Was Mary Tempted?


#1

This might be kind of a ridiculous question, but I’ve been holding onto it for a little while, and would like someone else’s opinion on the subject.

Does it seem likely that Mary was tempted directly by Satan? It seems like she would’ve been, considering she was the new Eve, and we can look back on everyone else who has been sinless;

-Adam and Eve, both tempted by Satan
-Jesus, tempted by Satan
-Mary?

What do you think? Any Church Fathers or saints have anything to say on the subject?


#2

Is it necessary to even concern oneself with this question?


#3

I suppose not, I was just curious.


#4

The Devil could not tempt Mary because she was born without original sin.
She was in the state of original justice and perfect grace.

It was impossible for Mary to sin. She was protected from the Devil.

She was the Immaculate Conception. This is basic Catholic Catechisis. I’m sad that many Catholics around the world have not been taught the faith.


#5

The Immaculate Conception means Mary was free from both original and personal sin. Temptation to sin is NOT actual sin, temptation just means the Devil tries to get someone to sin.

So to say someone is tempted to sin isn’t to say they actually sinned or aren’t still Immaculate (sinless) in their soul.

Remember Jesus was equally Immaculate, and he was very sorely tempted by Satan in the desert. Again, temptation to sin is a different thing to actually giving in and sinning, which is the one thing neither Jesus nor Mary did.

I wonder, SR, is English your first language? You seem to misundersand some very basic terminology in quite a few of the threads you post in, which leads me to suspect it isn’t.

For that matter Adam and Eve were born free from original sin as Mary was, and they were not only tempted but gave in to that temptation as well. :shrug: So yet again, being free of original and personal sin, as even Adam and Eve were before the fall, isn’t to say someone can’t be tempted.


#6

Adam and Eve did not have original sin. They still chose to sin. Likewise, Jesus did not have original sin, yet He was tempted, and was like us in all things except sin. Therefore, being free from original sin does not free one from temptation. This, too, is basic Catholic catechesis.

Mary had free will. She freely chose to be the Mother of Our Lord. She was not compelled to do it, and could have theoretically chosen not to. She was, however, preserved from sin and utterly enveloped by the grace that saved her by the merits of Her Son’s death and Resurrection.

Mary became the Model of All Christians in the same way that we are to become saints: that is, she avoided sin by utter reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit. Whether she ever had a “conversation with the devil”, as is recorded for Jesus and Eve, is not recorded in Scripture. Yet Adam apparently chose to sin only by seeing the glamour of the sin itself. Mary was obvioulsy sensible, and surely she knew that difficulties be hers by her “Fiat”. Knowing what was the Will of God, though, she did not seem to have ever considered any other course.


#7

That is true. It is not a sin to be tempted. I stand corrected.
We do not know if the Devil tempted her.

What I was trying to convey was that I don’t think the devil tried and more importantly is that Mary would never give into sin.


#8

Mary was human
Mary was the Immaculate Conception.
Humans are tempted.
Temptation dose not equal sin.
Temptation leads to sin.
Mary was tempted.
Mary did not sin, by the grace of God.


#9

I think this is one of those questions that we can only speculate on, carefully and within Church teaching. Mary was born without the stain of original sin. I think of it sorta like, unlike all of us where sin can look appealing and beneficial, Mary was able to see the error in sin. Now we know that Jesus was tempted, and well, Jesus is God. So, it makes sense that Mary would have her own temptations, but would recognize them as such and know to avoid sinning. My guess is that the best bet to find anything on her being tempted is through Mystics, approved Mystics. Other than that, only speculation.


#10

Once again, saint rafael, in your zest to chastise everyone about having “not been taught the faith” you fall into error yourself. Perhaps you should hold back a little before reproaching others and respect the fact that other people can be a source of wisdom, too.
:cool:


#11

Nic,

I think this seems like a very reasoned and well thought out answer. I especially liked the part about Mary being able to see the error in sin. While it’s certainly only speculation I can’t see how it hurts or contradicts anything in Church teaching.

ChadS


#12

It was a silly question and I misspoke when I said she could not be tempted, but I was right in what was my point, that Mary did not sin becuase she did not suffer the weakness of Original Sin. Mary by the grace of God did not sin.


#13

Thank you very much! :slight_smile: I guess all I’m saying is that I’m not in any position in the Church to make any definite statements on the issue, especially since this was my own understanding of the stain of original sin, based off of what I’ve read. I don’t want to sound definitive just in case my understanding is off base.


#14

I disagree. It was not a silly question to ask whether Mary, the Help and Model of Christians, ever faced temptation herself. Which of us has not found comfort in knowing that our Lord faced every temptation that we do, yet did not sin?

Mary did not suffer the same inborn enslavement to self that we do, but not because she lacked the option to choose that enslavement. Instead, she was, by her Immaculate Conception, granted the freedom to do the Will of God, a freedom that she accepted continuously, over her entire life. That is the very freedom that was won for us (and for Mary) by the death and Resurrection of Our Lord. By God’s Will, it is her role to help us to give our daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute “Fiat” to that freedom, too.


#15

I don’t think it’s known, but I’d imagine satan would have tried very hard to tempt Mary. He tried with Jesus, so why not Mary.

God Bless


#16

Yes, after Christ, the Miserable one’s assult on Mary was the greatest.


#17

The line “lead us not unto temptation” implies that while God doesn’t provide temptation, it is certainly within the power of God to preserve us from any temptation that doesn’t arise from our own will, or that we might respond to particularly poorly. The truth is the Mary might have been less preserved from temptation than we are because she was so utterly preserved from taking the devil’s lies at face value.

Mary was so surrounded by grace that she was not tempted in the same way that we are. If you think back to periods of grace in which previously attractive sins seemed disgusting–that is, when they are not surrounded by false glamour, but seem like what they are–then you know what I mean. OTOH, she may have been subjected to the torments of the Liar and Accuser ("…if you are the Son of God…") who tormented Her Son.

Like Jesus, Mary was subjected to the pains of her choice to follow the will of God. Her heart was pierced by a sword, as foretold. Although she rightly gave all glory to God in her Magnificat, in no way did Mary “get off easy”. She had to say an unequivocal “Yes!” to every grace God offered her in order to remain as He made her. As her Magnificat also says, it was her great joy to do so.

In any case, Jesus didn’t buy into the lies that we know he was subjected to. Mary would not have. We, who at heart want to decide good and evil for ourselves, sometimes do.

If we look at temptation in our own lives, and start weighing “pros” and “cons”, we are not being tempted differently than Jesus or Mary. We are responding to temptation differently than they did. That is our choice, too, and it is a big difference.


#18

Hmm yes, I’ve been thinking I would have to check with the Mystices to see what some of them would say about it.

I found this verse, which I think may be about Satan trying to tempt Mary, but being thwarted from doing so. Unless someone else has a better interpretation, I’m all ears to see what you think.

“And the serpent cast out of his mouth, after the woman, water, as it were a river: that he might cause her to be carried away by the river. And the earth helped the woman: and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” (Revelations 12:15-16)


#19

Someone once told me to be careful trying to figure out the Book of Revelations, as it can be somewhat cryptic. 9 times out of 10, the woman refers to Mary, at least, by my understanding, but the Church is also a woman, i.e. the Bride of Christ. But I think what’s interesting is why the serpent would attack the woman, since all she did was give birth. So, maybe the serpent is scared of the woman. Now if the Earth is saving the woman, then the Earth recognizes something about the woman and her importance. So, my personal interpretation, not based on anything other than my thoughts (so please no one jump on me for getting it wrong), is that the woman, either Our Lady or the Church, is something that the serpent does not want to exist, but that the Earth recognizes as being something worth protecting and treasuring. That’s my take.


#20

And thinking again, the Church and Mary are inseparable since Mary is the first tabernacle, through which Christ entered the world. Interesting fact is that St. Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church, which makes sense as he’s the husband of Mary.


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.