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Could Mary have sinned?


scardella

Could Mary have sinned?  

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Cam, is it possible that you've simplified it too much?

As for the argument about her not sinning, everyone here agrees that she was more free because she chose not to sin, i.e. she had more freedom (higher freedom, etc.) because she chose to align her free will with what is true, good, and beautiful, correct?

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[quote]It was her free giving of herself at her conception that is a witness to the fact that she could not have sinned. Why, because of her free giving of her will she told sin no, and yes to God at her conception....Totus Tuus.[/quote]

The way your argument tends to go is that she could not have rejected this grace in the beginning. But even once she had accepted, was she not still human in that she had to continue to do so?

You've quoted Ineffabilis Deus a few times, and I did read it. :) My question is could you elaborate on your point more and respond directly to the questions asked, just for clarification's sake? Thanx.

Edited by qfnol31
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[quote]We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

[Declaramus, pronuntiamus et definimus doctrinam quae tenet beatissimam Virginem Mariam in primo instanti suae conceptionis fuisse singulari Omnipotentis Dei gratia et privilegio, intuitu meritorum Christi Jesu Salvatoris humani generis, ab omni originalis culpae labe praeservatam immunem, esse a Deo revelatam, atque idcirco ab omnibus fidelibus firmiter constanterque credendam.] [/quote]

Where do you get the idea of Sanctifying grace in that phrase? He says it's a singular, but only goes so far to mention how it is concerned with the Immaculate Conception.

Also, would you mind describing how this view that Mary could have rejected that grace and dispelled it from herself is out of line with Catholic Teaching?

Thanx. :)

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[quote name='Era Might' date='Oct 29 2005, 09:50 AM']Ineffabilis Deus says nothing of the sort that Mary could not sin. It simply says she was born full of grace.

....

The Church has never spoken of an inability to sin on Our Lady's part. She has simply declared her fullness of grace from the moment of her conception, from which you have drawn out an erroneous personal opinion.
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Exactly. From reading Ineffabilis Deus, I get the message that Mary was, from the moment of her conception, preserved of sin and its effects. But nowhere does it say that she could not have sinned.


[quote name='Thumper' date='Oct 29 2005, 02:21 PM']Preserved from these defects?  Yes, she was preserved from the corrupt nature of original sin, but her free will remained intact.  Was her will much more “free” than yours or mine because of this preservation?  Absolutely.  But that doesn’t mean that she didn’t have to make choices, including choices about being obedient to God and cooperating with the plan of salvation. 

...

Cam, I’m not seeing anything in your quotes from Ineffabilis Deus that Mary made a choice, once and for all, at the moment of her conception to cooperate with God (even understanding that God works eternally).  God gave the gift.  Mary spent her life accepting it. 

I also don’t see anyone denying the INFALLIBLE dogma about the Immaculate Conception.  The Church has defined dogmatically and in an infallible manner that Mary was preserved from original sin.  That’s it.  Theological opinion on whether she could later have chosen to sin is not an abrogation the dogma, but is precisely that—theological opinion.
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Precisely. I am NOT denying that Mary was preserved free from sin at the moment of her conception. I am NOT denying that Mary was full of grace and that she never did sin. I'm not even denying (though I'm not sure I'm agreed, either) that Mary choose God at the moment of her conception.

I am saying as others have drawn out, that, unlike the angles, we live in time and our desicion is not once and for all -- it extends to all our life within time, all our life on earth.
I think my opinion is more in line with human free will, which is within time.

Regardless, my opinion does not contradict Ineffabilis Deus, and, until such time as your opinion becomes dogma, I am free to hold my opinion.

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[quote name='Ineffabilis Deus']They affirmed that the same Virgin is, and is deservedly, the first and especial work of God, escaping the fiery arrows the the evil one; that she is beautiful by nature and entirely free from all stain; that at her Immaculate Conception she came into the world all radiant like the dawn. [b]For it was certainly not fitting that this vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin. In fact, it was quite fitting that, as the Only-Begotten has a Father in heaven, whom the Seraphim extol as thrice holy, [u]so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness.[/u][/b][/quote]

If Mary could sin, then Mary would not be capable of being the Mother of God. Ineffabilis Deus states that very clearly. I have underlined it. In order for Mary to be capable of being the Mother of God, she could not have sinned.

In order to properly understand this, we must look at grace and the relationship Mary had to grace.

Since merely sufficient grace (gratia mere sufficiens) in its very concept contains the idea of a withholding of consent on the part of free will, and is therefore at the very outset destined to inefficiency (gratia inefficax), the question in its last analysis reduces itself to the relation between free will and efficacious grace (gratia efficax), which contains the very idea that by it and with it the free will does precisely that which this grace desires should be done. Mary has effacious grace.

Insofar as that is the case, grace was as much a characteristic of her person as me having blonde hair. Mary could no more sin, as I could not naturally change my hair color. That is the point being missed.

A Thomistic way of looking at this can be formulated this way:

From the idea that God is the primal cause (causa prima) and the prime mover (motor primus), it is concluded that every act and every movement of the thoroughly contingent secondary causes (causae secundae) or creatures must emanate from the first cause, and that by the application of their potentiality to the act. This is the case for all humans, except Mary, becuase the effacious grace in which she participated was not contingent. It was more than potential, it was part of her causal action, because of her Fiat.

So it remains true that grace is not efficacious because free will consents, but conversely the free will consents because grace efficaciously premoves it to the willing and performance of a good act.

The immunity from original sin was given to Mary by a singular exemption from a universal law through the same merits of Christ, by which other men are cleansed from sin by baptism. Mary needed the redeeming Saviour to obtain this exemption, and to be delivered from the universal necessity and debt (debitum) of being subject to original sin. The person of Mary, in consequence of her origin from Adam, should have been subject to sin, but, being the new Eve who was to be the mother of the new Adam, she was, by the eternal counsel of God and by the merits of Christ, withdrawn from the general law of original sin. Her redemption was the very masterpiece of Christ's redeeming wisdom. He is a greater redeemer who pays the debt that it may not be incurred than he who pays after it has fallen on the debtor.

The formal active essence of original sin was not removed from her soul, as it is removed from others by baptism; [b][u]it was excluded,[/u][/b] it never was in her soul. [b][i][u]Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin.[/i][/u] The state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all depraved emotions, passions, and debilities, essentially pertaining to original sin, were excluded.[/b] But she was not made exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam -- from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death.

[quote name='Theodotus of Ancyra' date=' Orat. in S. Dei Genitr.']{Mary is} a virgin innocent, without spot, void of culpability, holy in body and in soul, a lily springing among thorns, untaught the ills of Eve nor was there any communion in her of light with darkness, and, when not yet born, she was consecrated to God.[/quote]

[quote name='Jacob of Sarug']"the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary; if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary".[/quote]

It seems, however, that Jacob of Sarug, if he had any clear idea of the doctrine of sin, held that Mary was perfectly pure from original sin ("the sentence against Adam and Eve") at the Annunciation.

The axiom of Pseudo-Anselmus (Eadmer) developed by Duns Scotus, Decuit, potuit, ergo fecit, it was becoming that the Mother of the Redeemer should have been free from the power of sin and from the first moment of her existence; God could give her this privilege, therefore He gave it to her. Scotus says that [b]"the perfect Mediator must, in some one case, [u]have done the work of mediation most perfectly,[/u] which would not be unless there was some one person at least, in whose regard the wrath of God was anticipated and not merely appeased."[/b]

Mary's purity had to be absolute. There could be no view other than this, because as Jacob of Sarug postulates,

[quote]"if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary".[/quote]

The term conception does not mean the active or generative conception by her parents. Her body was formed in the womb of the mother, and the father had the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of her parents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply (conceptio seminis carnis, inchoata), which, according to the order of nature, precedes the infusion of the rational soul. The person is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into the body. Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul.

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You have proven to me that she didn't sin, but I'm not quite convinced that she could not have made the choice to sin.

(Note: I have never held she sinned, for I know better)

Edited by qfnol31
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Cam, no one here denies that she was conceived without original sin.

However, being conceived without original sin does not mean that one cannot freely choose to sin later.

In her case, however, she did not sin, and so it is quite the moot point.

None of your quotes say that she couldn't sin, they all simply say that she didn't sin and that she was conceived without sin. She still had the ability to sin and you haven't disproved that.

God, seeing her fidelity from all eternity, chose her perhaps because He knew that she would never choose to sin and for that reason granted her the Immaculate Conception, but that doesn't mean that she was incapable of it.

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[quote name='qfnol31' date='Oct 29 2005, 08:00 PM']You have proven to me that she didn't sin, but I'm not quite convinced that she could not have made the choice to sin.

(Note:  I have never held she sinned, for I know better)
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[quote name='Jacob of Sarug']"the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary; if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary".[/quote]

If Mary could sin, God would have selected another. Because grace is a characteristic of Mary, she can do nothing but not sin. To choose to sin would be contradictory to the characteristic which makes her who she is, the Mother of God.

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[quote name='Raphael' date='Oct 29 2005, 08:04 PM']Cam, no one here denies that she was conceived without original sin.

However, being conceived without original sin does not mean that one cannot freely choose to sin later.

In her case, however, she did not sin, and so it is quite the moot point.

None of your quotes say that she couldn't sin, they all simply say that she didn't sin and that she was conceived without sin.  She still had the ability to sin and you haven't disproved that.

God, seeing her fidelity from all eternity, chose her perhaps because He knew that she would never choose to sin and for that reason granted her the Immaculate Conception, but that doesn't mean that she was incapable of it.
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If Mary could have sinned, would she have been full of grace?

Ding, Ding, Ding.....you just made the move.....do you see it? Look at your last paragraph. Apply that to what I have been saying all along. And you will see that you are in complete agreement with what I have been saying all along.

The board asked one question then proceeded to try and prove another. Could Mary sin? No. That is what was asked. You just answered that the same way that I have been. However, was she capable of sin? THAT is a totally different question. And the answer to that is different. Yes, she was capable of sin, but chose not to, every single time.

God knew that she could not sin, PRECISELY because her character would not allow it. Effacious grace. However, "being capable" is a different conversation than "could she" sin.

Could Mary sin? No. It would have been against her character. Was she capable? Yes, insofar as she was a human, however her choices would always lead to the good, so she would not sin.

So, in a round about way, she could not sin, because her free will would not let her sin.

See your move? I held the same line all the way through. Incidentally, Al was closest to answering this when he was going on about the Greek. He almost had it....all he had to do was continue to work from the Wikipedia website and he would have had it.

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wow... just wow.

and nevermind, I'm just glad we got the argument settled that we all agreed on anyway. good job cam on 'holding the line'... cudos...you win the debate

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[quote name='Aloysius' date='Oct 29 2005, 08:36 PM']wow... just wow.

and nevermind, I'm just glad we got the argument settled that we all agreed on anyway.  good job cam on 'holding the line'... cudos...you win the debate
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:thumbsup: Although it wasn't about winning. It was about being consistent, and being orthodox.

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