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Following The Truth: What If Mary Said “No”? (Catholic or Open)
CE.com ^ | October 13th, 2009 | Gary Zimak

Posted on 12/23/2011 9:48:45 AM PST by Salvation

What If Mary Said “No”?

October 13th, 2009 by Gary Zimak

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Annunciation as told in Chapter 1 of Luke’s gospel. The angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and informed her that she had been chosen to be the Mother of the Savior. Mary agreed, Jesus was born and the entire human race was redeemed. Sounds simple, right? Did you ever consider what would have happened if Mary said, “no”?

Sometimes we forget that Mary had free will and wasn’t forced to go along with the plan that would result in the birth of our Savior. It’s easy to get caught up in the story and ignore the fact that the Blessed Mother could have refused God’s offer. According to the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium ,  “The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman (Eve) had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.” St. Irenaeus, one of the early Church Fathers, stated, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” Let’s examine Mary’s life and see how her “yes” occurred not only on that special day, but continued throughout her life. By looking at her constant submission to God’s will, we’ll explore how Mary’s life can be a model for each of us.

The Bible tells us that Mary was “greatly troubled” when visited by the angel Gabriel. Why? It wasn’t because of the fact that she didn’t trust God. In fact, once the angel revealed God’s plan there is no further mention of Mary being troubled. For most of us, our worrying would start as soon as God revealed His plan. However, Mary embraced God’s plan without needing to know all of the details. The most likely reason for Mary being troubled is because of her humility. She couldn’t understand why the angel would visit her and address her as “full of grace”. A truly humble individual doesn’t recognize their humility and our Blessed Mother’s concern is an illustration of that virtue.

Continuing with the story, the angel informed Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the long awaited Savior. Having most probably made a lifetime vow of virginity (in the opinion of Pope John Paul II and many others), Mary asked how this would be possible. Gabriel informed her that it would take place by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary responded with the words, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” If anything, the angel’s explanation should have made Mary more reluctant, but her incredible trust in God enabled her to agree to the plan without hesitation.

To put things in perspective, imagine the angel Gabriel visiting you today and asking you to become a religious education teacher, to start attending daily Mass, to speak about Christ in your workplace, to read the Bible more frequently, to contribute a greater amount to charity, etc. Would your answer be “May it be done to me according to your word” or would it be a series of questions or excuses? As Pope John Paul II stated in his address on July 3, 1996, “Mary was asked to assent to a truth never expressed before (a virginal motherhood). She accepted it with a simple yet daring heart.” How do we respond to the comparatively minor tasks asked of us by the Lord? Do we accept willingly or do we cite numerous reasons why it isn’t possible? While most of us have not experienced the visible presence of an angel, we have all felt this call to increased service or devotion at some point in our lives. That request may come in the form of a thought, a suggestion from a friend or a statement in a homily or television program. We may brush it off as being unimportant, but that is usually how the Lord calls us. Have we responded to His call with the same willingness exhibited by Mary?

This eagerness to submit to God’s will continued throughout the Blessed Mother’s life. As soon as Jesus was conceived in her womb, Mary traveled “in haste” to assist her relative, Elizabeth, who was 6 months pregnant with John the Baptist. When Mary arrived, Elizabeth proclaimed her to be “blessed among women” and questioned why she was honored to be visited by “the mother of my Lord”. Desiring to give all the glory to God, Mary responded with her famous Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55), which acknowledged God’s greatness and her own lowliness. Even though Mary had been chosen to deliver the Savior of the world, she still managed to give all the credit to God and boast only of her own weakness. Despite all of the turmoil that was going on in her own life, Mary stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months. This display of charity gives us a great example of how to serve others without counting the cost. Do we always serve others with the same selflessness exhibited by Mary? When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, do we then share Him with others as Mary did with Elizabeth?

After Jesus was born, Mary continued to seek God’s will for her life. As events occurred in her daily life as the mother of Jesus, scripture tells us that she meditated and “kept them in her heart” (Lk 2:19,50) In fact, her last appearance in scripture finds her praying with the apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). Do we imitate Mary by frequently praying for an increase of the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Do we attempt to discern God’s will in our own lives through meditation and prayer?

When Mary and Joseph presented the baby Jesus in the temple, the holy man Simeon informed Mary of the great suffering that would be a part of her life (Lk 2:35). This prophecy would be fulfilled as she stood at the foot of the cross and watched the crucifixion of her Son (Jn 19:25). Mary never tried to avoid this suffering, knowing that it was part of God’s will. How do we handle the suffering that we encounter in our own lives? Do we lash out and attempt to avoid it or, like Mary, do we unite our suffering with the sacrifice of Christ as He hangs on the cross?

Would you like to get closer to Jesus and discover His plan for your life? Turn to Mary and ask for her help. Her entire life consisted of submitting to God’s will and she will help you to do the same. When He was dying on the cross, Jesus gave Mary to the “beloved disciple” John. Recognizing that we are all beloved disciples, the Church extends that offer of motherhood to each one of us. Your mother will help lead you to Jesus. Her last recorded words in scripture (at the wedding feast in Cana), provide us with the advice that is guaranteed to keep us on the right path – “Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you.”

Since Mary didn’t say “no” to God, we can only speculate on what would have happened had she done so. However, we do know what happened because she said “yes.” God used her to deliver our Savior! Throughout her life, the Blessed Mother repeatedly trusted in God’s plan. By meditating on her life and asking for her intercession, we can begin to trust God with our lives. Each day we have the opportunity to say “yes” or “no” to God. When things happen to us that we don’t understand, do we trust God or do we complain? Do we always obey the teachings of the Church founded by Jesus, or do we only obey those teachings with which we agree? Do we seek to become closer to Christ by meditating upon His life and keeping Him “in our hearts”? Do we make an effort to encounter Jesus through the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confession as often as possible? Throughout her life, Mary always said “yes” to God … How about you?

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: annunciation; blessedvirginmary; catholic; nativity
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Gary Zimak is the founder of Following The Truth Ministries (http://www.followingthetruth.com), a lay apostolate created to assist Catholics in learning more about their Faith. He is a regular guest on EWTN Radio’s “Son Rise Morning Show”, Ave Maria Radio’s “Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo” and appears frequently on several other Catholic radio programs.  In addition to writing for CatholicLane. Mr. Zimak hosts a daily program on BlogTalkRadio and posts frequently on his blog, Facebook and Twitter.  He is a member of Catholics United For The Faith and the Knights of Columbus and resides in New Jersey.


1 posted on 12/23/2011 9:48:49 AM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Catholic Ping!

Because of Mary's "Yes" we can say:

 
 
A blessed Christmas to all of you!

2 posted on 12/23/2011 9:52:23 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation; thesaleboat; Sick of Lefties; Chainmail; StrongandPround; lilyramone; crusadersoldier; ..
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.


3 posted on 12/23/2011 9:53:03 AM PST by narses
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To: All
Following The Truth: What If Mary Said “No”? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Jesus Is Waiting – Don’t Forget To RSVP! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: So, You Just Received Jesus…Now What? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: An Advent Challenge: Love Your Enemies! (Catholic and Open)
Following The Truth: The Journey To Bethlehem is Not Comfortable! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Does God Want Us To Worry? (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: The Morning Offering – Pray Without Ceasing! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: A (Lenten) Advent “Weight” Loss Program (Catholic or Open)

Following The Truth: Hurry Up, Lord…I’m Waiting! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Evangelize? Sorry, But I’m Catholic! (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should!) (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Letting Your Conscience Be Your Guide(What Jiminy Cricket Didn’t Tell You) [Catholic or Open]
Following The Truth: Catholic “Fluff” – The Enemy Within (Catholic or Open)
Following The Truth: Appreciating The Gift Of Suffering (Catholic or Open)
Following the Truth: Satan’s Attack On The Church – What You Can Do! (Catholic or Open)
Following the Truth: Saying “Y-E-S” to God During Lent (and Advent) [Catholic or Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Dryness: “I Don’t Feel Anything!” (Catholic or Open)
Following the Truth: A Biblical Roadmap To The One, True Church (Catholic or Open)

4 posted on 12/23/2011 9:54:12 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: narses

Well...since you asked. Some people just have too much time on their hands!


5 posted on 12/23/2011 9:57:46 AM PST by old school
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To: All
"Is God smart enough not to make a rock so big that even He cannot move it?"
6 posted on 12/23/2011 10:04:29 AM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Salvation

Little known fact, Martha actually said no first and then the angel went to Mary.

The interesting question for me is what if Martha said yes?


7 posted on 12/23/2011 10:10:00 AM PST by Tramonto (Draft Palin)
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To: Salvation

I believe it is the wrong question altogether.

It is like asking: “If Mary had said ‘No’ would God have been surprised?”

Let’s try to think in terms of God and not in terms of finite Man — it got us in trouble since Adam and Eve.


8 posted on 12/23/2011 10:10:17 AM PST by 353FMG
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To: Tramonto

You’ve got the wrong “Mary” I believe.


9 posted on 12/23/2011 10:13:21 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: 353FMG

But Christ is true God as well as true Man.


10 posted on 12/23/2011 10:14:37 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Well there was Mary’s Immaculate Conception. How would that be if Mary said no?


11 posted on 12/23/2011 10:18:23 AM PST by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: Salvation

No, you got the wrong Martha.


12 posted on 12/23/2011 10:20:00 AM PST by Tramonto (Draft Palin)
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To: Salvation

She really didn’t have a choice in the matter.

God chose Mary.


13 posted on 12/23/2011 10:23:12 AM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: ex-snook

That be a pretty good point there


14 posted on 12/23/2011 10:23:29 AM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Tramonto

Scriptural references for this, please.


15 posted on 12/23/2011 10:26:22 AM PST by ReformationFan
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To: Salvation

What IF... it didnt happen at all the way it is reported to have happened.. from conception to birth..
but in a miraculous way instead of a normal(natural) way..

A way worthy of a God not David Copperfield.. What if?..
How “it” happened was to convince Joseph and Mary not anyone else..
What if “there are no words” to explain how Jesus arrived on this planet..
So the first sound byte was invented.. a cover story..

How Jesus got here can be and is in some places a distraction(a diversion) to who Jesus “IS”..
meaning the spiritual Jesus not the flesh Jesus..

Wonder which republican candidate the spiritual Jesus is for NOW...
He may be for Barack Obama to punish America for abortion..


16 posted on 12/23/2011 10:27:49 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: Salvation

Oh, where to start?! First of all, Gabriel told Mary that she WILL give birth to th Savior. It was a done deal. No permission or assent was requested. Mary of course gave her assent anyway, and her faith and obedience is to be commended and emulated. But to suggest that she could have thwarted the redemptive plan of God is ludicrous, perhaps even heretical. It elevates a human above God. Second, following you reasoning, the same “hyperdulia” (worship lite?) should be given to the multitudes of Jesus’ ancestors who (by your logic) could have prevented the incarnation by disobedience and thus breaking the Davidic line. Take Noah, by your logic he is every bit as responsible for the appearance of the Messiah as Mary. No ark- no Jesus. Why no hyperdulia for poor Noah? Of course the fallacy here is that God cannot cary out His plan absent our obedience. Scripture is replete with examples of God carrying out His plan despite human disobedience and sin, even using sin to advance His plan. Mary was no different.


17 posted on 12/23/2011 10:40:46 AM PST by armydoc
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To: Tramonto
Source?
18 posted on 12/23/2011 10:55:36 AM PST by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: ReformationFan; starlifter
Scriptural references for this, please.

No references necessary. Its tradition which trumps scripture. Sure the tradition started 2,000 years after the fact but scripture must be interpreted by the traditions that began centuries and millennia after the events recorded in scripture.

19 posted on 12/23/2011 11:07:22 AM PST by Tramonto (Draft Palin)
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To: Salvation

I’m pretty sure God knew what Mary’s answer would be. After all, He IS omniscient.


20 posted on 12/23/2011 11:12:15 AM PST by crosshairs (Liberalism is to truth, what east is to west.)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation

I couldn’t imagine it would have been any other way, could you?


22 posted on 12/23/2011 11:48:49 AM PST by tob2 (Merry Christmas to all!)
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To: Tramonto; ReformationFan; starlifter

So, you’re completely making things up out of thin air and saying they trump truth?

You must be either a Protestant or a public school grad or both.


23 posted on 12/23/2011 12:12:13 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: ex-snook; Salvation
Well there was Mary’s Immaculate Conception. How would that be if Mary said no?

I believe you are confusing Mary's Immaculate Conception (which occurred when she was conceived) with the conception of Jesus.

24 posted on 12/23/2011 1:16:26 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: armydoc

Every heard of these two simple words “free will” ? Even God respected a person’s free will to say either “yes” or” no.” It is as simple as that.


25 posted on 12/23/2011 2:24:57 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: NYer

“I believe you are confusing Mary’s Immaculate Conception (which occurred when she was conceived) with the conception of Jesus.”


Nope. No confusion. That’s the point. When Mary was conceived without sin, does it make sense that God expected her to say NO?


26 posted on 12/23/2011 2:26:27 PM PST by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: Biggirl
Every heard of these two simple words “free will” ? Even God respected a person’s free will to say either “yes” or” no.” It is as simple as that.

I think you're missing the point. Questions of "free will" aside, a "no" from Mary would not have prevented the incarnation. God is much, much bigger than that. He is a God that can make stones cry out in praise of Him should humans refuse to do so.
27 posted on 12/23/2011 2:38:38 PM PST by armydoc
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To: vladimir998
So, you’re completely making things up out of thin air and saying they trump truth?

You must be either a Protestant or a public school grad or both.


Tradition trumping scripture? Sounds Catholic to me.
28 posted on 12/23/2011 2:56:05 PM PST by crosshairs (Liberalism is to truth, what east is to west.)
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To: Tramonto

“No references necessary. Its tradition which trumps scripture.”

Not for me it doesn’t.


29 posted on 12/23/2011 2:57:12 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: Alex Murphy

It is a pretty silly question. The paradox of how we can have free will and still make choices which are already known to God is one of many brain twisters in Catholic dogma. It’s best not to think about it.


30 posted on 12/23/2011 2:59:20 PM PST by giotto
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To: crosshairs; vladimir998

“So, you’re completely making things up out of thin air and saying they trump truth?

“You must be either a Protestant or a public school grad or both.

“Tradition trumping scripture? Sounds Catholic to me.”

Exactly. It would be like saying a Democrat wants to reduce taxes and the size and scope of the federal government.


31 posted on 12/23/2011 2:59:58 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: ex-snook
Well there was Mary’s Immaculate Conception. How would that be if Mary said no?

One might say Mary was predestined as a result, wouldn't one?

My goodness, Presbyterians and Catholics have so much in common.

32 posted on 12/23/2011 3:02:30 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: ex-snook

How was the idea of Mary’s immaculate conception introduced in the catholic church? The doctrine was not a tradition in the early centuries of the church. Some Church Fathers taught that Mary led a sinless life, but they did not teach that she was conceived without original sin. On the contrary the Fathers opposed the heresy of Pelagius who insisted that Adam’s sin was not imputed to the human race. For instance, Augustine writes: “He [Christ], therefore, alone having become man, but still continuing to be God, never had any sin, nor did he assume a flesh of sin, though born of a maternal flesh of sin” (De Peccatorum Meritis, Bk II, Ch 38). Christ alone never had any sin.

A feast of Mary’s conception was celebrated in the Eastern church as early as the seventh century (and later in the West), but that does not imply a belief in “immaculate” conception. In fact, to this day the Orthodox Church does not accept the doctrine.

In the 13th-century, John Duns Scotus promoted the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Franciscan monks continued to preach and defend the doctrine, but it was opposed in the 12th-century by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th-century and subsequently by the Dominican friars.

In the 15th-century the Franciscan Pope Sixtus IV established a feast of the Immaculate Conception to be celebrated on December 8.

Finally in 1854 Pope Pius IX issued a solemn decree, Ineffabilis Deus, declaring the Immaculate Conception an essential dogma for all the church.

Scripture

Catholic scholars acknowledge that this doctrine is not explicitly revealed in Scripture. The Catholic Encyclopaedia admits, “No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture.”

The Catechism refers to Luke 1:28 for scriptural support. But “full of grace” could not possibly mean conceived without sin, for the very same word is used in Ephesians 1:6 referring to ALL believers. Certainly no-one would argue that all Christians are conceived without sin!

Contrary to the Roman Catholic teaching, the Scripture plainly teaches that all Adam’s descendents share his sinful nature: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Therefore all Adam’s children need to be saved. Mary herself, a natural descendant of Adam, calls God “my savior” (Luke 1:47). Evidently she did not know the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception!

Of Christ alone, the eternal Son who was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin woman, it is ever expressly stated that He was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Christ alone is immaculate from conception; therefore He alone is qualified to die in the place of sinners. Christ, who knew no sin, “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).

In Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX also appealed to Genesis 3:15 as “unmistakable evidence that she has crushed the poisonous head of the serpent.” He also states that with and through Christ, Mary was “eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot.”

But the Bible does not say that Mary crushed the serpent’s head. Speaking to the serpent, the Lord says:

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.

The woman’s Seed, the Messiah, not the woman, bruised the serpent’s head.

The paintings of the Immaculate crushing the serpent’s head were inspired from a incorrect translation of Genesis 3:15 based on the Latin Vulgate: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” (Douay-Rheims Bible). Modern Catholic Bibles, such as the New American Bible, correct the mistake: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”

Yet Mary is still portrayed crushing Satan’s head. Let us not be misled by false images and false doctrine. Nobody but Jesus fulfilled the great prophecy and overcame our deceptive enemy. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Through His death, Jesus destroyed “him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release[ed] those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14,15). Let us therefore trust in Him alone to give us victory over Satan, sin and death.

Shipwreck in the Faith

The implications of the Catholic dogma are very serious. Pope Pius IX solemnly warned: “Hence, if anyone shall dare — which God forbid! — to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he thinks in his heart” (Ineffabilis Deus).

The Roman Catholic magisterium would have us believe a novel doctrine (that is neither taught in the Scriptures nor in the writings of the Church Fathers) as an essential article of the Christian faith. But we are convinced that the Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15). We don’t need any extra-biblical doctrines for our salvation. In fact, it is the Roman Church that has suffered “shipwreck in the faith” by embracing a doctrine that is contrary to the Bible; and “separated from the unity of the Church” which for centuries knew nothing of the theological inventions of Rome.


33 posted on 12/23/2011 3:02:46 PM PST by crosshairs (Liberalism is to truth, what east is to west.)
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To: Salvation
Basic Grammar Police: What if Mary HAD said "No"?

(Geez, the writer must be a native English speaker!)

34 posted on 12/23/2011 3:03:14 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: crosshairs

You wrote:

“Tradition trumping scripture? Sounds Catholic to me.”

That would just be a reflection of how little you know since tradition does not trump scripture. They always work together.

Public school grad?


35 posted on 12/23/2011 3:11:24 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: All; Biggirl; armydoc
Yes! He has to have it out of free will. Otherwise he is a dictator and not God. She loved God. If not everything is a farce. God would not be the God of Love and Justice.

He knew her heart thats for sure. As scripture tells us He knows our thoughts.

Otherwise this would be Forced instead of Love.

John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

16For God so Loved?/Forced the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

36 posted on 12/23/2011 3:11:59 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass ,Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: giotto

Brain twister? There’s no conundrum there at all. I know exactly what some people will do or say (anti-Catholics bigots here at FR are extremely predictable at times, for instance), and yet those people still have free will. Even though God is omnipotent, the principle is the same. God knows what we will choose, but He allows free will.


37 posted on 12/23/2011 3:15:10 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998; 7MMmag
I know exactly what some people will do or say (anti-Catholics bigots here at FR are extremely predictable at times, for instance), and yet those people still have free will.

It's an amazing trick. Everyone should see how it works!

38 posted on 12/23/2011 3:33:24 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Alex Murphy

I knew what you would do, but you still freely chose it.

God made men to be free. And they are.


39 posted on 12/23/2011 3:38:25 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: Salvation

Don’t you believe that God knew Mary’s answer ever since the beginning of creation?

Again, the original question should never have been asked. Are we, little insignificant human beings, trying to “pick God’s Brain”?

Our arrogance is laughable. (I do not mean you, but in general.)


40 posted on 12/23/2011 3:42:37 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: Alex Murphy

Does it combine the determinate side with the free will side? No more schizophrenia!


41 posted on 12/23/2011 3:59:03 PM PST by suzyjaruki (What if Jesus had said "No"?)
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To: ReformationFan

Start with Luke 1:26 and keep reading.


42 posted on 12/23/2011 4:25:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: vladimir998; 7MMmag
I knew what you would do, but you still freely chose it.

The answer is still not "helicopter".

43 posted on 12/23/2011 4:44:50 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Alex Murphy

You wrote:

“The answer is still not “helicopter”.”

Right, the answer is “denial of the Annunciation”.


44 posted on 12/23/2011 5:02:14 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

AMEN to that!


45 posted on 12/23/2011 5:15:56 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl
AMEN to that [post #39]!

"Amen" to a cheap carny mindreading act?

46 posted on 12/23/2011 5:20:04 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Tramonto

“Martha actually said no first and then the angel went to Mary.”

LOL! Guess the chapter and verse on that are in the book of Hezekiah.


47 posted on 12/23/2011 5:25:09 PM PST by MayflowerMadam
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To: Alex Murphy

It is a freely offered gift from God, the gift of faith and of saying “yes” to Him. I just do not understand what you said.


48 posted on 12/23/2011 5:36:58 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: giotto
The paradox of how we can have free will and still make choices which are already known to God is one of many brain twisters in Catholic dogma. It’s best not to think about it.

It's easily resolved. Imagine that you sit down with a deck of cards to play a game of Klondike Solitaire. Once you've dealt out the first 28 cards, you notice that among the face up cards are the Diamond Five and the Spade Jack. Can you place the Spade Jack on the Diamond Five? Why or why not? What would possibly prevent you from doing so? If you were to attempt to place the Spade Jack on the Diamond Five, would the two cards develop such strong electric charges that the Spade Jack wouldn't sit flat on the Diamond Five? Or would the Solitaire Police burst into your home for placing a card on another card whose rank is not numerically one higher than the card being placed? Unless you have a very odd deck, or live in a place with really weird cops, neither of those things would happen. In what sense, then, could one really say that one "can't" place a Spade Jack on a Diamond Five?

The answer is that there is nothing physically that would prevent one from arranging the cards however one would want, or peeking at any cards he sees fit. The player is in some sense omnipotent and omniscient when it comes to the cards on the table before him. In another sense, however, the player is comparatively powerless: the player, despite his omnipotence, cannot act in a way contrary to the rules of Klondike Solitaire while still playing the game. The moment the player behaves in ways not permitted by the rules, the player would cease to be playing Klondike Solitaire.

When God decided to give Man free will, He decided that He would run the universe, and allow it to run itself, according to certain rules. He would have the capability, at any time He chose, to disregard those rules, but only at the expense of abandoning the "game". The moment he would decide that it was okay to disregard any rule in any way, all of the rules would become meaningless. If He follows the rules, then many of the things that happen in the world would happen as a result of man's free will. Were God to intervene in ways not permitted by the rules he set for himself, that would imply that anything bad that happened would be a result not of man's free will, but of God's decision not to intervene.

With regard to the question in the original post, I don't think there's any great mystery. Mary received a calling to play a part in God's plan, as do many other people. Some people answer their callings; others do not. If God calls to someone to do something for Him and that person refuses, God usually doesn't push the issue. He simply finds someone else. If Mary had decided to refuse God's calling, that wouldn't have been a major obstacle to His "plan": she'd simply have joined the throng of forgettable and forgotten people throughout history while some other woman was chosen to be the Mother of Christ. Indeed, while it's possible Mary was God's first choice, she wouldn't have to have been. Perhaps God called to someone else first, but that person said "no", and thus Mary was called upon. She's the first person who history remembers as having been called upon in that way, because anyone who had said "no" would have long since been forgotten.

49 posted on 12/23/2011 10:06:12 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: armydoc
But to suggest that she could have thwarted the redemptive plan of God is ludicrous, perhaps even heretical. It elevates a human above God.

God gave humans free will. Individuals are free to either participate in God's plan, or to resist it. If God's plan calls for someone to play a particular role, and that person refuses, that portion of God's plan will not proceed as intended, and alternate arrangements will have to be made. That does not imply that humans are above God, however. An individual standing in the ocean can push his hands through the water, and the water will get out of his hands' way. That does not, however, mean the individual is more powerful than the ocean. Likewise, if individuals want to resist God's plan, they will be free to do so, but God will call upon other individuals to do what needs to be done.

50 posted on 12/23/2011 10:14:11 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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