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Could Mary have sinned?


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Could Mary have sinned?  

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41 minutes ago, Nihil Obstat said:

@dUSt, can we get a phishy tag for Kevin here for essentially calling Marian teaching, and especially Marian teachings from Trent, Calvinist?

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As he so conveniently pointed out for us, "let him be anathema."

I dunno it if would warrant a Phishy, but is the poster even Catholic? I think you have to first prove that what both of you are advocating is established Catholic teaching, before you can tag someone for objecting to it as Calvinistic.

I don't think you will find any Catechism that states that Mary was impeccable.

45 minutes ago, Kevin said:

I actually agree with you, and in fact, I find the notion that Mary was impeccable in the sense that it was impossible for her to sin (and unlike Christ because it was outside of his nature to sin, but rather by Calvinist irresistable grace that forced her to act according to God's will even on this earth) which no matter what kind of sophistry these fellows roll out means she had no free will in any meaningful sense. But it is hard to get around Trent: "If any one say that man once justified can during his whole life avoid all sins, even venial ones, as the Church holds that the Blessed Virgin did by special privilege of God, let him be anathema." It really does seem that the Mary was essentially a puppet.

The church defines that Mary was born free of original sin. Trent does not define that Mary was impeccable. That is what we have all been debating here.

And for the record - I do not believe that free will implies an ability to sin. It implies an ability to sin only if that freedom "has has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God". The question we are debating is whether Mary's free-will was bound as such.

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14 minutes ago, Peace said:

I dunno it if would warrant a Phishy, but is the poster even Catholic? I think you have to first prove that what both of you are advocating is established Catholic teaching, before you can tag someone for objecting to it as Calvinistic.

I am a Catholic.

14 minutes ago, Peace said:

Trent defines that Mary was born free of original sin. It does not define that Mary was impeccable. That is what we have all been debating here.

What I am saying is that Canon 23, its seems we can infer: "The Blessed Virgin could during her whole life avoid all sins did by special privilege of God." This strongly implies to me that Mary was incapable of sin, according to Trent, whether or not this means she possessed free will (and I in fact do believe that if as a created being Mary was unable to sin it means she had no free will, but I'll put that aside for now).

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Why did the devil tempt Jesus in the desert? Was it not really temptation, just a chat?  What was it is the point of the story?

 

it seems more logical that Mary could have said no, but didn't.   She operated with free will to chose her action.  Else she was just a puppet.  

Or

God can chose to create creatures without the ability to sin and the whole fall thing is some kind sick game with most people going to hell. 

Or

its a Mystery...

Edited by Anomaly
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Mary was (is) fully human. All human beings are given the gift of free will. Mary had free will. Just because God knew her choice doesn't mean He forced her to choose that. How many people in this world have a special calling they have chosen not to follow? Mary however said yes to her vocation.

I believe Mary had a choice to sin and chose not to. It makes her that much more admirable in my eyes. She understood what sin was but her very nature kept her mind constantly fixed on God. Everything was for God, she had not a selfish or prideful bone in her body.

15 minutes ago, Anomaly said:

Why did the devil tempt Jesus in the desert? Was it not really temptation, just a chat?  What was it is the point of the story?

 

it seems more logical that Mary could have said no, but didn't.   She operated with free will to chose her action.  Else she was just a puppet.  

Or

God can chose to create creatures without the ability to sin and the whole fall thing is some kind sick game with most people going to hell. 

Or

its a Mystery...

Jesus is fully man just as He is fully God. Of course the Devil would be foolish enough to try and turn God's own Son against Him. I think a lot of what Jesus did in the Gospel was model the right behavior for us to follow. God allowed Satan to perturb Jesus so Jesus could show us what to do in the face of temptation. Just as He showed us the holiness of a life of humility and service.

This is the blessing and curse of free will-to freely love God and pursue a relationship with Him brings Him much joy, and us much happiness, but then God also allows us the choice to ignore Him, which brings Him much pain and sorrow. But He would rather suffer than have us be forced to love Him (which wouldn't be love at all).

Edited by HisChildForever
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1 hour ago, Kevin said:

What I am saying is that Canon 23, its seems we can infer: "The Blessed Virgin could during her whole life avoid all sins did by special privilege of God." This strongly implies to me that Mary was incapable of sin, according to Trent, whether or not this means she possessed free will (and I in fact do believe that if as a created being Mary was unable to sin it means she had no free will, but I'll put that aside for now).

You don't actually need to respond to that, I think I've figured out how it doesn't necessarily imply impeccability. I'm out of this thread, it's not worth the stress.

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9 hours ago, Anomaly said:

Why did the devil tempt Jesus in the desert? Was it not really temptation, just a chat?  What was it is the point of the story?

The key words here is that the Devil, an external force, tempted Christ. Christ temptation was external, outside of himself he had no sin or inclination to sin within him, where as our temptations are internal of our flesh or minds. The point is the the Devil temptation of Christ was a trial to try or test Christ.

9 hours ago, Anomaly said:

 

it seems more logical that Mary could have said no, but didn't.   She operated with free will to chose her action.  Else she was just a puppet.  

She did operate with free will in choosing to give birth to Christ, she freely choose to say yes.

9 hours ago, Anomaly said:

God can chose to create creatures without the ability to sin and the whole fall thing is some kind sick game with most people going to hell. 

This whole time you're position has sounded envious and no more so than now.  People choose by their actions where they will spend eternity.  If it were not for Christ and Mary we would all be headed for hell. Even when God goes out of his way to save us the world will be ungrateful and hate him still.

9 hours ago, Anomaly said:

its a Mystery...

Yes that too.

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11 hours ago, Anomaly said:

it seems more logical that Mary could have said no, but didn't.   She operated with free will to chose her action.  Else she was just a puppet.  

 

 

 

i

I agree.  Only after asking for a clarification from the Angel, did she assent to God's Divine Will.  She could have declined the offer.

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19 hours ago, Kevin said:

"You respond to us with nothing but arrogance and bitterness"

You made a belittling comment when another poster made a comment: "Donny, you are out of your element" like you were in your element and, as I said, had an elevated understand of the issue.

Then you said:

 

Agreed

im no expert but I know we are all human with frailties and faults

even Mary

the fact that she overcame sin is meracuious 

to suggest anything else diminishes her virtue

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On 12/21/2015, 8:17:10, Peace said:

[snip]

LOL. Mediatrix of ALL graces? I feel another 36 page thread getting started . . .

It's entirely accurate to question the Medatrix, but we cannot question the fact that she is the "Reparatrix of the first parents."  That is dogma.  In other words, Mary made reparation for the sin of Eve.

Also, Ineffabilis Deus states the following,

They [The Church Fathers] 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. 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, so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness.

[snip]

They have frequently addressed the Mother of God as immaculate, as immaculate in every respect; innocent, and verily most innocent; spotless, and entirely spotless; holy and removed from every stain of sin; all pure, all stainless, the very model of purity and innocence; more beautiful than beauty, more lovely than loveliness; more holy than holiness, singularly holy and most pure in soul and body; the one who surpassed all integrity and virginity; the only one who has become the dwelling place of all the graces of the most Holy Spirit. God alone excepted, Mary is more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim.

In other words, Mary could not sin, because if she did, she would not embody all that the definition of the Immaculate Conception holds to be true.

The Council of Trent says about Mary, "If anyone assert that man, after his is once justified, is able to avoid throughout his lifetime all, even venial sin, except by a special divine privilege, as the Church holds with regard to the Blessed Virgin, let him be anathema."

Mary was incapable of committing mortal sin for the reason that God had put absolute and permanent enmity between her and the devil, which is incompatible with and a fortiori with mortal sin.  She could not even commit venial sin, even though it doesn't destroy the friendship with God, it involves a positive moral defect which we cannot attribute to the Blessed Virgin without running counter to the traditional concept of her absolute sinlessness.

St. Augustine goes so far as to say, "We must except the Blessed Virgin, concerning who I would like to raise no question, when it touches the subject of sin, out of honor for the Lord."

In other words, God gave her the gift of perfect perseverance against mortal sin and confirmation against venial sin.  Marry that with her concupiscence and those graces can be regarded as the proximate cause of Mary's not being capable of sin.

So again, I restate my conclusion; Mary could not sin.

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On 10/29/2005, 9:56:45, Cam42 said:

Because Mary was excluded from original sin (B), she was destined to be the Mother of God (A). Mary could not change her view ( C ), because she was excluded from original sin (B). Because she could not change her view ( C ), she was destined to be the Mother of God (A).

There it is in syllogistic view.

If B's are A's
and C's are B's
then C's are A's.

Does that help? If not, let me try this.

Mary was excluded from original sin. Because she participated in this, she could not sin, because she could do nothing other than good. To do other than good would lose the grace that was given to her at her conception. The grace given to her at her conception was efficacious. It allowed her to choose good every single time.

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 participated completely and totally in gratia efficax. Humans who were born with original sin participate in gratia mere sufficiens, which leads to gratia inefficax. Mary did not participate in that. She participtated in gratia efficax. Because she was excluded from original sin from her conception. This is what we strive for and this is why she is called the new Eve and the prototypical Christian.

This should help.  I posted it in October 2005.

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On 12/21/2015 9:17:10, Peace said:

I know that you cannot read my mind Cam. That is why I indicated that I will restate the objections when time permits.

I read the post above. Thanks.

LOL. Mediatrix of ALL graces? I feel another 36 page thread getting started . . .

Actually yes its not wrong to think of Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces. It was even taught in the catechism I attend with the FSSP. Its orthodox :) if the Church is the Body, Our Lady is like the 'neck'. 

On 12/21/2015 12:31:45, Cam42 said:

The Council of Trent has defined that 'after a justification a man cannot avoid, during the whole course of his life, every venial sin, without a special privilege such as the Church recognizes was conferred on the Blessed Virgin'. The soul in the state of grace can therefore avoid any venial sin considered separately, but cannot avoid all venial sins taken together by keeping itself always free from them. Mary however avoided all sin, even the least grave. St. Augustine affirms that 'for the honor of her Son Who came to remit the sins of the world, Mary is never included when there is question of sin'.

[snip]

Mary had therefore impeccantia (the term is parallel to inerrantia) or freedom from sin, and even impeccability. Her title to these endowments is not however the same as her Son's. In her case it was a matter of preservation from every sin through a special privilege. This privilege includes first of all a very high degree of habitual grace and charity, which gives the soul a strong inclination to the act of love of God and withdraws it from sin. It includes also confirmation in grace, which when granted to a Saint is had normally through an increase of charity, especially that proper to the state of transforming union, and an increase of actual efficacious graces which preserve the soul de facto from sin and move it to ever more meritorious acts. Thus Mary enjoyed a special assistance of Divine Providence. This assistance-----more effective than even that which belonged to the state of innocence-----preserved all her faculties from faults, and kept her soul in a state of the most complete generosity. Just as confirmation in grace is an effect of the predestination of the Saints, so this preservative assistance granted to Mary was an effect of her peculiar predestination. Far from diminishing her liberty or free will, the effect of this preservation from sin was to confer on her full liberty in the order of moral goodness, with no inclination to evil (just as her mind never tended to error). Hence her liberty, following the example of that of Jesus, was a faithful and most pure image of God's liberty, which is at once sovereign and incapable of sin (emphasis mine).

This was taken from:
The Mother of  the Savior 
Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O. P. 

 

Fr Garrigou Lagrange clarifies the whole point. :) Our Lady was totally free from sinning through the amount of grace and charity given to her. I think what some here are having trouble with is that how she could then be free. Our Lady does have free will and choice. She wasn't forced. Nonetheless she was also free from sin. I think some tend to see freedom as just a neutral ground where we are equally likely to choose good or evil. But we have an inclination in a direction. Having a permanent inclination to good doesn't make one less free (actually more free) and it doesnt take away choice. She still had a choice. But the inclination of her soul was always to God, and she was confirmed in grace and had an unprecedented degree of habitual grace.  

On 12/21/2015 10:57:10, Anomaly said:

So you are saying Adam and Eve and Lucifer chose to sin with full knowledge of the consequences of their acts?

Lucifer yes. Adam and Eve probably had less knowledge, not having been angels, but enough for it to be mortal clearly. I don't know how much. 

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On 12/9/2015 12:54:51, Anomaly said:

If God gave Mary sufficient grace to be incapable of sin and free will then why didn't God do the same for Adam and Eve or even do it now and avoid the possibility of billions of people going to hell with eternal torment?

I thought the ability to choose or not choose sin is essentially what free will is.  

We are fallen through our own fault. Essentially God made Mary unfallen. So she had free will and choice but sinning was just not in her nature as others have said. It doesn't mean she didn't have a choice. But she had so much grace that she wasn't interiorly drawn to sin and she had all the grace she needed to continue her choice to love God forever. Why don't we all have that? It might help to remember that all the people who go to hell choose a sin over God and reject graces to repentance. Its their own doing. God gave these graces to Mary to reach the rest of us and save us. What happened with her was very special and no one can be worthy of that. God doesn't owe us anything. The fact that He died for our salvation after we infinitely offended Him is way way more than anything we can deserve. He's not leaving us and punishing us for not doing something impossible, because we have access to grace which makes it possible. We just don't have it from the start, but we can have it after birth and be forgiven and have original sin taken away. So God is giving us a way out :) grace makes the impossible possible. 

On 12/9/2015 2:17:00, Anomaly said:

Then why did God not give Adam, Eve, Lucifer, and the rest of use free will and a sinless nature and avoid all this misery?    Why create eagles and tell them they can only walk then punish them when they fail to stay on the ground?

He did give us a choice. Lucifer, Adam and Eve even had sinless natures. The fact that we don't doesn't mean we would be punishes for not doing the impossible, because we are given access to grace that makes it possible. I think that is the answer to this question.. We have the grace to be holy despite our fallen nature. If a person is in hell they chose to reject grace. 

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On 12/9/2015 4:43:54, KnightofChrist said:

Oh sure it does. Man and the angels were given their choice to love and obey God or rebel and they chose. Mary was special and exception to the rule and was given another choice. She was special and was given exception because she was chosen to be the Ark of the New Covenant. And God doesn't put us in danger of eternal torture we do, but as a former Catholic you know that. I think you ask that loaded question out of anger. Adam and Eve and all the Angels were given sufficient graces to avoid sinning, but man and some of the angels chose to sin.

Mary wasn't like a robot though, she had a choice, but the amount of grace she had did confirm her in grace. It makes me think of how we would be in Heaven - we wouldnt be like robots and would love freely but have no capability to sin in our nature, plus the Beatific Vision would make that impossible. (Of course on earth we dont have the Beatific Vision im just making an analogy). But we wouldnt be robots. I think that's how free will was meant to be - being free to love, not forced, but being secure with God. Maybe Adam would have had that if he had passed the test. Free will doesn't mean being likely to fall into sin at any moment. 

That's our present condition but it wasn't like that before the fall and Adam and Eve had free will. 

On 12/21/2015 10:17:08, Kevin said:

I actually agree with you, and in fact, I find the notion that Mary was impeccable in the sense that it was impossible for her to sin (and unlike Christ because it was outside of his nature to sin, but rather by Calvinist irresistable grace that forced her to act according to God's will even on this earth) which no matter what kind of sophistry these fellows roll out means she had no free will in any meaningful sense. But it is hard to get around Trent: "If any one say that man once justified can during his whole life avoid all sins, even venial ones, as the Church holds that the Blessed Virgin did by special privilege of God, let him be anathema." It really does seem that the Mary was essentially a puppet.

Note the "all" he highlighted. Also noted that the 5th Marian Dogma was unanimously rejected by the conference the Holy See called in 1996.

Not making something a dogma doesn't mean the idea is rejected. Also no none of this means that Mary was a puppet because she freely chose to cooperate with all this grace, it wasn't forced on her. 

On 12/21/2015 10:58:19, Peace said:

I dunno it if would warrant a Phishy, but is the poster even Catholic? I think you have to first prove that what both of you are advocating is established Catholic teaching, before you can tag someone for objecting to it as Calvinistic.

I don't think you will find any Catechism that states that Mary was impeccable.

The church defines that Mary was born free of original sin. Trent does not define that Mary was impeccable. That is what we have all been debating here.

And for the record - I do not believe that free will implies an ability to sin. It implies an ability to sin only if that freedom "has has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God". The question we are debating is whether Mary's free-will was bound as such.

I think its fairly obvious that if anyone's free will was ever bound to God - it would be Mary's free will. I think its also obvious that it doesn't make her a robot. It means she had a choice and was free but her will bound itself more andmore to the Divine Will with each act. Of course from the start she was full of grace and was completely with Him from the start. Her charity and capacity to love continued to increase. But she was always full of grace and sin never had any place in her.  

On 12/21/2015 11:12:12, Kevin said:

I am a Catholic.

What I am saying is that Canon 23, its seems we can infer: "The Blessed Virgin could during her whole life avoid all sins did by special privilege of God." This strongly implies to me that Mary was incapable of sin, according to Trent, whether or not this means she possessed free will (and I in fact do believe that if as a created being Mary was unable to sin it means she had no free will, but I'll put that aside for now).

I think where we would disagree is the free will part. She was confirmed in a special way in grace but she also had free will. Just think of Heaven as an analogy. Would we be robots there? No because then we wouldn't be able to love. Yet we would never sin. So Mary was not a robot or a puppet, yet also free from sinning :) 

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On 12/21/2015 11:15:01, Anomaly said:

Why did the devil tempt Jesus in the desert? Was it not really temptation, just a chat?  What was it is the point of the story?

 

it seems more logical that Mary could have said no, but didn't.   She operated with free will to chose her action.  Else she was just a puppet.  

Or

God can chose to create creatures without the ability to sin and the whole fall thing is some kind sick game with most people going to hell. 

Or

its a Mystery...

I don't think the devil knew for sure who Jesus is at that point. He tempted Jesus but I think its necessary to believe that Our Lord didn't experience interior inclination to sin or - concupiscence. The only temptation was external. Same with Our Lady. It doesn't make them less admirable because their sinless natures suffered more and loved more. As for the other part - we are given grace to avoid hell. Hell is a choice. Even with a fallen nature. But Mary wasn't a puppet either. If it makes no sense (I don't fully get it myself) - best to think of it as a mystery perhaps :) the points go together - Mary being free, and our destination being our choice. 

On 12/21/2015 11:23:46, HisChildForever said:

Mary was (is) fully human. All human beings are given the gift of free will. Mary had free will. Just because God knew her choice doesn't mean He forced her to choose that. How many people in this world have a special calling they have chosen not to follow? Mary however said yes to her vocation.

I believe Mary had a choice to sin and chose not to. It makes her that much more admirable in my eyes. She understood what sin was but her very nature kept her mind constantly fixed on God. Everything was for God, she had not a selfish or prideful bone in her body.

Jesus is fully man just as He is fully God. Of course the Devil would be foolish enough to try and turn God's own Son against Him. I think a lot of what Jesus did in the Gospel was model the right behavior for us to follow. God allowed Satan to perturb Jesus so Jesus could show us what to do in the face of temptation. Just as He showed us the holiness of a life of humility and service.

This is the blessing and curse of free will-to freely love God and pursue a relationship with Him brings Him much joy, and us much happiness, but then God also allows us the choice to ignore Him, which brings Him much pain and sorrow. But He would rather suffer than have us be forced to love Him (which wouldn't be love at all).

We are free and Our Lady is free... But I don't think she is just like us. Still free, but she was filled with grace truly. There was no room for sin. In Heaven we would be sinless forever yet free. So its possible :) it doesn't make us robots. Even on earth some Saints were confirmed in grace. Mary had more than this. But it doesn't make her less admirable because her love and suffering was more and yes she still had free will. 

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