Wednesday, December 8

Lessons from the saints - the Immaculate Conception of the blessed virgin Mary

This is the next installment in my ongoing series known as "why Tim is a heretic".  This post very well may honk you off.  You've been warned.

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrating the infallible dogma that Christ followed in his mother's footsteps and was born free from the taint of Original Sin. Well, sorta.  You see, the idea that Christ was born without sin is not, in fact,  infallible doctrine via the Roman Church. The idea that Mary was born without sin is.

In any event, discussion the state of the Blessed Virgin's soul becomes a topic of some discussion in the 8th century, primarily in the Eastern Catholic faiths, and the feast of the Immaculate Conception is first celebrated in the Roman Catholic church in the 11th century (after the Roman Catholics split with the Eastern Catholics).  The growth of Mariology in the middle ages increased the prominence of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception until Pius IX declared the dogma to be infallible on December 8, 1854 (only one of two times the infallible card has been used).

I would note that there is no Scriptural basis for above mentioned dogma, though there is substantive Tradition which supports the idea that Mary was bathed in some form of Grace (the exact nature of which is debated) which caused her to be free from the taint of sin.

and.....this is where I get off the bus.  It is not that I disbelieve in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  In fact, it is really just the opposite.  I will explain.

You see, as I have stated much earlier in this blog, I do not hold the concept of Original Sin as being valid.     We are all made in Her image and carry within us the spark of the Divine.  We are the ones who walk away from God, not He from us.

If all mortal children are born without the taint of Original Sin, then the disposition of Mary's soul (and the soul of her firstborn son) at the moment of her conception and/or birth has not changed.  What has changed is underlying assumption that Mary (or the child) was born differently than you or I.  For Christ to be born without sin and yet be 'fully human', it would follow that we must also be born without sin. 

What happens after that is, fundamentally, our responsibility.

P.S. - These are things which I believe, but I am but me, a mortal man who can but barely see things physical in the here and now.  If you have reasons to believe differently, then express them.



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