Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary—7 December A.D. 2017
Ave Maria!

Please pray for Alfie Evans, 16 Months old ,
another hostage of socialized medicine in Britain.

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
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Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus


“The depths [of the waters] were not as yet, and I was already conceived…. I was present: when with a certain law and compass
He … balanced the [poles] of the earth….”[1]


    Today we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin…. As Pope Pius IX decreed on this day in 1854, “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.”[2]

    As we are, today, exactly nine months before the September 8th birthday of the Blessed Virgin on the liturgical calendar, it should be clear that we are talking about the physical conception of the Blessed Virgin in the normal manner by her parents Joachim and Anne.  We say that this conception was “immaculate” because she was conceived without original sin—better yet, that she was conceived in the state of sanctifying grace.  The virginal conception of Jesus Christ is a separate matter.

    It is not surprising that Christianity has always associated Mary with sanctifying grace, holiness, and purity.  But even among some of the greatest theologians, prior to 1854 there had been some question of the precise time of Mary’s sanctification.  Some, connecting biological conception with concupiscence, suggested that sanctification had to come later.  Some suggested that Mary had to have had original sin for some period of time in order to be redeemed from it.

    These latter theologians made the mistake of considering original sin to be a positive thing—a sort of dirty stain on the soul—rather than the lack of sanctifying grace.  God was quite free, of course, to create a soul in the state of grace—just as He created Adam and Eve.

    Over the years theological speculation assigned various times to the presumed “sanctification” of Mary.  Some guessed that it was as late as the time of Jesus’ Baptism; that she was there and shared in the glory accorded to her “beloved Son with Whom [the Father] was well pleased.[3]

    Some confused her “sanctification” with the Jewish ritual of purification, forty days after the birth of a male child, with the offering of a pair of turtle doves on the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem.[4]

    Some speculated that her “sanctification” took place at the first shedding of Jesus’ Precious Blood at His circumcision, eight days after His birth.[5]

    Or, perhaps, carrying Jesus in her womb—a sort of nine months of Holy Communion—made Mary holy.

    Others suggested that it was the words of the Archangel Gabriel, “hail full of grace” brought the grace of sanctification.  Or maybe it was Mary’s acceptance of divine Motherhood that worked the deed—fiat mihi—“be it done to me according to thy word.”[6]  At least, with this thinking, the sinless Savior would be formed in the womb of a sinless woman.

    But, it certainly makes sense that Mary, the “second Eve” would have entered into life (in the womb) with no less grace than the first Eve.  It makes sense that the Mother of our sinless Redeemer would never have been tainted by sin herself—that He would draw His sinless flesh and bone from a woman absolutely untainted by sin.  And this is what we have, according to Catholic belief as enunciated by Pope Pius IX.

    We have been talking about the Conception of Mary in the physical sense, by her parents.  But it is reasonable to consider that Mary was first conceived in the Mind of God—perhaps long before her physical conception.

    In the book of Genesis we read about the very beginning of human evil—the fall of Adam and Eve.  And immediately, God steps in and proposes a counterbalance to that evil.  To overcome the almost perfect evil of Satan, God proposes to send the perfect goodness of a woman into the world.  To the serpent God says: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.[7]  “I will put enmities between thee and the woman” means she will be your “polar opposite”—to the degree that the devil is sinfully evil, the woman conceived by God will be sinlessly good.  His conception is of an immaculate woman.

    Indeed, it is likely that God foresaw the revolt of the demons and the fall of man before all Creation—before He had created matter, space, and time itself.  Quite likely, this is why the Church accommodates words from the Wisdom Books to many of the Masses in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

“The depths [of the waters] were not as yet, and I was already conceived…. I was present: when with a certain law and compass
He … balanced the [poles] of the earth….”




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