Blessed be the Immaculate Conception of the Great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy!
This marvelous feast day is often confused by non-Catholics and by many Catholics, themselves, (those who do not study their faith- or ‘RINO’S,’ Roman In Name Only!) They think it refers to the Virgin Birth- the conception of Christ through the action of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That event is celebrated at the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, on March 25th., nine months before Christmas.
The Immaculate Conception refers to the condition that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from Original Sin from the very instant of conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. Though neither the Greek or Latin Fathers explicitly taught the Immaculate Conception, they professed it implicitly. This doctrine, held everywhere and by everyone was recognized as such by Pope Pius IX, who on December 8th., 1854, would declare it a dogma of the Faith.
In the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, the Pope wrote: “WE DECLARE, PRONOUNCE AND DEFINE THAT THE DOCTRINE WHICH HOLDS THAT THE MOST BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, IN THE FIRST INSTANCE OF HER CONCEPTION, BY A SINGULAR GRACE AND PRIVILEGE GRANTED BY ALMIGHTY GOD, IN VIEW OF THE MERITS OF JESUS CHRIST, THE SAVIOUR OF THE HUMAN RACE, WAS PRESERVED FREE FROM ALL STAIN OF ORIGINAL SIN, IS A DOCTRINE REVEALED BY GOD AND THEREFORE TO BE BELIEVED FIRMLY AND CONSTANTLY BY ALL THE FAITHFUL.”
The Blessed Virgin’s freedom from sin was an unmerited gift of God or special Grace and an exception to the law or privilege, which no other created person has received.
Another misconception, (pun intended!) people have is that Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception was necessary to ensure that Original Sin would not be passed on to Christ, her Son. This has never been a part of the teaching on the Immaculate Conception; rather, the Immaculate Conception represents Christ’s saving grace operating in Mary in anticipation of His redemption of man and in God’s foreknowledge of Mary’s acceptance of His Will for her.
So, the Immaculate Conception was not a precondition for Christ’s act of salvation but the result of it. It is the concrete expression of God’s LOVE for Mary, who, with her FIAT, gave herself fully and completely to Him without hesitation.
You see, though we are IN TIME, while we are living in our bodies, God is ABOVE AND OUTSIDE OF TIME and indeed HE IS THE LORD OF TIME and can use it for His magnificent plan of salvation and regeneration of the world man has sullied with his sin. Throughout Holy Writ we read: “in the fulness of time…” It is another mystery of the Faith which is pondered with awe and humbleness in the face of the Almighty and Ever Living Triune God.
One last thought… The Blessed Virgin Mary is the only creature that is Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son and Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Three in ONE. No other person has this unique relationship to God. Another mystery of the FAITH OF OUR FATHERS.
Oh, God, have mercy on all of us, through the Sacred Heart of Thy well beloved Son, born of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, in time and in the fulfillment of Thine Eternal Plan. Amen.