Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

St. Therese on the Virgin Mary, Whose Feast Day We Celebrate Today Under Her Title Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

"We know very well that the Blessed Virgin Mary is Queen of Heaven and Earth, but she is more mother than queen; and we should not say, on account of her prerogatives, that she surpasses all saints in glory just as the sun at its rising makes the stars disappear from sight. My God! How strange that would be! A mother who makes her children's glory vanish! I myself think just the contrary. I believe she'll increase the splendor of the elect very much..."

Tonight, I was fortunate to be able to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Paul's, and the celebrant recalled his dearly departed grandmother, who was often the recipient of fine gifts for her birthday or Christmas but who tucked them away in a drawer, thinking they were "too good" for her. How many of us think the Virgin Mary is too good for us? Because she has reached a level not accorded to any other human, we fear we will defile her by asking her help. Because she was free from every kind of sin, we, who commit every kind of sin, recoil at the notion of pleading for her protection. Our Lord, from His agony on the cross, gave His mother to us, as a protectress and an advocate. He didn't tell us to sit her on a pedestal that we dared not approach. The apostle whom Jesus loved took Mary into his home and we are called to take her into our hearts.

Mary is the greatest of the Saints. The Saints did not live to garner glory for themselves but to win souls for Jesus. How could we go wrong if we follow the disciple who was closest to Him, Mary?

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