[quote="Sarah_Angel, post:1, topic:300191"]
Here is what I do understand about the Catholic teaching of Mary:
-She is Immaculately Conceived, born without original sin
-This is necessary so that she can give birth to the Messiah
-That also makes her the New Eve, Ark of the Covenant, etc
I ask this question because I was looking through a songbook that had the song, "Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All," and at the beginning of the second verse, it says, "Had I but Mary's sinless heart." And it made me think - if God can make us so that we can be sinless, and have the heart to choose only Him, why doesn't He?
I understand that Adam and Eve introduced the world to Original Sin, and that their rejection of God has brought the rest of humanity to reject God at least in some way, and that free will is better than being a robot programmed to do everything that God says.
But Mary wasn't a robot. She had free will too, didn't she? She could have said no to Gabriel when he said that she was going to be the mother of Jesus. What is it that she had that made her only choose for God, and why can't the rest of us have it?
Any insight and wisdom on this subject would be highly appreciated. I did a Google search asking this question first, but the only one I saw asking this question was on Yahoo Answers, and the responses made me angry. So having people who are actually, you know, Catholic and believe in this stuff is a treasure. :)
I see you quoted me in your signature line. How humbling for me. My answers had better be up to snuff. :wink: Although, others will have more and better insights, I'm sure.
Well actually, the question becomes: Why didn't God simply cleanse Adam and Eve of orginal sin or start all over again with a new pair of human beings?
The answer lies in God's unfathomable love and wisdom. God's love is such that he created our human parents with the ability to decide for all their descendants whether or not the human race would serve God or not. Adam and Eve were innocent until they defied God's law and chose to be wise in their own eyes, which is why we're all in the same boat.
God gave humanity ways to be reconciled to hiim, choosing various people to whom he revealed his laws/requirements. All this looked forward to the coming of Christ, God's own Son, who would fulfill all laws and requirements through his life, death, and resurrection.
Like all those who came before her Mary had a choice to make. What God did was apply the benefits of Christ's redemption to her before hand to give her the grace to accept his will, this created her in perfection because she was to be the Theotokos, the God bearer. All of us are redeemed through Christ, even Mary, so God didn't do for her what he cannot do for us. It's just that he applied his grace to her at her conception out of his love for us. Mary could have refused, but then we'd all be in the same boat again. If you like, God was hedging his bet, out of love for us. We must not think that Mary had no struggles or never had any difficulties in her life. It was not smooth sailing for her to flee into Egypt with Herod hot to kill her child, or see him disputed and dispised by the leaders of her own people or see him die on the cross. Those who are chosen for such special "duties" also bear many more sorrows than we do. Being conceived free of sin in a sinful world was a trial and a penance, not for her sins, but for ours.
As to why Mary remained sinless--would we want her to have sinned? Seriously, though, it was so she could be an example of how God can work his grace in us, and as a testimony to the fact that she indeed bore the Christ. One person who never committed a mortal sin in her life was St. Therese of Lisieux. She was not conceived without sin, but she is one of those persons who came as close to perfection as possible in this life. She's not the only one, but my point is that we ought to be wanting to be like such saints and Our Lady. Each of us has the ability to be saints if we only want it bad enough. Whether it be Mary or any of us, we need to cooperate with God in all things no matter how great or small the tasks he has set before us.