In Response to Postings on Shrine FB page re: the Immaculate Conception

December 31, 2017 by  
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Ave Maria!

Father Elias Mary Mills, F.I., responding to the Facebook postings of Sandy B.

First of all, Sandy, I am not sure from what you posted if you are a Christian as some of what you have written implies that you doubt the Divinity of Jesus and His redemptive work at Calvary, freeing us from sin, e.g. Jesus’ death was not a sacrifice. Are you a Christian, Sandy? Jehovah Witness? Seventh Day Adventist? It would be helpful to know as I would have a better idea where you are coming from.

Also since you posted this information does this reflect your thoughts or is this the thoughts of someone else? Anyway I will proceed to respond to some comments you have made.

“No such thing as immaculate conception. It is not biblical.” First of all, the words “immaculate conception” are not in the Bible, but the theological basis for it and doctrine is certainly there. You seem to accept the Protestant notion of Sola Scriptura, which ironically, is not found in the Bible neither in the actual term nor as a doctrine. It seems that Martin Luther had his own oral tradition, namely his imagination, that he took this from. The Church has always taught that Divine Revelation is a written Tradition, namely Sacred Scripture as approved by the Church and an Oral Tradition which is referred to normally just as Tradition. We know that there is more to Divine Revelation than just the Sacred Scriptures as St. John at the end of his Gospel states,

“This is that disciple who gives testimony of these things, and has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.“

So St. John indicates that Our Lord said much more than just what is written down and that we are to adhere to that teaching as well. As a matter of fact the Apostles preached the teaching of Christ before it was written down for the most part. The letters of St. Paul are not the only thing that St. Paul told his listeners that they must adhere to as he wrote 

“Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; By which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures: And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures: And that he was seen by Cephas; and after that by the eleven.”

Notice St. Paul mentions what he PREACHED and not just what he wrote in his letters.

I can assure you Sandy that there is more Biblical support for the Immaculate Conception than there is for Sola Scriptura.

I think first we must make clear what the Immaculate Conception is and what it is not? The Immaculate Conception is not the conception of Jesus in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That is the Virginal Conception. The Immaculate Conception is the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother St. Anne. The conception took place like any human conception in that the parents of Mary, St. Joachim and St. Anne, came together and Our Lady was conceived in the marital act, but because Mary was to be the future Mother of the God, the Mother of Jesus, she was preserved by the foreseen merits of her Son from all stain of Original Sin. Blessed Pope Pius IX stated it this way when he proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, 1854:

“From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his onlybegotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.”

The first proof from the Bible for the Immaculate Conception is Genesis 3:15, which states, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

We know that God is not referring to Eve as he already addressed her with the penance of having to bear children in labor pains. This woman is The Woman, The new Eve, Mary who will never be under Satan’s dominion, meaning sin, because there will be enmity, hatred between the two and it is a perpetual state of enmity.

This is a proof for the Immaculate Conception because we know that once Adam and Eve sinned and anyone for that matter, that they formed a certain alliance or bond with the devil. This woman prophesied in Genesis will never be friends with the serpent but will always be at odds, in warfare against him, hence without sin, always in friendship with God, and in enmity with the devil/serpent.

The next proof for the Immaculate Conception is from the New Testament in the Gospel of St. Luke which states:

“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

Notice that the angel did not call Mary by her name as known to man, but her name as she is known by God, Full of Grace. The Greek word kecharitome is a perfect past participle meaning,“having been” or “have already been”graced and graced fully, completely. To be full of grace means that there is no room for sin, therefore the Immaculate Conception. As a matter of fact in the polish language full of grace, “łaski pełna”, means that something is so full that you cannot put anymore into it. Maybe full to the brim might be an English equivalent. As I said earlier, full of grace is another way of saying The Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Conception seen in a negative way means no sin, either actual or Original and none of its effects, and in positive way, Full of Grace, full of every grace so that as Pope Pius IX stated that “all fair and perfect,…” possessing “…that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.”

Finally, one can argue the Immaculate Conception just from a logical reasoning from theological truths as Blessed John Duns Scotus did when he first defended the Immaculate Conception in the 1300’s. Namely Blessed John Duns Scotus reasoned thus:

“Christ (because God) was the most perfect mediator. Therefore he exercised the highest degree of mediation in favor of another person. Now he could not be a most perfect mediator and could not repair the effects of sin to the highest degree if he did not preserve his Mother from original sin (as we shall prove). Therefore, since he was the most perfect mediator regarding the person of his Mother, from this it follows that he preserved her from original sin….[above all] it is more noble to forgive one’s guilt by preserving that person from it, than by permitting that same person to fall into guilt, and then to remit that person’s guilt….since the passion of Christ was immediately and principally ordered to delete original guilt as well as actual guilt, in such a way that all the Trinity, since it had the foresight of the merits of the passion of Christ, applied them to the Virgin and preserved her from all actual sin, and also from all original sin.” (Blessed John Duns Scotus, Lectura III Sent 123,126,138)

 So God Who was able to make His own mother perfect in every way, and it was fitting that God make His own mother perfect in every way, therefore, made his mother perfect in every way, namely The Immaculate Conception. The late Venerable Fulton J. Sheen said that if you had the ability to make your own mother perfect and you did not, you should be slapped. God had the ability to make His own mother perfect and He did.

If you would like to dialogue more regarding this and other things that you have commented on I am happy to engage you in this discussion. I hope this helps you and anyone else who read your posting on our Shrine event post.

Ave Maria!

Father Elias

December 8, 2017 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

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