Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception| Total Consecration According to S. Louis de Montfort| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
A feast called the Conception of Mary arose in the Eastern Church in the seventh century. It came to the West in the eighth century. In the 11th century it received its present name, the Immaculate Conception. In the 18th century it became a feast of the universal Church. It is now recognized as a solemnity.
In 1854, Pius IX solemnly proclaimed: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”
It took a long time for this doctrine to develop. While many Fathers and Doctors of the Church considered Mary the greatest and holiest of the saints, they often had difficulty in seeing Mary as sinless—either at her conception or throughout her life. This is one of the Church teachings that arose more from the piety of the faithful than from the insights of brilliant theologians. Even such champions of Mary as Bernard (August 20) and Thomas Aquinas (January 28) could not see theological justification for this teaching.
Two Franciscans, William of Ware and Blessed John Duns Scotus, helped develop the theology. They point out that Mary’s Immaculate Conception enhances Jesus’ redemptive work. Other members of the human race are cleansed from original sin after birth. In Mary, Jesus’ work was so powerful as to prevent original sin at the outset.
In Luke 1:28 the angel Gabriel, speaking on God’s behalf, addresses Mary as “full of grace” (or “highly favored”). In that context this phrase means that Mary is receiving all the special divine help necessary for the task ahead. However, the Church grows in understanding with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit led the Church, especially non-theologians, to the insight that Mary had to be the most perfect work of God next to the Incarnation. Or rather, Mary’s intimate association with the Incarnation called for the special involvement of God in Mary’s whole life. The logic of piety helped God’s people to believe that Mary was full of grace and free of sin from the first moment of her existence. Moreover, this great privilege of Mary is the highlight of all that God has done in Jesus. Rightly understood, the incomparable holiness of Mary shows forth the incomparable goodness of God.
“[Mary] gave to the world the Life that renews all things, and she was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.
“It is no wonder, then, that the usage prevailed among the holy Fathers whereby they called the mother of God entirely holy and free from all stain of sin, fashioned by the Holy Spirit into a kind of new substance and new creature. Adorned from the first instant of her conception with the splendors of an entirely unique holiness, the Virgin of Nazareth is, on God’s command, greeted by an angel messenger as ‘full of grace’ (cf. Luke 1:28). To the heavenly messenger she replies: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38)” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 56).
Patron Saint of:
Today is also the day for completing the devotional prayers of S. Louis de Montfort "Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary".
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Enclosed are the prayers required to be recited before completing your total consecration.
For those who are completing this Devotion for the initial time, you should submit the enclosed form CLICK HERE
to the Montfort Missionary Society - Bay Shore, New York 11706-8993
in order to be registered to gain the 19 yearly Plenary Indulgences.
Every year on the same renewal date and after completing the three weeks renewal prayers you should also sign another copy of the above form but keep it in your possession.
You only have to mail the form to the Society the FIRST TIME to be registered to gain the indulgences.
Do Not Be Afraid:
Lord, I wait for you. In the deep of this winter season come to me. Assure me that your strength is my own; Your courage inspires me to be unafraid. Your light will warm and lead me on. Amen.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
God understands very well our intention, which is upright and holy before Him.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365
We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy. At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God. All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.
The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin. But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God. His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever. God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.
This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far. Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point. Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God. The Lord’s love is perfect in every way. Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction.
Reflection 342: The Refreshment of the Passion
Normally we do not put the words “passion” and “refreshment” together. How could the Passion of Christ be refreshing? It is only horrific and sorrowful from an earthly perspective. The Lord suffered greatly and our Blessed Mother suffered with Him with the most sorrowful heart. But they both took great refreshment in this act also. This is because the Passion is pure love. And love refreshes us like nothing other. When you meditate on the Passion of our Lord you also offer joy and refreshment to His suffering soul and your own crosses are transformed as you enter into His (See Diary #1657).
Never stop reflecting upon the Passion of our Lord. It must become an image that is embedded upon your heart. Reflect on how often you do meditate on this act of pure love. Do you understand it? Do you see the love and compassion that brought our Lord to such a gift? Put your eyes on the Passion today and never take them off this refreshing act of perfect Mercy.
Lord, help me to see Your Passion for what it is. Please peel back the veil of Your suffering and pain so that I may see the love that led You to this moment. As I gaze upon this beauty may I bring You delight and be transformed by Your Mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.