The angel Gabriel said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.
The traditional translation, "full of grace," is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of "highly favored daughter." Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for "daughter"). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.
Okay, I'm not sure of your logic here. You quote many translations, none of which use the phrase "full of grace" and then state that you know it's supposed to be translated that way, I guess because that's what you've been told. Let's say I accept your word on that. The angel told Mary she was full of grace. How does that lead to "She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence."?
As I mentioned earlier, Stephen is said to be "full of grace". Was he also in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of his existence? If not, why?
I was really hoping to get an answer to this. I'm trying my best to understand [what looks to me like] the obsession with Mary, but to do so I need the inconsistencies ironed out.
Great question, Never.
It may be a good question, but I can't seem to get anyone to answer it . . .
If my motivation were to "prove" that Catholics are wrong about Mary, I suppose I would jump on such evasion as evidence of the truth of my position. As it is, I'm just frustrated.
Sorry that it has been so long. No evasion here. You must realize that there are not many Catholics left on this forum and I do not visit as much as I use to. I will answer your question.
The angel said to Mary, “Hail, full of grace!