DID MARY SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE ANCESTRAL CURSE
THAT CAME FROM THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE?
AUTHOR: BISHOP BRIAN J. KENNEDY, O.S.B.
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
The majority of Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians are taught that the Virgin Mary never experienced the pains of childbirth in the birth of Jesus and the birth process did not affect Mary’s body. It is usually phrased Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. This is the common wisdom, but is it true?
The Church celebrates the Feast of the Dormition of Mary, that is the day she fell asleep in the Lord; the day she died. Mary died in Ephesus. Mary died because she was subject to the natural consequences of the first sin of Adam and Eve. The wages of sin is death and it was the sin of our first parents that brought death into the world together with estrangement from God. The death of Mary proves our Blessed Mother was not exempt from the consequences of the ancestral curse inherited from out first parents. Why would Mary be exempt from sickness and the pains of childbirth and yet not exempted from death?
CHRIST ALONE WAS EXEMPT FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF
THE ANCESTRAL CURSE. CHRIST IS THE EXCEPTION, NOT MARY.
In Pope Leo’s sermon 62,2 we read: “ONLY THE SON OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN IS BORN WITHOUT TRANSGRESSION, NOT INDEED OUTSIDE THE HUMAN RACE, BUT A STRANGER TO SIN…SO THAT OF ADAM’S OFFSPRING ONE MIGHT EXIST IN WHOM THE DEVIL HAD NO SHARE” Source: Hilda Graef, Mary, a history of doctrine and devotion (London, sheed and Ward, 1965, page 117
Christ said He laid down His life, no man took it from Him. (John 10: 17-18) Obviously Christ – the new Adam – could not undergo natural death as death is the wage of sin. Christ had to will to die, will to lay down His life, as there is no other way it could happen. This is true because CHRIST ALONE WAS NOT SUBJECT TO THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE SIN OF OUR FIRST PARENTS.
Nobody questions Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary but if Mary had not fallen under the consequence of the Ancestral Curse she would never have been sick and never would have died but we know she in fact did die at Ephesus. The pain of childbirth is also the consequence of the Ancestral Curse.
MARY IN TRUTH WAS AT HER CONCEPTION WHAT
WE BECOME AT OUR BAPTISM
It is clear from Jeremiah 1:5 that the Prophet was at his conception what we become at our baptism and the same would be true for Mary and possibly for St. John the Forerunner of the Christ. This does not mean any of them were conceived not subject to the consequences of the Ancestral Curse that eventually became to be called Original Sin. They were “baptized in the Spirit” as are we at our baptism and Chrismation (Confirmation).
In that our Blessed Mother was subject to the consequences of the
Ancestral Curse she did experience not only sickness and death
but the pains of childbirth. Her body carried the same evidence of
Childbirth that is common to all women.