I am beginning to see that one’s opinions regarding the Virgin Mary directly impact one’s opinions regarding the Incarnation of Christ. I can also see that the Immaculate Conception is the center of the Marian doctrines of the Church. My question is: why didn’t Christ assume a sinless human nature directly? Is there a theological reason why Christ had to assume this nature through inheritance? If God could circumvent the stain of original sin in Mary’s conception, why not simply do it directly in Christ?
While this is personal opinion only – I am unaware of a “hierarchy” within the Marian dogmas – I would say that the central Marian dogma among the Marian dogmas is Mary’s Motherhood of God. Because she was chosen to bear the Son of God, God granted her the special gifts to fulfill that vocation (e.g., perpetual virginity, sinlessness, bodily assumption).
The Immaculate Conception of Mary was a special gift that befit the Mother of God and prepared her for her vocation. It was not, however, strictly necessary. Christ could have been born of a mother who had fallen under original sin if that had been God’s desire. Christ was free of sin because of the Incarnation (i.e., he’s God), not because of the Immaculate Conception.
That said, it is also fitting that the Son should be born of a woman untainted by sin because the Incarnation sanctified the material universe. God seems to prefer to work through the material universe, thus proving the goodness of material, rather than by direct command. Perhaps, and this is speculation only, God works through material nature to accomplish supernatural good because he doesn’t want us tempted to regard him as a Divine Magician performing supernatural “tricks.”