Monday, December 8, 2014


This was my bulletin letter for Sunday, December 7 on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception:

One of the many, many things that I love about being Catholic (God being first of course) is the Church’s relationship to our Blessed Mother. I can’t imagine leaving the Catholic Church, because to do so I would have to leave our Blessed Mother. I simply can’t imagine my Christian life without her.

Although I certainly thank God for His personal relationship with me through Jesus Christ and that His grace helps me to have a personal relationship with Jesus, that relationship doesn’t create the same warm fuzzies as does the relationship of our Blessed Mother to us. I wonder if this is a man thing or others feel this way? 

Of course God comes first; Jesus is the Savior. But without our Blessed Mother and her cooperation with God’s plan for her and us, where would we be? Her maternal support was crucial for Jesus in her womb; continuing after birth and especially in our Lord’s “hidden life.” But our Blessed Mother was there for Jesus throughout his public ministry and she remained close by during His Sacred Passion. She was there for the Resurrection and Pentecost. 

Our Blessed Mother also asks Jesus (intercedes for the wedding couple) to provide wine for the Wedding Feast of Cana. He provided it and the best of course. Wedding feasts are a sign of the Kingdom of Heaven, joyous, maybe raucous and certainly fun. 

The Immaculate Conception refers to the manner in which Our Blessed Mother was conceived in the womb of her mother Saint Anne. Saint Anne and her husband, our Blessed Mother’s father, Saint Joachim conceived Mary in the normal way. However at the moment of her conception and planned for by God from all eternity, God preserved her from the taint of Original Sin that we all inherit at our conception. 

In other words, from eternity and then from the time of her conception until her glorious Assumption into heaven, our Blessed Mother was full of grace. There was no hint of sin, original or actual.  She remained by the fullness of God’s grace sinless throughout her entire life.

Many Protestant Christians simply do not understand or cannot comprehend the fullness of grace that God gave our Blessed Mother from all eternity that enabled her to use her free will (she was no robot) to always say “yes” to God.  It was made possible by God’s grace. Hail Mary full of grace is the Archangel Gabriel’s salutation to our Blessed Mother when she consents to the conception of Jesus in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, what is called the Incarnation. 

Let us give thanks to God for the Mother of God and our mother too. God bless you.


Anthony said...

Happy Immaculate Conception to you as well.Today our priest gave a moving,emotional,historical account of the blessed mother,and the various heresies of certain catholics rejecting her immaculate conception.Like you,I can't imagine the Son of Almighty Creator God being a typical,sinful,prideful,arrogant human being.She had to be special and holy to carry our Lord and Savior for 9 months.Dominus Vobiscum!!

Anonymous said...

Father, does all of this mean Mary could have sinned (free will) but never wanted to and so never did? Does the Church say anything about whether Mary experienced temptation?

As I was reflecting on her being "full of grace" today, I imagined that must mean she was always in the state I feel during fleeting moments in my own life when I'm "all in" for God and ready to do anything He would ask. That she never sinned is really remarkable considering God did not exempt her from suffering some very painful sufferings. A beautiful Mother.

Anthony said...

Today at Mass after the Leonine prayers,we read "the pledge of the Legion of Decency".It was the 1st time in my life I recited that pledge during Mass.

George said...

The Immaculate Conception

If one sins, there are consequences which follow. The Catholic Church rightly teaches that since we inherit the consequences of Original sin, we inherit the sin itself.
Just as the waters of the Nile were parted to the allow the Israelites to pass through untouched, so was the temporal flow of Original sin through the power of God parted at the Blessed Virgins conception. By a singular grace of God, she was untouched by that Sin of Adam which is our unfortunate inheritance..
The Triune God had a plan for man’s salvation, due to the fall of Adam and Eve, and it included the mother of the Incarnate Word, the Blessed Virgin (as it still does) in a unique and special way.
Does not man, in order to create or enable something, need to create or enable something first? To build a structure, it was necessary to make tools first. In order to create the first painting, a brush and paint had to be created beforehand.
Before a farmer plants, does he not prepare the soil? Before an artist paints, does he not prepare the canvas? Before a builder puts up a structure, does he not prepare the building site? Likewise the Blessed Virgin was prepared by a singular privilege to be worthy for her awaited role as the mother of the Son of the Living God.
Just as an electrical current flows best through a material which contains the least impurities, and would flow unimpeded through a pure medium, so can the Holy Spirit work to the greatest degree in a person who is without sin. The Holy Virgin being “full of grace” signified that there was (and is) a pre-eminent presence of holiness within her, above that of any of the saints. There existed from her beginning a unique spiritual relationship between her and God which is superior to and transcends that of any other human being, even the most holy. She was conceived without sin in order to fulfill her awaited role to be the Mother of the Divine King.
The Blessed Virgin was not only conceived free from sin but but was then filled by the Beneficent God with grace.. She was without sin from the beginning and having superabundance of grace. God gave the Virgin this special privilege and gift of grace because she was to be the mother of Christ and as was the Jewish custom she was to be the Christ child's source of training and guidance. The Son of God would obey His own commandments and so he would therefore honor His father and mother. So in this way we see there would be no contradiction between mother and son in what was correct and true according to Divine law.
It should be noted that while we venerate the Mother of God in her Immaculate Conception, it is the Divine Trinity which is glorified. As she says in her Magnificat: "My soul magnifies the Lord".

George said...

I found this quote from St Ambrose:

"Christ chose this vessel into which He was about to descend, not of earth, but from heaven; and He consecrated it a temple of purity."