Immaculate Conception of Mary: Conceived without sin
And also in the new conception of us all at the foot of the Cross
Immaculate Conception of Mary @ Alba Montalvo
Priest D. José Antonio Senovilla offers readers of Exaudi this article on the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Immaculate Conception of her blessed Son and also in the new conception of us all at the foot of the Cross, whose feast we celebrate every 8 December.
“What glorious proclamation for you, Virgin Mary, for from you is born the sun of righteousness, Christ our God” (Communion Antiphon of the Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary).
God created the world out of love and, faced with man’s sin, decided to redeem it, again out of love. And for this he designed a salvific plan. And he wanted man to participate in this plan, but it was an unthinkable plan for man himself, purely grandiose, divine. And so he did it. He decided to send his Son to become one of us. But for a God made man, a mother was necessary. And he made her. And he made her Pure, Clean, without any stain of sin, so that she would reflect without hindrance the Beauty of God, the Light of God: of the Father, of his beloved Son and of the divine Spirit, who made her doubly fruitful. And She, the Pure, the Clean, the Immaculate, the Conceived without sin, begot the Son, her Child-God. And then, that same Virgin Mother welcomes us all into a new birth: that of children of God.
All this wonder speaks to us of God’s commitment to mankind, of how much God is willing to do to save those he so lovingly created in his image and likeness. It is amazing what God asked of Abraham, the sacrifice of his beloved son: but it was only a test of faith. What God forgave Abraham he did not forgive himself: he handed over his only-begotten Son to death, out of love for each one of us. He gave up the Innocent One, and with Him the Mother. The Most Pure was so in the Immaculate Conception of her Son, and was so in the new conception of us all at the foot of the Cross.
“The Most Pure was the
Virgin who gave us the innocent Lamb
who takes away the sin of the world.
Most pure was she whom thou hast destined of all,
for thy people,
as advocate of grace
and example of holiness’ (from the Preface of the Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary).
And how does all this wonder affect us? It helps us in everything, because then we know we have a heavenly Father who is always close to us: even when we make mistakes. And we also have a Mother in heaven. She can do everything before God and has learnt from God himself to do everything for us: she always helps us.
Mary is virginal purity. And if we turn to her, she makes our hearts pure and cleanses them from the faults of the past. Ave Maria Purissima! How many times have we recited this prayer? Each time we have done so, her Immaculate Heart has leapt with joy.
Saying Mary’s name fills our hearts with sweetness: it is the Sweet Name of Mary. To pronounce her name is a call: “Mary! And she immediately comes to our aid: like a good mother she comes to call her child: “Mother! She is always available: she always comes immediately.
Who pronounced Mary’s name best? Jesus. And what did she do? She immediately left everything and always answered: ‘Tell me, Jesus’. And she went wherever He was.
God gave this name to the one who was to be his beloved daughter, his mother, his bride. To the Immaculate Virgin who brought Redemption into the world.
Since she is your Mother, when you pronounce Mary’s name, she responds by pronouncing yours: she calls you by name. But no creature pronounces your name so, so sweetly. Does she pronounce it as she sees Jesus pronounce it?
Mary’s voice! When she greeted Elizabeth, mother and son were filled with the Holy Spirit…. How pure and sweet Mary is! How she realises in us the commission of her Son from the Cross!
God needs nothing from us. How can we repay him for so much good? How can we make our intentions purer by seeking to repay Him for what He gives us? Impossible! He wants us to repay all the good He does to us by doing good to others, by showing them God’s nearness. What He does for us, He wants us to repay in kind: in others.
But sometimes this task becomes difficult. And this is where pronouncing the name of the Immaculate Virgin helps us in a decisive way… and hearing our name on her lips.
This always happens, but in a very special way at the moment of temptation: we call her and she immediately comes to our side: to defend us and to defend her Son who has taken refuge in our heart. And then, if we truly realise that she is there, beside us, we feel safe. No one can take purity, joy and peace from us if the Most Pure, the cause of our joy and Queen of Peace, is at our side. Mary’s purity and humility always confound and defeat the enemy. And she has never been heard to fail to intervene in defence of a child who had invoked her. Never!
“He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). And he gives us the means to achieve such an unattainable goal in our own strength. And this is where Mary’s immaculate purity comes into play.
This is the great and simple remedy: when we are afraid, and always: call our Mother to our side. Mary! Mother! This is the great remedy to fill our hearts with purity, in the streets, at work, in schools, in the media, in social networks…. The task is daunting. Many do not know what they are doing and harm themselves by allowing impurity to enter their hearts. But Mary has already won this battle, she is our hope, she will bring peace back into the hearts of so many confused people and she will do so with the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. This is what she has promised and this is what she will accomplish (cf. Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, made by St. John Paul II in Rome on 25 March 1984).
And we can also sing to our Immaculate Mother with the heart of a child, confident that it will please her, because it is a song for the glory of God: “You are purer than the sun, more beautiful than the pearls that hide the seas. You alone among many mortals were free from Adam’s error (…). And in heaven a voice repeated: More than you… only God alone’ (Joaquín Díaz, Canción).
The Immaculate Conception of Mary
It is the dogma of faith which
declares that by a
the special grace of God,
she was preserved from
all sin from her
The dogma was proclaimed
by Pope Pius IX on 8 December
December 8, 1854, in his
Bull Ineffabilis Deus.
full of graces,
the Lord is
is with you”
LC 1, 28