Sun 9 Sep, 2012
Tags: Benedictine Sisters, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Conception
Yesterday we sang “Happy Birthday” to the Blessed Virgin Mary for it was the day we celebrated her immaculate conception and birth.
What do we mean by “immaculate conception”? Are we talking about Mary’s or Jesus’s?
Immaculate, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, means to be free of stain or blemish, to be pure. As the Roman Catholic Church teaches, the human soul is born with the taint of sin, thus a blemish caused by the original sin of Adam and Eve. This is not the case with the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was born immaculate, without this blemish of original sin.
How can this be? …Only by the grace of God. God’s ways are not our ways ( Is 55:8)
Pope Pius XI sat in St. Peter’s chair when the teaching about Mary’s immaculate birth was crafted and proclaimed. The Blessed Virgin Mary was deemed ever pure, sinless. Since the Council of 1854, church dogma has proclaimed that from the first moment of her conception, Mary, by the singular grace of God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, was preserved immune from original sin.
Even though we heard the genealogy of Joseph (Mt 1:1-23) at Mass yesterday, let us also keep in mind it was by the act of God through Mary at her birth that she was chosen as the mother of God’s only son, and thus, our Mother and the Mother of the Church Universal.
Mary’s life was filled with mysticism from her birth to her assumption into heaven. It is fitting to honor her, one whose light radiates from her son, Jesus Christ, and shines on the whole world.