Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Today in the church calendar we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This is the time when we remember Mary as one who was conceived without sin and who would become the Mother of God. Mary has a very important role in our faith and this is one of the many ways in which we remember her.

Chris and I attended the vigil Mass for this feast day. So we met at Church Friday night after work and then went out to eat after Mass. We also managed to do a little Christmas shopping last night too.

Today I had rehearsal for a concert I'm playing in tomorrow. Actually, this is the reason we went to a vigil mass rather than the 8am mass Saturday morning.

This evening after dinner we read part of a book we picked up at Church at the beginning of Advent. The book has readings and commentaries for each day from the First Sunday of Advent through Epiphany. So each night after dinner we read that days page. Today's, of course, talked about the Immaculate Conception. It made us both think a bit and it sparked a little bit of discussion. I suppose that is probably the intent of the book! :)

So the book asked if we thought Mary knew she was sinless. I said no, how could she know that. But Chris said that she probably knew something even if maybe she didn't know exactly what it was. And we were specifically thinking of Mary as a young girl, before the angel came to visit her. So we discussed this more and I think I do have to agree that she probably knew that she was different somehow. Chris pointed out that although she was conceived without sin she still had free will as we all do. Thus she always had to make the decision to not sin whenever she was faced with any kind of decision like that. But he also agrees that she probably wouldn't have been able to vocalize that she was sinless because she also had humility. Humility kind of goes hand in hand with the sinlessness. So, she might never have admitted she was sinless, she had free will, and she had to make decisions to always do right.

It was a really great discussion and I'm glad it made us think. I also feel that my respect for the person of Mary is so much greater now just thinking about what we talked about tonight. She is definitely a role model to always have in front of you.


  1. Definitely food for thought and I wonder if you'd mind if I offered up some Scripture as food for thought for you?

    Luke 1:47 She addresses God as her Savior - if she were sinless, would she need a Savior?

    Romans 3:23 ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 5:12 also. Check for original Greek translation and definition of "all." In addition, I also believe that Scripture is inerrant and God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16) and if Mary was exception would He not have included that an as exception next to the word "all"?

    Matthew 12:46-50 If his mother was of such importance, would he discount her role in this situation? If she were sinless, would he say, "Here are my mother and my brothers," thus putting her on the level of sinners? Again, I point you to the Greek definitions on

    My two cents. :) No offense meant. Just food for thought from someone whose faith is somewhat different.

  2. A couple more Scriptures...

    Hebrews 4:15 - ....but we have ONE who was without sin yet was tempted in every way, just as we are...

    Also see Hebrews 7:25

    All of Hebrews is a fascinating book of the Bible actually. I love it. Its all about a description of the fulfillment of Christ as the ultimate sacrifice and fulfillment of Old Testament law and the atonement of sins. The blood of the lamb, the pure sinless one...the only way forgiveness of our sins could happen, praise God!

  3. Hi Tara!!

    Thanks for the Bible verses. I will indeed look these up to get the in fuller context as soon as I have a chance. Even without seeing the verses yet, I can really see the difference between our Catholic and Protestant views from what you've said already. I'll add to this discussion (maybe in a new post) as soon as I get a chance to look this over.

    In the meantime, I have several great books on Mary that you may find interesting. The best one is a very short book that's part of a series of Apologetics books. They basically hit the high points and make lots of references. I still haven't unpacked my books in the new house so I have no idea where it is currently, but it's called "Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain and Defend Mary." It's an awesome book and I used it in a retreat presentation I did on Mary and it was a huge help. Maybe I'll try to dig it out tonight. I found the title on Amazon. If you just do a search for "Beginning Apologetics" you'll see all the books in the series.

    I'll be back with more soon (hopefully)!!