Saturday, November 24, 2007

Did Mary Need a Savior Too?

Glen Lamont asked the following question in my message box. It's a common question that a lot of people ask.

Hey Phat, hope you can help me. My question is this: was our Holy Mother Mary in need of redemption like everyone else but through our lords crucufixion in advance she was concieved without sin?
That is true! You pretty much nailed it. Mary was not some special type of creature that was impervious to the stain of original sin. She was a human being conceived in the natural way. Thus, she was due to receive the stain of original sin just like the rest of us, and divine intervention was the only thing that could keep this from happening.

The pre-existant Son, being beyond the bounds of time, is able to take the grace from the Cross, grace that the rest of us receive after the work is "finished" (Jn 19:30) and apply it to Mary, which in time appears as a retroactive endeavor. This grace protected her from the sin of Adam, which caused her to be immaculately conceived, or conceived without sin. Mary was saved from sin by this special act of God, which is why she is able to rejoice in God her "Savior" (Lk 1:47).

I hope that answers your question. I have addressed the Immaculate Conception in other blog posts, which may be helpful as well:Pax Christi,


michele said...

The same happened with St. John the Baptist when he was 'filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb'.(Luke 1:15) Most older theologians believe that at the Visitation John the Baptist was purified of original sin at the moment he leaped in his mother's womb during the Visitation. (Thus fulfilling the above prophesy of Gabriel.)

This could have only happened by Christ applying the merits of his redemption in the same way you talk about it happening for Our Lady.

phatcatholic said...

Well, since the Church has never declared that the same thing happened to John the Baptist, I would hesitate to espouse that belief.

Dubbs said...

My in-laws attend a Baptist church, and recently their pastor commented on how the Blessed Mother "needed a savior", because as we see in the Magnificat, " spirit rejoices in God my Savior". Of course, they just refer to it as her response to the Angel Gabriel.

My line of thinking is that the Blessed Mother most likely was not aware of the fact that God had applied the grace from Christ's sacrifice on the cross to her (thus immaculately conceived) and though having a special disposition away from sin, would have no way of knowing she'd been spared from Original Sin.

Her response to the angel referring to God as her "Savior" fall in line with everyone's thoughts on God. Of course, when we think 'savior' we think of Christ, because His ultimate sacrifice implies that title. Pre-Christ, however, The Almighty God would have been Savior, different from how we view the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity as Savior.

I belive this would be a good response to her query. Any thoughts?

phatcatholic said...

I think that could be one possible explanation, although I wouldn't present it as definitive because we can't really know for sure if Mary knew how different she was from everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Nothing here is Bible based. These are ideas conjured up by the Catholic church. " For ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" ALL, not ALL, but Mary. Give the Glory too God and our Savior Jesus Christ, not the vehicle God used to bring His son into the world. God have mercy on you.

phatcatholic said...

Anon ... do you think I have never read Rom 3:23? There is an answer to that objection, and every objection raised against the doctrine of Mary's sinlessness. See the following link:

Anonymous said...

The Bareans were commended for searching the scriptures to confirm what was being said was true. Do you have a verse from the Bible that states "Mary was sinless"?

phatcatholic said...

Anon ... see the two-part defense of Mary's sinlessness that I linked to in this post.

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