Monday, December 8, 2014

Immaculate Conception

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Many people think it is a relatively new thing, but it is not. It goes way back in Christian history. Actually, the concept goes back to the 5th century. But it was only defined as dogma in 1854. Many also confuse it with Jesus' birth - it deals with the concept that Mary was born without original sin.

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."
—Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854

Why is the Immaculate Conception important?
"The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the belief that God interrupted the flow of human history by a special act and preserved Mary from the stain of original sin from the first moment of her conception. This action of God reminds us of two important truths – truths which have been obliterated in the rationalist, secular-humanist modern world.

"The first is that God is alive and at work in the world. He has not abandoned the human race, but he cares enough to be involved. Through a special act he preserved the Virgin Mary from the stain of original sin, and through this unique action he reminds us that he is still engaged with the human race in our eternal struggle. This world is not empty of God and empty of grace, but it is still charged with the grandeur and humility of God. Rationalism is not the final answer. The miraculous is still alive in the world.

"Secondly, the Immaculate Conception reminds us that human life is sacred from the first moment of conception. We are taught by divine revelation and by divine interaction with the world that the first moment of human life is the moment of conception. In a world threatened by genocide, suicide, war, murder, abortion, and euthanasia, the Blessed Virgin – under her titles of Aparecida and Guadalupe – speak to the world of the sacredness of human life and of God’s care and love for the human race.

"Finally, it is no mistake that the Immaculate Conception is the primary image of the Americas. The Americas are the ultimate battleground in the war between secular, godless humanism and the divine mercy of God in the world. The blessed Virgin, Immaculately and miraculously conceived, offers her son for the Redemption of the world and the conversion of the Americas."

- Fr. Dwight Longenecker

1 comment:

Louis M said...

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Really miss your posts, fratello:-(((