Why was the Immaculate Conception necessary?


#1

Accidently posted this question a second time under the title “Why was the Immaculate Conception necessary?


#2

I asked this to the Ask an Apologist forum, but it looks like they didn’t answer since about twenty other questions have been posted since then :slight_smile:

I was reading an apologetic explanation of why the Immaculate Conception was necessary that said Mary’s body needed to be protected from the taint of sin because that was the only way the Holy Spirit would be able to conceive Christ in her womb without causing the Holiness of Christ’s presence within her to kill her body, just like the Levite preists would be killed if they entered the Holy of Holies unworthily.

However, Christ’s holiness obviously did not cause others who had physical contact with him to die. Exactly the opposite! Was it the Spirit’s presence within Mary’s womb when Jesus was conceived that necessitated Mary’s purity?


#3

Would you mind posting that “apologetic explanation” in its entirety, or giving a link? Just who is the apologist, what is the context, etc.?

Thank you.


#4

It’s my understanding that it wasn’t necessary, but was fitting.


#5

Kill her body? Then why don’t we all die when we receive Communion?


#6

Any answer to any question that says “God had to…” fails to take into account the omnipotence of the Divine being.

God can do anything without regard to frail human concepts like “logic” and “paradox.”


#7

It’s a god story…a supernatural story…of course on the face of it, it is surely not worth deep analysis…because as people mentioned - if god existed, and was truly omniscient, and omnipotent then well…let us just say that it renders everything to be quite dubious. It’s not unlike any of the other “miracle stories” in biblical texts. God spoke to Moses through a burning bush?..has anyone actually really thought about how “human” this is…to really understand religion…the miracles, traditions etc… you have to have an open mind.


#8

[quote=LouisvilleCards] Says:
Interests:
beer drinking and theology Religion:
Lutheran attending Baptist church, but likes Catholicism

[/quote]

Is that your Truth Serim?

What is it that you Like? Exactly?


#9

It wasn’t. See Jimmy Akin’s response to a caller Aug. 7, 2003 for more.


#10

[quote=LouisvilleCards]I was reading an apologetic explanation of why the Immaculate Conception was necessary that said Mary’s body needed to be protected from the taint of sin because that was the only way the Holy Spirit would be able to conceive Christ in her womb without causing the Holiness of Christ’s presence within her to kill her body, just like the Levite preists would be killed if they entered the Holy of Holies unworthily.

However, Christ’s holiness obviously did not cause others who had physical contact with him to die. Exactly the opposite! Was it the Spirit’s presence within Mary’s womb when Jesus was conceived that necessitated Mary’s purity?
[/quote]

As Tantum Ergo said, it is difficult to figure out what the original apologist had in mind without seeing the actual argument. No offense, but much is often lost along the grape vine.

However, if I were to guess, the actual argument probably went something like this:

“In the Old Testament we see that the Levitical priests had to be made ritually clean or purified before they performed their priestly duties in the Holy of Holies. Everything that was use in the Sanctuary had to be specially consecrated for that purpose. In order to be priests they had to be specially consecrated (Ex 29:1-9). This was because nothing profane could come into contact with the Divine. So important was this absence of purity that those who wittingly or unwittingly profaned the Holy of Holies was destroyed (Lev 10:1-2). In the same way God prepared the Virgin Mary to contain in her womb the most Holy of Holies, the Word. Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant (Rev 11:19; 12:1); she is the new “meeting tent” where the human and the divine met in a perfect and mysterious way in the person of Jesus Christ. So just like the meeting tent and the sanctuary of the Old Testament and everything that was related to them, Mary was specially consecrated for this purpose. This consecration is her Immaculate Conception.”

Notice first that the emphasis in this explanation is not on Mary, but on Our Blessed Lord. Second, this explains the Immaculate Conception in relation to the economy of salvation. It demonstrates that the Immaculate Conception is the result of God’s consistency between the Old and the New Covenants. Third, the death of Aaron’s sons are mentioned to highlight the importance of keeping God’s sanctuary undefiled, not to imply that Mary would have physically died if she had not been immaculately conceived.

An aside: While it is obvious from Mass everyday that physical death without immaculate conception does not result from contact with the divine, the warning of the death of Aaron’s sons is still an important lesson for us. While receiving Holy Communion while being conscious of grave sin may not result in immediate physical death (though we should keep in mind that Saint Paul indicates that such does lead to physical illness and death[1 Cor 11:30]), it does definitely cause immediate spiritual death. Spiritual death is much more serious than physical death.

Finally, the Immaculate Conception was not necessary for the simple reason that the Incarnation and our Redemption were not necessary.


#11

[quote=LouisvilleCards]I…because that was the only way the Holy Spirit would be able to conceive Christ in her womb without causing the Holiness of Christ’s presence within her to kill her body, just like the Levite preists would be killed if they entered the Holy of Holies unworthily.

However, Christ’s holiness obviously did not cause others who had physical contact with him to die. Exactly the opposite! Was it the Spirit’s presence within Mary’s womb when Jesus was conceived that necessitated Mary’s purity?
[/quote]

So, His Mother JUST had physical contact???
Could you explain that my physical contact with you is the same thing as your Mother’s creating you in her womb and you being the carrier of her genes, flesh, blood and developing from her egg and digested nourishment?
Thanks.


#12

I think Théodred
gave it concisely and complete as well.
All in the OT is but the shadow of the NT.
That which was hidden in the NT is revealed in the NT through His Church and Her Scriptures which are part of Divine Tradition given to Her by Her Spouse.


#13

However, Christ’s holiness obviously did not cause others who had physical contact with him to die. Exactly the opposite! Was it the Spirit’s presence within Mary’s womb when Jesus was conceived that necessitated Mary’s purity?

Mary’s eventual conception of Christ in her womb was not only dealing with Christ for her purity but with the Trinity.

Since Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, it is rightly so that she would be pure. The Holy Spirit cannot enter into a soul which is a habitation of sin. In her case, she is to be the Mother of God born in the flesh.

The Immaculate Conception is important because it shows the divine action of the Holy Trinity in her and in the Church. Mary is the fulfillment of certain prophecies in the OT. Have you ever read the Song of Songs for example? It says: “You are beautiful my beloved, and there is no blemish in you.” The IC is just as Scriptural as any other revealed truth.

Pio


#14

Mary did not NEED to be conceived in the state of grace. But it was certainly proper and fitting that she who would bear the Savior of the world should never, even for an instant, be subject to sin. The Fathers believed that Mary was the Second Eve, Jesus being the Second Adam. Adam, helped by Eve, earned us damnation; Jesus, helped by Mary, earned us salvation.

Verbum


#15

[quote=Verbum] The Fathers believed that Mary was the Second Eve, Jesus being the Second Adam. Adam, helped by Eve, earned us damnation; Jesus, helped by Mary, earned us salvation.

Verbum
[/quote]

Well said, Verbum. One might remind our viewers that the first Eve came to be without any sin or fallen nature.

Or, one might ask if the questioner was God, designing His own mother-to-be…“How long of a time would be appropriate for her to be in Satan’s grasp?”

You might have never allowed it at all, but that’s just one perspective.

Evidently, there are other design engineers who think differently.

Go figger.

Peace in Christ…Salmon


#16

Perhaps in the beginning the Father did not want the future mother-to-be of His divine Son to be stained by any impurity, hence Mary was born without sin, blameless, spotless, in order to be a worthy vessel of the Redeemer. Because the Son is absolutely holy, His mother must likewise be holy, until the end of her life.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#17

The Immaculate Conception is a doctrine that points to Jesus being God, rather than a dogma that is related to Mary alone. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is a dogma that shows how Scripture was fulfilled.

From the beginning God prophesied that the Saviour would come to crush the influence of Satan and sin. This prophesy is known as the Protoevangelium and is to be found in the following passage:

“I will make you enemies of each other;
you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel.” (Gen 3:15)

The Woman here is not Eve, but the one who is to bear the Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ. The translation that I have used here, the Jerusalem Bible states “I will make you enemies of each other”. Other translations use the word enmity. The meaning I believe is stronger when it is written as “enemies”. If the Woman is an enemy of Satan, then she will not be tempted to give into Satan’s temptations.

However, let us move on to other Scriptures that needed to be fulfilled:

"He brought me back to the outer east gate of the sanctuary. It was shut. Yahweh said to me, “This gate will be kept shut. No one will open it or go through it since Yahweh the God of Israel has been through it. And so it must be kept shut. The prince himself however may sit there to take his meal in the presence of Yahweh. He is to enter and leave through the porch of the gate.”
(Ezekiel 44: 1-3)

The description in Ezekiel of the Temple is that those who touch the holy things must remain holy. There is an instruction that the liturgical vestments had to be left in the holy place because these vestments were holy.

How does this apply to the Mother of our Lord? As a Christian I believe that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary and was made Man. I believe that Jesus is both Divine and Human. Since Jesus is Divine then He is the Holiest of the holies and since He is God, He could never enter into anything that has been defiled by sin. This brings me back to the Protoevangelium and the promise that the Woman and Satan would be enemies of each other. Since the Woman was to bear the Son of God, then the Woman needed to be pure. It is because Mary was chosen to be the Woman that she was given special favours by God. The fact that she was favoured by God is supported by the following from Luke’s Gospel:

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, “rejoice so highly favoured” (in other translations “Hail, full of Grace) the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:26-29)

The words, regardless of translation suggest that this virgin is something special. She is “highly favoured by God” to have such favour, I believe means that she was blessed with Grace by God, and that it is more accurate to say “full of Grace”, which is a title given by God to Mary. The angel has announced to Mary that her son, will be great and referred to as the “Son of the Most High” and that the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, thus fulfilling the prophecy given to David, and also the prophecy of Isaiah:

“Wide is his dominion in a peace that has no end, for the throne of David and for his royal power, which he establishes and makes secure in justice and integrity…” (Isaiah 9:7)

“A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots; on him the spirit of Yahweh rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh.” (Isaiah 11:1-2)

If we, as Christians believe that Jesus is the Christ, then we need to also believe what has been fulfilled in the Scriptures, including the fact that the Woman who was promised is Mary and that as the one who was to be the enemy of Satan, there was no stain of original sin upon her soul, because of the favours granted to her from God.

MaggieOH


#18

[quote=hlgomez]The Holy Spirit cannot enter into a soul which is a habitation of sin.
[/quote]

This seems to be inconsistant with my understanding of Catholic theology on the following points:

[list]
*]God is omnipotent. Your statement says that He is not.
*]We are all sinners, yet the Holy Spirit indwells us, which seems to go counter to your statement.
[/list]


#19

[quote=RobedWithLight]Perhaps in the beginning the Father did not want the future mother-to-be of His divine Son to be stained by any impurity, hence Mary was born without sin, blameless, spotless, in order to be a worthy vessel of the Redeemer. Because the Son is absolutely holy, His mother must likewise be holy, until the end of her life.

Gerry :slight_smile:
[/quote]

If Mary was born without original sin why did she die? We know Jesus died for us as a sacrafice but what about Mary? Mary was born from the womb of her mother Ann and thus inherited original sin like all of us. Scripture says that All have sinned and Mary is part of All. :confused:


#20

[quote=SPOKENWORD]Scripture says that All have sinned and Mary is part of All. :confused:
[/quote]

Once again you demonstrate that you don’t know your Scriptures very well.

The Greek word used here for “all” is pas, and it can be shown from Scripture that it does not mean each and and every single person without exception.

Matt 3:5-6 At that time Jerusalem, all pas] Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him int he Jordan River…

Each and every single person, without exception, from Judea were going out to him to be baptized? What about the Pharisees and Scribes that the bible tells us that did not go out and be baptized by John? Are you saying that Matthew’s Gospel is telling a lie? :confused:

Rom 15:14 I myself am convinced about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all pas] knowledge…

So the Roman Christians were filled with each and every single bit of knowledge? Why, then, did Saint Paul bother to write them? Wouldn’t they already have known everything? :confused:

1 Cor 15:22 For just as in Adam all pas] die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life.

Is Saint Paul really saying that each and every single person has died in Adam? Apparently you would have Saint Paul contradict Gen 5:24: Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him. And apparently you would have Saint Paul also contradict Heb 11:5: By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death… Apparently you would also have Saint Paul contradict 2 Kings 2:11 where Elijah was taken up in the whirlwind and did not experience death. Are you suggesting that Saint Paul was ignorant of Enoch and Elijah? :confused:

And obviously you would have to hold based on this passage that everyone will be saved. No? :confused:

Each and every single person without exception has sinned? So Jesus Christ sinned? :confused:

Spoken, really, your so-called biblical arguments against Catholic doctrine are juvenile.


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