Only in God - The Immaculate Conception
Pray the Rosary
Mary forewarned Satan has made inroads into the Holy Church of God. We must therefore do as Mary requested pray, renew belief in, and, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament - the true presence - through Holy Mass, Adoration, Benediction, spending time before the Tabernacle and saying each day the Rosary. Uphold the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Today join us in the Sorrowful Mysteries
Few doctrines of the Catholic Church are as misunderstood as the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which Catholics celebrate every year on December 8. Many people, including many Catholics, think that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That event, though, is celebrated at the feast of the Annunciation (March 25, nine months before Christmas). What is the Immaculate Conception?
Conceived Without Sin
The Immaculate Conception refers to the condition that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from Original Sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. We celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary—her birth—on September 8; nine months before that is December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The Development of the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception
Fr. John Hardon, S.J., in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, notes that "Neither the Greek nor Latin Fathers explicitly taught the Immaculate Conception, but they professed it implicitly." It would take many centuries, though, for the Catholic Church to recognize the Immaculate Conception as a doctrine—as something which all Christians must believe—and many more before Pope Pius IX, on December 8, 1854, would declare it a dogma—that is, a doctrine that the Church teaches was revealed by God Himself.
The Declaration of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
In the Apostolic Constitution Ineffablis Deus Pope Pius IX wrote that "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 Savior 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."
As Father Hardon further writes, 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."
The Immaculate Conception Anticipates Christ's Redemption of All Mankind
Another misconception people have is that Mary's Immaculate Conception was necessary to ensure that Original Sin would not be passed on to Christ. 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.
In other words, the Immaculate Conception was not a precondition for Christ's act of redemption but the result of that act. It is the concrete expression of God's love for Mary, who gave herself fully, completely, and without hesitation to His service.
Scott P. Richert
MORNING PRAYER - on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Conceived without sin,
the Lord is with thee
Pray for us
who have recourse to thee.
TODAY is The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Solemnity
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is the doctrine that the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin, that twist in our nature that makes our will tend not to follow what it knows to be right. It was this grace that enabled Mary to give a true and considered “Yes” to the request, conveyed by the Angel Gabriel, that she should consent to be the mother of the incarnate God.
The doctrine was almost universally believed over the centuries but was only formally defined as a doctrine of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Because it is so old, it is one of the Marian doctrines that Islam shares with the Catholic Church, though of course the theological details are very different.
To love God is to serve him. To do His will is to love Him above all things and our neighbour as ourselves. No ifs no buts. Lord as we prepare for Christmas give us the strength to follow your commands. We remember your words 'Father forgive them for they know not what they do'.
WORD OF OUR LORD
Luke 1:26-38 - 'I am the handmaid of the Lord'
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Lord Jesus Christ, you chose the Virgin Mary to be your mother, a worthy home in which to dwell. By her prayers keep us from danger and bring us to the joy of heaven,
Always Remember - JESUS LOVES YOU
Glorious things are spoken of you, O Mary,
for from you arose the sun of justice,
Christ our God.