QUEEN CONCEIVED WITHOUT ORIGINAL SIN
(1) MARY, I believe the teaching of the Church concerning you that from the first moment of your conception you possessed sanctifying grace, even the fullness of grace, with the infused virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghost. Yet you remained subject to death and other pains and miseries of life that your Son Himself willed to undergo.
I believe that you were, "in the first instant of your conception, by the singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the Human race, preserved from all stain of original sin."
This article of faith is founded upon Scripture and upon the constant Tradition of the Church. If God Himself had announced from the beginning of the world that you were destined "to crush the head" of the infernal serpent, you could not have begun your life by being wounded yourself by his poisonous bite and subject to his power. The Archangel Gabriel called you "full of grace" because you never were deprived of sanctifying grace, and consequently you possessed this grace in the first moment of your conception.
The Fathers and writers of the Church compare you to the ark of Noe which alone escaped the universal deluge; to the thornbush which Moses saw burning, but was not consumed; to the enclosed garden; to the rod of Aaron which, when laid in the ark, budded and blossomed without having taken root; to the fleece of Gideon which remained dry while the ground all around it became moist with dew. They look upon you as the queen who came from the Most High, perfect, beautiful, and without original sin; as the paradise of innocence which God Himself planted and protected against all the attacks of the poisonous serpent.
(2) MARY, reason, too, approves of your Immaculate Conception, for this privilege corresponds with your sublime vocation. You were the throne of God, the wonderful palace in which the Son of God chose to dwell for nine months. Your womb was the chosen place honored by the mysterious working of the Holy Spirit. If everything that comes in contact with God must be pure and immaculate, what purity was necessary for you, the vessel in which the Son of God formed His flesh and blood? Your Immaculate Conception is a brilliant witness to the sanctity of Jesus, your Son.
If Jesus, the Son of God, could choose for His Mother her who pleased Him most, He would surely choose one acceptable to the Blessed Trinity and worthy of the great honor for which she was destined. You were, therefore, not only free from all actual sin, but you also remained exempt from original sin, otherwise, you would not have been a Mother suitable for Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As Eve received natural life from Adam, you received spiritual life, the life of grace, through your Son. If Eve was originally immaculate, your conception as the second Eve could not be less immaculate. You who are superior to Eve in merits could not be inferior to her in dignity. Therefore, since Eve was immaculate in her formation, you must have been immaculate in your conception.
(3) MARY, it is an ancient belief and now an article of faith of the Catholic Church that after your death you were admitted body and soul into heaven. This privilege corresponds with your exalted dignity and great merits. But the principal reason of your bodily assumption into heaven was due to your Immaculate Conception. Because of original gin man was doomed to death and corruption; but being exempt from the stain of original sin, you were not subject to corruption and were assumed into heaven body and soul immediately after your death.
God Himself has testified to Your Immaculate Conception by miracles. Who can number the wonders which have been wrought at Lourdes, where you appeared eighteen times and declared to Bernadette and to the world: "I am the Immaculate Conception," just four years after this doctrine was defined as a dogma of faith, to declare to the whole world your approval of it and that you were not only immaculately conceived, but that you are the Immaculate Conception! How many miracles have been wrought also through the miraculous medal which bears your image!
Mary, conceived without sin, teach me to be grateful to God for the grace of baptism by which I was cleansed from original sin and spiritually regenerated and sanctified. Help me to guard against every sin, above all against every mortal sin, lest I lose the grace of God, infinitely greater than all the riches of the world. Since I could not imitate you by entering the world free from sin, let me at least leave it free from sin.
O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary have prepared a worthy dwelling place for Your Son, we humbly beg of You, that as through the death of Your Son, which You foreknew, You have kept her free from all sin, so by her intercession enable us also to come to You with pure hearts. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. (Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8)
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