The Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saturday 8th December 2018.
Padre Pio tells us in his reflection on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary that the Immaculate Conception is the first step in our salvation. Through this singular and unique gift, Mary received a profusion of divine grace, and through her cooperation, she became worthy of absorbing infinitely more.
He gives us this wonderful prayer,
“My Most Pure Mother, my soul, is so poor, all stained with wretchedness and sin cries out to Your maternal heart. In Your goodness deign, I beseech you, to pour out on me at least a little of the grace that flowed into you with such infinite profusion from the Heart of God. Strengthened and supported by this grace, May I succeed in better loving and serving Almighty God Who filled your heart completely, and who created the temple of your body from the moment of Your Immaculate Conception”.
We reflect that the Immaculate Conception is not about the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb. It is about the conception of Mary in her mother’s womb years before. While Mary was conceived in the normal, human way through her parents (Joachim and Anne), the Immaculate Conception speaks to the fact that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin. Immaculate means ‘without stain.”
When we honour the Mother of God under the title “Immaculate Conception”, we recognise in her a model of purity, innocence, trust. Mary, Mother of the Lord, teaches us how to do just that. In Mary, we have an image of humanity and divinity at home.
Mary always leads us to Christ. She is the one who shows us how to live lives of holiness as the one who helps us to know how to live holiness. We are called to have a true devotion to Mary. If we as Catholics are not devoted to Mary, we will not be devoted to Christ, for the two go hand in hand. Each related to one another.
Christ Himself gave Mary to us at the foot of the cross. “Behold your mother.” Those words were not just spoken to John but also spoken to the Church. Those words are spoken to each baptised Christian, “Behold your mother.” We are told in the Gospel that from that moment John took her into his home. You and I are called to take Mary into the home of our hearts because true devotion to Mary always leads to Jesus Christ.
Why not on this beautiful Feast Day join with those at the Shrine in praying “The Angelus and the Rosary Chaplet of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
The Angelus and the Chaplet of Our Lady of Guadalupe (click to open as pdf file)