Mathematical Immaculate Conception Question

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wet-rat

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Let t be the duration of Mary’s life, with t=0 being the point of conception. Which of the following statements is true?

(a) Mary is in a state of sanctifying grace in the interval t in 0,infinity).

(b) Mary is in a state of sanctifying grace in the interval t in
(0,infinity).

I.e. is the interval open, or half open?
 
Huh? Aren’t you options a and b equivalent (except for the carriage return)?
 
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stumbler:
Huh? Aren’t you options a and b equivalent (except for the carriage return)?
The difference is that a bracket is inclusive while a parenthesis is exclusive. In other words, the first option says that Mary was sinless and in a state of sanctifying grace from the very instant of her conception. The second option, on the other hand, says that she was with sin at the infinitely small moment of her conception, but that the Grace of God then gave her both sanctifying grace and preserved her from any further sin.

I’m inclined to think option (a) is the right answer, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed (in Ineffabilis Deus) that she was always free from Original Sin. Also, as Pope Pius IX quoted Pope Alexander VII in that same document:
Pope Alexander VII:
Concerning the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, ancient indeed is that devotion of the faithful based on the belief that her soul, in the first instant of its creation and in the first instant of the soul’s infusion into the body, was . . . preserved free from all stain of original sin. . . .
The Catechism also says:
CCC 492:
Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. . . .
While this could be taken either way, “from the moment of her conception” seems to me to be inclusive. Also, in the Latin for that phrase (a primo instante suae conceptionis ditata), the term primo means “first, at first, at the beginning, or at the start”. If I’m interpreting anything wrong, though, feel free to correct me. 👍
 
The question centers around the nature of the discontinuity at t=0.
 
TLM Altar Boy:
While this could be taken either way, “from the moment of her conception” seems to me to be inclusive. Also, in the Latin for that phrase (a primo instante suae conceptionis ditata), the term primo means “first, at first, at the beginning, or at the start”. If I’m interpreting anything wrong, though, feel free to correct me. 👍
The phrasing is a primo, which suggests proceeding from the start, which is not necessarily inclusive.

Is that quote the formal definition of the Immaculate Conception?
 
Here is the definition from Ineffabilis Deus:

“We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”

Elsewhere in Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius 1X writes:

“All know, likewise, how eager the bishops have been to profess openly and publicly, even in ecclesiastical assemblies, that Mary, the most holy Mother of God, by virtue of the foreseen merits of Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, was never subject to original sin, but was completely preserved from the original taint, and hence she was redeemed in a manner more sublime.”

Thus, the beginning of the interval is closed.
 
Furthermore, in the matter on the “more sublime” means of redemption, it must hold true that someone must exist in order to be redeemed. However, this does not necessitate that that existence is temporally prior to redemption. The only constraint is that existence is logically prior to redemption.
 
This subject is not open for discussion by Catholics in Union with the Church because it has been declared as infallible dogma. I understand that the originator of this thread knows this because he quoted the infallible declaration of Pope Pius IX. Nevertheless, the issue of **any possibility ** of an instant, by any description, during which the Blessed Virgin Mary may have been stained with any sin is not proper for debate, although discussions for the meaning of the wording excluding such possibility is allowed. This holds true in discussions with non-believers; the supposition of such a possibility is not allowed.
 
The reason that the open or closed interval distinction is important is that it affects some apologetical arguments. Sometimes Catholic Apologists take the case of a person who received sanctifying grace at time t_g>0 (i.e. a typical person) and then for the case of Mary reduce t_g such that t_g->0+. However, in this case there are still the two discontinuities, but infinitely separated.

In the case where t_g is defined as exactly 0, conception and redemption are the same discontinuity. Thus conception is logically prior but not temporally prior.
 
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GeorgeCooney:
This subject is not open for discussion by Catholics in Union with the Church because it has been declared as infallible dogma. I understand that the originator of this thread knows this because he quoted the infallible declaration of Pope Pius IX. Nevertheless, the issue of any possibility of an instant, by any description, during which the Blessed Virgin Mary may have been stained with any sin is not proper for debate, although discussions for the meaning of the wording excluding such possibility is allowed. This holds true in discussions with non-believers; the supposition of such a possibility is not allowed.
It is not open for discussion in the sense that the truth of the definition is not debatable. Illuminating the meaning of the definition is acceptable, provided that the intent of the participants is to understand the definition so that they can accept it.
 
The statement “from the moment of her conception” only gives the restriction (0,infinity). So part of the question is whether that wording is not strong enough.

Likewise the statement “full of grace” interpreted as indicating a maximum possible total integrated grace over all time only gives the restriction (0,infinity) because the endpoint has no width, and thus contributes nothing to the integral. It is the “never subject” constraint that tells us the interval is half-closed. This is often neglected in catechetical formulations, but appears to be essential to drawing the distinction.

The purpose of this discussion is to eludicate the nature of the endpoint. I.e. the goal is to talk about that sublime way in which true doctrine tells us Mary was redeemed.
 
The statement “from the moment of her conception” only gives the restriction (0,infinity). So part of the question is whether that wording is not strong enough.

Likewise the statement “full of grace” interpreted as indicating a maximum possible total integrated grace over all time only gives the restriction (0,infinity) because the endpoint has no width, and thus contributes nothing to the integral. It is the “never subject” constraint that tells us the interval is half-closed. This is often neglected in catechetical formulations, but appears to be essential to drawing the distinction.

The purpose of this discussion is to eludicate the nature of the endpoint. I.e. the goal is to talk about that sublime way in which true doctrine tells us Mary was redeemed.
Hello Wet Rat

I find this all rather intriguing. Of cours I don’t have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about. (well, maybe a VERY faint idea). Also have a pysicist niece and it’s difficult to know what she talks about too re the beginning of the universe, etc).

The only reason I’m writing is because you say that maybe the wording isn’t strong enough. Of couse all documents have to be written in a way that we normal folk could understand. So how would you word that Mary was immaculate from the very beginning of that spark of conception?

Just curious.

God bless you
 
Here is the definition from Ineffabilis Deus:

“We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”

Elsewhere in Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius 1X writes:

“All know, likewise, how eager the bishops have been to profess openly and publicly, even in ecclesiastical assemblies, that Mary, the most holy Mother of God, by virtue of the foreseen merits of Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, was never subject to original sin, but was completely preserved from the original taint, and hence she was redeemed in a manner more sublime.”

Thus, the beginning of the interval is closed.
I’ve highlighted what I consider to be the pertinent text to this question. Preserved implies a closed interval. Therefore, the answer is:
(a) Mary is in a state of sanctifying grace in the interval t in [0,infinity).
[/quote]
 
The question centers around the nature of the discontinuity at t=0.
Which is why I have never been persuaded that Our Lord could only be born of an immaculate mother. It’s not the t=0 that bothers me; it’s the t=-1.

The Church teaches that it is appropriate that Our Lord be born of an immaculate mother, but the Church does NOT teach that it is somehow necessary.

A faithful Catholic is free to believe (and publicly advocate his opinion) that the Immaculate Conception was not necessary in any sense. We are not free to dispute the doctrine itself, but we may freely dispute the objective necessity of it.
 
I’ve highlighted what I consider to be the pertinent text to this question. Preserved implies a closed interval. Therefore, the answer is:
Well, it’s interesting to think about this. I guess some can’t help but think about everything to their level of intelligence (of course) - of which I see much on these posts.

I’d have to agree with MrSnaith above as to which of the two hypothesis I could choose from.

The reason is taken from the CCC no. 488:

“God wanted the free cooperation of a creature. For this, from all eternity, God chose for the mother of His Son a daughter of Israel” etc. -
“The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the pre-destined mother,” etc.

So if God willed this from before our “time” wouldn’t that make MrSnaith be correct?

**David Filmer’s **argument is also interesting as to the use of the word “appropriate” instead of “necessary”.

Sent me running to my dictionary!

Not even to get into the whole topic of pre-destination and free will. Which I think I understand every now and then… I know, God knew from the beginning, but it has to be more than that…

God bless you all and thanks for the grinding wheels
 
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