Mary and Original Sin


#1

I have two questions:

  1. If God could keep Mary from original sin, why could He not keep all of us from original sin?

  2. Is our soul from God? And if it is from God how can it come from Him stained with Sin?

I guess that’s actually three questions. I am not asking these to offend the Catholic faith, but they are some questions I have thought about recently. I am currently considering converting to the Catholic Faith, so I am not anti-catholic in the least. However I was raised in a non-Catholic church that does not believe in original sin, so this is something that is very difficult for me to reconcile. How could God create something that is not completly good? If you have any good articles to read on either Mary or Original Sin I will be happy to read those. I thank you in advance for all your thoughts on the matter.

In Him,

ALH

:blessyou:


#2

God created Mary without original sin because only something that pure could birth His child. God did not create all of us without original sin because He gave us free will. With free will, we have the opportunity to do a whole mess of sinful things. However, in His infinite love, God has given us the ability to defy our Creator. You cannot say that God created something that was not totally good because the problem is not with free will itself but rather with how we choose to use it. Might be a bit short of an answer, but there you go, it’s a starting place.

Eamon


#3

As described in the Bible, the entire human race are descendants of the first humans, Adam and Eve.

By disobeying God, the first sin, Original Sin, was committed. OS is a stain, a blot, a darkness imparted on our first ancestors’s souls.

As descendants, the rest of us inherited that Original Sin. It is a propensity to commit sin. As soon as Adam and Eve listened to the Evil One, he, the Lord of World, became their master.

As a brand new baby, each soul is without sin and without stain, just like God originally created Adam and Eve. Each one of us starts to dirty and stain our souls when we willfully and knowingly commit deeds of darkness.

As your know from reading the Bible, after the first sin was introduced into the world, the poison of it began to spread. Cain, Adam’s son, commited the mortal sin of killing his brother Abel. As time went by, many people sinned so greviously, that “in the fullness of time,” when it seemed that things could not get worse, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, appeared on the scene.

God the Father wanted His only Son, Jesus, who is also God, to enter this world as a human being, He wanted Jesus to be born of a Virgin, a human being, one set aside for this special purpose and who had no propensity to sin, She had to be without Original Sin, for the simple reason that Jesus was going to be born from her. Jesus as God can never be under the dominion of Satan, neither can the vessel, the one that contained him, his mother, Mary, ever be under the dominion of the evil one.

The angel Gabriel greeted Mary as being “full of grace” meaning that her soul was filled to the brim with God. Her soul had absolutely no room for anything else but God. Mary belonged solely to God (full of grace). The angel Gabriel proclaimed that God the Holy Spirit would overshadow her. Mary was so filled with God that she recited the Magnificat, proclaiming how her soul magnifies God.

  1. That is why Mary had to be born without sin.
  2. To give us the Redeemer, the One who compelled Satan to give the world back to God.

I hope that this simplistic explanation of mine is be of any help.

Others can probably improve on it or point out any shortcomings.


#4

As described in the Bible, the entire human race are descendants of the first human beings, Adam and Eve.

By disobeying God, the first sin, Original Sin, was committed. OS is a stain, a blot, a darkness imparted on our first ancestors’s souls.

As descendants, the rest of us inherited that Original Sin. It is a propensity to commit sin. As soon as Adam and Eve listened to the Evil One, he, the Lord of World, became their master.

As a brand new baby, each soul is without sin and without stain, just like God originally created Adam and Eve. Each one of us starts to dirty and stain our souls when we willfully and knowingly commit deeds of darkness.

As your know from reading the Bible, after the first sin was introduced into the world, the poison of it began to spread. Cain, Adam’s son, commited the mortal sin of killing his brother Abel. As time went by, many people sinned so greviously, that “in the fullness of time,” the second Adam, Jesus Christ, appeared on the scene.

God the Father wanted His only Son, Jesus, who is also God, to enter this world as a human being, He wanted Jesus to be born of a Virgin, a human being, one set aside for this special purpose and who had no propensity to sin, She had to be without Original Sin, for the simple reason that Jesus was going to be born from her. Jesus as God can never be under the dominion of Satan, neither can the vessel, the one that contained him, his mother, Mary, ever be under the dominion of the evil one.

The angel Gabriel greeted Mary as being “full of grace” meaning that her soul was filled to the brim with God. Her soul had absolutely no room for anything else but God. Mary belonged solely to God (full of grace). The angel Gabriel proclaimed that God the Holy Spirit would overshadow her. Mary was so filled with God that she recited the Magnificat, proclaiming how her soul magnified God.

  1. That is why Mary had to be born without sin, and never sinned. In doing so, she would have desecrated her body, the Temple of God, the vessel that had contained God.

  2. To give us the Redeemer, the One who compelled Satan to give the world back to God, who payed the ultimate price by his death on the cross, and than came back to life to claim his victory over death (sin, spiritual death).

I hope that this simplistic explanation of mine is of any help.

Others will probably improve on it or point out any shortcomings.


#5

Re (1), I think that your question is a deeper one than many think.

Next, I’d like to refine your question a little, so that it reads, “If God, with the grace purchased by the suffering and death of Christ, could keep Mary from Original Sin, why could He not keep all of us from Original Sin?

Perhaps because Mary was merely asked to play the “game of life” according to a different set of rules. Perhaps there is no inherent superiority to playing the “game” the way Mary was asked to play the “game.”

In other words, if instead of sinning we sieze the grace of faith, hope and charity, and do the unthinkable – make altruistic decisions of love – our victory is as great as Mary’s, but just different.

Re (2), What you are really asking is, “Why does that two-wheel car keep leaning to one side?” The answer is that it has two wheels.

Human flesh says, “I’m hungry! Give me food! Give me sex! Give me warmth! Give me space! Give me rest! Leave me alone! Hey! What you’ve got is better than what I’ve got! Give it to me! Give me entertainment! Don’t make me work!” Etc., etc., etc., etc. “Feed me!” Human flesh wants to be fed.

When God joins a human will to that hungry mass of flesh, those demands, outside of grace, are all the will hears. Probably, the will is hypothetically aware of altruistic alternatives, but when those are thrown on a scales, with an empty stomach on one side and the altruistic alternative on the other, the empty stomach wins every time.

That is Original Sin – the state of alienation from God’s goodness which afflicts us.

Now, God was aware that it would be like this, when He created us. So, in a sense, creation wasn’t complete until Christ suffered and died on the cross, purchasing the grace which enables us, if we befriend it in the mystical, ineffable grace process, and so appreciate, and opt for, the altruistic alternative, defeating the seklfishness of our alienated state in the process.

Because the suffering and death of Christ on the cross comprised the completion of our creation, in the sense just described, In the Garden of Eden we see Eve drawn out of thge side of the Old Testament Adam, and in John’s Gospel we see the waters of salvation, activated by the saving blood of Christ, following Eve out of Adam’s side in the case of the New Testament Adam, Christ.

So, the answer to your question is, If all you look at is unsaved man, then you’re right – God produced a defective product! But God does not think like that. God was aware that His Son was on the way. Since the grace of the cross solves the problem, God did not really create a defective product, knowing that the grace of the cross, whichg goes forwards and backwards in time, would be there for all to accept.

If all you look at is Original Sin, then God created a two-wheel car. But, if you look at history all at once, He really created a four wheel car – one equipped with the grace of the cross.


#6

[quote=alh5184]I have two questions:

  1. If God could keep Mary from original sin, why could He not keep all of us from original sin?
    [/quote]

He could have, but He chose not to in His wisdom. We know from the bible that His ways are inscrutable and as high as above our ways as the heavens are above the earth.


#7

[quote=turboEDvo] God did not create all of us without original sin because He gave us free will. With free will, we have the opportunity to do a whole mess of sinful things. However, in His infinite love, God has given us the ability to defy our Creator.

Eamon
[/quote]

Did Mary have Free Will?


#8

These threads have great discussion on the various aspects of Original Sin and what that means from the perspective of Man, Jesus, Mary and Adam and Eve.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=41982

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=21473

  1. If God could keep Mary from original sin, why could He not keep all of us from original sin?

He could. But as others have answered so eloquently, he gave us a tremendous gift… that of free will.

  1. Is our soul from God? And if it is from God how can it come from Him stained with Sin?

If not from God, from where would it come?

Our soul can come to us, lacking his perfect graces (Original Sin), because of the result of our first parents believing themselves to be/know better than God. They removed themselves from God and his Graces by their disobedience. This disobedience was so profound that it requires a conscious effert for EVERY person born since them, to CHOOSE GOD. God made sure this choice would not be in vain by sending his Son, and opening Heaven for us to be with Him for eternity as He intended.


#9

Well, Mary had no sin, b/c God kept her pure and full of the Sancitifying Grace that Adam and Eve lost in the Garden. She had temptation, but never sinned…she didn’t have the inclination like all of us born with Original Sin!

Our soul is from God, but since Adam and Eve made the choice to sin, they ruined it for all of us and thereby forced each of us to live with sin and strive for perfection. God allowed it, he didn’t choose it!

God Bless–JMJ
Laura :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=Shiann]T

He could. But as others have answered so eloquently, he gave us a tremendous gift… that of free will.

[/quote]

Same question I posted above…

Did Mary have Free Will?

It would see that being born “Full of Grace” is more than a tremendous gift.

Can Mary posess free will and be free from Original Sin? It would seem not.


#11

Mary was free, more free than we are, but true freedom doesn’t necessitate the capacity to sin. God is the most free of all yet he is incapable of sinning. Jesus was incapable of sinning, yet He was truly free. The saints and angels in Heaven are all incapable of sinning yet again they are more free than we are.

Was the Blessed Virgin free from stain because she did not offend God, or because she was impeccable and incapable of sin? The latter is common teaching in Catholic Tradition, while distinguishing it from the impeccability enjoyed by Christ. His may be called absolute and derived from the union of his human nature with the divinity. He could not sin because he was God, and God is infinitely holy. Mary could not sin by reason of an inherent quality, which some place midway between the state of souls in the beatific vision and that of our first parents before the fall.

Concretely this quality may be identified with perseverance in grace as regards grave sin, and confirmation in grace for lesser sins. In either case, however, her incapacity for sin differed radically from that of Christ. Where his was based on the fact that he is a divine person, hers was an added prerogative. It was absolutely necessary that he could not sin, since God is sinless. It was a free gift of God’s mercy that Mary could not sin, but only because she was protected by divine favor. (pp. 159-160 of The Catholic Catechism by Fr. John A Hardon, SJ)

Hope that helps.

It may be helpful also to read what St Anselm says about the nature of true freedom.


#12

[quote=Orion]Same question I posted above…

Did Mary have Free Will?

It would see that being born “Full of Grace” is more than a tremendous gift.

Can Mary posess free will and be free from Original Sin? It would seem not.
[/quote]

Original sin is the LACKING of the perfect Graces which God bestows upon humanity. Therefore to keep Mary from Original Sin he would have to GIVE her those Graces. (Incidentally, the same Graces that Adam and Eve were given.)

Those Graces are defined better by the Catholic Encyclopedia at www.newadvent.org and there is extensive discussion about these Graces in the posts I provided above if you are interested in cited sources for my further comments…

That said, included in the Graces which come to those born without Original Sin, is the full dominion of reason over desire.

(This is what made the actions against God by Adam and Eve so heinous.)

Part of the result of the seperation of God or just the result of our free will, is concupiscence- the tendency to sin. All mankind has concupiscence. But Mary being FULL OF GRACE was given the additional tools necessary for her to be aware of the temptation, but have dominion over it. She WILLED to fully participate in God’s Will.

Obviously, she had the free will to thumb her nose at God as Adam and Eve did. It was most IMPROBABLE that this was going to happen, but it was certainly possible.

An example would be of our dominion of reason over the desire to murder someone. Is it completely out of the realm of possibility that either of us could murder someone? No.

Obviously murder is completely IMPROBABLE for us, but possible nonetheless. We have free will, and a the dominion of reason over any desire that might creep into our heart to commit murder.

She could no more disobey God than I could murder my child.


#13

[quote=Orion]Same question I posted above…

Did Mary have Free Will?

It would see that being born “Full of Grace” is more than a tremendous gift.

Can Mary posess free will and be free from Original Sin? It would seem not.
[/quote]

Of course she could.

Being free from original sin does not mean that one is a robot. Do the angels have original sin? No. But they are still able to sin.

The same goes for Adam and Eve in their original sinless state. They did not have sin in them until the fall, but they were still able to sin, and did sin. They still had free will.


#14

[quote=Shiann]Original sin is the LACKING of the perfect Graces which God bestows upon humanity. Therefore to keep Mary from Original Sin he would have to GIVE her those Graces. (Incidentally, the same Graces that Adam and Eve were given.)

Those Graces are defined better by the Catholic Encyclopedia at www.newadvent.org and there is extensive discussion about these Graces in the posts I provided above if you are interested in cited sources for my further comments…

That said, included in the Graces which come to those born without Original Sin, is the full dominion of reason over desire.
(It was this aspect which makes Adam and Eve’s decision to completely disobey- God so profound.)

We know that part of the result of the seperation of God or just the result of our free will, is concupiscence- the tendency to sin. All mankind has concupiscence. But Mary being FULL OF GRACE was given the additional tools necessary for her to be aware of the temptation, but have dominion over it.

She WILLED to fully participate in God’s Will.

Obviously, she had the free will to thumb her nose at God as Adam and Eve did. It was most IMPROBABLE that this was going to happen (it was as improbable with Adam and Eve too), but it was certainly possible.

An example would be of our dominion of reason over the desire to murder someone. Is it completely out of the realm of possibility that either of us could murder someone? No.

Obviously murder is completely IMPROBABLE for us, but possible nonetheless. We have free will, and a the dominion of reason over any desire that might creep into our heart to commit murder.

She could no more disobey God than I could murder my child.

[/quote]


#15

I appreciate all the responses…

But I fear we’ve gone full circle…

The oringal question raised was why we couldn’t we all be born free from OS or, in other words, born with the graces Mary recieved.

The answers given were because we have free will. It follows (at least for me) that Mary didn’t have free will (based on these answers alone). I struggle, if you can’t tell, with the so called “free will defense” being used.

There have been some great responses on Mary and her graces…but the oringal question remains…why not give all of us those graces?

If the answer resembles because He’s God or because of our “Free Will” I frear we’ll keep going 'round and 'round. If God could do it for Mary…he could do it for all… why didn’t He?


#16

[quote=Orion]why not give all of us those graces?

[/quote]

I would think because not all of us conceived by the Holy Spirit, and bore the Son of God into this world while we were virgins.


#17

I guess there was a misunderstanding then, beginning back with the poster who said that God didn’t create all of us sinless because He gave us free will.

That is not exactly what he meant to convey, I believe.

Perhaps this makes it clearer:

God COULD have created all of us sinless, not just Mary. He also COULD have completely forgiven Adam and Eve’s sin. He COULD have created Adam and Eve not only sinless, but incapable of sinning.

Etc., etc. etc.

He COULD have created humanity to live longer, be stronger, have two heads, and be pea green with orange polka dots, too.

Point is, once Adam and Eve sinned, then the ONLY way for all mankind to once again be capable of being in heaven (which, BTW, does not imply that we of ourselves EARN Heaven), by the removal of that stain of sin, was through a new Adam (Jesus, who united in His person the divine and the human nature for all time) and a new Eve (Mary, mother of Jesus, herself freed from sin RETROGRADEDLY by her Immaculate Conception, BECAUSE she was to be Mother of the Redeemer). God is unchanging, and He created male and female. The first pair sinned and brought death into the universe. The second pair CHOSE NOT TO SIN and brought us back into eternal life.


#18

Tantum ergo…

Fair enough on your response… I am familar with the theology.

My question is why is that the ONLY way? God is omnipotent… Limiting an omnipotent God seems inconsitent to me.

God could have forgiven A&E… that would have been pretty cool. Forgive them and teach them.

Side Note: If death entered the world thru A&E’s sin… what was the tree of life there for? Seems that they wouldn’t live forever unless they ate from the tree of life…which they didn’t. Death might not be the result of Sin.


#19

Additionally, in regards to the “why didn’t He create us all to be sinless”, I detect a note (deliberate or unconscious) of what I call the “entitlement” syndrome.

“I didn’t ask to be born. I didn’t ask to have this garbage. I’m a good person. If God is so loving, so perfect, etc., why did He “let” sin into the world in the first place? He could have kept it out. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about sin, or that I could go to hell. What kind of father is He, creating us, knowing that we’ll sin and go to hell?”

IOW, as a “human being”, I tend to automatically assume that I’m a pretty decent person. I don’t smoke, drink, lie, cheat, steal, etc. Or I don’t do it REGULARLY. Or I had a REASON for doing it. Or if I don’t think it’s lying, it isn’t. Or I was forced into it. . . get the point?

If we look at ourselves carefully, and let this goopy “self-esteem” garbage waft away, we’ll see that, uh-oh, we tend to be pretty foul creatures. We’re angry, hateful, covetous, lazy, hypocritical, foul-mouthed, deceitful, petty, vindictive, immoral, gluttinous, selfish. . .yes, we are. And we try to rationalize it, rename it, ignore it, deny it. . .because we don’t WANT to think that we aren’t “nice” and “deserving” of eternal life.

That’s the fruits of original sin–concupiscience, or a tendency to do what suits us, the easy way, the sinful way.

We should be asking not, “why didn’t God make us sinless”–putting ourselves ABOVE God by daring to think or imply that OUR way is BETTER THAN HIS!!!–but “why aren’t I making myself sinless”–by doing His will, being sorry for our sins, loving our fellow creatures, and actively doing the very hard work of trying to sin less AND to, if you will, “saint” more. IMO.

God made us, God redeemed us. . .now it’s time for us to do our share, being thankful for our redemption, sorry for our sins, recognizing that even if we strive to do everything perfectly it’s still only what we SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF DOING EVERY DAY.

Instead of moaning that God is a big ol’ meanie for not making us all holders of a “Get into Heaven free” card. . .or thinking that even if we were created sinless we’d be perfect. Adam and Eve would have a lot to say about that, now wouldn’t they?


#20

[quote=Tantum ergo]Additionally, in regards to the “why didn’t He create us all to be sinless”, I detect a note (deliberate or unconscious) of what I call the “entitlement” syndrome…

…We should be asking not, “why didn’t God make us sinless”–putting ourselves ABOVE God by daring to think or imply that OUR way is BETTER THAN HIS!!!–but “why aren’t I making myself sinless”–by doing His will, being sorry for our sins, loving our fellow creatures, and actively doing the very hard work of trying to sin less AND to, if you will, “saint” more. IMO.

God made us, God redeemed us. . .now it’s time for us to do our share, being thankful for our redemption, sorry for our sins, recognizing that even if we strive to do everything perfectly it’s still only what we SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF DOING EVERY DAY.

Instead of moaning that God is a big ol’ meanie for not making us all holders of a “Get into Heaven free” card. . .or thinking that even if we were created sinless we’d be perfect. Adam and Eve would have a lot to say about that, now wouldn’t they?
[/quote]

This post ROCKS. I especially like the following:

We should be asking not, “why didn’t God make us sinless”–putting ourselves ABOVE God by daring to think or imply that OUR way is BETTER THAN HIS!!!–but “why aren’t I making myself sinless”–by doing His will, being sorry for our sins, loving our fellow creatures, and actively doing the very hard work of trying to sin less AND to, if you will, “saint” more.

Mainly because this was the VERY thinking that got Adam and Eve in trouble in the first place.

And further…Adam and Eve were given these graces. They were for all intents and purposes, PERFECT. They had perfect reason-over-temptation and they were IN the presence of God. Even so, they still choose to determine their thoughts and their opinions were as important or more important than God’s. This disobedience shredded any relationship between them and God that would EVER be possible- seperating mankind from his God.

Why doesn’t it make sense for God to provide us with His gifts when we freely discern our want and need, and ask Him for them?

We know Mary was granted her purity and gifted her Graces directly from the sacrifice of Jesus. Mary was Full of Grace- but she still needed to accept her duties to bear the Son of God- which she obviously did. As Tantum Ergo so wonderfully stated, she was to be the new Eve in the plan to reunite Heaven and mankind; Jesus was obviously the new Adam.

Both these people had to be equipped to handle temptation and the extraordinary torture and emotional strain that they were to endure- God saw fit to give them Gifts to be more able to completely accept his assistance through these terrible tasks. Their duties were profound- they needed profound intervention.

I guess I would ask you a question in turn Orion, and others who feel the effects of the “entitlement syndrome” :wink: -

How do we know that God hasn’t sought fit to bestow these Graces (upon conception) on other individuals besides Mary?

For one thing, we are called to avoid examining the souls of our fellow man. That is a task assigned to God alone. Those who would seek to prove Fullness of Grace in an individual, and record it for all to know, would be treading on heretical ground.

And I do not believe that those who are Full of Grace, (even if they know it) go tooting their own horn because of it.

I submit to you that God DOES offer His Graces in different ways/amounts to different people based on His Will, and the knowledge He alone has to how those gifts will be utilized.

Orion, I do understand your question, and pray that you find enlightenment. I do advise you to read the entries in the Catholic Encyclopedia on these terms and follow the above threads. There have been others who have the same basic question that you have. “If one, why not all?” And there have been many knowledgeable posts answering many aspects of this question.

Though you have already spoken your desire to not hear just “Because”, sometimes that is what we must hear to let go and have Trust and Faith. As children, we faced this a lot with our parents. As we grew physically and emotionally we were given the opportunity to have more insight. I believe this is a perfect analogy to our spiritual growth and our Father/Child relationship with God. Sometimes “because” is all we are equipped to understand.


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