Dec 9 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
On this and the following eight days, the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the Divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men.
The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church, no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times.
Pope Piux IX forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally on 8 December 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin.
It is, therefore, now no longer, as formerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin.
- Patron Saint Index
…and I hid myself
It’s funny how we hide from God. I know that it is irrational to hide, because I am never hidden from God, yet I continue to play this foolish game.
I hide from God by procrastinating about confession. I always feel so good after confession, but sometimes it is so difficult to get myself there because my sins are embarrassing. I am ashamed that I don’t control myself, that I am less than He has called me to be and less than I want to be. So I hide. And in my hiding, I have become lost at times –- but only lost to myself; I am never lost to Him. God is never wondering where I am.
Mary never hid. Oh how I pray that I will focus on that knowledge when I am inclined to hide. When the Angel Gabriel came to her and spoke, it must have initially been frightening to a young girl. Yet she didn’t run, she didn’t hide. Even when she heard and comprehended the words of Gabriel she didn’t say, “THIS CAN’T BE”. She said, ‘how can this be’. She wasn’t thinking of herself at all. At all. All her thoughts were about God and doing His will. Living for Him.
When we hide, we are focused on our self – and only our self. Whether we are hiding from friends, family, coworkers and even God, we are focusing on ourselves. On our shortcomings, our weaknesses, our sins; when our focus should be on Him. The God who is all knowing. The God who loves us. The God who has no weakness, no shortcoming, no sin. When I focus on myself, so much can go wrong, and it oftentimes does. When I focus on God, He takes my weakness and transforms.
He makes all things new when I come to Him, instead of hiding from Him.
(Today’s Oxygen by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Father God, you destined me in love, knew me before the foundation of the world was even created. You truly are the only Awesome, and you fill me with awe by loving me completely.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for never hiding from me. Thank you for never allowing me to be lost outside of your love, even when I choose to hide from you.