Video – Fr Maximilian – The Cornerstone #35: Mary and the Sin of Adam

By December 15, 2007August 14th, 2008Fr. Maximilian Dean, The Cornerstone

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Ave Maria!
If Adam and Eve had not sinned, would Mary have even existed?
In this episode, Fr. Maximilian discusses how the Franciscan thesis differs from the Thomistic thesis in regards to Our Lady. Is the difference between the two positions minimal or is it stark? Fr. quotes from Thomaists such as St. Thomas of Villanova and St. Alphonsus Ligouri and notes how their statements differ from those of St. Bonaventure and the Franciscan school. A warning to all viewers and theologians: be prepared for a quarrel when you start talking about Fr. Maximilian's Mother!

Ave Maria!


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  • Mark Boutross says:

    Dear Father,
    This is not a criticism, but a question. If The Blessed Virgin Mary is the “New Eve” would not have “The Blessed Virgin Eve” been the Queen of Heaven & Earth if she had not sinned?
    M. Boutross
    Tahlequah, OK

  • fr maximilian mary says:

    Ave Maria!

    Dear Mark,

    Thank you for your excellent question. Yes and no is my response.

    First, in the affirmative. Every mother is a “queen mother??? in her family. In this sense, Eve is a queen mother to us all—“mother of all the living??? she is dubbed in Genesis 3 (and this is even after the fall!). And in this sense without the fall Eve would have fulfilled her maternal and regal task all the more. Although she would not be the blessed “virgin” Eve since her motherhood is not virginal/supernatural.

    Second, in the negative. The title “New Eve??? can be misleading. One has to distinguish between God’s plan before the creation of the universe (the intention or design in the mind of God) and the execution of that plan in time. In time, that is in executing His eternal design, the first woman to appear on the scene is Eve who is “mother of all the living???; it is logical that when the Virgin Mary makes her appearance in salvation history she is called the “New Eve??? who cooperates with and subordinate to Christ the “New Adam??? (cf. Rm 5).

    But from the divine perspective Jesus is the First Man and Mary the First Woman. God first wills His Masterpiece (the Incarnation), then He begins to execute His plan in time with the creation of the universe and with the creation of Adam and Eve in particular. The joint predestination of Jesus and Mary was never contingent upon Adam and Eve sinning. Sin or no sin, Jesus and Mary were still predestined absolutely to be the King and Queen of all creation, the Mediator and Mediatrix of grace. Because of sin, Jesus and Mary had to suffer—Christ as the Redeemer, Mary as the Coredemptrix with and subordinate to Him. Had Eve not sinned, Mary would still be the Queen Mother, but not the Mother of Sorrows.

    Eve was a type or foreshadowing of “the Woman??? (cf. Gen 3:15; Jn 2:3, 16:21, 19:26; Apoc 12:1) chosen by God to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate in the “fullness of time??? (Gal 4:4; Eph 1:10). Had Eve not sinned, she (Eve) would have more perfectly foreshadowed Our Lady. But Eve was not “predestined before the foundation of the world??? (Eph 1:4) to be the Mother of God and our Mother in the order of grace as Blessed Mary was. Nor was her motherhood to be a virginal motherhood, a divine maternity like that of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

    I hope that helps. If you’re jumping into this series in the middle, you might consider scrolling back in the series and watching some of the earlier episodes which establish the premises for the absolute primacy of Jesus and Mary and divulge some of the key biblical foundations for the Franciscan thesis. The point of Blessed John Duns Scotus and the Franciscan school is that the “summum opus Dei??? and Masterpiece in all creation (the Incarnation) was willed by God quite apart from any consideration of sin. Otherwise Christ’s Kingship is subordinated to Adam’s sin—“no sin, no Incarnation;??? thus Christ’s primacy would be relative to sin (the thomistic position). Obviously this would place the role and even the existence of our Mother Mary under the condition of sin—“no sin, no Incarnation??? means no Mother of God, no maternal Mediatrix of grace. For Blessed John Duns Scotus to say that the Incarnation (and therefore Mary’s Divine Maternity and role as Mediatrix) is “occasioned??? by sin is “absurd???.

    With all due respect for St. Thomas, I side with Bl. Scotus on the primary motive of the Incarnation. In the words of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, OCD (aka. Edith Stein): “I agree with St. Thomas in everything; but when it comes to the Incarnation I follow Scotus.???

    Blessed and Merry Christmas to you! Let us seek to adore the Christ Child with the very Heart of Mary.

  • Adrian Combe says:

    Hello Father,
    It is me Adrian Combe. A mutual has related to me your offering prayers and even Mass for my particular current situation. Thank you. I cannot thank you enough.
    I, like you, remember being taught Christ passed through His Mother’s womb as light through glass. I seem to recall Augustine said this but I am looking for a source to cite. If you know who said this and where, I would appreciate the info. Thanks again.

    Adrian Combe

  • fr maximilian mary says:

    Ave Maria!

    Hello Adrian!

    I found the following paragraph from Dr. Mark Miravalle’s book, Introduction to Mary, on the web:

    The Fathers of the Church overwhelmingly taught the “miraculous birth” of Jesus that resulted in no injury to Mary’s physical integrity. St. Augustine stated: “It is not right that He who came to heal corruption should by His advent violate integrity.”[13] Pope St. Leo the Great proclaimed in his famous Tome to Flavian: “Mary brought Him forth, with her virginity untouched, as with her virginity untouched she conceived Him.”[14] Later, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church’s greatest theologian, would say of Christ’s miraculous birth: “Painlessly,[15] and without change in Mary’s virgin body, her Son emerged from the tabernacle of her spotless womb, as He was later to emerge from the tomb, without moving the stone or breaking the seal of Pilate.”[16] So as light passes through glass without harming it, so too did Jesus pass through the womb of Mary without the opening of Mary’s womb and without any physical harm to the tabernacle of the unborn Christ.[17]

    The link is

    Dr. Miravalle doesn’t cite a Church Father, but two articles on the Virgin birth (cf. footnotes at the link above). It seems that the analagy of Christ’s birth being like light passing through glass is rooted in the Church Fathers, but I have not seen a specific quote of a specific Father. Regardless, the Virgin did conceive and the Virgin did bring forth as Isaiah prophesied (7:14).

    Be assured of my ongoing prayers for you and your family.

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