My sister had a question


#1

I wasn’t able to give a good answer to this. My little sister asked me “If it isn’t bad to me intimate when you’re married, then how come Christ had to be born of a virgin?”

It’s a good question. God created procreation, so why did he not want Christ to be conceived that way?


#2

[quote=Stylus]I wasn’t able to give a good answer to this. My little sister asked me “If it isn’t bad to me intimate when you’re married, then how come Christ had to be born of a virgin?”

It’s a good question. God created procreation, so why did he not want Christ to be conceived that way?
[/quote]

Because Christ is both God and Man. If both His parents were mere humans, that couldn’t be, now could it?


#3

Because God was the Father.

If Joseph was Jesus’ father, then Jesus would have been just a man. On the other hand, without a human mother, Jesus would have been ‘just’ God. But by having a Divine Father and a human mother, He was both completely man and completely God. On the other hand, if Mary wasn’t a virgin, then that would, in a certain sense, make Mary and adulteress. That’s no good either.

Also, we have to realize that chastity is an objectively higher calling than marriage and procreation. Even St. Paul tells us that if we can get ourselves to remain chaste, to do it, but that if we can’t handle it, to marry instead. When one is chaste, they can devote themselves more completely to God. When one is married, they must also devote themselves to their spouse and family. Christ wanted the best for His mother, one who was able to be most completely devoted to God.


#4

[quote=Stylus]I wasn’t able to give a good answer to this. My little sister asked me “If it isn’t bad to me intimate when you’re married, then how come Christ had to be born of a virgin?”

It’s a good question. God created procreation, so why did he not want Christ to be conceived that way?
[/quote]

Just to add to Vern’s good reply, there is nothing wrong with the marital embrace, but some people give up being a parent in order dedicate their lives entirely to God. St. Joseph was willing to do this to care for the Virgin Mary and Jesus, the Son of God, completely, so he gave up the privilege of being a parent in order to serve God with his entire life.


#5

[quote=Della]Just to add to Vern’s good reply, there is nothing wrong with the marital embrace, but some people give up being a parent in order dedicate their lives entirely to God. St. Joseph was willing to do this to care for the Virgin Mary and Jesus, the Son of God, completely, so he gave up the privilege of being a parent in order to serve God with his entire life.
[/quote]

Well, he gave up the privilege of fathering his own children by living a celibate life with Mary, but he willingly and lovingly took up the privilege of being a parent to Jesus.


#6

My little sister asked me “If it isn’t bad to me intimate when you’re married, then how come Christ had to be born of a virgin?”

A simple answer is that it proved that God was Jesus’s father. If she was either married, or not a virgin, at the time the Holy spirit conceived Jesus in her womb, people could have argued about His parentage. (Not that they don’t, anyway.)

How old is your little sister? Does she understand about original sin and concupiscence? Mary was immaculately conceived so that she would not have either of those to pass on to Jesus. Thus Jesus didn’t have to be born of just any girl who was a virgin, but specifically of Mary.

HTH - -


#7

[quote=Stylus]I wasn’t able to give a good answer to this. My little sister asked me “If it isn’t bad to me intimate when you’re married, then how come Christ had to be born of a virgin?”

It’s a good question. God created procreation, so why did he not want Christ to be conceived that way?
[/quote]

Marriage is good, but virginity for the kingdom of heaven is better.


#8

Here are a few things from the catechism:

503 Mary’s virginity manifests God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. “He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures.”

505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. “How can this be?” Participation in the divine life arises **“not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”. ** The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit’s gift to man. The spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God is fulfilled perfectly in Mary’s virginal motherhood

506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith “unadulterated by any doubt”, and of her undivided gift of herself to God’s will. 168 It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Saviour: “Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.”


#9

[quote=lifeisbeautiful]Marriage is good, but virginity for the kingdom of heaven is better.
[/quote]

It is my understanding that one vocation is not “better” than another. God calls us each to different things, but we are all equal in His eyes. Those called to religious life are not “better” than anyone else. They are doing God’s work, and they should be respected and praised for that, but so should a married couple that is raising little souls in the Catholic faith.

Also, some posters seem to use chastity and abstinence interchangably. Married couples are not called to practice abstinence, but they certainly still practice chastity!

God bless.


#10

[quote=ElizabethAnne]It is my understanding that one vocation is not “better” than another. God calls us each to different things, but we are all equal in His eyes. Those called to religious life are not “better” than anyone else. They are doing God’s work, and they should be respected and praised for that, but so should a married couple that is raising little souls in the Catholic faith.

Also, some posters seem to use chastity and abstinence interchangably. Married couples are not called to practice abstinence, but they certainly still practice chastity!

God bless.
[/quote]

Actually it is the teaching of the Church that a celibate life is objectively a higer calling than marriage. It is in teh documents of one of the councils, but I forget which. It is also in 1 Corinthians 7.


#11

[quote=ElizabethAnne]It is my understanding that one vocation is not “better” than another. God calls us each to different things, but we are all equal in His eyes. Those called to religious life are not “better” than anyone else. They are doing God’s work, and they should be respected and praised for that, but so should a married couple that is raising little souls in the Catholic faith.

Also, some posters seem to use chastity and abstinence interchangably. Married couples are not called to practice abstinence, but they certainly still practice chastity!

God bless.
[/quote]

This explains it pretty good:

SACRA VIRGINITAS

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON CONSECRATED VIRGINITY
24. It is first and foremost for the foregoing reasons that, according to the teaching of the Church, holy virginity surpasses marriage in excellence. Our Divine Redeemer had already given it to His disciples as a counsel for a more perfect life.[44] St. Paul, after having said that the father who gives his daughter in marriage “does well,” adds immediately “and he that gives her not, does better.”[45] Several times in the course of his comparison between marriage and virginity the Apostle reveals his mind, and especially in these words: “for I would that all men were even as myself. . . But I say to the unmarried and to widows: it is good for them if they so continue, even as I.”[46] **Virginity is preferable to marriage then, as We have said, above all else because it has a higher aim:[47] that is to say, it is a very efficacious means for devoting oneself wholly to the service of God, while the heart of married persons will remain more or less “divided.”[48] **

to read the whole thing you can go to the vatican website:
Vatican- Sacra Virginitas


#12

The Catechism says, 1620:
“Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity and his will. Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:
Whoever denigrades marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good.”

If they are “inseparable” and “reinforce each other” how is one an objectively higher calling than the other?

If religious life were the “higher calling,” why are there any married saints? Wouldn’t God call all the holiest people to the better vocation? Why would holy people bother getting married if it was understood by all as a lesser vocation?

Also, I haven’t really brought up the call to the single life. It is akin to a religious vocation in some ways, and I believe it has been overlooked by many as a very challenging vocation as well.


#13

[quote=ElizabethAnne]The Catechism says, 1620:
“Both the sacrament of Matrimony and virginity for the Kingdom of God come from the Lord himself. It is he who gives them meaning and grants them the grace which is indispensable for living them out in conformity and his will. Esteem of virginity for the sake of the kingdom and the Christian understanding of marriage are inseparable, and they reinforce each other:
Whoever denigrades marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better than what is admitted to be good.”

If they are “inseparable” and “reinforce each other” how is one an objectively higher calling than the other?

If religious life were the “higher calling,” why are there any married saints? Wouldn’t God call all the holiest people to the better vocation? Why would holy people bother getting married if it was understood by all as a lesser vocation?

Also, I haven’t really brought up the call to the single life. It is akin to a religious vocation in some ways, and I believe it has been overlooked by many as a very challenging vocation as well.
[/quote]

Read This point in the Catechism carefully, this is not incompatible with what is being said.
I have a few things I have to do now, but I can further explain later if you wish.


#14

[quote=lifeisbeautiful]Read This point in the Catechism carefully, this is not incompatible with what is being said.
I have a few things I have to do now, but I can further explain later if you wish.
[/quote]

I would very much appreciate further explanation. I know I have seen this topic addressed elsewhere and have seen people on both sides. Honestly, hearing that the call to religious life is “better” makes me wonder why anyone would even bother getting married. If virginity is better, wouldn’t that also mean that we should minimize sex in our married vocations? In fact, it seems to point to the fact that physical intimacy is somehow unclean and unholy. Hasn’t the Church established that this is not the case?

Also, perhaps we should start another thread as this is quite off topic at this point?


#15

…that’s funny. :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=Stylus]I wasn’t able to give a good answer to this. My little sister asked me “If it isn’t bad to me intimate when you’re married, then how come Christ had to be born of a virgin?”

It’s a good question. God created procreation, so why did he not want Christ to be conceived that way?
[/quote]

You also should remember that Mary is the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark is “untouchable”. There is poetry here. It really is quite beautiful.


#17

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