When commenting on Virgin Mary’s title Mater Intemerata, the Sinless Mother, Blessed John Henry Newman adduces other reasons for the Assumption of Mary who “was so transcendently holy, so full, so overflowing with grace.” First he reminds us of the original state of Adam and Eve, of the original fall, and of the doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Then with simple and convincing logic he argues: “If Eve, the beautiful daughter of God, never would have become dust and ashes unless she had sinned, shall we not say that Mary, having never sinned, retained the gift which Eve by sinning lost?”
Holy Mary, Sinless Mother, pray for us that we may live pure and holy lives.
Mary is the “Mater Intemerata,” the Sinless Mother
ANOTHER consideration which has led devout minds to believe the Assumption of our Lady into heaven after her death, without waiting for the general resurrection at the last day, is furnished by the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception.
By her Immaculate Conception is meant, that not only did she never commit any sin whatever, even venial, in thought, word, or deed, but further than this, that the guilt of Adam, or what is called original sin, never was her guilt, as it is the guilt attaching to all other descendants of Adam.
By her Assumption is meant that not only her soul, but her body also, was taken up to heaven upon her death, so that there was no long period of her sleeping in the grave, as is the case with others, even great Saints, who wait for the last day for the resurrection of their bodies.
One reason for believing in our Lady’s Assumption is that her Divine Son loved her too much to let her body remain in the grave. A second reason—that now before us—is this, that she was not only dear to the Lord as a mother is dear to a son, but also that she was so transcendently holy, so full, so overflowing with grace. Adam and Eve were created upright and sinless, and had a large measure of God’s grace bestowed upon them; and, in consequence, their bodies would never have crumbled into dust, had they not sinned; upon which it was said to them, “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.” If Eve, the beautiful daughter of God, never would have become dust and ashes unless she had sinned, shall we not say that Mary, having never sinned, retained the gift which Eve by sinning lost? What had Mary done to forfeit the privilege given to our first parents in the beginning? Was her comeliness to be turned into corruption, and her fine gold to become dim, without reason assigned? Impossible. Therefore we believe that, though she died for a short hour, as did our Lord Himself, yet, like Him, and by His Almighty power, she was raised again from the grave.
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