Novena in Preparation for the Immaculate Conception
December 1

Finally, Duns Scoutus (1308), a student of William of Ware, intervened by using the theological method of 'maximalism.'  He proposed that God could have:

  1. preserved Mary from original sin or
  2. cleansed her of original sin within an instant of her conception or
  3. purified Mary of original sin at a particular time before the Annunciation.

Since neither the Bible nor tradition provided an answer, Scotus claimed that it is better to believe and teach too much than too little as long as it was not contradicting Sacred Scripture.  Scotus employed the axiom "Deus potuit, decuit, fecit!"  God could do it; He deemed it to be fitting and thus He did it!

Scotus further defended his conviction with profound simplicity.  He argued that the most perfect form of mediation would be to preserve another from sin.  According to Scotus this is what Christ did.  He developed the theory of preservative redemption:

"The most perfect Redeemer must have had the most perfect mother.  The most perfect method of redemption was to preserve her, which does not do away with original sin but prevents it."

Duns concluded that in Mary alone this method was applied.  While Christ's sinlessness was by right; Mary's was by privilege.  Subsequently this method was used to explain the Immaculate Conception.

Mary, your holiness from the beginning of your life is the foreshadowing of that all-embracing holiness with which the Father will surround His people when His Son comes at the end of time to greet us.  Help us to live our days worthy of our calling.

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