Skip to comments.The Church Fathers-Mary: Without Sin
Posted on 04/14/2011 9:21:51 AM PDT by marshmallow
The Ascension of Isaiah
[T]he report concerning the child was noised abroad in Bethlehem. Some said, The Virgin Mary has given birth before she was married two months. And many said, She has not given birth; the midwife has not gone up to her, and we heard no cries of pain (Ascension of Isaiah 11 [A.D. 70]).
The Odes of Solomon
So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies. And she labored and bore the Son, but without pain, because it did not occur without purpose. And she did not seek a midwife, because he caused her to give life. She bore as a strong man, with will . . . (Odes of Solomon 19 [A.D. 80])
[Jesus] became man by the Virgin so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied Be it done unto me according to your word [Luke 1:38] (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 100 [A.D. 155]).
Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, Behold, O Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word. Eve, however, was disobedient, and, when yet a virgin, she did not obey. Just as she, who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husbandfor in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children, and it was necessary that they first come to maturity before beginning to multiplyhaving become disobedient, was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eves disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).
The Lord then was manifestly coming to his own things, and was sustaining them by means of that creation that is supported by himself. He was making a recapitulation of that disobedience that had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience that was upon a tree [i.e., the cross]. Furthermore, the original deception was to be done away withthe deception by which that virgin Eve (who was already espoused to a man) was unhappily misled. That this was to be overturned was happily announced through means of the truth by the angel to the Virgin Mary (who was also [espoused] to a man). . . . So if Eve disobeyed God, yet Mary was persuaded to be obedient to God. In this way, the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin. Virginal disobedience has been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. For in the same way, the sin of the first created man received amendment by the correction of the First-Begotten (ibid., 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]).
And again, lest I depart from my argumentation on the name of Adam: Why is Christ called Adam by the apostle [Paul], if as man he was not of that earthly origin? But even reason defends this conclusion, that God recovered his image and likeness by a procedure similar to that in which he had been robbed of it by the devil. It was while Eve was still a virgin that the word of the devil crept in to erect an edifice of death. Likewise through a virgin the Word of God was introduced to set up a structure of life. Thus what had been laid waste in ruin by this sex was by the same sex reestablished in salvation. Eve had believed the serpent; Mary believed Gabriel. That which the one destroyed by believing, the other, by believing, set straight (The Flesh of Christ 17:4 [A.D. 210].
If therefore it might come to pass by the power of your grace, it has appeared right to us your servants that, as you, having overcome death, do reign in glory, so you should raise up the body of your Mother and take her with you, rejoicing, into heaven. Then said the Savior [Jesus]: Be it done according to your will (The Passing of the Virgin 16:217 [A.D. 300]).
Ephraim the Syrian
You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these? (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A.D. 361]).
Ambrose of Milan
Marys life should be for you a pictorial image of virginity. Her life is like a mirror reflecting the face of chastity and the form of virtue. Therein you may find a model for your own life . . . showing what to improve, what to imitate, what to hold fast to (The Virgins 2:2:6 [A.D. 377]).
The first thing which kindles ardor in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater [to teach by example] than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose? What more chaste than she who bore a body without contact with another body? For why should I speak of her other virtues? She was a virgin not only in body but also in mind, who stained the sincerity of its disposition by no guile, who was humble in heart, grave in speech, prudent in mind, sparing of words, studious in reading, resting her hope not on uncertain riches, but on the prayer of the poor, intent on work, modest in discourse; wont to seek not man but God as the judge of her thoughts, to injure no one, to have goodwill towards all, to rise up before her elders, not to envy her equals, to avoid boastfulness, to follow reason, to love virtue. When did she pain her parents even by a look? When did she disagree with her neighbors? When did she despise the lowly? When did she avoid the needy? (ibid., 2:2:7).
Come, then, and search out your sheep, not through your servants or hired men, but do it yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a virgin not only undefiled, but a virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin (Commentary on Psalm 118:2230 [A.D. 387]).
Our Lord . . . was not averse to males, for he took the form of a male, nor to females, for of a female he was born. Besides, there is a great mystery here: that just as death comes to us through a woman, life is born to us through a woman; that the devil, defeated, would be tormented by each nature, feminine and masculine, as he had taken delight in the defection of both (Christian Combat 22:24 [A.D. 396]).
That one woman is both mother and virgin, not in spirit only but even in body. In spirit she is mother, not of our head, who is our Savior himselfof whom all, even she herself, are rightly called children of the bridegroombut plainly she is the mother of us who are his members, because by love she has cooperated so that the faithful, who are the members of that head, might be born in the Church. In body, indeed, she is the Mother of that very head (Holy Virginity 6:6 [A.D. 401]).
Having excepted the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom, on account of the honor of the Lord, I wish to have absolutely no question when treating of sinsfor how do we know what abundance of grace for the total overcoming of sin was conferred upon her, who merited to conceive and bear him in whom there was no sin?so, I say, with the exception of the Virgin, if we could have gathered together all those holy men and women, when they were living here, and had asked them whether they were without sin, what do we suppose would have been their answer? (Nature and Grace 36:42 [A.D. 415]).
Timothy of Jerusalem
Therefore the Virgin is immortal to this day, seeing that he who had dwelt in her transported her to the regions of her assumption (Homily on Simeon and Anna [A.D. 400]).
John the Theologian
[T]he Lord said to his Mother, Let your heart rejoice and be glad, for every favor and every gift has been given to you from my Father in heaven and from me and from the Holy Spirit. Every soul that calls upon your name shall not be ashamed, but shall find mercy and comfort and support and confidence, both in the world that now is and in that which is to come, in the presence of my Father in the heavens (The Falling Asleep of Mary [A.D. 400]).
And from that time forth all knew that the spotless and precious body had been transferred to paradise (ibid.).
Gregory of Tours
The course of this life having been completed by blessed Mary, when now she would be called from the world, all the apostles came together from their various regions to her house. And when they had heard that she was about to be taken from the world, they kept watch together with her. And behold, the Lord Jesus came with his angels, and, taking her soul, he gave it over to the angel Michael and withdrew. At daybreak, however, the apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb, and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; the holy body having been received, he commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise, where now, rejoined to the soul, [Marys body] rejoices with the Lords chosen ones and is in the enjoyment of the good of an eternity that will never end (Eight Books of Miracles 1:4 [A.D. 584]).
But Mary, the glorious Mother of Christ, who is believed to be a virgin both before and after she bore him, has, as we said above, been translated into paradise, amid the singing of the angelic choirs, whither the Lord preceded her (ibid., 1:8).
Mary needed the Savior as much as anyone.
How can you use the “Ascension of Isaiah” when it is blasphemous? It describes Jesus as “disguising” Himself as an angel through several trips on the way to being born. The Lord has no need to disguise Himself. And many authorities agree that the Odes of Solomon are heretical. “The Father being milked by the Holy Spirit to cause the incarnation of Jesus.”
Of course she did. Christ saved her ahead of time so that she could be a fit mother. God stands outside time.
“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my SAVIOUR.”
Yes, Mary the Mother of Jesus needed a SAVIOUR. And she has a SAVIOUR.
She was not sinless.
There are many who think of God as just a really nice powerful person. They have a hard time with the “master of time and space’ stuff and what that means.
“Mary needed the Savior as much as anyone.”
Riiight. Mary worship is wrong. Sorry if that offends.
The Lord has no need to disguise Himself.OT, but What do you make of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) who didn't recognize Jesus after the Resurrection?
Holy Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse in thee.
They do not understand the whole concept of Kairos. To them eternity is just one long stretch of never ending time.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee
But since it's generally acknowledged to be a composite work, parts of it may still be instructive . . . not as a matter of which belief is demanded, but an indication as to what Christians of the third century were thinking.
I am a Christian, with my own beliefs, it seems though that Catholics have nearly one of five threads going at all time. It is not informative, it is an attempt to push religious dogma. JMHO, and forgive me if I offended anyone.
It makes perfect sense for God to purify the woman who was going to carry God in her body for nine months and then have (with St. Joseph) the raising and education of Him for all of His childhood. It is contrary to nothing in scripture, and indeed tallies with the angel Gabriel's salutation - "Hail, full of grace" (in the Greek, the verb form indicates a complete and perfect fullness) - with no room left for sin.
This does not mean that the Virgin Mary is divine or worthy of worship. The Church has always distinguished between worship, which is due to God alone, and the honor paid to saints, especially the Virgin Mary.
She was not sinless.
For a description of why, step back from the modern American congregationalist approach, which is utterly adrift on a sea of individualism and subjectivity and try to reconnect with early Christian thought.
Check out the Church Fathers. What I've posted above is simply a few snippets. There are many other treatises on this subject. Worth a read.
Prayers go up to Mary, to the Saints. I’m sure Jesus wonders why they aren’t directed to Him.
All have fallen short, even Mary. All praise is due Jesus, no other. Paul was a great Christian post-Damascus road. Yet, he’s not worthy of receiving prayer.
Only one name by which we may be saved - Jesus.
I liked the quote from St. Augustine. As I’ve said before, he is one Saint that seems to me to constantly be misquoted or quoted out of context to support a wide range of heresies not the least of which is Calvinism.
All those who aren’t Catholic who believe he was (insert heretical sect of choce here) ask yourselves:
What Church did he convert to later in life?
Why is even his mother regarded as a Saint in the Catholic Church?
If he really was a Calvinist (or Baptist, or any other crazy idea one may have for his religious affiliation), how is it his entire life is steeped in Catholicism? Was he some kind of secret whatever denomination?
I’m so sick of him being hijacked by those who deny the Church. Get your own Saints/Fathers in history. If you can. (which of course you can’t)
Unless one holds to the idea that once Jesus ascended into heaven, it all went south and the church got lost only to be rediscovered a millenium or so later, then one needs to read and understand the writings of those who actually knew the Apostles, who were taught by them and who were instrumental in the early spread of Christianity. They, in turn, handed on what they had been taught to their own disciples.
History does matter. These men received the authentic interpretation of Scripture from those who were taught by Jesus. Their writings are important.
Have a great day.
I've noticed a huge increase in Catholic threads as well. They're not just caucus threads either; many of them are titled with provocative headlines like this. The posters know they are irritating many; the only reason I can see that they do it so often is to "push dogma" as you state.
This is like looking to the writings of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg for authoritative statements on the personal life of George Washington. She is so far removed from any personal knowledge of the facts that were she to write anything that contradicts what Washington’s contemporaries had said, you would be very foolish to take Ginsburg’s word over theirs.
I would bring up the point that the Bible itself answers the question.
Mary herself admitted in Luke she needed a savior. Further no one (including Mary) comes to the Father but through Jesus Christ.
For ALL (including Mary) have fallen short of the glory of God.
Only Christ lived a perfect, sinless life - which is why when we believe in Him (alone) his perfect obedient life is imputed to us as righteousness. There is no other person that lived a perfect sinless life. And if there was, there would be another name under heaven we could believe in to be saved.
The prphecies in the Bible regarding ‘the seed of the woman’ from Genesis on, never said the woman would be sinless and live a sinless, perfect life. It said she would be a virgin. Meaning the birth of the savior would be a miracle God brings about supernaturally.
Genesis never says this. Isaiah never says the virgin is sinless and lives a perfect life. None of the New Testament every shows Mary in a light that she was also sinless and was living a perfect sinless life. The fact she and Joseph were angry at the young Jesus forbeing in the temple for days without them knowing it, shows Mary was not perfect and sinless - she would have not been angry at Jesus because she would have known exactly where he was because she would have been sinless and perfect and understood this being that way.
I love the real, biblical Mary. Not the artificially enhanced because man think it must be so, even though the bible doesn’t say it, Mary.
I agree with this. Americans not only have to reestablish a connection with the early church...they need to reestablish a connection with history in general which the liberals have managed to erode.
However, Tthe early Fathers were fallible and had both good and bad things to say. This is one reason why their sayings are NOT equal with Scripture which is fully God-breathed. Therefore when a belief that the early Church Fathers held held CONFLICTS with Scripture, it is Scripture which must hold sway.
What’s the over-under for how many replies this thread gets?
The Church Fathers-Mary: Without Sin
And they got that from the ‘father of lies’!
Jesus, The Word, The HEAD of His Church says ALL have the sin nature.
Why does the counterfeit RCC insist the Mary was without sin when she was born?
Because God’s Word says ONLY JESUS was born without sin! And their existence is solely to oppose God’s Word!
From the beginning - who used deception to oppose God’s Word? SATAN! Nothing new under the sun. Thus the RCC is a pawn of satan - and brought forth the catechism and traditions - which nullify God’s Word.
Tell us why Jesus had to come if there was ‘one’ sinless one on earth?
Who was the ‘one’ that was DESTROYED because of the Jesus’ death and resurrection of Jesus? Satan! That’s who is behind the ‘Mary was sinless’ heresy - because everyone else gained VICTORY at The Cross. Satan is going down and he’s hell bent on bringing down all he can with him!
Anyone believing what opposes God’s Word gave up their victory for a lie! That’s how deception works.
As God He could have kept them from recognizing Him so that a lesson could be taught. The Bible states that he was average and not something special who stood out. It was also dark and they were wearing the shawls over their heads.
It really doesn’t matter. The Bible is clear that Jesus will not take on another form so that all can see “Him, whom they pierced”. He will not change His form because the holes in His hands, feet and side will always be there for us to see.
Quix, I must be missing something. I can't find where your "history" is striking again.
Leaving aside the issue of reading posters' minds and their motives for posting threads, this thread was motivated, as I said in post #1, by the desire to rebut some of the garbage posted on this thread.
Now if you want to talk about provocative titles, how about Apparitions Exposed!.
At least mine doesn't have an exclamation mark.
You would also be aware of course, that many of the threads which address Catholic issues are actually posted by Protestants. To use your words........"very strange".
The obvious antidote to too many Catholic threads, of course, is to provide us with some alternatives. Or I guess, you might want to consider a quota system whereby Catholics are limited in the amount of "dogma" they can push. Put some restrictions on them, in other words. Is Catholic "dogma" "irritating" to you? I'm sorry if it is but here's something on which you can depend.
If tripe like Apparitions Exposed! gets posted, there will be a response.
I think reading time-travel science fiction would help with that. Seriously. You learn that the verb tenses we have just don't FIT.
Uh..no Mary was not “without sin (her personal sin)”, that sin could only become covered by belief in Jesus, her son, the way anyone else needed to believe in Him!
Exactly and well said. So much for ‘history’ in the hands of evil.
Except of course, that she wasn't and isn't divine. Jesus saved her FIRST, at the very moment of her conception, and restored the ability (lost by Eve for all of us, thanks much) to make a choice for or against obedience, with no influence from Satan.
Rom 3:23 KJV - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 5:12 KJV - Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Now, we know that God, speaking through His servant Paul, cannot err, you are caught in your own heresy. Repent and reject this evil, as it is in direct contradiction of Scripture.
I think you've got it backwards.
It's us who are removed from the early Church. It's our modern [American] world which has completely lost the connection.
The Church Fathers are the men who knew the Apostles, in some cases, and in other cases, knew those men who were taught by the Apostles. Irenaeus is a good example, as is Justin Martyr.
This might be hard to believe but we do not know more about Scripture than they did.
Catholicism ‘tries’ to distort God’s Word as liberalism ‘tries’ to distort the Constitution. Both peas in a pod - to distort TRUTH!
Christians and Conservatism vs Catholicism and Liberalism.
Good vs. Evil
Truth vs. Propaganda/heresy.
Freedom (God given rights) vs. Socialism/Control (man made teachings Vatican)
Why not notate that?
The title of your thread is provocative on a stand-alone basis for the thousands of people who never saw the other one.
The obvious antidote to too many Catholic threads, of course, is to provide us with some alternatives.
There are already hundreds of alternatives here every day...of a political nature. Which is what Free Republic is about.
Yet later, the 120 received the power of the Holy Spirit; does anyone think Mary was there, with the faithful, those waiting for the promise of Jesus:
he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me, 5 for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
and "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth."
Umm, no, Christ didn't save her ahead of time. She even admitted to needing a savior herself long after Christ was born. It seems your
heresy tradition is getting in the way of the Gospel. Didn't Christ have some very harsh words for those who clung to tradition?