Monday, December 9, 2013

Our grace-filled mother

Do you ever wonder how our Blessed Mother could have been so good?  When encouraged to “be like Mary” do you ever think “I could never be like her.”  Well, that’s somewhat true.  Yes, she was unimaginably good and no, we can never be perfectly like her.  But there is a reason.  When Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Ann, her soul was free from the stain of Original Sin.  That was so because God, the Father, allowed her to experience the redeeming graces of her Son and so she was immaculate in her conception. During her life she was not drawn to sin because she was free from “concupiscence”,  the pull that we have  toward sin.   When the angel Gabriel came to her at the time of the Annunciation he addressed her as “full of grace.”  That is why she was so good – she was FULL of grace.  Since her soul was spotless her capacity for grace was great.  The more we grow in holiness the more we really will become like her; the more we grow in holiness, the greater will be the capacity of our souls for God’s grace.   Our Blessed Mother was full of grace so she could be the holy dwelling of her Son. 

This mystery is what we celebrate in the Church today – the solemn feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.  Normally the solemnity is celebrated on December 8 but because that date fell on a Sunday this year, the Church moved the feast to today, Monday. 
Our Blessed Mother, under the title of her Immaculate Conception, is the patroness of the United States.  Let us beg her today to ask Jesus to bless our country.  It desperately needs to be freed from sin and open to God’s grace.  And let us ask the Lord to give us the grace to fall in love with her, she who is our mother, our queen. 
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.

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