We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.
—Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854
We celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception today.
There are many Catholics who think that this is the day by which Mary conceived Jesus in her womb.
Bzzzz. Wrong answer.
This is a feast that recalls that God was preparing the Blessed Virgin Mary for the great invitation to be the mother of Jesus. In order to be a worthy, spotless, mother, Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin.
That did not mean that she was forced to become the mother of Jesus.
She still had a choice.
She could accept or reject the invitation of God since she had free will.
She choose to accept the invitation.
God prepares us to accept His word as well. No, we were not conceived without the stain of original sin. However, the stain of original sin was washed from our souls by virtue of our baptism.
God poured His graces into us from the moment of our baptism and asks us, daily, to accept His will for us.
We, like Mary, are called to say “Yes.”
FAITH ACTION: What is it that God is calling you to do? Identify it. Then, say yes to it!