Rev. Father Angelo Bellon,
I would like to know if the intact human nature of the SS. Mother of God, conceived without sin and pre-redeemed in view of the Incarnation, differs in something with respect to the intact human nature possessed by Adam and Eve prior to the original sin, and which characteristics their intact human natures had, that differentiated them from human nature marked by original sin.
1. Human nature received from our forefathers, due to the original grace in which they were created, enjoyed some preternatural gifts such as infused science, immunity from both pain and death.
2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls that by virtue of this original holiness “all the dimensions of human life were potentiated by the radiance of this grace.
As long as he remained in divine intimacy, man should neither die (cf. Gn 2.17 and 3.19) nor suffer (cf. Gn 3.16) “(CCC 376).
Furthermore, their nature – still intact – was not marked by the triple inclination to evil of which St. John speaks in 1 Jn 2.16.
For this reason the Catechism of the Catholic Church adds: “The interior harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman (cf. Gen 2:25) finally, the harmony between the first couple and all creation was the condition called “original justice” “(Ib.).
3. Our Lady received from the first moment of Her existence a degree of holiness higher than that of all the Angels and all the Saints put together.
Therefore, Her holiness exceeded to excess the one received from our ancestors.
However – although devoid of any sin and any inclination to evil – She received a human nature that bore the wounds of the original sin.
For this reason, She was subject to pain and death.
4. Moreover, even Jesus, the Son of God made flesh, bore in his body the signs of the original sin.
He could have assumed a more integral nature than that of Adam and Eve, but He did not want to.. The letter to the Hebrews writes: “Therefore He had to make himself like his brothers in everything, to become a merciful and trustworthy high priest concerning God, in order to atone for the sins of the people.
In fact, precisely because He has been tested and suffered personally, He is able to come to the aid of those who undergo the test “(Heb 2: 17-18
5. St. Thomas brings three reasons for the expediency that the flesh of Jesus was subject to human weakness.
Here they are:
“It was fitting that the body assumed by the Son of God should be subjected to human weaknesses and deficiencies, and this mainly for three reasons.
First, because the Son of God, assumed flesh, came into the world precisely to atone for the sin of mankind. But one atones for the sin of another when he takes upon himself the penalty due to the sin of others.
Now, bodily defects, such as death, hunger, thirst and the like, are pains of sin that were introduced into the world by Adam, as Saint Paul puts it: “Because of one man sin entered the world , and with sin death “(Rom 5:12). It was therefore fitting for the purpose of the Incarnation that Christ in our flesh would take such penalties in our place, according to the words of the prophet: “Truly he has taken upon himself our pains” (Is 53,4).
Second, to facilitate faith in the Incarnation. In fact, since human nature is not known to men except as subject to these corporal limits, if the Son of God had assumed a human nature devoid of them, it would have been doubted that He was true man and had taken true flesh and not fantastic, as said the Manichei. This is why it is written in St. Paul: “He emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, becoming like men and showing Himself to be a man in His way of life” (Phil 2: 7). So that Thomas himself was led back to faith by the observation of His wounds, as the Gospel recounts (cf. Jn 20,26ff).
Third, to give us an example of patience, enduring human sufferings and defects with strength. Hence the Apostle says: “He has endured so much hostility against Himself on the part of sinners so that you will not tire or lose heart” (Summa theologica, III, 14,1).
6. These are the same reasons why Mary, called to become the Mother of the Redeemer, was subjected to death and the other penalties of the present life, despite being devoid of all forms of sin and sanctified in a somewhat infinite way.
I bless you, I entrust you to the Lord and I wish you well.