We discuss with Fr. Mark Cyza the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
For more on the Immaculate Conception from St. John Paul II:
HOLY MASS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 150th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE DOGMA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday, 8 December 2004
- “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1: 28).
We address the Virgin Mary several times a day with these words of the Archangel Gabriel. Let us repeat them with fervent joy today, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, remembering 8 December 1854 when Blessed Pius IX proclaimed this wonderful Dogma of the Catholic faith in this very same Vatican Basilica.
I cordially greet those who are gathered here today, especially the representatives of the National Mariological Societies who have taken part in the International Mariological Congress, organized by the Pontifical Marian Academy.
I then greet all of you present here, dear brothers and sisters, who have come to pay filial homage to the Immaculate Virgin. I offer a special greeting to Cardinal Camillo Ruini. I renew to him my warmest wishes for the jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood and express to him my deep gratitude for the service that with generous dedication he has and continues to render to the Church as my Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.
- How great is the mystery of the Immaculate Conception that the Liturgy presents to us today! A mystery that never ceases to invite the contemplation of believers and inspires the reflection of theologians. The theme of the Congress that has just been mentioned: “Mary of Nazareth welcomes the Son of God into history”, has fostered a deep examination of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a presupposition for receiving in her virginal womb the Word of God Incarnate, the Saviour of the human race.
“Full of grace”, “κεχαριτωµευη”: in the original Greek of Luke’s Gospel, the Angel greets Mary with this title. It is the name that God, through his messenger, chose to use to describe the Virgin. This is how he had always seen and thought of her, ab aeterno (from all eternity).
- In the hymn of the Letter to the Ephesians just now proclaimed, the Apostle praises God the Father “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1: 3). What a special blessing God addressed to Mary from the beginning of time! Mary was truly blessed among women (cf. Lk 1: 42)!
The Father chose her in Christ before the creation of the world, so that she might be holy and immaculate before him in love, preordaining her as the first fruits of filial adoption through the work of Jesus Christ (cf. Eph 1: 4-5).
- The predestination of Mary, like that of each one of us, is linked to the predestination of the Son. Christ is that “seed” that was “to bruise the head” of the ancient serpent, according to the Book of Genesis (cf. Gn 3: 15); he is the Lamb “without blemish” (cf. Ex 12: 5; I Pt 1: 19), immolated to redeem humanity from sin.
With a view to the saving death of the Son, Mary, his Mother, was preserved free from original sin and from every other sin. The victory of the new Adam also includes that of the new Eve, Mother of the redeemed. The Immaculate Virgin is thus a sign of hope for all the living who have triumphed over Satan by the blood of the Lamb (cf. Rv 12: 11).
- Today let us contemplate the humble young girl of Nazareth, holy and blameless before God in love (cf. Eph 1: 4), in that “love” whose original source is God himself, one and triune.
How sublime an act of the Most Holy Trinity is the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Redeemer! Pius IX, in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, recalls that the Almighty “by one and the same decree had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of divine Wisdom” (Pii IX Pontificis Maximi Acta, Pars prima, p. 559).
The Virgin’s “yes” to the announcement of the Angel fits into the reality of our earthly condition, with humble respect for the divine will to save humanity not from history but in history. Indeed, ever preserved free from all taint of original sin, the “new Eve” benefited uniquely from the work of Christ as the most perfect Mediator and Redeemer. The first to be redeemed by her Son, she shares to the full in his holiness; she is already what the entire Church desires and hopes to be. She is the eschatological icon of the Church.
- Consequently the Immaculate Virgin, who marks “the very beginning of the Church, Bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle, shining with beauty” (Preface), always precedes the People of God in the pilgrimage of faith, bound for the Kingdom of Heaven (cf.Lumen Gentium, n. 58; Redemptoris Mater, n. 2).
In Mary’s Immaculate Conception the Church sees projected and anticipated in her most noble member, the saving grace of Easter.
In the event of the Incarnation the Church encounters Christ and Mary indissolubly united: “he who is the Church’s Lord and Head and she who, uttering the first fiat of the New Covenant, prefigures the Church’s condition as spouse and mother” (Redemptoris Mater, n. 1).
- To you, Virgin Immaculate, predestined by God above every other creature to be the advocate of grace and model of holiness for his people, today in a special way I renew the entrustment of the whole Church.
May you guide your children on their pilgrimage of faith, making them ever more obedient and faithful to the Word of God.
May you accompany every Christian on the path of conversion and holiness, in the fight against sin and in the search for true beauty that is always an impression and a reflection of divine Beauty.
May you obtain peace and salvation for all the peoples. May the eternal Father, who desired you to be the immaculate Mother of the Redeemer, also renew in our time through you, the miracles of his merciful love. Amen!
ST12 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – The Blessed Virgin Mary, “The Head-Crushing” Immaculately Conceived Handmaid of the Lord
Episode 12 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran, hosted by Bruce McGregor. Ep 12 – The Blessed Virgin Mary, “The Head-Crushing” Immaculately Conceived Handmaid of the Lord
Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.
Episode 12 – Sharon and Bruce discuss the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary is the new Eve! The sin-free woman who will crush the head of the serpent. Sharon breaks open Genesis chapter 2, the Gospel of Luke, Revelation 12 and the Old Testament teachings on the two other woman who are “blessed” and how this shines a light on our understanding of Mary!
“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:www.seekingtruth.net
Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your every day life.
Episode 4 –
This 2 part lecture is a “must listen to” as Sharon gives us the Biblical basis for the perpetual … (more info)virginity of Mary as well as for her Immaculate Conception. Drawing from both Old and New Testament scripture, Sharon shows us how Mary was filled with grace from the moment of her conception and remained sinless throughout her entire life.
We also learn that through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary becomes Theotokos, God-Bearer, and is the Ark of the New Covenant. Like the Ark of the Old Covenant, Mary is not meant to be touched, and she remains perpetually virgin.
But wait! There’s more! Sharon also reveals to us the amazing fulfillment of Old Testament Messianic Prophecies through the birth of John the Baptist.
You won’t want to miss this foundational lecture.
“Seeking Truth” is an in depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:www.seekingtruth.net
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – a fitting tabernacle to hold the Word made Flesh with Teresa Monaghen
Teresa Monaghen, of Pro Sanctity and Fr. John Sianchuck, C.Ss.R., a Ukranian Byzantine priest do a great job of explaining the Western and Eastern understanding of this great mystery.
Take a listen to the discussion posted above, that Bruce and I had with Teresa Monaghen, from Pro Sanctity and Fr. John Sianchuk, C.Ss.R., a Ukrainian Redemptorist priest discuss the difference and similarities of Western and Eastern understanding of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
- The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135
492 The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. ”
This video does a nice job of tracking the history of the dogma
Blessed John Duns Scotus…”the cantor of the incarnate Word and defender of the Immaculate Conception of Mary”
CNA- Pope Benedict XVI taught about Franciscan priest and teacher Blessed John Duns Scotus, in one of his Wednesday audiences in July of 2010. The Holy Father remembered his loyalty and devotion to Christ, the Church and the Successor of St. Peter, as well as his contributions to Christian thought.
During his catechesis, the Pope recalled the life of the medieval Scottish priest and theologian, Blessed John Duns Scotus. He spoke of how the Franciscan, who taught at Oxford, Cambridge, and later in Paris, left France instead of betraying Pope Boniface VIII who was in conflict with King Phillip IV.
This fact, said the Pope, “invites us to remember how many times in the history of the Church, believers have found hostility and promptly even persecution because of their loyalty and devotion to Christ, to the Church and to the Pope.
“We all look with admiration to these Christians, that teach us to protect as a precious inheritance the faith in Christ and the communion with the Successor of Peter and, therefore, with the Universal Church.”
Continuing on the life of the 13th century Franciscan, the Pope said that Blessed Scotus provided three major contributions to Christian thought. The first gift is his “great Christocentric vision” that in the Incarnation “every creature, in and through Christ, is called to be perfected in grace and to glorify God forever.” The second contribution is the theory which led to the dogma “that Our Lady’s preservation from original sin was a privilege granted in view of her Son’s redemptive passion and death.” And finally, Pope Benedict noted his “great attention to the issue of human freedom”as one of his gifts to Christian thought.