Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ave gratia plena!

And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. - Luke 1:28-29

Today we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Our Mother, Mary. In a singular and unique act of God, the Blessed Mother was preserved from the state of original sin and thus was filled with God's sanctifying grace from the very moment of her conception. This is a troubling dogma for some, but it need not be.

The Immaculate Conception confirms to us the natural state of humanity, that of people completely attuned to the will of God. While it is normal to sin, it is not natural. In our natural state, our wills are united with God even to the point of denying ourselves. It was through our first parents' disobedience that our wills became corrupted, and sin entered the world. It was through Mary and her obedience, which was made possible by being filled with sanctifying grace, that salvation entered the world, and sin was destroyed thus making it possible for us to be returned to our original state of union with God which was lost at the fall.

There are those who would say that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception means that Mary, free from original sin, would not need a savior. On the contrary, Mary participates in the salvific work of Christ in a most unique way. Through her fiat mihi, Mary fully acknowledges her need for a savior and cooperates with God's grace in such a powerful way through giving birth to the Son of God. Her consent paves the way for the plan of salvation instituted by God from the dawn of creation, for through her faith and trust in the Lord, she and the rest of the world are saved.

In this time where human beings are seen as mere animated pieces of flesh who must follow their base urges, the Immaculate Conception reaffirms our dignity. It returns humanity to its original state. It returns humanity to a state younger than sin. Today I thank God for his wonderful plan of salvation, and I rejoice with Mary, my mother, as I prepare for the coming of her Son.

O Maria, sine labe concepta,
Ora pro nobis qui ad te confugimus.


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