Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who then are you, O Immaculate Conception?

. . .

Who then are you, O Immaculate Conception?

Not God, of course, because He has no beginning. Not an angel, created directly out of nothing. Not Adam, formed out of the dust of the earth. Not Eve, molded from Adam's rib. Not the Incarnate Word, Who exists before all ages, and of Whom we should use the word "conceived" rather than "conception."

Humans do not exist before their conception, so we might call them created "conceptions." But you, O Mary, are different from all other children of Eve. They are conceptions stained by Original Sin; whereas you are the unique, Immaculate Conception.

Everything which exists, outside of God Himself, since it is from God and depends on Him in every way, bears within itself some semblance to its Creator; there is nothing in any creature which does not betray this resemblance, because every created thing is an effect of the Primal Cause.

It is true that the words we use to speak of created realities express the Divine perfections only in a halting, limited and analogical manner. They are only a more or less distant echo----as are the created realities that they signify ---- of the properties of God himself. Would not "conception" be an exception to this rule? No, there is never any such exception. The Father begets the Son; the Son proceeds from the Father and the Son. Theses few words sum up the mystery of the life of the Most Blessed trinity and of all the perfections in creatures which are nothing else but echoes, a hymn of praise of this primary and most wondrous of all mysteries.

We must perforce use our vocabulary, since it is all we have; but we must never forget that our vocabulary is very inadequate.

Who is the Father? What is His personal life like? It consists in begetting, eternally because He begets His Son from the beginning and forever.
Who is the Son? He is the Begotten-One, because from the beginning and for all eternity He is begotten by the Father.

And Who is the Holy Spirit? The flowering of the love of the Father and the Son. If the fruit of created is a created conception, then the fruit of Divine love, that prototype of all created love, is necessarily a Divine "conception." The Holy Spirit is, therefore, the "uncreated, eternal conception," the prototype of all the conceptions that multiply life throughout the whole universe.

The Father begets; the Son is begotten; the Spirit is the "conception" that springs from their love; there we have the intimate life of the Three Persons by which They can be distinguished from one another. But They are united in the Oneness of Their Nature, of Their Divine existence. The Spirit is, then, this thrice holy "conception," this infinitely holy Immaculate Conception . . .

The creature most completely filled with this love, filled with God Himself, was the Immaculata, who never contacted the slightest stain of sin, who never departed in the least from God's will. United to the Holy Spirit as His spouse, she is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.
. . .
Who then are you, O Immaculate Conception?
Excerpted and compiled from, "Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit",
The Marian Teachings of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, Fr. H.M. Manteau-Bonamy, O.P. http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/conception.htm

Novena in Honor of the Immaculate Conception
By St. Maximilian Kolbe

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