Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Saturday (December 8th) is the Solemnity of the ImmaculateConception. For Catholics, it's a Holy Day of Obligation. That's just a fancy way of saying "Get your tail to Mass."

This is probably the most misunderstood feast on the Catholic Church's calendar. The Immaculate Conception refers to this fact: Though Mary was conceived in the normal way, biologically speaking [need I explain? ;-)], God preserved her from the stain of original sin.

What's the stain of original sin? Original sin is the sin of Adam when he disobeyed God in the Garden. We're all born with the stain of that sin. We inherited it from our first parents. This means we lack sanctifyinggrace and, as a result, have a corrupt nature.

God gave Mary sanctifying grace before original sin and its stain could take hold. Hence, she was immaculately (cleanly) conceived. Simple?

It makes sense. If God the Father is sending His Son to earth via a human woman, He'd want her to be a pure vessel for Him--a pure Arkfor the new covenent.

And to make perfectly clear, we Catholics don't worship Mary. She, like us, is a creature made by God. But we honor her, just as the angel Gabriel did (Luke 1:28), because she is the mother of Jesus and because she's our mother too (John 19:26)
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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