You are wholly beautiful, my beloved, and without a blemish. – Song of Songs 4:7
We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God; Despise not our prayers in our necessities, But ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Since God creates an immortal soul through the conjugal union of man and woman, the conception of every human person is sacred. God loves every person into being – even when the conception is an act of lust or violence. When the Virgin Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, God created her immortal soul and filled her with his divine life. In the Immaculate Conception, God uniquely redeemed Mary by preserving her from Original Sin through the foreseen merits of Christ, the Savior. From the first moment of her life, Mary was wholly beautiful, full of grace (Lk. 1:28), without any trace of self-centeredness, any inclination to sin and with unparalleled freedom to love God and all other people. In her conception, God armed Mary to destroy the kingdom of Satan (Gen. 3:15). The charity of Christ filled Mary from the first moment of her existence – in the safety of her mother’s womb. Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in these words: We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful. The good news of the Immaculate Conception is that there is more love in Mary’s sinless soul than there is evil in the world. In her Immaculate Conception, God empowered Mary to say yes freely to his plan of salvation in Christ and to help us, her sons and daughters, to say yes too.
God, Almighty Father, at the moment of our conception you loved each of us into life. You loved Mary wondrously in her Immaculate Conception, preserving her from inheriting the sin of Adam through the foreseen merits of the Savior. You prepared Mary in her conception to be the Mother and partner of your Son and our loving mother. Give all people an ever deeper reverence for your presence and creative action in human conception. Help all to recognize the evil of abortion and contraception, and all sins which offend our Creator God. In Mary’s maternal embrace, may every American foster reverence for human life in our nation. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.