Life & Liberty

LOM 70

LOM 70


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Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8: The Feast of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception

"...there will be some material-minded people who cannot understand why some souls really love God."

"When Whistler painted the picture of his mother, did he not have the image of her in his mind before he ever gathered his colors on his palette? If you could have preexisted your mother (not artistically but really), would you not have made her the most perfect woman who ever lived--one so beautiful she would have been the sweet envy of all women, and one so gentle and so merciful that all other mothers would have sought to imitate her virtues? Why then, should we think that God would do otherwise? When Whistler was complemented on the portrait of his mother, he said, 'You know how it is: one tries to make one's Mummy just as nice as he can.' When God became Man, He too...would have made His Mother as nice as He could--and that would make her a perfect Mother."

Today we celebrate the feast of our Blessed Mother's Immaculate Conception: Mary, conceived without sin: Humanly Perfect...Perfectly Human. Mary was given this privilege "not for her sake, but for (our Lord's) sake....Had there been no Immaculate Conception, then Christ would have been said to be less beautiful, for He would have taken His body from on who was not humanly perfect!"

As we contemplate the gifts of this holy season of Advent, it is appropriate that we celebrate the feast of our Mother's Immaculate Conception. When we gaze upon Mary, we can be confident in God's love for us, for "one look at her and we know that a human who is not good can become better; one prayer to her and we know that, because she is without sin, we can become less sinful." Let us place our trust in our Blessed Mother's love for us, and let us emulate her love of God, which "so inflamed her heart, her body, her soul that when Jesus was born, the world could truly say of Him: 'This is the Child of Love.'"

Mary, please guide us while we await the sunrise of your Son's Birth. Amen.

Quotations from The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010; photo by Patricia D. Richards.