculate Conception. It is based on a failure to understand the **incarnation ** of Jesus.

Basically: Mary did not need sinless parents, since she is not God. Jesus needed sinless parents since He IS God.

In more detail:

  1. Jesus is fully man and fully God. God the Word BECAME man in Mary’s womb. He took on human flesh and a human nature from Mary, becoming a true son of Adam.

  2. This was a permanent union (not temporary as some protestants can erroneously suppose). Jesus is fully man, Son of Mary and fully God the Son.

  3. A basic essential of God is that He is absolutely sinless. Sin can be no part of Him. He cannot tolerate sin.

  4. Therefore in order to bear God, Mary (like the Ark of the Covenant) must be absolutely clean of sin. Even more so, because Mary passed on her flesh and human nature to Jesus. That flesh and human nature needed to be without taint of sin to become part of God.

  5. Eve was created free of sin. So was Adam. But their fall passed Original Sin on to all their successors. Original Sin turns men from God and towards actual sin. Mary, if born with Original Sin would have retained a stain of this sin to flaw the humanity she passed on to Jesus. (Mary also needed to be in at least the same moral state as Eve when she made her choice on whether to obey God or not.)

  6. Mary was thus saved from Original SIn. This was done in the most perfect way possible - at her conception.

  7. Mary being saved from original Sin at conception DID NOT REQUIRE that her parents be sinless. They bore Original Sin, but Mary was redeemed and purified from it at the first moment of her existence.

  8. This could not happen to Jesus. Jesus is God the Son. If Jesus had inherited sinful flesh and a sinful nature, and this had been purified. This would mean that God the Son had been redeemed! That is impossible. Jesus cannot be redeemed. He is the Redeemer. As God the Son He had to have sinless parents. Mary, as a non-divine human, did not have to have sinless parents.


#5

Did you ever wonder…did Mary KNOW she was “different” (because of her being sinless) from other girls? What did she think? Did her parents know she was different, too?

Maybe someday I will ask her!


#6

[quote=Bob_Bobber0]How was Mary born perfect, if her mother wasn’t?
[/quote]

Immaculate Conception…conceived without original sin.

[quote=Bob_Bobber0]To say that Mary had to be perfect so Jesus could be perfect, wouldn’t that just keep going back like, well her mother was perfect and her mother…ect.
[/quote]

God could have done it that way, but chose not too. He simply created Mary without stain of original sin. Her flesh was given to our Lord - sinless.

Come to think of it, it really wasn’t necessary that Mary be without sin…in the sense that God could have worked it another way if He chose to, and simply prevented that sin from tainting the flesh Our Lord - but in His infinite Wisdom, he didn’t.

Seems rather fitting and proper to me to do it the way He did it…not only because Our Lord would receive his flesh from Mary, but because she would carry him in her womb - and Our Lord should have nothing less than a pure tabernacle!

[quote=Bob_Bobber0]She was set apart before creation correct?
[/quote]

Weren’t we all? :slight_smile:Ephesians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

[quote=Bob_Bobber0]How can I explain this to our protestant brothers and sisters?.
[/quote]

Here’s a good article from CA that you can print out for 'em:

Immaculate Conception and Assumption

Peace,
DustinsDad


#7

I thought i heard St. Augustine i think, said that Jesus took a little of Mary’s blood or something like that. Anyone else hear that?


#8

[quote=Bob_Bobber0]How was Mary born perfect, if her mother wasn’t?

I am trying to carry on a discussion about Mary and they brought up this question. To say that Mary had to be perfect so Jesus could be perfect, wouldn’t that just keep going back like, well her mother was perfect and her mother…ect.

She was set apart before creation correct?

How can I explain this to our protestant brothers and sisters?

Thanks guys.
[/quote]

Hey Bob see this thread forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=40979


#9

[quote=Axion]7. Mary being saved from original Sin at conception DID NOT REQUIRE that her parents be sinless. They bore Original Sin, but Mary was redeemed and purified from it at the first moment of her existence.
[/quote]

Mary was redeemed at the first moment of her existence but she wasn’t “purified” from original sin – she never had it to begin with. Original sin was not removed but rather excluded:

newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm
**

“. . .was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin. . .”

The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; it was excluded, it never was in her soul. **


#10

This topic (and some others related to it) are discussed in the following thread.

forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=6805


#11

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