12 Comments

  1. Brian Rebar

    Just read your response Erin. I think that your argument is spot on. The point of the devil persuading and disguising sin and making look appealing or even making it appear as something that is good for us. In those situations, even someone without original sin or concupiscence could be tempted to do something sinful. I love your mayo comparison, haha! You hate mayo so it’s perfect!

  2. Dave

    I’ve heard it said that Mary needed Salvation just as much as we do. If somebody pulled a man out of a hole, and stopped a woman from falling into the hole, he saved them both. In this way, Mary shares in our experience in a way that Even Jesus in his humanity didn’t: Our need to be saved.

    • Brian Rebar

      That’s a really good way to put it! So we are the man in the hole, Mary is the women being kept from falling into the hole but where is Jesus in this metaphor? Was He even capable of falling in the hole at all? He didn’t sin, had no original sin, but could He sin at all? Was he capable? He was tempted and I’m sure this meant He came close but could He have? Was it within the realm of possibility? Had He, He would’ve been putting something(sin) in between Him and God. Hmmm…

  3. Brian Rebar

    “She was born without sin, but that does not mean that she was incapable of it.”
    That’s the phrase that really stuck out to me. At first glance this seems heretical but it’s obviously not. We as Catholics assume because Mary didn’t sin and was born without Original Sin, that she couldn’t sin but that’s not true at all which is perhaps what makes her all the more amazing and holy. She had perfect holiness as a human being which is why she is the perfect model of holiness.

    I’m sure Joseph sinned. That had to have been tough for him. They say that the wife is always right and the husband should get used to saying “I’m sorry.” This is a stereotype that I absolutely detest because I feel like it has the danger of perpetuating certain flawed mentalities in marriages. It also kind of dooms the husband to failure at times. But anyways, the point I’m trying to make is that this was the case for Joseph in his marriage to Mary. He may have been right in certain situations. I don’t think Mary being free of sin meant she had perfect judgment, close but not quite perfect. Having a solid moral compass doesn’t mean you’re right in all circumstances. I’m sure she was mistaken or wrong at times. Being mistaken or wrong does not imply sin. Anyways, my point was that Joseph had to have been challenged on a consistent basis and we know that he owned up to this challenge and grew in holiness and he raised the Son of God, side by side with the Mother of God. That was a weird tangent. Haha! Just thinking out loud.

    Here’s an interesting question. Jesus was sinless, born of original sin, and God. Was he incapable of sin? Saying God is incapable seems wrong but it isn’t. He can put limits on Himself. That’s what He did when He made Himself human. But was He capable of sin and just chose not to just like Mary. Was it different? How was it? Did His nature as God prevent Him from sinning or did His human side make it possible even if He was born without original sin like Mary? This is a super complex question. What do you guys think?

    • I think that Jesus was capable of sin, however his situation was different than Mary’s. As God, though he was capable of sin and certainly experienced temptation, to sin would have been to act outside of his own nature. Sin is, in fact, the act of turning away from God. As God, he can’t turn away from himself. He is himself. That didn’t come out sounding as profound as it did in my head. I explained it to myself better than I did on paper 🙁

      Here’s another thought. Because of original sin, a human being’s nature is sinful. Not to say that humans are bad (everything God created is good). If Mary was born without original sin, does that mean that, by nature, she is good and therefore to sin would be to act outside of her nature?

      • Brian Rebar

        So in the context of sin, what makes Jesus different than Mary? Besides the fact that she needed to be saved. She had no original sin but did she have concupiscence? And is that the difference? Concupiscence?

        • I’m not sure, but I have an idea. Like I said, Jesus, as God, cannot be separated from his nature. Mary, as human, can. Yes, Mary was born free of original sin. But so was Eve. That proves that Mary was very capable of making the same choice Eve did. I don’t think Eve had concupiscence, since that was caused by the Fall. Therefore, the difference isn’t a matter of concupiscence. I would be tempted to say that Mary didn’t have concupiscence either since she was the “new Eve.” Perhaps the difference is more a matter of free will. Mary and Eve both had the option to choose either God’s will or their own. Jesus, though he technically had the option to sin, would not have because he is God and therefore would naturally follow his own will. Does that make sense? This is just conjecture, of course. lol

          • Brian Rebar

            I like your argument in the latter half of your comment regarding the contrast in the two different “wills” but the argument about Eve might be flawed because Eve probably never existed. lol. She is the new Eve symbolically, that doesn’t mean the lack of concupiscence carried over. And if there was no concupiscence, than where is the struggle with temptation? If someone doesn’t find sin appealing than why would temptation be hard for Jesus or Mary?

          • Concupiscence is caused by original sin though, which is why I don’t think it would make sense for Mary, or Jesus to have it. As to why sin would be appealing without it, I’m not sure. I’ll think more on it and answer back later!

          • Okay. I finally remembered to finish what I was trying to say before. First, in answer to your last question, I think temptation can occur even without concupiscence (the natural inclination for sin). After some research, I am fairly certain that neither Jesus nor Mary had concupiscence because they did not have original sin. However, they can still be tempted. Satan is the Great Deceiver. He is so good at lying and convincing. They may not have had a natural inclination to sin, but that does not mean they were immune to persuasion.

            Here’s an example. If someone offered me a sandwich dripping with mayo, I would have no natural inclination to eat it. Like none. At all. Yuck. Anyways…if the person offering me the sandwich was really good at persuading, I could probably be talked into at least trying the sandwich. If I tried the sandwich and liked it, I would suddenly feel an inclination to eat more–even if I knew the sandwich was incredibly bad for me. Basically, I don’t think it is necessary to find something appealing to be tempted. I think concupiscence and temptation are two separate things.

            As to what is different between Mary and Jesus, I think that comes down to the second part of my argument. It’s a matter of nature. God cannot be separated from who he is–otherwise he would cease to be God. Sin is a departure from God’s will. Therefore, while Jesus did have free will, he was also God which means that to follow his free will would also be the same as following God’s will.
            Mary, on the other hand, though good by nature because she was not born with original sin, also has free will. Her choice is different from Jesus’s because she could have chosen to follow God’s will, or her own. Luckily for us, she chose to follow God’s will.

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