Sinless yet Unglorified


#1

The* ex cathedra* pronouncement of our Lady’s bodily Assumption into the glories of Heaven left it ambiguous as to whether or not Mary had died before her Assumption. It just says that she “finished the course of her earthly life…” If she did die and then afterwards ascended, this means she would have also ressurected, much like her Divine Son.

She was concieved Immaculately-- doesn’t that mean that she wouldn’t suffer the terrible effects of sin, death; even though she had not yet been glorified? So she, during her life, was neither in a sinful state or a glorified state during the course of her life. Is this correct? I know she wasn’t walking around in a glorified state.

Since Jesus did expirience death, He was neither ever in a sinful state, and, it was only after His death and then his ressurection that he was in a glorified state. This means, that during the course of both Jesus and Mary’s earthly lives, that, they were in a state that was neither sinful nor glorified (yet) in which they were sinless but were somehow succeptible the the mortal aspects of original sin, even though they were completely without sin.

How is this explained, and is there a term for this not-sinful-yet-not-glorified state?


#2

Put it this way - if my spouse or child commits some crime (say a parking violation) and gets a fine I can choose to pay it (accept the penalty) on their behalf.

Doesn’t mean in the slightest that I’m myself a criminal or in any state other than the most utter innocence.

Christ chose to take on the penalty of our sins in full - up to and including death. And he did all sorts of other things - His circumcision and baptism - which were not required of someone who was sinless and perfect as He was, but were, as He said ‘fitting to fulfil all righteousness’.

And in a sense we can all do the same for others - pray or fast on their behalf, or ourselves earn indulgences which remit the punishment of the souls in Purgatory.

Mary, being so much of one mind and one heart with her son, and His most faithful follower, possibly chose to die even if not strictly required of her. Just as she chose to be purified in the Temple despite being in no need of such purification.


#3

So any earthly suffering they expirienced in this life, they freely chose. But they still weren’t glorified until post-death (in Mary’s case, if she didn’t die, during her assumption or before) right?


#4

Jesus transfigured into His glorified form on Mount Tabor, remember … why would God EVER not be in His glorified state?

Remember what the Father said when Jesus asked Him to glorify His name - ‘I have glorified it and I will glorify it again’.

As for Mary, who knows. God will do as He will, and if He could save her from the moment of her conception and create her sinless, then could she not have been glorified already even if she had a normal human form?


#5

So their glorified forms were hidden, and they appeared as non-glorified humans would… until Jesus let Peter, James, and John take glimps of it on mount Tabor? And then later, after His ressurection, he apparently hid his glorified form from Mary Magdalene when she mistook Him for a gardener?


#6

Don’t know about Mary Magdalene - she may honestly have just not been able to see properly and not recognised Him regardless of what form.

Otherwise I’d guess along the lines of what you’ve said.


#7

Well, I just said that, because it seems if he was in his glorified, transfigured form, she would never have mistook him for a gardener, she would freaked-out, most likely. But maybe her sight was bad, you say?


#8

Metaron,

I think you were closer to being on the right track before when you said that Jesus did not possess a glorified body until the after the resurrection.

I think it would be improper to conceive of Him having a “hidden” glorified body. By definition a glorified body is non-passible (does not suffer), and Christ’s true body manifestly suffered.

What do you think?
VC


#9

So what happened at the Transfiguration then? What happened if not Jesus’ glorified body manifested to the Apostles? How then did this happen before the Resurrection if His body wasn’t yet glorified?


#10

Hi Lily,

Usually a distinction is made between Christ’s glorified body proper and one of the properties of a glorified body – namely brilliancy or clarity.

Aquinas, for instance, mentions (Summa III, 45, 2)how the clarity of Christ’s body at the transfiguration was miraculous, whereas the clarity of a glorified body is proper to it.

Impassibility is the primary property of a glorified body, and Christ’s body was still very much passible and mortal on the Mount of Transfiguration. However as Aquinas states on the Mount of Transfiguration “the clarity which was in Christ’s body [miraculously] was a representation of His body’s future [proper] clarity.”

Quite beautiful isn’t it!
VC


#11

With all respect to you and St Thomas, there’s nothing beautiful about being too clever by half, which this sort of reasoning is. Neither God nor Jesus are conjurors to be manufacturing illusions, even illusions of heavenly glory - rather God shows the reality to His chosen.

If Jesus appeared in glory, then it must have been His real glorified body and His proper clarity, not a hologram, mirage or borrowed finery. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is beyond such cheap stunts.

He didn’t pretend to heal the sick, raise the dead or walk on water and for someone who could do such things it was not beyond Him to actually appear in His proper heavenly glory. It would, however, be beneath Him to give the illusion of it without the reality.

There is absolutely no basis for the assumption that Jesus’ body at the Transfiguration was passible, nor that it’s clarity was borrowed rather than inherent. We only know what it was BEFORE and AFTER that time, but not during.


#12

Lily,

I’m surprised at your response. I didn’t think my post was highly controversial.

Perhaps I am not communicating very well.

No one thinks that Christ is a conjurer of cheap tricks or illusions. The Transfiguration wasn’t an illusion. It was a real miraculous event, where Christ’s body supernaturally and temporarily manifested a quality of glory which His body would soon have and which we will someday (hopefully) have.

Christ had a natural, real human body capable of suffering – from the moment of conception until his painful death on the cross. After His resurrection His body was immortal. Before His resurrection His body wasn’t immortal because he was going to die. If Christ could somehow hop in and out of mortality, that would seem more to me like his *mortality *was an illusion.

The Roman Catechism puts it this way, speaking of the qualities of glorified bodies in general:

The next quality is brightness, by which the bodies of the Saints shall shine like the sun, according to the words of our Lord recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew: The just shall shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. To remove the possibility of doubt on the subject, He exemplifies this in His Transfiguration.

The Roman Catechism only mention Christ exemplifying the quality of brightness during the Transfiguration, and not the other qualities of a glorified body (impassibility, agility, subtlety).

I sincerely hope that I haven’t said anything untoward or upsetting.:ouch: I know how much passion you have for Our Lord and His Church, Lily. I am not attacking doctrine. I too, like you, hope to only say that which is consistent with the mind of the Church.

What are your thoughts?
VC


#13

“manifesting a quality of glory which his body would soon have”. As in it didn’t already possess it at the time of the Transfiguration? Then it sounds suspiciously like the Transfiguration was indeed an illusion.

Christ had a natural, real human body capable of suffering – from the moment of conception until his painful death on the cross. After His resurrection His body was immortal. Before His resurrection His body wasn’t immortal because he was going to die. If Christ could somehow hop in and out of mortality, that would seem more to me like his *mortality *was an illusion.

Christ DID ‘hop into’ mortality by taking on human existence in the first place. He wasn’t always mortal. The Annunciation was an instance of such ‘hopping’. To manifest in His own proper heavenly glory at the Transfiguration wouldn’t mean His mortality wasn’t real, any more than any other of His miracles up to and including the Resurrection mean that He wasn’t really human. :shrug:


#14

I was a bit imprecise here, so I can understand why it came across oddly. What I should have wrote was: “manifesting ONE quality of glorified bodies, namely clarity (brightness).” This wasn’t a parlor trick Lily, it was Christ allowing His Divine Nature and His beatified soul to shine through his (passible) body. The point is that at the Transfiguration Christ did not suddenly have something for a few moments and then lose it. You are keenly aware of this fact when you point out that He always had his Divine Nature (which he showed at the Transfiguration). I agree: so it wasn’t like He all of a sudden had Divinity and lost it. But likewise He didn’t all of a sudden have a impassible body and lose it.

[quote=LilyM]Christ DID ‘hop into’ mortality by taking on human existence in the first place. He wasn’t always mortal. The Annunciation was an instance of such ‘hopping’. To manifest in His own proper heavenly glory at the Transfiguration wouldn’t mean His mortality wasn’t real, any more than any other of His miracles up to and including the Resurrection mean that He wasn’t really human. :shrug:
[/quote]

Lily, you are right, manifesting His heavenly glory doesn’t mean His mortality wasn’t real, but having a *glorified body *which is by nature immortal could wreck havoc with the doctrine of the Incarnation.

You are right that Christ in His Divine Nature wasn’t always (or ever!) mortal, but certainly Christ’s human nature was mortal, until it became immortal. It would seem that if one were to hold that at the Transfiguration Christ had a glorified body then one would have to then hold either a) Christ received a glorified body, then lost it, then got it back at the Resurrection, or b) Christ always had a glorified body and “hid” it from everyone, except during the Transfiguration. Neither seem like acceptable options to me, and that latter in particular teeters too close to Docetism for my liking!

Any thoughts?
VC


#15

To the best of my knowledge, the dogma of the Assumption did not proclaim that Mary did not die. It proclaims that she was assumed body and soul into heaven, but most priests and theologians I know, believe that Mary died. Some say that they do not know, but none say she did not.
Deacon Ed B


closed #16

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