Q: Was Mary aware of God's presence from the moment of her Immaculate Conception?

A: One of the consequences of the Immaculate Conception is a particularly fine-tuned sensitivity for the reality of God in Mary's life. 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. However, this should not mean that Mary lived beyond her status as creature as some quasi-divine being or goddess. Her awareness of God's presence corresponds to her status as exceptionally graced creature and the developmental state of her person. The baby Mary has not the same awareness of God's presence as the adolescent or adult Mary. At each stage of her life she was capable of the highest possible response to God's presence, but there are qualitative differences between these stages corresponding to the human receptiveness of the Immaculate Conception. The Church has no binding statement on this question. However, it can easily be seen in Scripture how Mary, from Annunciation to Pentecost, grows in the presence/response to God.


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