Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing.
You reign now in splendor with Jesus our King.
Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

How many Catholics believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to Jesus being conceived by Mary by way of the Holy Spirit? I hazard to guess that the number might be higher than we'd like to admit.  This feast, first celebrated in the East in the 7th century, gaining a following in the West in the 8th, and now celebrated every December 8th was officially recognized by the Roman Catholic church by Pope Pius IX in 1854.  I figure if it took the Church over 1000 years to gain a full understanding of the nature of Mary's sinlessness, that is, free from original sin, which was only possible by her immaculate conception (through her mother, St. Anne), it might just take us plain and simple, non-theologian Catholics that long to recognize that this feast is related to the conception of Mary, not of Jesus. 

In the meantime, we should pray to Mary that all hearts be converted to the truth of her Son and His Church, that we may come to a better understanding of the state of her sinlessness and that we may look to her as the perfect example of how to follow God's Will and not our own.

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