A most blessed Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Dec. 8th as we enter into this profound mystery of Mary’s life! (It begins the eve of Dec. 7th.)
How many really know what we are celebrating on this glorious Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which is so important in the Church that it is a Holy Day of Obligation? For many years the doctrine of Mary being the Immaculate Conception was pretty foreign to me. It is not that I didn’t believe in it; but that I didn’t really know how to enter into its meaning. It seemed so lofty, so mystical…
But through the years as I have “put out into the deep” in this mystery, I find myself in great awe; because I realize still more how very profound it is and the significant grace it brings to all of humanity who is disposed to receive.
This mystery has become so important in my life that it is a foundational part of my spirituality as I strive to live my Baptismal Vows.
Why? Because at the Immaculate Conception Mary enters into a profound communion of life with our Triune God; where the Trinity and Mary begin a relationship of sending “waves of love” back and forth between them, according to one mystic. And, throughout every moment of Mary’s life here on earth she remained in this profound communion. Even if she didn’t always “feel it” or experience consolation.
And, Mary represents who we are to become. She represents what is available to us if we but dispose ourselves to Christ’s redeeming graces as she did. (For anyone who struggles with this teaching of the Church, questioning its scriptural basis, go here.)
The following reported message from Mary reflects the Churches teaching on the Immaculate conception. (These messages have the imprimatur of the Church):
“I am the Immaculate Conception! I came from heaven…and at Lourdes I recalled that truth which the Church had but a short time before officially defined.
By a privilege I am exempt from all sin whatsoever, even from that original sin which each one of you contracts at the moment of conception.
I was preserved from sin because, in this humble creature, the Most Holy Trinity wanted its wondrous plan to be reflected, whole and entire.
I was preserved from sin and filled with grace because I was chosen to become the Mother of the Word and destined to give you my Son Jesus. And my Son Jesus has given me to each one of you as your true Mother.
Therefore my motherly plan for you is to clothe you in my own immaculateness. I want above all to heal you from the evil that makes you so ugly: sin” (The Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, #88 a-f)
And, might I remind us all of the special graces that flow tomorrow during the noon hour, requested by the Blessed Mother, Maria Rosa Mystica). She said:
“It is my wish that every year, on 8th December, at noon, the Hour of Grace for the World be celebrated. Many divine and bodily graces will be received through this devotion.
“Our Lord, my Divine Son Jesus, will send His overflowing mercy if good people will pray continuously for their sinful brother…If anyone is unable to visit his church, yet will pray at noon at home, he will also receive graces through me.”
2. During this hour the person making the “Hour of Grace”, either at home or in Church, must put away all distractions. (Do not answer the telephone, or answer any doors, or do anything but totally concentrate on your union with God during this Special Hour of Grace.)
3. Begin the “Hour of Grace” by praying the 51st Psalm three times with outstretched arms.
4. The rest of the “Hour of Grace” may be spent in silent communication with God, meditating upon the Passion of Jesus, saying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other Psalms, etc. (For more on the Hour of Grace go here.)
If you are desiring to dive deeper into the great mystery of the Immaculate Conception, one writing that has especially helped me to realize just how profound the Immaculate Conception is, has been the teachings given to Luisa Piccarretta (and to us) by Mary. You can read those here.
Also, the theology of St. Maximillian Kolbe on the Immaculate Conception is profound. He wrote of Mary being as though “the Holy Spirit Incarnate.” He said that Mary is the closest that we can see to the Holy Spirit in human form because she was so fully disposed to the Holy Spirit with every fiber of her being.
He also referred to the Holy Spirit as the Divine, Eternal Immaculate Conception conceived by the intensity of love between the Father and the Son. And where does the fullness of this Divine Immaculate Conception reside here on earth? But only in the Heart of the human Immaculate Conception and in anyone who is in her heart as well (cf Lk 1:28, Gen 3:15); For it is in this communion that the Heart of Christ is conceived (Lk 1:35). To read more on this go here.
What the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the Immaculate Conception:
490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
- The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135
492 The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
“Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!”