Jesus and Mary and the Consequences of Original Sin

Hello one and all,

I sense a contradiction between the catechism and the Bible!


405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle. (italics added)

OK, so what I don’t understand is how we can say Jesus is free from original sin (and Mary, too, for that matter) and yet He evidently is subject to suffering, a consequence of original sin. If He had no original sin, why is He subject to suffering?

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4.15).

Perhaps what we need to do is define “suffering” as it is used in the catechism here. Or the phrase “subject to suffering.”


You seem to have missed the whole point.

St. Paul speaks of this same suffering in Romans 7.

***[14] We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. [15] I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. [16] Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. [17] So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. [18] For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. [19] For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. [20] Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. [21] So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. [22] For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, [23] but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. [24] Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [25] Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. ***

Suffering is a consequence of OS, not OS itself.

**2520 Baptism confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God’s grace he will prevail

  • by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart;

  • by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man: with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to fulfill God’s will in everything;

  • by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings and imagination; by refusing all complicity in impure thoughts that incline us to turn aside from the path of God’s commandments: “Appearance arouses yearning in fools”;

  • by prayer:

I thought that continence arose from one’s own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you.

1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, “the tinder for sin” (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ."67 Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."68

978 "When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy Baptism that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them. . . . Yet the grace of Baptism delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil ".**

And this is a good struggle, by which we’re tested, refined, stretched, molded.

He subjected Himself to suffer for the consequences of our sins. And because he was sinless it was deemed worthy by God.
Mary being His mother also suffered through Him.
Which mother would gladly let her child be murdered on the cross after being tortured?

By His suffering we were rescued, by her suffering we were made her children.

You ready for it?! :smiley:
Mary was, for the purpose of being the Mother of God, was redeemed at the very moment
of her existence by the future merit of Jesus Christ. We believe that Mary was in fact im–
maculately conceived, born sinless, simply for the very plan of God to be born through her

Now why was Jesus subject to suffering? That’s what he came to do, of course.
Jesus came to humble himself, endure the punishment for sin, though was sin–
less himself. That is how he is our Savior. :wink:

Isn’t suffering considered part of temptation & weakness for us? Then He had to experience it too.

OK thanks everybody, I understand the answer as suffering is not a SYMPTOM of original sin in the individual. It is an aspect of the world that inflicts itself on the world’s members. It’s not like creation has original sin; it is just enduring the effects that Adam and Eve’s sin wreaked on it. THE original sin opened the floodgates of universal/earthly suffering. So, Mary and Jesus would of course be effected by the suffering that the original sin has brought into the world.


If I may ask a further question on this topic, pertaining to the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary prior to her Assumption. If she lacked original sin, as she was kept from it by her Immaculate Conception, why or how did she die? Was it because she lives in this fallen world full of original sin, or because she chose to experience all that we experience as Christ did, or both, or something else?

We’re freed from original sin as well by Baptism. And yet we suffer other consequences of OS anyway, including death.

We’re freed from the guilt of original sin, but our minds, bodies and souls continued to be weakened by it. Mary was completely free from original sin from conception. Unless I’m mistaken in this thinking.

We don’t know.

You may find the following from the online Catholic Encyclopedia interesting.*Conclusion *

It has been seen that we have no absolute certainty as to the place in which Mary lived after the day of Pentecost. Though it is more probable that she remained uninterruptedly in or near Jerusalem, she may have resided for a while in the vicinity of Ephesus, and this may have given rise to the tradition of her Ephesian death and burial. There is still less historical information concerning the particular incidents of her life. St. Epiphanius [134] doubts even the reality of Mary’s death; but the universal belief of the Church does not agree with the private opinion of St. Epiphanius. Mary’s death was not necessarily the effect of violence; it was undergone neither as an expiation or penalty, nor as the effect of disease from which, like her Divine Son, she was exempt. Since the Middle Ages the view prevails that she died of love, her great desire to be united to her Son either dissolving the ties of body and soul, or prevailing on God to dissolve them. Her passing away is a sacrifice of love completing the dolorous sacrifice of her life. It is the death in the kiss of the Lord (in osculo Domini), of which the just die. There is no certain tradition as to the year of Mary’s death. Baronius in his Annals relies on a passage in the Chronicon of Eusebius for his assumption that Mary died A.D. 48. It is now believed that the passage of the Chronicon is a later interpolation. [135] Nirschl relies on a tradition found in Clement of Alexandria [136] and Apollonius [137] which refers to a command of Our Lord that the Apostles were to preach twelve years in Jerusalem and Palestine before going among the nations of the world; hence he too arrives at the conclusion that Mary died A.D. 48.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

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