Skip to comments.I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Posted on 12/08/2010 5:59:13 AM PST by mlizzy
...a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful that the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, was, by a unique grace and privilege of Almighty God in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, preserved exempt from all stain of original sin. Ineffabilis Deus
Today's feast day is more than Pope Pius IX's 1854 infallible proclamation, as important as that Dogma was and is. Today's feast day, which issues not only from the Papal Bull Ineffabilis Deus but its echo at the Grotto in Lourdes four years later, demonstrates that the Virgin Mary, with all her wonderful titles, wants to be known by that name. And the reason is not so much that she was conceived without sin, but that through her humility before God she continued without sin until the day she was assumed into heaven. It is for this reason her prayer is so powerful, her intercession so necessary.
While salvation is assured to anyone who lives a Christ-like life and is baptized in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to reach sainthood two further questions must be asked. First, can "The Word" become "Flesh" without the Eucharist? And second, can we truly know (and then, follow) Christ if we don't love Mary?
As a Catholic, who has come to know Jesus "in the Breaking of the Bread" (Luke 24:35), I believe one's knowledge (and thus belief) in Christ can never be fully realized without the Eucharist, and without it one instead develops a sort of two-dimensional faith that allows errors to infiltrate the spaces in the soul that grace has not filled in. Similarly, one cannot have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ without Mary. A person can attempt to be friends with another without sharing in the lives of this person's close friends, but that relationship is always doomed to be flawed or incomplete. Plus, Christ chose Mary as THE friend of any Christian, when He gave her to John as His mother (John 19:26-27). And the reason Mary was named first among a Christian's friends is because she finished the Salvation Race first in humility. Being the first and only person who followed God completely, she is the only person God calls "Full of Grace" (Luke 1:28).
Of course, a charismatic Christian will correctly claim one can appeal for God's grace without the sacraments and go directly through the Holy Spirit. But without perfect humility, these appeals are always open to deception (i.e. the devil), which is obvious to anyone who observes two or more Christian leaders claiming the Holy Spirit's inspiration on a subject when their doctrines flatly contradict each other. And, of course, this need heads us directly back to Our Lady. One needs perfect humility to correctly invoke the Holy Spirit, and that is available only through the prayers of the perfectly humble one, Mary The Immaculate Conception. And Mary never fails to lead those who seek her Intercession back to her Son, especially in His humblest form, under the Appearance of Bread and Wine.
Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
I couldn’t help but think, after all those old people pass away, that Church’ll be pretty empty.
There were lots of people at the vigil Mass at our parish last night.
Very good; very positive! Always does my heart good to see the numbers ...
You probably should have put this is Caucus. :) Just saying. We had a fair amount at Mass this AM as well. It was a really nice Mass for so early.
On December 8, we honor the Immaculate Conception of Mary our Mother.
Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously. Because of the fall of Adam and Eve, every baby is born into the world with original sin.
We are all children of our first parents so; we all inherit their sin. This sin in us is called original sin.
But the Blessed Virgin Mary was given a marvelous gift. She was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without this original sin.
Our Lady was to be the mother of Jesus, God's only Son. The evil one, the devil, should have no power over Mary. There was never the slightest sin in our all-beautiful mother.
That is why one of the Church's favorite hymns to Mary is: "You are all-beautiful, O Mary, and there is no sin in you."
This great favor that God blessed Our Lady with is called her Immaculate Conception.
One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed to the whole world that there was no doubt at all that Mary was conceived without sin.
Four years later, she appeared to Bernadette at Lourdes. When St. Bernadette asked the lovely lady who she was, Mary joined her hands and raised her eyes toward heaven. She said, "I am the Immaculate Conception."
You probably should have put this is Caucus. :) Just saying. We had a fair amount at Mass this AM as well. It was a really nice Mass for so early.Yes, probably I should have, but on the other hand, I grow weary of excluding others via the Catholic Caucus designation; the Church never closes its doors to outsiders. However, the words of St. Ambrose are good to follow, and I encourage all other Catholics to consider them:
To avoid dissensions we should be ever on our guard, more especially with those who drive us to argue with them, with those who vex and irritate us, and who say things likely to excite us to anger. When we find ourselves in company with quarrelsome, eccentric individuals, people who openly and unblushingly say the most shocking things, difficult to put up with, we should take refuge in silence, and the wisest plan is not to reply to people whose behavior is so preposterous. --St. Ambrose[emphasis mine]
Beautiful! I love it!
Sounds like Joseph Smiths legends.
I prayed desperately, promising God that if He told me He existed and how to worship Him, I would consider myself blessed beyond belief and would not ask for anything else.Bobby Jindal describes himself as an "evangelical Catholic," having "tremendous admiration for the zeal of evangelical Protestants," but who "love[s] the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic Church."
God used what was most important to me to get my attention back on Him. I was a normal teenage boy, so he used a teenage high school girl to get my attention.
During my junior year in high school, while attending a math tournament in New Orleans (stop snickering), I spotted Kathy. I had a crush on her, but had never mustered the nerve to say hello. This time I did, and we ended up going to a dance and having a great time ... Things were going great. Here was this pretty girl and she was interested in me! Then I asked her a simple question that changed everything.
"What do you want to do after school?"
Now, most of my friends in Baton Rouge wanted to be doctors, or football players, or teachers, or nurses; a few might have wanted to be rock stars. But she gave me an answer I had never heard. "I want to become a Supreme Court Justice," she said, "because I want to save innocent lives."
Where'd this come from? I thought to myself. And yet, I was struck by her answer. Saving the unborn gave her a purpose in life, something that was missing from mine.
Kathy was Catholic, and out of curiousity I attended Catholic Mass with her. I didn't want my parents [very strong in their Hindu tradition] to know, so I was probably the only teenager from Baton Rouge who told his parents he was going to a party so he could sneak off to church. --Bobby Jindal, Leadership and Crisis
So true! St. Ambrose was wiser then I. :)
I do like Bobby Jindal. We’ll have to see what the future holds. It would be nice to have a REAL Catholic President.
So true! St. Ambrose was wiser then I. :)Yes, me too! :)
This being the case, ever since the time when by one man sin thus entered into this world and death by sin, and so it passed through to all men, up to the end of this carnal generation and perishing world, the children of which beget and are begotten,there never has existed, nor ever will exist, a human being of whom, placed in this life of ours, it could be said that he had no sin at all, with the exception of the one Mediator, who reconciles us to our Maker through the forgiveness of sins. (Augustine)
For wholly alone of those born of woman was our Holy Lord Jesus, Who by the strangeness of His undefiled Birth has not suffered the pollutions of earthly corruption, but dispelled them by heavenly majesty. (Ambrose)
The eternal Word, therefore, was given to us by the hand of Mary, and of the substance of Mary He put on nature without the blemish of original sin, and this He did, because that conception was not of man, but made by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This indeed was not so in Mary, because she did not proceed from the mass of Adam by the operation of the Holy Spirit, but of man.And because that whole mass was corrupt, her soul could not be infused but into corrupt nature, nor could she be purified but by the grace of the Holy Spirit, of which grace indeed, a susceptible body is not the subject, but a rational or intellectual spirit, and therefore Mary could not be purified of that blemish, till after her soul was infused into her body, which in truth was so done out of reverence for the Divine treasure, which was destined to be placed in that vessel. For as a furnace consumes a drop of water in a moment of time, so does the Holy Spirit the blemish of original sin: for after her conception she was immediately made clean of that sin by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and was endowed with great grace. Thou knowest, O Lord, that this is the truth. (Catherine of Sienna)
I do like Bobby Jindal. Well have to see what the future holds. It would be nice to have a REAL Catholic President.Yes, me too. I'm all ready to start working on his campaign.:)
Our campaign team was comprised of me and a group of Protestants. There were a few other stray Catholics ... but not many. Before the crew back at headquarters learned of our ordeal, I fired off an email from my Blackberry that simply read, "Fyi, Melissa is now Catholic." This set off a lot of confusion back at HQ. --Bobby Jindal, Leadership and Crisis
Oh, I don’t know. Martin Luther talked to the Devil. Was Luther a Mormon?
To which I reply:
a) In this quotation, Augustine is refusing (at the time) to address the question of whether Mary had sin. He does not assert that she was sinless.
b) Augustine is saying that there is one (Jesus Christ) who certainly had no sin.
c) Augustine is addressing the issue of actual sin, not original sin.
Moreover, just a short time before writing "On Nature and Grace," Augustine wrote "On Merits and Forgiveness of Sins," in which he spoke more clearly:
This being the case, ever since the time when by one man sin thus entered into this world and death by sin, and so it passed through to all men, up to the end of this carnal generation and perishing world, the children of which beget and are begotten, there never has existed, nor ever will exist, a human being of whom, placed in this life of ours, it could be said that he had no sin at all, with the exception of the one Mediator, who reconciles us to our Maker through the forgiveness of sins.NPNF1: Vol. V, On Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, and on the Baptism of Infants, Book II, Chapter 47.