Mary's Consignment to Disobedience

Hi!

Romans 11:32 states

For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.

I think we all agree God had mercy on the Virgin Mary. Therefore He also must have consigned her to disobedience - that is, He regarded her as a sinner in order that He might have mercy on her. It was not her righteousness that saved her but that of Christ. So it does not matter whether she actually sinned. God regarded her as if she had, so that He could have mercy on her, for without the consignment to disobedience, God could not have had mercy on her - even as great a mercy as an immaculate conception or a personal sinlessness. By this argument such things are irrelevant.

Whatcha think?

-Tina “Neither Immaculately Conceived nor Sinless, Believe Me” G

I am currently reading the book Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths by Dave Armstrong, a seasoned scriptural apologist. Here is a quote:

-The Bible teaches us that we are saved by God’s grace;
-The Bible teaches that we need God’s grace to live a holy life, above sin;
-To be “full of” God’s grace, then is to be saved;
-Therefore, Mary is saved;
-To be “full of” God’s grace, is also to be so holy that one is sinless;
-Therefore, Mary is holy and sinless;
-The essence of the Immaculate Conception is sinlessness;
-Therefore, the Immaculate Conception, in its essence, is directly deduced from strong evidence of many biblical passages, which teach the doctrines of the two premises.

End quote.

Tina,

Were Adam and Eve created without sin?

Could it not be said that it would be more merciful to save a person from falling into a pit, rather than waiting for them to fall in and then saving them?

Has this not been covered on these fora ad nausiam yet?

God, who is Truth Itself, could not regard Mary has having sinned, because the truth is that she never did. Nor was she ever for a single instant under the dominion of Satan, because she was preserved from the stain of original sin from the moment of her conception, as a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ.

It matters very much whether Mary sinned or not (and she did not), because the Mother of God could not have the least shadow or blemish. In order to fulfill her mission as the Mother of God, she had to have the highest perfection of virtue. She could not have attained this with sin, because sin diminishes our capacity for virtue.

Besides all of which, it obviously mattered to God whether or not Mary would sin, since He gave her the singular grace and privilege to be absolutely free of sin, both original and personal. If it did not matter, He would not have done so.

First thought: I think this is what is called hyperbolic speech. Romans has another more famous example: “all have sinned” (meaning committed a sinful act)

This is hyperbolic speech because children below the age of reason cannot sin, those with deficient mental faculties (low iq) cannot sin. Jesus is true man in all ways but did not sin. So then it becomes obvious that, since the Bible is inerrant, that this literary form must be ‘exagerated speech’ (a modern example of hyperbolic speech is, “you do that again and I’ll kill ya!”)

You might get a bigger picture by having a peek at some other translations of scripture. You say that Romans 11:32 states…" For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all."

I don’t know what version of the bible you’re using Tina, but the King James Version is congruent with the Doay Rheims Version on this verse :

**DRV **:[31] So these also now have not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy. [32] For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all.

KJV : For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

The Douay rheims adds this footnote concerning “Concluded all in unbelief” :

You might get a bigger picture by having a peek at some other translations of scripture. You say that Romans 11:32 states…" For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all."

I don’t know what version of the bible you’re using Tina, but the King James Version is congruent with the Douay Rheims Version on this verse :

**DRV **:[31] So these also now have not believed, for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy. [32] For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all.

KJV : For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

The Douay Rheims adds this footnote concerning “Concluded all in unbelief” :

**[32] “Concluded all in unbelief”… He hath found all nations, both Jews and Gentiles, in unbelief and sin; not by his causing, but by the abuse of their own free will; so that their calling and election is purely owing to his mercy. *

I believe "concluded in unbelief" expresses it better because one of the definitions of “consign” can be : “To turn over permanently to another’s charge or to a lasting condition; commit irrevocably” …can be read here.

If “consign” was the only word available, I would concurr solely with beehumble’s mention of hyperbolic speech. But, I suspect , in this case, that additionally the version of the bible you’re working from, has provided you with a mediocre translation of that particular passage which leaves it much wider open to ambiguity.

I do agree with you that God had mercy on our Blessed Mother ; otherwise, how could she say, “…and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour…” [Luke 1:46-48] , but by a singular privilege, she was preserved from all stain of sin, in other words, God saved her at the moment of her passive conception.

I know you don’t mean that in this sense, but maybe for reflection : If God indeed decided to preserve his sweet Mother from all sin, it would appear to matter to Him.

By grace through faith, yes

-The Bible teaches that we need God’s grace to live a holy life, above sin;

yes

-To be “full of” God’s grace, then is to be saved;

Sorry I don’t see a logical connection here

-Therefore, Mary is saved;

She was full of grace at one instance that we know of. We don’t know how long that lasted either before or after the proclamation In Luke by the angel.

-To be “full of” God’s grace, is also to be so holy that one is sinless;

:confused:. Not necessarily. Peter managed to be full of grace and be called Satan the next minute in Matthew 16, for example.

-Therefore, Mary is holy and sinless;

How does this follow?

-The essence of the Immaculate Conception is sinlessness;

:confused:

-Therefore, the Immaculate Conception, in its essence, is directly deduced from strong evidence of many biblical passages, which teach the doctrines of the two premises.

What two premises?

The whole idea of the immaculate conception is predicated on Augustine’s concept of original sin, which is rejected by the Orthodox, for example. I don’t see it in Scripture but it seems to be a good working model - but not so strong as to advance an idea such as the IC, which to my mind is ahistorical, simply irrelevant and totally unnecessary.

-Tina “Neither Seasoned nor Well Done” G

Well for starters they were not created. God made Adam out of the dust and made Eve out of Adam’s rib. But they were made without sin.

-Tina “Nit-Picky but also I smell a trap” G

I think we can agree on the coverage. But I am not sure that is relevant to the current discussion anyway.:slight_smile:

-Tina “Agreeable at Times” G

I’m sorry, but there is a whole mass of assumptions here that I do not go along with. I don’t see the background for just about all of what you are saying.

-Tina “Well I tried:shrug:” G

Sorry but I don’t see any hyperbolic speech. Either someone is justified by faith or she is not. Little children, such as Jeremiah and John the Baptist, believed early on. Having had children, I know they were little sinners from day one. “All” means “all”. I don’t see any special covenant for Mary outside of the covenant for the rest of mankind. In order to save Mary, God declared her to be a sinner (whether she sinned or not is not the question). She was forensically, legally, condemned with the rest of mankind (womankind, if you will:D), in order God could have mercy on her. No condemnation, no mercy. No mercy, no salvation. That is how I see the opening passage. All Israel was condemned, and Mary was part of Israel. No special exception. No get out of jail free card. Nothing except salvation by grace through faith, just like the rest of us. Except that she did a Mighty Fine Job of It.

-Tina “Not Doing Such a Mighty Fine Job of It” G

Hi,

Actually I looked at the Greek.

If God indeed decided…But what I am saying is that Paul would say that before she was filled with grace, she had to have been condemned as a sinner. Even if she was not one. She was part of Israel (and yes there is a remnant). All of Israel slogged through the wilderness for 40 years, righteous Joshua and the bulk of balking bozos, all together, all punished as a group.

-Tina “Hurrah for Forensic Justification” G

(* “…righteous Joshua and the bulk of balking bozos…” , LOL)

That makes some sense to me in a couple of ways :

  1. In the first sense, conversely. St. Alphonsus Liguori said in his book **The Glories of Mary ** , that God “…wanted Mary to be like Jesus in every way.” So we know that, on the Cross, Jesus had been condemned as a blasphemer.

  2. In the normal workings of divine law, your point makes perfect sense - St. Thomas Aquinas said mercy does not deny justice, mercy presupposes justice.

But the whole gyst of the Immaculate Conception is being set apart, preserved, (“saved” if you like) from what all the bulk of us balking bozos inherit, essentially.

Father John Hardon, S.J. keeps the definition short ,sweet and clear in his Modern Catholic Dicitonary . Here’s the most pertinent first half :

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. Title of the Blessed Virgin as sinless from her first moment of existence. In the words of Pope Pius IX’s solemn definition, made in 1854, “The most holy Virgin Mary was, in the first moment of her conception, by a unique gift of grace and privilege of almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin.” This means that since the first moment of her human existence the mother of Jesus was preserved from the common defect of estrangement from God, which humanity in general inherits through the sin of Adam. Her freedom from sin was an unmerited gift of God or special grace, and an exception to the law, or privilege, which no other created person has received.”

It suggests to me that we have to think even further outside the box on this one. It isn’t so much something we as Catholics are required to try and prove. But as dogma, the Church proposes Mary’s Immaculate Conception as worthy of our belief, so as individuals, we try to give our “assent of faith.”

In your original post, you begin by saying ,

[quote=TinaG] I think we all agree God had mercy on the Virgin Mary.
[/quote]

I think we agree . However, none of us are aware of the full magnitude of that statement… simply because we are speaking of God’s Mercy - which isn’t something a created mind is able to grasp in its entirety.

I refer to , our Blessed Lord Jesus’ words to St. Faustina as recorded in her diary :

“My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.”

So we all agree that God used His greatest asset - His Mercy, when He contemplated Mary . However, we don’t know (and never will) just how great that asset actually is. Neither can we presume exactly how he would have poured out this asset while making His own Mother… As Father John Corapi said : " Now, if you were able to make your own mother, wouldn’t you do a great job of it ?"

Eve and Adam were created without sin, yet they brought original sin into the world. Mary was conceived without sin, however she assisted God in the reordering of humanity through the birth of the Saviour.

As Mary is a daughter of Adam and Eve, I guess this works.

So it does not matter whether she actually sinned.

Now you lost me. If she was preserved form original sin, how could she even have sinned?

God regarded her as if she had, so that He could have mercy on her, for without the consignment to disobedience, God could not have had mercy on her - even as great a mercy as an immaculate conception or a personal sinlessness. By this argument such things are irrelevant.

I guess this works too.

Whatcha think?

I think you are getting close to getting off the fence. If you need a little more convincing, study the Chruch’s moral teachings. No other institution or belief system has the moral clarity of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Best wishes.

Was Jesus fully man? Would that not mean that according to Paul, He was a sinner?

Catholics don’t argue that Mary wasn’t saved by her own righteousness, anymore than we argue that ANYONE is saved by their own righteousness. But God clearly had special plans for Mary (let’s face it: He MARRIED her) from before she was even born (see Genesis 3). Mary was full of grace, which means she was without sin, since sin and grace are incompatible.

Yes.
But Zooey (who has Traveled This Same Mental Path) now understands that what Non-Catholic Christians call “saved” is the same thing as what Catholics call “in the state of grace”. (Yes, yes, I know, but have a little patience. She’s working at this).

See my:) translation from Catholic to non-Catholic, above.

She was full of grace at one instance that we know of. We don’t know how long that lasted either before or after the proclamation In Luke by the angel.

You said you looked at the Greek. Greek I don’t know; I only got as far as Latin, BUT–the word used for full of grace in re: Mary is NOT the same word as anybody else.
The word used for her means something like: “So full to overflowing that it’s a wonder she didn’t go off to Heaven right there & then”.
The word for the rest of us poor…What was it? Oh! Yes! The rest of the ;)“bulk of balking bozos” that makes up the rest of the human race is more like, “some have a teaspoon; some a tablespoon; and if you have half a cup, you’re in somebody’s calendar of saints”.

:confused:. Not necessarily. Peter managed to be full of grace and be called Satan the next minute in Matthew 16, for example.

He wasn’t full though. He’s full now, because he’s in Heaven. Just like when I found a mouse in my kitchen in the middle of the night, I yelled :eek:“The Bad Word” for the second time this month. [size=2]([size=1]The ‘word’ for what you step in at the north end of a southbound horse[/size]). [/size]
[size=2]I’m not sure if being:o rude to rodents counts as a sin, but [/size]you see what I mean? This is the way we all are. Except that Mary, in consequence of Who she was to give birth to, got there earlier.

The whole idea of the immaculate conception is predicated on Augustine’s concept of original sin, which is rejected by the Orthodox, for example. I don’t see it in Scripture but it seems to be a good working model - but not so strong as to advance an idea such as the IC, which to my mind is ahistorical, simply irrelevant and totally unnecessary.
-Tina “Neither Seasoned nor Well Done” G

Would it help to think of it, temporarily at least, as being set apart for a singular purpose :thumbsup:THE singular purpose] & therefore divinely equipped for the job?

(It would probably help if we could get some of our Eastern brethren in on this, but I think that they believe in “ancestral sin” which I don’t understand the difference, but its apparently there:shrug:).
I think that maybe having grown up around Holiness folks, I have a mental model for “completely holy”. There is a standard we are to aim for, and Mary hit the nail directly on the head. (Whereas I didn’t even manage to hit a mouse on the head, while I was yelling at him).

Somebody please jump in here & tell me I am making some small modicum of sense here…:blush:

Why does this “argument” make “such things” irrelevant?

Chuck

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.