While I was in the process of becoming Catholic, one common objection from my Protestant friends was Mary being sinless. I’ve been thinking about this particular doctrine more often lately as I try to be more devoted to my spiritual mother.
My friends protested this doctrine because no one but Christ is supposed to be said to be sinless. Everyone is supposed to need the saving grace of Christ, and if Mary was sinless, then she was exempt from this. I think they mistakenly believe that Church teaches that Mary was sinless by her own will. But I know that it is not so.
Mary was not chosen to bear Christ because she was sinless. She was sinless because she was chosen. In other words, it was still Christ who saved her from sin. If she had not been the one that God wanted to bear the savior of the world, I doubt that she would have been protected from the blemish of sin. It was not her will that allowed her to be sinless and remain so her whole life. It was the grace of God, knowing that she would bear the Son of God, that saved her from sin. It all still depends on Christ and he is still therefore Mary’s savior as well. There is no contradiction to salvation through Christ in this Marian doctrine.
It is taking me awhile to become comfortable with Marian devotion because I still sometimes find myself thinking of her like I did before I converted. But as I think more and more about what the Church says about Mary, I realize more and more that these things are true and make sense. I learn more and more how lovely it is to have a spiritual mother who looks out for all of her children. I realize more and more that she is a wonderful example of living a pure, modest, and holy life. And I realize more and more that if I am to be like Christ I must be like him in all aspects of life, and that includes honoring his mother, Mary.