Tag Archives: Immaculate Conception

Lawrence Lew’s Meditation on the Immaculate Conception

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Here’s a meditation on today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception by the Rev’d Br. Lawrence Lew, OP, a friar of the English Dominican Province.

Brother Lawrence is one of the animators of the Dominican students’ blog, Godzdogz.
In the coming year Brother Lawrence will be ordained a priest.

Consecration of Persons to the Immaculate Heart of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

This prayer of consecration was written by a friend of mine, Father Mark. As he notes, “and may be helpful when one experiences a need to entrust particular souls in difficulty to the Immaculate Conception. As he notes, when a priest prays it, he may want to don the stole and pray it before a blessed image of the Most Holy Virgin. This intercessory consecration is appropriate for the unbinding and healing of situations marked by habitual sin and moral suffering. The Immaculate Virgin Mary is ever-ready to intervene in the lives of her children. She is the Mother of Mercy and the Mediatrix of All Graces.”

In the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit. Amen.

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Most holy Virgin Mary, — thou whom the FATHER didst preserve
from the first instant of thy conception from all evil and from the least
shadow of sin,
– thou whom the Precious Blood of JESUS didst render immaculate
and all-beautiful, even before that same Blood was formed in thy virginal womb
and poured out upon the altar of the Cross,
– thou whom the HOLY GHOST didst
fill full with every grace in view of the glorious motherhood of the Son of God
for which thou wast created, — thou art she who crusheth the head of the ancient
serpent, thou art she who alone overcometh the evil that is in us and around
us.

To thee, O Mary, thy Son hath entrusted the liberation of souls enchained
by sin, the healing of wounded souls, and the sanctification of souls who have
suffered evil’s worst ravages.

Thou hast only to open thy immaculate hands over
them, and they are shot through with the rays of thy purity. Through thee,
entereth the light to shine in the darkest places. Through thee, souls are washed
in a downpour of graces. Through thee, the Holy Spirit succoureth the weakest
souls and giveth to the sterile a wonderful fecundity.

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Grace at work in Mary Immaculate

The privilege of Mary Immaculate does not consist solely in the absence of original sin, but much more in being “full of grace.” The Mother of Jesus gave to the world that very life which renews all things … and was enriched by God with gifts befitting such a role … She was adorned from the first instant of her conception with the splendors of an entirely unique holiness (Lumen Gentium 56).

Gabriel’s greeting, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” is the strongest testimony of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, who would not be “full of grace” in the complete sense of the word if she had been stained by sin for a single moment.

Thus the Blessed Virgin began life with a richness of grace which far surpasses that which the greatest saints acquire at the end of their lives. When we also consider her absolute fidelity and her total availability to God, we can faintly imagine to what heights of love and communion with God she attained far beyond all other creatures in heaven and on earth (Lumen Gentium 53).

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
Divine Intimacy

Saint Mary’s Abbey patronal feast day: Immaculate Conception

All honor to you, Mary! From you arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.

(Communion Antiphon)

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Today is the patronal feast of the Abbey of Saint Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The abbey honors the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception, a solemn feast of the Church begun by Blessed Pope Pius IX on this date in 1854. In 1857, this Benedictine abbey was founded, first in Newark, which moved to Morristown, New Jersey.

This Marian feast acknowledges a dogma believed by Western Christians that states Mary was born without Original Sin. That is, she was free from sin in order to collaborate with God in the work of our redemption by giving birth to Jesus.

A later feast of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11) remembers the Virgin appearing to Saint Bernadette Soubirous 18 times between February 11 and July 16, 1858. On March 25th of that year Mary identified herself as “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Today, also marks the end of the anniversary year of this dogma, 150 years!

The Church in many places in the West has observed this feast since the 8th century; likewise there are Churches in the East that have honored Mary under this title, or one similar.

The Abbey’s celebration was connected with Delbarton School. Father Abbot Giles with the members of the monastic community celebrated the Sacrifice of the Mass at 10 am. The full student body was present. Father Abbot spoke about the need to be men of prayer and of the importance of having a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the monks of old did, and the monks of today, do. He noted that you can see the monks walking the property praying the rosary or sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament doing so.

O Mary, conceived without sin,

pray for us you have recourse to you.

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Immaculate Conception Cano.jpgBlessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself. (A sermon by Saint Anselm)

 

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin did make her a worthy habitation for Thy Son and did by His foreseen death preserve her from all stain of sin, grant we beseech Thee, that through her intercession we may be cleansed from sin and come with pure hearts to Thee.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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