This year, for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8th), I’d like to have a chance to share an ancient understanding through a new vantage point. Many people misunderstand what Catholics believe about the Immaculate Conception, many Catholics misunderstand too!
The Immaculate Conception is when Mary — the Mother of God — was conceived in her mother’s womb… Saint Anne’s womb, and Mary was conceived immaculately [without Original Sin].
Yes, we believe that Mary was conceived and born without a single pimple of sin (her birthday is Sept. 8!). She was conceived beautiful, full and precious; she was born beautiful, full and precious; she lived and was assumed into Heaven sinless, beautiful, full and precious. Some may say this belief is ridiculous: that we all need Jesus Christ to save us! Including Mary! That this belief is heresy!
But that’s where the misunderstanding happens. Instead, we have understood it this way: that God is eternal, He is outside of time, not restricted or confined by minutes, months, and millenia. An author who writes a story is also outside of the story, not restricted or confined by the pages, chapters and plot outline. The author can flip to the end, whip back to Genesis, think before Genesis, jump all over the middle, and even simultaneously be fifty-five chapters past the finale and through the sequel! A timeline is a toy! And all the different versions of a draft are like alternate dimensions.
The Author pwns.This is exactly the analogy of what God did for Mary. Knowing that Jesus was going to redeem Creation, God used the after-effects of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ and applied the goodness to Mary before she was even born, at her very conception. Mary was vaccinated against Original Sin. (Better yet, it’s sort of like the fantasy of sending a cybernetic organism back in time to change history by protecting a certain person from all danger: aka Terminator 2!)* We believe God is so beyond space, time and quantum mechanics that He not only did this for Mary, but that it was easy and even appropriate!
Why appropriate? Just ask yourself: If you were God, wouldn’t you have made your mommy perfect? And if God didn’t make Mary immaculate, then wouldn’t you wonder why not? After all… couldn’t He have done it? Didn’t He think that His only Son — the King of kings — should have a Queen Mother who matches His royalty?
Of course.P.s. If Mary is good enough for Jesus, then she’s more than good enough for me!
*Hear me out: Sarah Connor is the mother of the savior (John Connor) of mankind in the future war against Skynet. In the future, after John routs the machines, they become desperate and send a terminator back in time to destroy his mother before he is conceived. John knows this and sends a guardian back in time to protect his mother from harm.
In Catholic belief: Mary is the mother of the savior (Jesus) of mankind in the age-old war against sin and Satan. In the future, after Jesus dies and rises from the dead and thereby routing all Hell, He sends His grace and power of redemption back in time to protect His mother from harm (sin) at the point of her conception. Thus tada: Immaculate Conception
Not a perfect analogy, but too close to be a coincidence!
More immaculate info here.