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December 08, 2006

Comments

Realist

Strange as it might seem, Limbo is keeping the Immaculate Conception a Holy Day of Obligation.

Francis DS

redeemed from the moment of her conception.

I wonder if her redemption is the same as ours, only hers occured at her conception, and ours at our baptism. Are they qualitatively the same? Or is hers special in some other way?

Paul H

Trying to close the italics.

SDG

I wonder if her redemption is the same as ours, only hers occured at her conception, and ours at our baptism. Are they qualitatively the same? Or is hers special in some other way?

Mary's freedom from original sin from the first moment of her conception means that in addition to being free from original sin, she is also free from the concupiscent, disordering effects of original sin that incline us toward sin. These include disordered appetites, weakened will, and darkened intellect.

Original sin is privation of the life of grace, spiritual death. Our first parents were created in original justice or original grace. They lost that life of grace through their sin, and with that loss came the disordering effects of concupiscence.

All those descended from Adam and Eve have therefore been conceived and born bereft of the life of grace, spiritually dead in original sin. Only through rebirth in baptism are we restored to the life of grace, not original grace, but sanctifying grace.

Baptism, by virtue of the merits of Christ, frees us from the privation that is original sin by animating us with sanctifying grace, making us alive in Christ rather than dead in sin. It also removes any guilt of personal sin and the temporal punishments due to them.

However, baptism does not remove the disorderings and impairings of our nature, called concupiscence, and it is is that that leave us weak and vulnerable to sin. We want things that are not good for us; we want good things to an excessive degree or with excessive attachment; we are too easily swayed by our appetites or by outward pressure; we have difficulty apprehending spiritual truth, and holding fast to spiritual truth once apprehended.

No such disorderings or impairings were ever contracted by the Blessed Virgin. Conceived in divine grace by virtue of the future merits of her Son, her freedom from all sin, and all inclination to sin, is absolute. She alone perfectly realizes the "enmity" with the serpent foretold in Genesis 3:15 -- she, and the Offspring or Seed also spoken of in the passage.

In addition, the quality or degree of sanctifying grace can differ from soul to soul, or even in the same soul from one hour to the next. By her Immaculate Conception, Mary has a fullness of grace surpassing all other creatures.

jswranch

As a convert to the faith, this was a major horse pill to swallow. Two paths lead me to accept it:

1. Being convinced from the early church that Mary is (a) the New Eve (b) Ark of the New Covenant, and (c) Mother of God. From there, her conception was not that big of a leap.

2. Mary is not the only being brought into existance immaculately. Adam and Eve came into the world without any Sin. Jesus (the new Adam) too. The doctrine that the New Eve is then not too much of a leap.

Tim J.

The way I look at it, if John the Baptist could be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth just by virtue of the fact that he would proclaim the Messiah, why shouldn't the Virgin Mother of the Messiah receive even greater grace?

St. Elizabeth asked, "But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?".

God worked all sorts of miracles to prepare the world for the coming of His Son, but some want to believe that Mary was no one special? You know... just this girl.

The principle of purifying holy vessels - by the command of God - goes wa-a-a-y back in the history of Israel. What more holy vessel could there be? And what better way to purify her than to make her free from the stain of sin from her very conception?

Like the holy artifacts of the temple, she was not just a common vessel purified for holy use, but a unique vessel specially created for holy use. Was the Ark of the Covenant just a common crate ritually cleansed for holy use? No. How much less the Ark of the New Covenant!

Brian John Schuettler

SDG:
That was an excellent summary of the meaning of the Immaculate Conception. Thanks!

Monica

Tim didn't do so bad either!

Brian John Schuettler

Tim didn't do so bad either!

I agree...wow!

mr

The reading in the Magnifact today by St. John Neumann was helpful too - he said that, as St. Augustine said, the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary, and how could there even be a bit of the demon's breath in that flesh? He also said that if we had no other words from Scripture but these: "Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called the Christ," that would be sufficient to infer the Immaculate Conception. And he said that God bestowed a sinless nature on the angels, so why not on her (who, I add, is Queen of Angels).

Unfortunately, our entire homily today was on the Virgin Birth - all about Mary's fiat, the angel Gabriel, the word "conception" referring to Jesus a lot, the nativity - so I suspect that even some Catholics are ending up confused about the distinction between the Virgin Birth and the Immaculate Conception.

Steve Ray

Hello Jimmy:

Instead of posting a blog for the Immaculate Conception today, I just put a link to your site. Thanks! Steve Ray

Realist

I reiterate: as to the contemporary thinking and teaching at many Catholic universities about original sin:

"The story of Adam and Eve is only symbolic. Yes, this story was composed in the 900s BCE and functions as an etiology
(explanatory myth) . In the 900s Israel was self ruling, under King David and Solomon. The people were no longer at war and the question" Why are we not happy?" may have risen. The short answer is sin. (Look at 1 Kings 11 for some clues into why the story depicts Eve sinning first and then tempting
Adam [Solomon]).

Original sin is therefore only symbolic of man's tendencies to sin.

Yes, I teach Original Sin as symbolic of the sins of our origins -- in ourfamilies and in the broader society, both of which affect each person profoundly. The "sins of our origins" approach helps to account for certain patterns of sin in particular families and societies.

Baptism does not erase original sin since the sin does not exist.

Yes, the old "laundry of the soul," approach to Baptism is no longer accepted.

Infant Baptism is only a rite of initiation and commits parents and godparents to bringing up the child in a Christian home.

Yes, but, since baptism is now celebrated at Sunday Eucharist, all the
members of the parish family are encouraged to pledge their support and care
for the faith life of the newly baptized. (A manifestation of this is
persons volunteering to teach other people's kids the basics of Catholicism.)"

Bottom Line: Today is the Feast Day of all the Pew Peasants like us, and those before us and for those to come!!!!

Kevin Jones

Edward T. Oakes comments on the Immaculate Conception in his study of Hans Urs von Balthasar, _Pattern of Redemption_:

It is in this tangle of an effect being the cause of the cause that Aquinas went astray; but if as part of the logic, the Cross itself is made possible only through Mary's consent(which is clearly the case), then the heretical implications of a denial of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception should be obvious: for it makes our salvation dependent on the power of one human creature, Mary, to say Yes to God on her own power. Denial of this dogma therefore not only leads to Pelagianism, but even makes the whole drama of salvation hinge on a human work! Denial of the Immaculate Conception, then, is the very apogee of the Pelagian heresy!

Jay E. Adrian

Sorry Bernie (Realist), but your neo-Pelagian view (or rather the view you accepted as a dutiful Desk Peasant) misses the mark again. If your religion denies the notion of a pristine state for human beings, then whatever vision of "salvation" you can muster is pointless. Since your religion possesses no real possibility of salvation from sin and death, it is pointless in its entirety.

Your pseudo-war against Mommy and Daddy's religion is pathetic. If you really reject it, then grow some cajones and divorce yourself from it. Somehow, you seem to need it as if it were some warped form of ideological codependence. No one will convert to your religion and the social system that created its inhabitants no longer exists. Individuals today seem to have the strength of will to leave the organization that they reject. I don't blame the handful of professional theologians you accept uncritically for remaining; they need to pay the bills and couldn't support themselves any other way. Within a generation, however, they will be extinct simply because no one is interested in what they are offering.

Tim J.

"Bottom Line: Today is the Feast Day of all the Pew Peasants like us, and those before us and for those to come!!!!"

Well, everything is about US, huh Realist?

Look, everyone did a good job of ignoring your ususal troll droppings earlier in this thread... lay off, huh? Keep your heretical regurgitations.

From an earlier post;

"For the sake of simplicity, and for those new to JA.O, here is a short synopsis of Realist's comments on just about any subject;

1) The Bible is nothing more a collection of "faith stories" with no basis in historical fact. He knows this because the Jesus Seminar says so, and they are infallible in matters of doctrine.

2) The *Official Version* of Church history is a lie made up by the hierarchy so that they can continue scamming all of us.

3) Miracles - that is supernatural events of any kind - are impossible because in reality, nothing exists outside of nature. This means we have to re-think our idea of "God".

3) "Catholic" is a word with no fixed meaning... this means that all Catholics are equal, especially dissidents. There is, of course, no absolute Truth, but the *Official Catholic Version* of anything is ESPECIALLY rejected.

None the less, Realist assures us that he REALLY IS a Catholic, which is like me insisting that I am REALLY a committed Communist, even though I think communism gets everything wrong and that Karl Marx never existed, but was an invention of Joseph Stalin.

Did I leave out anything? Wild dogs? Ancient astronauts?"

SDG

Realist: I don't know what Jimmy will say, but look. It's one thing to for you to endlessly ride your pet issues in threads devoted to apologetics. It's another thing to refuse to allow people who believe something you don't, on the feast day of that dogma, in a combox devoted to the feast day, to share some thoughts about the reason for the feast day without you spewing your usual bile on their beliefs. Get some respect for your fellow man, if not fear of God, and know when to keep your mouth shut.

Puzzled

Yet the Bible teaches a federal theology with original sin being inherited from Adam, and -not- from Eve.

For Mary as Ark, yet our Lord did not stay in her womb. He was born, laid in a manger, and walked the dusty, manure-covered trails of Judea and Galilee -- in sandals. He touched lepers. He came in contact with the unclean, daily.

To say that His flesh could have no descent from the sinful flesh of the sons of Adam is a serious heresy which undermines the atonement.

Because of federal headship and yet the requirement that God the Word became Man and dwelt among us, only the virgin birth of Christ is required, not the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Yet the defenses I see of this new dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady involve all of these heresies.

How can this be?

an0nym0us

I still can't figure out how it works. She was immaculately conceived because she gave her consent, and she gave her consent because she was immaculately conceived?

Seems circular.

What if she had said no. Would she still have been conceived immaculately? Or did she not have free will to say no?

Tim J.

an0nymous -

You are using the word "because" in two different senses, so you argue in error.

Mary's "yes" did not cause her to be immaculately conceived, and we don't reason backward from her "yes" to her immaculate conception.

Puzzled, you said;

"To say that His flesh could have no descent from the sinful flesh of the sons of Adam is a serious heresy which undermines the atonement."

How so? Jesus fleshly nature was certainly descended from the Sons of Adam... as was Mary's... but at the moment of her conception, Mary was miraculously preserved from the stain of original sin. How is that heretical? God wasn't forced to do it that way, but He chose to.

and;

"Yet the Bible teaches a federal theology with original sin being inherited from Adam"

I don't know that this is clear at all. Original sin might just as well be passed down through both male and female, even if the language of the Bible refers only to Adam or emphasizes male responsibility. But, some more knowledgeable Catholics might do a better job on this... I'm no bible scholar.

Andrew Sowa

From Catholic Answers....

The Catholic Church was commissioned by Christ to teach all nations and to teach them infallibly—guided, as he promised, by the Holy Spirit until the end of the world (John 14:26, 16:13). The mere fact that the Church teaches that something is definitely true is a guarantee that it is true (cf. Matt. 28:18-20, Luke 10:16, 1 Tim. 3:15).

Thus the immaculate conception is true end of arguement. Looking at these post it is true that we have a shortage of priests but no shortage of popes.

Your human you make mistakes. The Holy Spirit does not!

SDG

Yet the Bible teaches a federal theology with original sin being inherited from Adam, and -not- from Eve.

Well, "federal" is a metaphor, but yes, in Adam (not Eve) sin and death came to all men. Just as in Jesus, the new Adam -- not Mary, the new Eve -- life comes to all men.

To say that His flesh could have no descent from the sinful flesh of the sons of Adam is a serious heresy which undermines the atonement.

Actually, the Church doesn't teach that "His flesh could have no descent from the sinful flesh of the sons of Adam." The Immaculate Conception is not a necessary precursor to the Incarnation, only a fitting one. Our Lord was not obligated by some inner necessity to be incarnate in the womb of an immaculate woman, but he chose to honor his mother with this gift of grace. It was fitting that the sinless new Adam should have the cooperation of a sinless new Eve in bringing life to the world, as the first Adam had the cooperation of the first Eve in bringing death.

AFAIK, even the Virgin Birth was not an absolute necessity. Jesus is sinless by reason of the Hypostatic Union, not by the theology of federal headship. He is a Divine Person, even taking human nature to himself, and cannot but be perfect. The Omnipotence can do as God sees fit; had He wished to be take human nature to himself in an ordinary conception rather than a virginal one, He could have done so, and being God He would still have been sinless. But it was fitting that He should be born of a Virgin, just as it is fitting that she should be immaculate.

John

SDG

That was a very good post up above and dead on

Esau

Puzzled:

For Mary as Ark, yet our Lord did not stay in her womb. He was born, laid in a manger, and walked the dusty, manure-covered trails of Judea and Galilee -- in sandals. He touched lepers. He came in contact with the unclean, daily.

This is an argument that I find particularly inane. Even the answer that was given in a Catholic Answers phone call actually agreed with this reasoning to some extent; i.e., how about the fact that Jesus was born in the world of sinners? I can only assume that this person calling was presented with the typical amateur apologist argument that since nothing impure could enter into Heaven where God dwells; thus, Mary had to be pure as well since it would be where Jesus would dwell. Of course, the reply to this would be: then how come Jesus was born in the world of sinners?

The fact of the matter is that there's a difference between a baby being born in his mother's womb and the baby being born (and living) in a city, or a state, or a country, or on the very face of the earth, for that matter.

The fact of the matter is, when a baby is born in the mother's womb, the baby takes up the actual flesh of his mother.

It is particularly interesting to note that the very flesh that Jesus took of Mary when conceived in her womb happens to also be the actual flesh that was inflicted with such horrendous torment and suffering at the time of the crucifixion and, more significantly, remains a part of the Resurrected Jesus for all eternity.

Puzzled

SDG, your arguments appear to lack the errors that other arguments in the list above have made.

Unfortunately, it still doesn't -prove- it, and if it is dogma which must be believed, how can it be newly so-declared and not in the very Scriptures themselves from the very beginning of the New Covenant - such as in Peter's preaching at Pentecost.

These are questions I have.

Andrew, that is circular and illogical - you presume your conclusion.

SDG

Unfortunately, it still doesn't -prove- it

No. I was seeking only to be clear, not (yet) to persuade.

and if it is dogma which must be believed, how can it be newly so-declared and not in the very Scriptures themselves from the very beginning of the New Covenant - such as in Peter's preaching at Pentecost.

That is an excellent question (one that suggests all sorts of other questions, such as, how clear was the Trinity in Peter's preaching at Pentecost?). At any rate, the best answer was given by Cardinal Newman. :-)

francis 03

Those are fair questions, Puzzled, but they change the subject from the Immaculate Conception to the proper sources of revelation. If you accept Catholic ideas on revelation, of course, there's no problem with a newly-declared doctrine.

But-- and I'm sure the smart people around here can back me up on this if necessary-- the belief in the Immaculate Conception is actually very ancient. It just wasn't officially declared till 150 years ago.

Esau

But-- and I'm sure the smart people around here can back me up on this if necessary-- the belief in the Immaculate Conception is actually very ancient. It just wasn't officially declared till 150 years ago.

Look at the conception of the Trinity. Did the Trinity not exist until several centuries later when the doctrine was ultimately defined by council?

Sure, you can say that it is implied in several passages of the Bible, but if it were as clear as some people make it out to be, we wouldn't have folks in today's world still denying it like JW and non-Trinitarian Pentecostals.

Juli

Actually, SDG's post really ties the Assumption into a neat package for me. Mary had no original sin, so she wasn't condemned to die a human death, correct? Therefore, she was physically assumed into Heaven by virtue of her Immaculate Conception.

Esau

If you really reject it, then grow some cajones and divorce yourself from it.

I find this very, very good advice.

It's interesting that there are Catholics out there who actually remain Catholics in spite of the fact that they disagree with most of what the Church teaches.

Why don't they just leave the Catholic Church?

I mean, I've had friends who actually left the Catholic Church and made better Protestants than they were Catholics.

I only say this due to all the abuses going on in the Catholic Church today, but what bugs me most of all are all the indignities that are going on in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass itself, most especially, the Holy Eucharist.

Rather than profane the Catholic rite of Mass, I'd rather have such folks become Protestants instead. Who knows? They'd make for finer Protestant Christians than they were mediocre Catholics (that is, if you could even call them "Catholic" to begin with).

Esau

JULI:

Uhhh... that would seem to work except for the fact that Elijah in the Old Testament was also assumed into heaven and I would assume that he actually had original sin:

2 KINGS 2:11
11 And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold, a fiery chariot and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

an0nym0us

Ok, let me ask the simpler question.

If she was immaculately conceived, and had said no, and had not sinned. Where would she spend eternity when she died? In other words, if she had no sin from birth to death and was not the Mother of our Lord, would she have gone to heaven?

Tim J.

And don't forget Enoch, who "walked with God" and "was no more, becasue God took him".

And the Jewish tradition of Moses' assumption.

Now, all this doesn't prove Mary's assumption, but it does prove that bodily assumption into heaven - without the necessity for death - is by no means an unreasonable thing for a Christian to believe.

The question then becomes, why reject going out the gate what Tradition has to say on the subject? Or put another way - why do you wish to reject these teachings?

It is only by Tradition that we accept the Apostolic nature of the Gospels - we believe they are apostolic because the Church has always accepted and presented them as such. Is Tradition mistaken there, too? (I'm not asking you, Realist)

Esau

And don't forget Enoch, who "walked with God" and "was no more, becasue God took him".

And the Jewish tradition of Moses' assumption.

Tim J.:

Thanks for reminding me!
I knew I missed some things when attending my Protestant friends' bible studies back in the days!

See, that's what you get when you merely attend these things to check out the 'cute chicks' than where your mind should be -- on Christ! ;^)

Lord, Have Mercy!

Tim J.

"If she was immaculately conceived, and had said no, and had not sinned. Where would she spend eternity when she died? In other words, if she had no sin from birth to death and was not the Mother of our Lord, would she have gone to heaven?"

If the rabbit hadn't stopped to...

Never mind.

Anyone who dies without sin would go to heaven, because it is not God's will that any should perish. Why would a sinless person go anywhere but heaven?

God created Mary to be the mother of His Son.

He chose to create her without sin, because this was fitting for the one who would carry the Savior of all mankind in her womb, and who would pass on to Him her human nature.

She said "yes" because she loved God and wanted to do His will. That's it. She was not forced to do so. She could have said "no", but she didn't, and so, well... Christmas is comin'!

SDG

If she was immaculately conceived, and had said no, and had not sinned. Where would she spend eternity when she died? In other words, if she had no sin from birth to death and was not the Mother of our Lord, would she have gone to heaven?

My answer is that there is no answering this question, because the omniscent God foresaw the Virgin's Fiat in his sovereign plan to create her Immaculate. Her assent was free, yet He chose her from eternity to be His mother. To say "What if Mary had said no?" is like saying "What if God predestines me for Heaven but I choose hell?" This is no less paradoxical, and no more, than any other statement about divine sovereignty and human freedom.

Having said that, one might argue that, as long as we grant that God will bring about the Redemption in Christ in His time and His way, He is free to choose to save immaculate anyone he wants, by virtue of that redemption, whether the person in question will be His mother or not. If God had wanted to, he could have saved immaculate a half dozen women to be potential mothers for him. If He wanted to, He could have been born of a sinful woman, or a non-virgin.

The point is, God did not want to do those things. God wanted to accomplish our salvation in the way that He did, to come into the world in the fullness of time, born of an immaculate virgin.

Esau

Ok, let me ask the simpler question.

If she was immaculately conceived, and had said no, and had not sinned. Where would she spend eternity when she died? In other words, if she had no sin from birth to death and was not the Mother of our Lord, would she have gone to heaven?


an0nym0us:

For this answer, I recommend you read on Aquinas' thought on Predestination.

I would oblige except that it would go beyond the topic on this post.

Let's just say that Thanks to Mary's "Yes", we don't actually have to suffer the question "What If Mary Said 'No'?".

Kris

"If she was immaculately conceived, and had said no, and had not sinned. Where would she spend eternity when she died? In other words, if she had no sin from birth to death and was not the Mother of our Lord, would she have gone to heaven?"

You're really going out on a limb here. But, in light of Catholic teaching on sin and salvation, a sinless Mary who did not become the mother of God would indeed go to heaven. There would be nothing to condemn her for--she wouldn't go to hell. She would have no purification to go through--she wouldn't go to Purgatory. Heaven's the only other option I'm aware of.

Your question however reveals your lack of understanding of the signifigance to the Immaculate Conception. Christ did not require Mary to be sinless in order to be born of her--God cannot be limited. Rather, he saw it fitting to honor her with such a Grace. How approprite is it that the Redemption of the World be born of a pure, spotless vessel?

Esau

He chose to create her without sin, because this was fitting for the one who would carry the Savior of all mankind in her womb, and who would pass on to Him her human nature.

Tim J.:
Excellent summation there -- on all points!

1. Chosen to create her without sin
2. Fitting for the One who would carry the Savior of All Mankind in her womb
3. The One who would pass on to Him her human nature

The latter was actually the point was trying to get across in my post.

I still find it significant that Jesus, being born in Mary's womb, took on her flesh, and, thus, her flesh remains a part of Jesus (as we see in the resurrected Jesus in John 20:27) for all eternity -- Jesus, who is the second person of the blessed Trinity; the Word Made Flesh; Almighty God!

How more intimate with the Divine Creator can you get!?!?

an0nym0us

But, in light of Catholic teaching on sin and salvation, a sinless Mary who did not become the mother of God would indeed go to heaven. There would be nothing to condemn her for--she wouldn't go to hell. She would have no purification to go through--she wouldn't go to Purgatory. Heaven's the only other option I'm aware of.

That is the same conclusion I came to, which makes Mary more than human, in that even if she had said no, she had no need for Jesus, and everyone, all humans have a need for Jesus. Which is why although I believe all other marian doctrines, I cannot believe in the IC because it makes Mary into something that is no longer just a simple human who chose to do the will of God.

Kevin Jones

"It's interesting that there are Catholics out there who actually remain Catholics in spite of the fact that they disagree with most of what the Church teaches.

Why don't they just leave the Catholic Church?"

Because they're haunted that she might really be the true Church of Christ?

I have become quite wary of any arguments that try to box people into fully abandoning the Faith. Even a glimmer of faith is still a virtue.

Further, if "get out!" becomes a popular rhetorical device all sorts of incompetent apologists will use it alongside bad arguments to drive people out of the Church.

Realist

Tim J,

Thanks for summarizing what is wrong with our current old Catholic Church. The new one founded on truth and free of all the mythical notions to include the guilt trip of original sin promulgated for far too many years is on the horizon.

Considering the number of students graduating from Catholic universities with the new Catholicism in hand, it won't be long before the new Church will be instituted at Vatican III.

SDG

Considering the number of students graduating from Catholic universities with the new Catholicism in hand, it won't be long before the new Church will be instituted at Vatican III.

And then what will you do?

Chesterton

"Thanks for summarizing what's wrong with our current old Catholic Church. The new one . . . is on the horizon."

Every time they think the Church has gone to the dogs, it's the dog that dies.

Jay E. Adrian

That's a good point, Kevin, and I am wary to encourage someone to "get out." The issue at hand with Realist is honesty. First of all, he needs to be honest with himself. If he really doesn't believe in revealed religion, then he needs to admit that. Second of all, he needs to be honest with others. By representing himself (directly and indirectly) as a Catholic, he is being dishonest with those who read him. It isn't about the specific issues in any particular thread. Rather, it is about the fundamental worldview that all the specific issues flow from (and/or add up to, as the case may be). By specifically denying the dogmas of original sin and the immaculate conception of Mary, Realist has placed himself outside of the Catholic faith. His denial of other aspects of Christianity lead me to believe that he is likely a de facto apostate.

My intention here is not to judge or to throw epithets. I merely mean to encourage Realist to gird his loins (or my dynamic contemporary translation) and authentically account for his beliefs and not misrepresent himself. I think that he could be an honest and upright agnostic, theist, deist, atheist, syncretist, materialist, Pelagian (or whatever he is), rather than a fake Catholic Christian. For the sake of himself and everyone else...

Puzzled

Francis, yes, it seems to be becoming more and more clear that the difference is epistemological - and from that, all else follows (more or less).

Esau, there are people who will deny the nose on their face due to prior ideological committments, or because their epistemology is based upon some person or system, or other. Normaly the manifestation of the problem is more like a filtering or a refraction or funhouse mirror. That is why we have the hermeneutical spirial and collegiality in interpretation. The fault lies not in the Bible, but in our sinful hearts.

I'm -trying- not to fall into that trap. . .

Inocencio

Pope Benedict XVI:

Tim J.

"That is the same conclusion I came to, which makes Mary more than human, in that even if she had said no, she had no need for Jesus, and everyone, all humans have a need for Jesus. "

Oh, Quite the opposite! When Mary was preserved from original sin, it was accomplished through the power of Christ's atonement! Jesus is Mary's savior, too, but in her case she enjoyed at her conception the complete sanctification we will all (please God) experience in heaven through the blood of Christ.

Tim J.

"Thanks for summarizing what is wrong with our current old Catholic Church."

You're welcome?

Juli

Esau, I wouldn't limit God by saying he couldn't take others into Heaven when he so chooses, but I make the point that since Mary had no original sin, she wouldn't be doomed to die a human death.

Logically, one Assumption doesn't invalidate the other assumption. Nor literally, as I typed.

Inocencio

Sorry, having difficulty with typepad.

Pope: Mary, Show Yourself Mother for Rome, Europe and the World

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio

Puzzled,

I don't know if this article would be interesting to you or not. Here is an excerpt:

Calling Jesus the "last Adam" shows that He is the true fulfillment (cf. Mt 5:17) of what the "first Adam" (while still in innocence) only prefigured; much like Jesus is the true "Son of David" and true "Son of Abraham." What must be remembered is that the first Adam was taken from blessed earth. Adam had not yet sinned and the earth was not yet cursed for that sin. If there is a new and last Adam, then we must look from where He was taken. Was He taken from cursed earth or blessed earth?

We know that Jesus was taken from blessed earth. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee" (Lk 1:28); "you have found favor with God" (Lk 1:30). Not only that, but when the Book of Revelation presents a war between a woman and a serpent, and her seed and the seed of the serpent, it is showing us the true war which was mentioned in Genesis, chapter three. Genesis 3:15 talks about a war between a woman and her seed and a serpent and his seed. Since Mary is the mother of Jesus in Revelation 12, and since Genesis 3 is addressed to Eve, then we see that Mary is presented to us as the new Eve just as Jesus is presented as the new Adam. The earliest Christians pointed to the new Adam being taken from the new Eve as God untying the knot in which the first Eve entangled us by her sin. They presented Mary as the blessed earth from which the new Adam was taken.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Maureen

Original sin isn't real, huh, Realist?

I assume, then, that you never had siblings or neighbor kids to play with. Otherwise, you wouldn't have these bizarre Victorian ideas about kids being pure of any inborn desire to do wrong.

It's been said that original sin is the one doctrine even atheists can believe. The world is cracked and crazed, Realist, and the cracks run right down through the human heart. Not a pretty fact, but true. Not something that any social initiative, technological advance, or psychological technique can fix, either. It runs through every culture and every time, and the sweetest, nicest people. So if you don't understand original sin, you don't understand human nature.

But it's understandable that you don't want to accept it. God didn't make us to be like that, and that's why the Son came into the world and suffered. But what was done on Calvary and in the empty tomb will not be completed until the end of time. Till then, we have to put up with it.

Mary, the new Eve, is the first light of dawn, streaming from the Sun of Righteousness and the new world to come. Mary is as we were all meant to be, and will be. She is our hope made visible.

Esau

KEVIN JONES:

Concerning your comments:
Because they're haunted that she might really be the true Church of Christ?
I have become quite wary of any arguments that try to box people into fully abandoning the Faith. Even a glimmer of faith is still a virtue.
Further, if "get out!" becomes a popular rhetorical device all sorts of incompetent apologists will use it alongside bad arguments to drive people out of the Church.


If you are to quote me, kindly make certain that you utilize the full message of the entire quote rather than isolating a mere portion of it in order to invoke your strawman.

You neglected to mention the other things I said in my post like:

I mean, I've had friends who actually left the Catholic Church and made better Protestants than they were Catholics.

- and -

Rather than profane the Catholic rite of Mass, I'd rather have such folks become Protestants instead. Who knows? They'd make for finer Protestant Christians than they were mediocre Catholics (that is, if you could even call them "Catholic" to begin with).


More to the point, what I was attempting to say in my post was that, from personal experience, such folks -- for example, it seems as though had my friends remained Catholics (given their behaviour back then), they probably may not have become the devoted Christians that they're now today considering that when they were Catholics, not even the Bible or the very belief in Christ Himself was all that important in their lives.

They indulged in so many hedonistic pleasures that serving or even believing in Christ was the last and least thing in their minds. What are they doing now? Mission work in other countries in order to spread the Gospel of Our Lord to folks in unfortunate parts of the world.


Further, although you may deem me, as your post seems to imply, as an incompetent apologist who use it alongside bad arguments --

To tell you quite honestly, I don't even consider myself an Apologist since in order to actually deserve that title (i.e., Catholic Apologist), IMO, I believe one must have a level of knowledge of the Catholic Church that is equivalent to, or, at the very least, approaches that of Jimmy's.


What I try to do, for my part, is defend the Catholic Faith as best I can. Why do I do this in spite of the certain human flaws I might have? It's because if you don't stand up for something (especially something as precious as one's Catholic Faith), then you clearly do not stand for anything!

As G.K.Chesterton's famous quote goes: "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly!"

francis 03

Exactly, Maureen. The reason we need the old "myths" is not because we like them-- I certainly wish that many of them weren't accurate-- but rather because they're the only way we can explain the world we actually encounter.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what Realist is talking about. We learn sin from our families? Sure we do. From the impersonal, uncaring nature of the world? Sure we do. But all we're saying then is that, regardless of the environment people grow up in, they're going to wind up tending to sin. If this doesn't reflect some innate characteristic, then I don't know what does. And if there's no way to fix this innate characteristic, then the people graduating from modern Catholic universities aren't going to inaugurate Vatican III; they're going to get as far away from the false promises of fake religions as they possibly can, and set about using each other for whatever cheap, transient pleasures are available in this pitifully meaningless life.

Esau

The reason we need the old "myths" is not because we like them-- I certainly wish that many of them weren't accurate-- but rather because they're the only way we can explain the world we actually encounter.

francis03:

Doesn't what you just mentioned in the above play right into the idea that the only reason we believe in a god is because that's the only way we're able to give explanation for certain things that could not otherwise be explained in a more scientific and positive manner?

NewTrollObserver

Jesus is Mary's savior, too, but in her case she enjoyed at her conception the complete sanctification we will all (please God) experience in heaven through the blood of Christ.

Posted by: Tim J.

Perhaps Mary's Immaculate Conception makes even more sense in the context of a kind of universalism? If we may hope for the 'complete sanctification' of all, via Yeshua ha Moshiach, then Mary would be the first to enter into that eschatological reality. And the salvational potential of Christos Jesu would reach a non-local maximum, such that it would apply as powerfully into the pre-Anno-Domini era, as it does into the Anno-Domini era itself.

Mary

That is the same conclusion I came to, which makes Mary more than human, in that even if she had said no, she had no need for Jesus, and everyone, all humans have a need for Jesus.

Do you imagine that you need Jesus only for the sins you have committed?

Do you not realize that God's grace has delivered you from many sins before you committed them?

Mary

I make the point that since Mary had no original sin, she wouldn't be doomed to die a human death.

Why not?

Jesus did not suffer from original sin.

(Actually, I lean toward the "Mary didn't die" side, but not from that argument.)

Kevin Jones,

As valuable as your point about not telling people to leave is, I should think that Realist is the absolutely the last peg you would want to hang that hat on. There's far more truth in my claiming to be a African Elephant complete with tusks than there is in his calling his "theology" Catholic. He's an apostate who either too dishonest or too deluded to admit the blatantly obvious: that he is not, in fact, a in any meaningful sense beyond the (probable but unverified) fact that he was baptized. Or else he likes the good set of giggles he gets every day by logging on and seeing a bunch of stupid Catholics who take him seriously when he trolls around claiming to be Catholic and spouting off doctrines hardly more Catholic (and perhaps less) than your average atheist believes.

beng

Immaculate Conception verses....... FROM THE QURAN AND HADITH!!

http://forums.catholic-convert.com/viewtopic.php?p=1104160

francis 03

Not in my opinion, Esau. I'm not really thinking of scientific truths. I'm thinking about human truths-- things for which there may or may not be a scientific explanation, but if there is it doesn't seem to answer the whole question. Things like, why should anything exist? How is it that the universe should be comprehensible to us? Why should we have to work, and why can it be so unpleasant? How do I deal with the shocking fundamental fact that other people's eyes are windows onto the world as much as my own? Why do people sometimes harm each other, and me, and what does that tell me about the world? How do I respond to that? Why is it that what feels the best for a short time, when viewed rationally, seems self-destructive? And most of all, what the heck is wrong with me? Why do I get so unhappy sometimes? Why does just doing what I want to do seem to lead to disaster so often? And how should I deal with or trust other people if they're the same way?

Kevin Jones

Esau,

No offense intended, sorry.

Dr. Eric

Mary,

In Munificentissimus Deus
Pope Pius XII never says that she didn't die. In fact, all of the Fathers that he quotes says that she did die but NEVER became corrupted in the grave.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P12MUNIF.HTM

Die or falling asleep
The Dormition not natural human death per se

Esau

KEVIN JONES:

Esau,
No offense intended, sorry.

No problem! But, the important thing I wanted to point out in my post (which is why I responded as I did) is that Catholics, ALL CATHOLICS, no matter what level of intellect or degree of knowledge, be they from any walk of life, any race whatsoever, all should have convictions strong enough that they would defend their Church regardless.

I've been hearing several reports from various parts of the world where because people have remained ever so passive in their Catholic Faith, more and more Catholics are converting to Protestantism, especially in parts of Central and South America.

We need to defend our Catholic Faith people not only for our sake but for the Glory of God! The Fullness of Truth needs to be revealed to all and it needs to be maintained and defended in order to preserve it faithfully and for all!

Brent Robbins

"I have become quite wary of any arguments that try to box people into fully abandoning the Faith. Even a glimmer of faith is still a virtue."

I disagree, and I believe God does too.

"But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:16

francis 03

That's a non sequitur, Brent. Just because God can't accept someone whose vices are as great as their virtues doesn't mean their virtues aren't really virtues.

Puzzled

The Lutheran Divine Service is far more liturgical, traditional and reverent than the novus ordo massas (apart from on EWTN). FWIW, |.

--Wryly said.

CINS

ANGELUS
POPE BENEDICT XVI

Saint Peter’s Square
Sunday, 10th December 2006

Dear Brothers and sisters!

This morning I had the joy of dedicating one new parish Church, entitled to Mary - Star of the Evangelization, in Rome’s Neighborhood of North Torrino. It is an event that, though it refers in itself to that neighborhood, inside acquires symbolic meaning of the liturgical season of the Advent, while we prepare ourselves to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. In these days the liturgy constantly reminds us that “God comes” to visit His people, in order to dwell in their midst and to form with them a communion of one life and love, that is one family.

The Gospel of John expresses therefore the mystery of the Incarnation: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us"; literally, "he made his dwelling among us" (John 1:14). Does not the building of a church amid the houses of a village or neighborhood of a city evoke perhaps this great gift and mystery?

The church-building is a concrete sign of the Church-community, made up of the “living stones” which are the believers, an image so loved by the Apostles. St. Peter (2:4-5) and St. Paul (Ephesians 2:20-22), highlight how the "cornerstone" of this spiritual temple is Christ and that, united to him and very compact, we are also called to participate in the building of this living temple.

Therefore, though it is God Who takes the initiative of coming to inhabit in the midst of men, and although always He is the main craftsman of this plan, it is true also that He does not will to carry it without our active collaboration. Therefore, to prepare for the Nativity of the Lord means to engage one self to build "God's dwelling with men". Nobody is excluded; everyone can and must contribute to make this house of the communion spacious and beautiful.

At the end of the time, it will be completed and will be the “Heavenly Jerusalem”: “I saw a new sky then and one new earth - law in the Book of the Apocalypse.” I saw a new heaven and a new earth" -- we read in the Book of Revelation -- "I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.. 'Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race'" (Revelation 21:1-3). The Advent invites us to fix our eyes towards the “Heavenly Jerusalem”, which is the ultimate destiny of our pilgrimage. At the same time, it exhorts us to engage ourselves with prayer, conversion and the good works, to receive Jesus in our lives, in order to construct along with Him this spiritual building of which each one of us - our families and our communities - is a precious stone.

Among all the stones that make up the Heavenly Jerusalem, the most splendid and valuable is St. Mary Most Holy, the one closest to Christ -- the cornerstone. Through her intercession, let us pray that this Advent will be for the whole Church a time of spiritual building and so speed up the coming of the Kingdom of God.

After the Angelus:

I follow with heartfelt concern all that is happening in the Middle East, where the possibilities for a solution to the crisis besetting the region alternate with tensions and difficulties that cause fears of new violence.

Lebanon deserves a special mention, on whose soil, today as yesterday, men who are different on the cultural and religious plane, are called to live together to build a nation of dialogue and coexistence, and to favor the common good. That is why, in the face of recent events, I share the strong fears expressed by the patriarch, His Beatitude the Lord Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, and by the Maronite bishops in the communiqué they published last Wednesday.

Together with them, I appeal to the Lebanese and to their political leaders to be interested exclusively in the good of the country and harmony between its communities, inspiring their commitment in that unity that is the responsibility of one and all, and that requires patient and persevering efforts, along with confident and permanent dialogue. I also appeal to the international community that they should help to identify urgent, peaceful and just solutions, necessary for Lebanon and for the whole Middle East. I invite everyone to the prayer in this grave moment.

On Thursday, December 14, in St. Peter's Basilica, I will have a meeting with the students of the Roman universities. Dear young people: I await you in great numbers to prepare for Christmas invoking from the Lord Jesus the gift of intellectual charity for the whole university community.

(The Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages)

Greeting in English: I greet the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims here today. On this second Sunday of Advent, the Church puts before us the figure of John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness: "Prepare a way for the Lord". During this Advent season, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of Christ, let us prepare a place for him in our hearts. I invoke God's abundant blessings upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home.

Translation by CINS www.vaticans.org

© Copyright 2006 - Publishing Bookcase Vatican

KSB

Key points in everything I have read:

Believe
Assume

Circular it is, because you must believe and a belief then becomes circular to the belief. Coming from the outside never being raised in a christian home, I am a true testament to the power of faith being a taught process through or family and churches and not something we are born with, call it ignorance....

Tim J.

KSB, if I could understand your point I would probably respond to it.

All reasoning must begin somewhere. We all start with assumptions of one kind or another. Some recognize this, and others deny it, but it is equally true for all.

In my experience, those who talk as if they, themselves, make no assumptions are the most dogmatic and inflexible.

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