Perfect ? Stoic
To start off, I want to offer a quick clarification as to what man looks like with and without the stain of original sin.
Before the Fall, without the stain of original sin, man had:
- Full knowledge and understanding of the truth
- Full ability to love the good
- Full control over his desires
- Full perseverance in striving to obtain difficult goods
Original sin wounded mankind in four primary ways:
- It darkened our intellect
- It hardened our hearts
- It disordered our desires
- It inclines us to choose evil instead of seeking the more difficult good
While all of us fit into the second list of realities, Mary falls into the first category, because God preserved her from the stain of original sin. Because of this, Mary is “perfect,” and her heart is Immaculate.
HOWEVER, Mary’s preservation from original sin does NOT mean that she can’t understand her children who DO have that stain. Mary’s sinless state means that she has full knowledge of the truth, which means that she actually sees and understands each of our situations in their fullness.
While she had full control over her desires (meaning that they would not cause her to sin) Mary also experienced a full range of human emotions to its deepest capacity.
Her joy in encountering Elizabeth and exclaiming the Magnificat was profound.
Her concerns regarding illness, danger, and practical needs were perfectly accurate.
Her sorrow at the Crucifixion was vast because her mind and heart were perfectly unclouded by any ignorance about the gravity of Christ’s sacrifice and what it meant to lose her only child.
Mary can share in our joys, sorrows, worries, and hopes far more than we realize.