St. Mary, "rejoiced in god my savior" [Luke 1:47]
EXPLANATION TO OBJECTION OF ST MARY’S SINLESS CONCEPTION [Part II]
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit One God Amen
St. Mary holds a special [unique] place and role in Orthodox Church [and every Christian] since God has favored and glorified her high as an instrument for the work of mankind’s salvation. It is very difficult to explain about the mystery/miracle of Incarnated God, God’s relationship with humanity, God’s love and charity without her willingness to participate in the Salvation of humanity to bear the Word of God Himself -hence the Church has called her the means for our Salvation. God has extended His grace to humanity in the mystery of the incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through the Holy Virgin. She is the Mother of God, who happily gave birth to the Redeemer for us. She is a glorified human soul, more perfect and more lovable than any other. St. Mary has the most exalted honor that a creature can attain in heaven, for through God's choosing of her for the destiny of being His Mother, through abundance of grace which He bestowed upon her, and through her fidelity in corresponding with the given grace.
There are many objections raised around the Eritrean dogmatic view of St Mary’s sinless conception. All objections, for sake of clarity, could be summed into three major fundamental questions. The second question/objection [the answer for the first objection https://www.tyom.org/hailomaryfullofgrace ] is as follows:- .
The doctrine would imply St Mary’s needless of a savior? Some would go accusing the Eritrean Orthodox Church as far as equating God with saying St Mary is free from “original sin”?! If say, St Mary is free from all sin, wouldn't we imply she is heavenly or not human?
The Eritrean Orthodox Church believes without any hesitant that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as her savior [Lk 1:47]. In a general Christian principle, God being omnipotent, could have saved St Mary at any point in her life :-[He could have saved her at the moment of her conception, before Christ conception or later in her life]. As mentioned on previous posts, many Church fathers like St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. John Chrysostom, St Giorgis the Gascha [the Ethiopian St Cyril] and St Yaried [the Ethiopian Hymnologist] have explained St Mary as the new Eve in their books. In Romans 5, St Paul explains the gift won by Christ is far greater than the damage done by Adam because God’s restoration is in perfection of the origin. In light of this, we could safely say St Mary is more pure and sinless that Eve. St Mary’s salvation required a more unique and perfect way called preservative redemption. For example, if you see a person who is about to fall from a long cliff and you save him before he reaches the cliff or you grab him after the fall - in both instances you are still the savior. The difference is in Christ Salvation when it comes to St Mary’s , God has chosen to save her preemptively by preserving her from all sin since conception. Therefore, St Mary’s role as the new Eve excludes not only from all sin, but from [the effect of] “original sin” too.
Sin is not something that we- human- are created with. It is the result of disobedience using our own free will. Having sin or not, doesn’t equate you with God. Adam and Eve before fall, all the heavenly Angels and all the Saints living in paradise now don’t have sin, but they are not equal with God. The difference is that God is sinless by nature [can’t and wouldn’t do sin]; but human sinless is a gift [grace] from God. Therefore, when the Church describes St Mary as a sinless from conception, She is glorifying and praising God who has created her and preserved her from all sin in the first place. By the same talk, free from all sin, doesn’t make you a heavenly. The devil who was heavenly has sinned and fallen. As a matter of fact, God created us as a sinless so that we could have a perfect relationship with Him. Sin is , of not natural to us, but a parasite living in us.
The core idea here is that St Mary is preserved [free] from original sin since conception and has never been touched by personal sin. The Church Scholars teach that the Mystery of Incarnation could only be preserved and find its consistent teaching in-light of the dogmatic teaching of St Mary’s sinless conception. From the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation, the bible showed that she was chosen from the beginning to be part of His grand plan of redemption. Prophet Isaiah describes God’s choice’s and preservation of St Mary as, “Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah.”[Is 1:9] Her father King Solomon also described her sinless since conception saying, “You are all fair, my love, And there is no spot in you.” [Song of Solomon 4:7].
“Rejoice, Oh, Vessel unblemished, perfect, and spotless Woman”
May Her intercession and blessings be with us now and forever. Amen.
Next ----- Question to be answered --In Romans 3:23 St Paul says, “...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” . Wouldn’t this contradict the doctrine of St Mary’s sinless conception?