On Mary Being Sinless

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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.

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One thought on “On Mary Being Sinless

  1. Hi Vivien- I cam across your blog a few weeks back when searching the web. Very belated congratulations! Such a unique and moving story, but, I will say that I have never been a fan of the term “conversion”- I prefer to think of it as a moment of Grace where your heart and your mind were opened to seek understanding of the Mystery of Faith, within the Church that is the Bride of Christ.

    There is so much poor education with Protestants about Mary and Marian devotion- it’s as if it is the single point where so many Protestant churches seek to show the “wrongness” of Catholicism. However, Luther himself preached his whole life about the the solemnity of Mary and how she should be revered by all Christians. Today, some Lutheran sects still pray the Rosary.

    The point to truly understand the need to devote oneself to honoring Mary comes from Luke 1:28, the basis of the prayer “Hail Mary, full of Grace…” Clearly, Luke was telling us just how special Mary was to the first disciples of Christ. compare that picture to a glass, and begin to fill it up with water to the point where it just starts to spill over the lip of the glass. Luke was giving us that same illustration, that Mary was full of the Grace of God that she couldn’t possibly contain anymore. Was she absolutely never without sin? The Church teaches us to believe that to be so, but even if you don’t 100% agree with that idea, you have to believe that Mary, like all other followers of Jesus, are/was/were worthy of Salvation, so even if she was not without sin as a young little girl, she certainly was at that moment that Luke was recounting to us what the angel said.

    It is totally awesome that you are searching and seeking to learn more- as I teach ,my CCD kids, Confirmation isn’t going to be some grand graduation ceremony, but the beginning of a new adventure of learning of their own free will (if they desire it). Keep going, and keep questioning!

    PS- I fully believe that The Passion of the Christ should be required viewing by all who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, either as a teen or through RCIA.

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