Was the Virgin Mary really perfect?


#1

I have been studying for a while now, (I’m new to the faith) and I cant find anywhere in the Bible where it says that Mary was perfect. Why does the Church teach it, and where do they get their reasoning for that belief. I’ve heard people say its because Jesus was perfect which kinda makes sense, but why did it have to be that way? God has infinite power, couldnt it be simply be that Jesus was perfect and that’s that? Why does the Virgin Mary have to be perfect? I’m not saying I’m ruling it out or anything, I’m just trying to understand why the Church believes it. Also, where do they get that she was assumed into heaven? Do you have to believe all this to be a member of the Catholic Church? Thank you in advance for you answers.

                                  God bless.

#2

Unfortunately, you do have to believe in the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary if you want to be a Catholic. These two doctrines were each pronounced ex cathedra,or, more simply, infallible.

The two doctrines have been passed down to the Church, through the Magisterium. These two doctrines were also only defined infallibly because they were beginning to be questioned by the differing Protestant denominations. I will post the scriptural basis behind each of these doctrines. But in the mean time, take a look at this link from the Catholic Answers website.

catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

If you are having doubts after reading this link, I recommend that you pick up the Cathecism of the Catholic Church, or contact your priest. These two doctrines are important and required for belief as a Catholic. Take care.

Dominus vobiscum


#3

Part of the difficulty is that Catholics are not “bible only”. We recognize that sacred oral tradition handed down from the apostles is as authoritative as the written word.

In answer to your questions, these are very common questions, and many things have been written already which I will not repeat here, but will give you references:

catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0301fea3.asp

catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp


#4

Hello,

The Virgin Mary was sinless. She was preserved from the stain of Original Sin and she did not commit any personal sins during her life. That’s perfection. To not sin is to not do anything contrary to God’s will - in word, thought, deed, failure to do, etc. Furthermore, her will was in uniformity with God’s. We know this by virtue of her fiat. Take all this together, and we see that she was as perfect as a human can be.


#5

It’s not only a Church teaching that Mary remained sinless but it is quite fitting when understanding her role. In the Old Testament we find that the ark of the covenant carried the **written **Word of God and had to be lined with gold inside and out and to be carried a certain way. In fact Uzza (sp?) was killed for just touching this most sacred vessel. Likewise, in the New Testament we find Mary carrying the living Word of God. We regard her as the most sacred vessel given to us as she bore the Son of God.To have a box which carried the written Word of God remain unstained is a prophetic understanding that the human who would carry the **living **Word of God should even more so remain unstained. To put our Lord Jesus Christ in anything less would render Him less than the two stone tablets. I think that you can see the point.

Yes, Catholics must believe in the assumption of Mary. If you don’t can you tell me in which city she is buried? Until this recent media hype which is rediculous and unfounded, no one can. Jesus took His mother body and soul to heaven. The same Church that acknowledged the Scripture you search acknowledged this occurrence…

One last thing. Great questions. I was where you are not that long ago. Keep asking. I did and I keep growing in my faith daily…God Bless :slight_smile:


#6

**Unfortunately??:hmmm: **Perhaps you didn’t really mean that…:wink:


#7

Where in Catholic teaching does it say that the Blessed Virgin was perfect? I’ve read a lot about her and I have yet to see anything that says she was perfect.

She may have responded to grace and by that remained sinless, but there’s a big difference between that and the perfection that is God.

That perfection was His own nature. Mary’s sinlessness was a response to God’s grace. Big difference…
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.


#8

What a perfect response…:thumbsup:


#9

Just to clear things up, I didnt mean “perfect”, I meant to say sinless. Sorry about that!! But just to let you all know, I really appreciate all of you guys’ insight and the different references you’ve given me. Its nice to ask a question about a certain belief and not have everybody talk down to you and treat you like your stupid like some other faiths do. Every question I have asked here has been answered with love and understanding. Thank you ALL so much!!! Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest!!!:slight_smile:


#10

As you note, the Catholic teaching is that Mary was without sin. If we define human perfection as being without sin (very reasonable, IMO), then yes, Mary was perfect.

As to why God would choose to use a perfect human woman, the answer seems clear when we understand what Jesus did in the Incarnation. He united, fully and perfectly, divine nature and human nature. Just as the source of Christ’s divine nature is perfect, so it was fitting for this union that the source of Christ’s human nature should also be perfect.


#11

She is God’s perfect creation in every way, all you have to do is put two and two together. God incarnate was flesh of her flesh, and blood of her blood. So what does that tell you, her flesh and her blood gave life to the Son of God who was perfect in every way, because He is GOD.
If that doesn’t make sense to anyone who can put two and two together and get four, then there is no more I can say.


#12

What did the angel say?

“Hail Mary full of grace”.

Grace is the opposite of sin and to be full of grace is to be with out sin.

Also, there are references to Mary and the Arc of the Covenant. This goes off into a much more in depth explanation but suffice it to say that the Arc of the Covenant was made of the purest fo things to carry the word of God (the ten commandments).

You have heard it said that Jesus is the living Word and this is true. Mary was that Arc that God in man form lived inside of for months being nurtured by Mary. If you know anything about procreation you know the baby and the mother share blood. Point is that this is the most intimate relationship.

God was very protective of the word of the old testament so how much more protective would God be with Mary who would be the arc for Jesus?

Mary full of grace is without sin and as the arc she is protected from all evil.

God Bless and Peace,

Jack

PS - You will learn much on this from Scott Hahn and Father John Corapi.

Here is a quick three minute video that explains some as well:
youtube.com/watch?v=Uycq1Aqbu_4


#13

I’d start with the Protoevangelium. You’ll find it in Genesis 3:15. It talks about the “seed of the woman” striking Satan’s head. Since the earliest times of the Church, its been taught that this represents Mary, not Eve. All of Eve’s children were the seed of Adam’s, not Eve’s. Only Jesus is the seed of a woman.

Once you recognize that Mary is the New Eve, all of the rest of the Marian Doctrines simply fall into place. Everything falls into place!!! You’ll find that Justin Martyr and Ireneaus were teaching this in the 2nd century.


#14

kecharitomene

**charito **

The root word is charitoo [caritow], which means “to grace, favor.” On this much, it seems, all agree. All the common English translations of the word therefore, regardless of whether the translators are Catholic or Protestant, use some form of “grace” or “favor” in them.

**ke **

The prefix on charitoo is ke, signifying that the word is in the perfect tense. This indicates a present state which is the result of a completed past action. The action which brought about the state in which Mary is, in other words, was completed before Gabriel’s greeting. Gabriel is viewing the finished results.

This tense seems difficult to render in English, especially with one word, as Gabriel uses. The translator does not only want to indicate that the past action is complete, but also that there is a continuing state as a result. Allowing for more than one word, an example of the tense in English might be “you are certified to teach.” “Are” indicates a present state, “certified” shows that the state is the result of a completed past action.

**mene **

The suffix on charitoo, mene, makes this a passive participle. “Passive” means that the action is performed on the subject, in this case Mary, by another agent. The verb is “grace” and the implied subject is Mary. The passive usage means that “someone graced Mary,” rather than “Mary graced.” Most theologians would probably accept the assumption that the implied “someone” is God. “Participle,” in this case, means that the word has properties of both a verb and a noun. This makes sense in light of what has already been said about direct address. A direct address is a noun or pronoun, but “to grace” is a verb. Kecharitomene has verb and noun properties.


#15

Ukdal,

Keep asking and you will unpack the most beautiful faith. When taken in context, there is no Scripture that we must dodge, no Church teaching that we must withdraw and everything falls into place. It gets really exciting to continually grow in God and to “see” His revelation unfold from Adam to Christ. Remember one thing. For every New Testament fulfillment there was Old Testament prophecy. Put the two parts of the equation together and there is the answer.

Anyway, God bless you and keep up the questions. Jesus spoke in questions! It’s the only way to learn…In Christ…teachccd:)


#16

Actually, I would like to know the difference between perfect and immaculate. Can she be without sin, and yet not be perfect? Her knowledge would certainly be human, partial, and imperfect. Historically, she wouldn’t know about quantum physics, and she could make a mistake in mathematics, and still be immaculate. Is this correct?

Maybe this line of thought would help Protestants understand that we don’t worship Mary.

Ut


#17

There must be an object of perfection. A person can be perfect in a math equation and bomb spelling. In this light, Mary was perfect in her response to God’s grace by remaining sinless while she could have shown imperfection in other areas of her life like making a math error.

As far as Protestants are concerned, we never did, don’t and will never worship Mary as she is not God. Remember that Adam and Eve were sinless until they chose to sin and they were not God. Mary, however, chose to remain sinless. Same nature as Adam and Eve only different choices.


#18

Scripture tells us that the parents of JohnB, Zach and Elizabeth were rightous before God. John B was a prophet of God and was filled with the holy spirit since the day of conception. John B says he was unfit to even untie the laces of Jesus Sandals.

If the parents of John B were righteous before God, how much more the Mother of the ManGod?

In Christ!


#19

how did you determine that John the Baptist was filled with the HS since conception? And if he was, then how is his spritual state any different than Mary’s?


#20

I don’t think since conception. Certainly at the moment of his leaping in the womb in acknowledgement of Jesus, perhaps since Elizabeth as well was filled with the Holy Spirit at that moment. That in itself would make John the Baptist different from Mary.

Now Jesus did say there was none greater than John the Baptist - whether this meant he was sinless through life as Mary was, who knows, although it could do.


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