Novena in Preparation for the Immaculate Conception
December 5

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception defines that Mary

  1. occupies the highest degree of salvation as a consequence
  2. of perfect justice
  3. on the basis of merit.

As virginal Mother of God she was at the same time the Daughter of her Son who had redeemed her. Through the gift of the fullness of grace Mary is the embodiment of the supreme virtues of which humanity is made capable. This awesome reality caused even Ulrich Zwingli to call Mary the highest of creatures, second in dignity after God.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception led to the result that if Mary was free of original sin she must also be free of the consequences of the sin we inherited from our first parents. This conviction however may not lead to extremes such as ascribing to the Blessed Virgin Mary the gift of total knowledge of the future.

One of the consequences of the Immaculate Conception is a particularly fine-tuned sensitivity for the reality of God. Correspondingly, Mary lived up to God's expectation bringing to harmony her awareness of God and the practical response to it. Thus, she is the one we call sinless, which implies that her awareness of God's presence corresponds to her status as exceptionally graced creature and the developmental state of her person.

Mother of fairest love! Protect our families so that they may always be united to you and our Son Jesus Christ. Obtain for us that purity of heart so that our thoughts, words an deeds may always be directed to the glory and honor of God.

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