Today, 8 Dec 2011, is the wondrous solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a day to ponder this amazing privilege of our heavenly Mother, to thank God for bringing her into existence and to participate in the Hour of Grace. So many wonderful works of God’s grace and several religious orders look to this feast day as their starting point.
To recall this privilege, the words of Blessed Pope Pius IX in ‘Ineffabilis Deus’ express it best. “From the very beginning, and before time began, the Eternal Father chose and prepared for His only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, He would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so love her that truly in Her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of His divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free from all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.” For the full text go to www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P9INEFF.HTM
This feast encourages us to thank God for the precious gift of Mary. How much we owe this gentle woman who accepted the enormous responsibility of being the Mother of the Redeemer and all the crushing sorrows it entailed. How many times have we been helped, and countless souls saved, through her intercession? How lacking in hope would we be without her loving example before our eyes? What an utter masterpiece of grace God created in Mary! We thank Him for bringing her into existence and sharing her with all of us. We are reminded in this feast that life starts at conception, and not at several weeks and months of gestation. Thank You, heavenly Father for creating such an incomparable Mother in Mary.
Our thanksgivings don’t cease there, since today contains the Hour of Grace. We thank God for each and every grace, for each and everry answer to prayer, that He has poured out today upon the world, and upon each previous Hour of Grace, because souls took the promises given through Sr Pierina seriously. May their numbers increase.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. Amen.