Understand that the teaching of the Immaculate Conception is Dogma and a required belief.
Why does the Church state that this is a required belief? I am not saying that it is impossible for the Immaculate Conception to happen, as all things are possible through God. It is a belief that I just do not know with 100% certainty that it happened and do not understand the idea behind it. In a way it makes since as Jesus was conceived without sin, but other questions arise. I feel this belief is irrelevant to one’s salvation. Should I be excommunicated?
The reason “why” it’s required is because it is a Truth revealed by God. Not being able to understand and having difficulty accepting a Truth is not the same as rejecting it. Not seeing how a certain Truth relates to salvation also is not the same as rejecting a Truth.
Why would you feel that excommunication would result from your situation?
The Truth of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is something that we must believe, because it is something that only makes sense. Thin about it: would the Almighty God, pure and Almighty in Heaven, allow Himself to be conceived in the womb of a woman defiled by sin? The one and only answer is NO!
Yes, God the Son allowed Himself to made Incarnate in the womb of a human being, Mary, in order to share in our humanity and our struggles and in order to show great poverty and humility, which we must show as well. However, He would absolutely not do anything else but ensure that the womb He would be held in would be completely pure and undefiled.
I hope this helps with your understanding of the great works of God!
I rather understand what you are saying = to a degree. The faith is what will sustain you. Blind belief and trust, if you will. My Mother, God Bless her soul, instilled my faith. Intellecutally, some of the Catholic beliefs cannot be solved with logic, numbers, science, highest IQ in the world, smartest human being in the world, and I could go on and on. I always think of what God, Our Father, said to I believe Abraham - (it may have been Moses?) God ws asked his name - He replied, “I am who I am.” Please correct me if I am wrong, not a dare, another set of eyes to make sure I know my facts.
Always appreciated the simple concise answer to the question in the Baltimore Catechism…
Q. 269. Why was the Blessed Virgin preserved from original sin?
A. The Blessed Virgin was preserved from original sin because it would not be consistent with the dignity of the Son of God to have His Mother, even for an instant, in the power of the devil and an enemy of God.
Long ago, before Monday Night Football and internet forums, great Thinkers sat around and pondered things. Some of these great Thinkers were theologians. They pondered things about God.
Some of these Thinkers reasoned that since the Blessed Virgin was, in fact, the Mother of God…she would have been the purest of pure. To them that meant “without sin”. They reasoned that Mary was not only sinless all her life but she was born without Original Sin. And why not? God would want His Son to be carried within a perfect Mother. Most Christians accepted this idea and treated Mary accordingly. Oh sure there was some dispute (Thomas Aquinas wasn’t completely sure) but actually there was more arguments about when the feast day should be. In those days it was known as the “Conception of Mary” and St Anne was honored also.
Then around 1308 the idea was spelled out and it became a doctrine. There remained some controversy mostly from the Dominicans who opposed to the doctrine on technicalities The rest of the Catholic world had little problems accepting and defending the doctrine.
Since the time of Alexander VII, there was no doubt on the part of Theologians that Mary had been conceived without Original Sin. But is wasn’t until Dec 8 1854 when Pius IX, surrounded by a splendid throng of cardinals and bishops, promulgated the dogma.
Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854,
Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary **“in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin” **
From then on it would be known as the Immaculate Conception of Mary
Catholics world wide celebrated and cheered, then looked at one another and said: “so what…I never doubted that in the first place.”
There is a real difference between Knowledge and Faith. Of course you “do not know with 100% certainty…” How would any of us “know”, it is a natural impossibility (to the best of my limited knowledge.) However our Catholic Faith requires us to make that leap and believe in the impossible every day. We believe in transubstantiation in the Eucharist; in the forgiveness of sins in the Confessional; in the existence of a loving personal God who is one God in three persons.
Impossibility combines with the illogical in the basic tenets of our Faith. That is why many deride us.
But the foolishness of man is the wisdom of God, and we are reveling in our foolishness; amazed at the reality of our God as a young baby is amazed at the reality of his big toe.
Thanks to all for your positive postings and the historic aspect has helped. As you all stated it makes sense that Jesus could not come from sinfulness and could design his mother as he pleased. Please pray that the Truths of the Church will be made more evident and reveal themselves in each and everyone of our lives.
Think back to 2 Samuel 6. Uzzah (who suffered from Original Sin) merely touched the Ark and died. It wasn’t even God; it was just a resting place of God. Think of how much deadlier it would be to literally carry God inside your womb for 9 months. So by the Immaculate Conception, Mary was already chosen to be completely pure and sinless to safely bear God Himself in her womb.
As I understand it, a dogma is required belief because it forms a central element of the historical faith. To believe it is thus to believe as the Church has believed, to be in the community of belief. To refuse to believe it is to choose to be outside that community.
I am not quite sure where being willing but unable to believe it would put you.
The only way to know it with 100% certainty is if God has revealed it. You can’t prove from natural means whether she was born with original sin or not. The only way to know a truth revealed by God is from the teaching of the Church. Since the Church infallibly teaches that this is a truth revealed by God, you can be 100% certain that it is.
Why is this knowledge conducive to salvation? Scripture says the prayer of a righteous person is very powerful (James 5:16). Knowing that Mary is the most righteous human being who ever lived–that she had no sin, not even original sin–should spur us on to ask her intercession for us, especially for those graces we need for salvation–and we can do so with great confidence in the power of her prayers.
Opposition to this truth has the tendency to lead to diminished respect for and confidence in the Mother of God, and ultimately a diminished understanding of the Person of her divine Son as a result.
But anyway, as long as you’re trying to accept it and not obstinately refusing to do so, then you shouldn’t be excommunicated. It’s when you obstinately refuse to do so that you commit the sin of separation known as heresy.
Another reason this is an important dogma is that it is intertwined with Church dogma on original sin. The doctrine of original sin is central to our need for salvation. So it stands to reason that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is important to our salvation.
Jesus and Mary, being the “new” Adam and Eve were all free from original sin. Of course the difference being Jesus and Mary were conceived, I’m guessing Adam and Eve were created without sin since no one was around to conceive them… interesting to think about.
The other obvious difference, Jesus and Mary remained sin free their entire lives, whereas Adam and Eve fell into sin. If only Jesus were to be born without original sin then Genesis would be written differently
Mary could not enter heaven without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Next question is, if she was sinless/blameless her entire life, why is that so? Is it that Jesus Christ is timeless and his future sacrifice enabled her to be conceived immaculate and remain sinless/blameless her entire life? This is a bit confusing as if she was sinless/blameless her entire life, why did she require the Blood of the Lamb?
You are mainly correct. The grace and benefits won by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ were given to the Virgin Mary at Conception that she might be a pure and fitting Arc of the Covenant. That same grace was cooperated with by the Virgin Mary her entire life, which obtained for her still more and greater graces, just as it can also be merited by us -by cooperating with the grace we freely receive because of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
That she remained sinless her entire life was due to the very special and unique graces offered to the Virgin Mary, because of her role in the Incarnation, with which she always used and cooperated in, thereby meriting her still more and greater graces. That is why the Arch Angel Gabriel addressed her as “Full of Grace.”
Therefore you can see, this was all by the Grace of Jesus Christ, won for her (as well as us.) But the gift of Sanctifying grace won for us by the Redemption of Jesus Christ, enables us to actually MERIT further grace. Jesus Christ illustrated this doctrine with the parable of the 10 Talents.