Saturday, December 09, 2006

Maria, Gratia Plena

The Magnificent Event of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through a singular grace of God, in view of the merits of her Son, Jesus Christ, Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin from the first moment of her presence in her mother's womb. This was to prepare her as a sinless vessel, the immaculate ark of the new and everlasting covenant, through which God would take human flesh upon Himself and be born as a human being, human like us in all things but sin.

It does not refer, as many Catholics have been erroneously taught, to the conception of Christ in Mary's womb, although it does anticipate that reality. And whatever special grace Mary has that others do not have is there because of God. Mary's sinlessness can only be a work of grace, of being perfected and made whole. For Mary, God did this at the moment of her conception, though she still had the freedom to cooperate with that grace. For the rest of us, however, God does this throughout our ordinary human lives, so that all who enter Heaven are perfect as God is perfect.
In mense autem sexto missus est angelus Gabriel a Deo in civitatem Galilaeae, cui nomen Nazareth, ad virginem desponsatam viro, cui nomen erat Ioseph de domo David, et nomen virginis Maria. Et ingressus ad eam dixit: "Ave, gratia plena, Dominus tecum". Ipsa autem turbata est in sermone eius et cogitabat qualis esset ista salutatio. Et ait angelus ei: "Ne timeas, Maria; invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum. Et ecce concipies in utero et paries filium et vocabis nomen eius Iesum. Hic erit magnus et Filius Altissimi vocabitur, et dabit illi Dominus Deus sedem David patris eius, et regnabit super domum Iacob in aeternum, et regni eius non erit finis". Luke 1:26-33
The angel Gabriel came down to her and said to her, "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you.... Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bare a son, and you will call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the seat of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will have no end."

Through this we know that 1.) Mary was "full of grace", 2.) God chose her out of all the women of the world, and 3.) because she was to carry the Son of the Most High in her womb, God in the flesh.

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