THE SECOND EVE
The main idea represents Mary as a second unfallen Eve, bearing a part in the work of man's Redemption similar to that which the first Eve, by her transgression, had in his Fall. In this view the Fathers are so often led to draw a parallel of contrast between the Gospel narrative of the Annunciation made by the Angel Gabriel to Mary of the Incarnation, and the scene in Genesis of Eve's seduction to disobedience by the serpent.
This whole idea is made up of two parts. The matter of the first is mary, an unfallen Eve; that of the second, her co-operation as such in man's Redemption. In order to show the normal development of the whole, let us put each part to the test of some analysis.
1. Mary is Eve unfallen. The first Eve was created innocent, free from all sin and moral imperfection, in the state of original justice and sanctifying grace. Consequently, Mary, the second Eve, was also created in Divine grace, holy and immaculate from the first moment of her conception. Had Eve remained unfallen and faithful to God, she would have not only continued altogether sinless, but by her co-operation with grace, increased its store, and, full of virtues and merits, obtained from God the crowning grace of confirmation and final perseverance in her blessed state. All this was verified in the case of Mary, the true unfallen Eve, through her faithful correspondence with the fulness of grace which she received, and through the intimate union she had with the Second Adam, Jesus Christ her Son. The first Eve, in contrast, lost her true union with Adam by sin. Whereas, had both Adam and Eve remained unfallen, they would have remained united to one another more closely than by any natural ties, through means of the supernatural bond of Divine grace and charity; sharing, furthermore, the blessedness of together being the first parents of a sinless and holy race.