Mary, While Sinless, Was Like Us
Believe it or not, before Vatican II, it was generally believed that the Mother of God was not only exempt from original sin but also from the pangs of childbirth, fatigue, doubt, temptation, ignorance, and death.
These human experiences, it was reasoned, were a consequence of sin, and Mary was sinless. What we failed to realize was that instead of associating Mary with Jesus, the Church was disassociating her from him who, though sinless, wanted to experience all those things for our sake.
We find powerful statements about Jesus in the Bible. One speaks to his ability to sympathize with our
weakness, as a result of being tempted. Another says he learned obedience through what he suffered. If Mary is fully united to her Son, then she also learned obedience through suffering. And so we can say confidently that our Mother is able to sympathize with our struggles.
Like Mary, the events and circumstances of life will offer us both love and sorrow. In these moments, the witness of Mary demonstrates that genuine faith grants us access to the divine life in all things, even suffering and death. And it is precisely through these experiences that we learn the full dimensions of true love.