Friday, December 08, 2006

Immaculate Mary

I'd love to see a bumper sticker that says "Love your MOTHER" and has a picture like this on it.

December 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Many (including Catholics!) mistakenly believe that this feast refers to the conception of Jesus in Mary's virgin womb (and that, in fact, is the Gospel reading from Luke). Actually, it refers to the immaculate conception of Mary in her mother's womb; she was saved from the stain of original sin so that she could bear the Son of God. Here's an excellent article on the basis of this feast; the Genesis reading is also part of today's liturgy.

I went to Mass for this Holy Day of Obligation at the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes in Emmitsburg, MD. St. Elizabeth Anne Seton used to spend time on "Mary's Mountain," and her shrine is nearby. It's a gorgeous, serene place to connect spiritually. On one path are the 14 Stations of the Cross done as mosaics, and on another are mosaics of the 15 original mysteries of the Rosary (the new Luminous mysteries have yet to be added). Masses can be held in an ampitheater near the actual (replica) grotto, or in a gorgeous glass chapel near the bell tower.

Today, the Mass was said by Father Bill McCarthy, who challenged us during the homily to consider what Christmas really means; the coming of Jesus Christ incarnate within us, as we receive Him through baptism. He said for us to see everyone as Jesus does, since we too are all sons and daughters of God thanks to Jesus. That's a toughie for me; I can get so hung up on being right over being loving. Finally, he said we are all healers just as Jesus is, because we received all of Him.

After Mass, Fr. McCarthy prayed over me. Unlike some others that he prayed with, I wasn't overcome by the Holy Spirit. I wondered whether I missed something, but I still felt closer to God than I had in a while. I followed up by receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Mary, I take refuge in you.

2 comments: said...

hi. I just love your comments on the Immaculate Conception and your faith. I was searching on the prayer Act of Consecration to Immaculate Concepcion when I came across your blog. thanks also for redirecting me to the site where you can Defend the dogma of Immaculate conception. I will print it and post in our bulletin board. There are more and more Catholics leaving because of ignorance of these dogmas and magisterium of the church. Hope it will help them understand Mama Mary. God bless you and may Mama Mary always intercede for you.
Babes Quiambao, CAtechist/Lector/commentator
St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Pulo, CAbuyao, Laguna

Stephen said...

Ask, and the door shall be opened to you.

God Bless.

Love Your Mother