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How are we guilty of Original Sin
Question from Aristotle's Child on 10/20/2015:

CCC 405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants.

Since the Church now tells us that Original Sin does not have the character of a personal fault (or sin, or stain, etc), how can a just God punish us for it?

And what "guilt" or "stain" was Mary preserved from by her Immaculate Conception?

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 12/17/2015:

Dear Aristotle's Child,

As Aristotle holds, we are rational and social animals. As such we inherit, not only our bodies from our parents, but their habits of mind as well. They raise and educate us according to their best lights. Unfortunately the best lights of our first parents failed when they disobeyed God. They rebelled. So it should not surprise us, then that Cain the older brother murdered Abel his younger brother. Cain rebelled against the natural order. Abel was innocent. But he was not innocent because he was young and dumb. He sacrificed the best fruits he had in order to worship God. He had to struggle with himself to do that. Cain did not do that kind of struggle. And so his envy and jealously grew to the point where he murdered his brother. Now who of us does not have to engage in that kind of struggle with him or her self? If we are honest with ourselves, we don't need the Church to tell us about the original sin. We can feel in ourselves the war between good and evil in us. If we don't feel that struggle, we are kidding ourselves. Now the Blessed Mother was given the great gift of being preserved from this struggle, not because she was holy, but because she was to be the Mother of God. But that was not an easy life. The Mother of God watched her son being crucified and held his dead body in her arms right out there in public for all the world to see. Fortunate we are dealing not only with a Just God but a merciful one as well. Are see so sure that we would be starting there with Mary at the foot of the cross rather than shouting with the multitude to crucify the blasphemer? Do we really consider abortion, same sex marriage, artificial contraception, living cohabiting with each other before marriage as intrinsic evils? If we do, we had to struggle to gain that view. We had to undergo the pain of being rejects by those who were closest to us. If we are innocent, we had to struggle to get that innocence.

Dr. Geraghty


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