Hi guys I’m a Catholic who is very devout and loves to obey the Church. I firmly believe in all the doctrine such as the real presence of Jesus and the Immaculate conception. The other day a question came in my mind between the two. If Jesus had to make his mom (Mary) sinless so that he could dwell inside her womb, then why do we eat the real body and blood of Christ when we ourselves aren’t sinless and are infected with original sin? This question doesn’t really hurt my faith but Im just wondering if someone could explain.
Baptism washes away original sin, which is why it is always the first sacrament one receives. Remember, that receiving the Eucharist while not in a state of grace (mortal sin on our soul), is actually detrimental to our souls.
But us as Humans can’t ever avoid some minor sins and the stain of it. Could this mean also that Mary didn’t have to be entirely sinless to have Jesus inside of her.
Yes but as Humans we can’t ever avoid all sin (minor sins) and the stain of it. So then could’t it also be that Mary didn’t have to be entirely sinless to bear the Son of God?
Yes. It was not necessary for Mary to be immaculate to bear the Son of God. It was, however, fitting that it be so, and so God made it so.
Also, remember that Christ, while himself cannot sin, entered into wounded, sinful human history. He continues to do that in the Eucharist so that we may be forgiven and healed. And in fact, properly disposed, we are healed of sin in the Eucharist – so long as we are not in the state of mortal sin, which is contrary to God’s love.
The Virgin Mary is sometimes compared to the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament which was used to carry a number of holy objects, including the two stone tablets that were inscribed with the words of God, the Ten Commandments. For the purpose of merely carrying those things, any old vessel could have been used, even an old manure bucket. However, because they were special objects it was altogether fitting that they should be carried in a special vessel, a new box made from virgin acacia wood and covered inside and out with pure gold. In a similar way, any woman could have served as Jesus’ mother, even an old prostitute. However, because Jesus is special, because he is the Word of God incarnate, it was altogether fitting that he should be carried by a special woman, by the immaculately-conceived and sinless Virgin Mary.
Similarly, the Eucharist is fittingly reserved to the baptized who have no unconfessed mortal sins
No, we cannot avoid sins, so we go to the sacrament of confession and repent the best we can. We can receive Eucharist with venial sins on our conscience, but not mortal sins.
1 Corinthians 11 indicates that anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup unworthily is in big trouble (the person is guilty and worthy of damnation).
1 Cor 3 also shows that we cannot come to God unworthily.
John 20 shows us the sacrament of confession where sins are remitted.
When you put these scriptures together, along with baptism, you can pretty much get to the Catholic understanding on receiving Eucharist without mortal sin.
I know we can’t receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. I was just confused because I thought only Jesus can dwell inside of a COMPLETELY sinless womb. And since we have venial sins I got more confused because we receive the true body and blood.
I like this answer. Thank you. I did know about the Ark of the Covenant.
Great question. As others have said, this is why one should be free of sins when accepting the Eucharist. It hangs together.
The doctrine of the immaculate conception:
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135
492 The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137
So Mary was preserved from inheriting the stain of original sin that we all inherit and that Baptism washes away. Hence the reason baptism is the first sacrament administered. Additionally Mary is believed to have been upheld by special graces throughout her life that kept her free from sin so that she could bear Jesus.
We as practicing Catholics are truly very far in stature and grace from even the level of the most unknown Saint, but are still called by the revelation of Jesus to frequent the sacraments and place our trust in Him, and in His mercy. Which is why it is important to do our very best to go to confession, and remain in a state of grace so that we may be properly disposed to receive communion.
To fully answer you question - baptism removes the stain of original sin in each one of us. We just tend to sin again, and again - receiving absolution erases the stain of these new sins on our soul, making us pure and blameless to receive communion.
[quote=revelations]Additionally Mary is believed to have been upheld by special graces throughout her life that kept her free from sin so that she could bear Jesus.
The Virgin Mary was SO DEFINED by the fact that she was FULL OF GRACE, that the Archangel Gabriel does not refer to her as Mary, but rather her Heavenly name “FULL OF GRACE”. This is one of the reasons it is SO TRAGIC that modern Bibles have abandoned that name and title for the Virgin Mary (like the NAB)
But regarding the Eucharist, we see Jesus, always so Meek and Humble, as he ate and drank with sinners and publicans then, invites us as well to His table!
The belief isn’t just based on a requirement that her womb had to be pure. The belief is that Mary was “full of grace” from the moment of her conception, as implied by the words of the angel’s greeting (if we unpack the Greek word kecharitomene, which “full of grace” doesn’t do complete justice to), filled with the Holy Spirit, in union with God in the way of men and women at the time of their baptism.