Theological musings, spurred by the approaching Solemnity of the Assumption

I’ve always wondered something about free will, God’s plan, and the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin; the coming of the Solemnity of the Assumption (Friday: It’s a Holy Day of Obligation, so get yourself some Mass.) has re-ignited my curiosity, so I ask anyone more theologically inclined and/or knowledgeable than I to proffer any responses to this Marian query of mine.

Setting aside Divine foreknowledge, and assuming that man possesses free will, and, moreover, knowing that God, intending that He should send Gabriel to her to ask that she give birth to the Savior, to God Incarnate, I ask if it is possible that Mary could have, for whatever reason, declined to accept this incomparable means by which to serve her God? If so, and if she had, what would the ramifications (have) be(en)? How could such a thing happen?; that is, how could the only person, Christ notwithstanding, whom God, through the procreative act, with Joachim and Anne, created in a sinless state, for the specific purpose for which He intended her, say no?

I realize that this reaches the fringes of speculation, and probably borders, in some way, on heresy. Nonetheless, it’s something about which I’ve often pondered, and I should like to learn what others think.

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2 Responses

  1. You probably want somebody more orthodox than I answering this, but I think the apparent paradox can be solved by not thinking of God as a being constrained by time, but rather as one outside of time.

    If Creation is present in no-time and all-time, what’s wrong with God setting things in motion after he knew what Mary’s choice would be?

    Depending on what you think omniscience looks like, we don’t even have to play funky games with time. Some people think that God could know the result of Mary’s decision even before creating her. I feel like that compromises radical freedom of the will in important ways, but it’s difficult to express why. Most of all, these kinds of questions make me feel like I lack the appropriate vocabulary.

  2. […] the Bookbag August 26, 2008, 1:23 pm Filed under: philosophy, religion For Nathan and Will, from Christopher Janaway’s excellent Self and World in Schopenhauer’s […]

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