How Pure Is Pure: Mary, the Immaculate Conception

Meditation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2008)

Mary

Many in our age do not believe that a person is capable of living purity of life – free from anything that debases, in the physical realm most often meaning free from sexual debasement or activity. Other connotations are: freedom from any admixture or modifying, freedom from guilt or evil, namely innocence or physical chastity, virginity which leads us to consider purity as being free from any foreign or inappropriate elements, totally integrated, fully in harmony, beautiful, true, pristine in thought, word and deed. These very words cause one to realize that such a person would be godlike, possessing attributes of the divine, noted in all religions ever studied.

When the God of Abraham revealed Himself, all such attributes and more were proclaimed in the evolving revelation of God to man so that Divinity is recognized as all holy, pure and loving. The fullness of the Divinity is known by those who submit themselves humbly to the facts of perfection known in holiness and purity as truly existing and flowering in the lives of those given the graces (divine gifts) which bespeak all that is dreamt of by the desire of each human being. When we look at the promise made by God to Adam and Eve that their infidelity would be corrected through God's infinite love, that love know as mercy, none ever imagined that God was to come as one of us so as to right the wrong done to Him. Yet this is what the infinite love of God desired to do, to make us one with Him in all of His holiness, so that we could be holy as He is holy.

To achieve this end of union or better communion – God with man – creation had to be not only sustained by God but sanctified and redeemed by God. This plan of God required the fullest of God's mercy to come into play, whereby man's tainted nature could boast of complete freedom from any admixture or modifying, freedom from guilt or evil, namely innocence or physical chastity, virginity. Thus a virgin, pure, undefiled, never touched by the very sin of Adam and Eve was to be the vessel by which the root of humanity was pruned from evil and made to be one in mind, heart and will with the Creator. This person had to be free from any foreign or inappropriate elements, totally integrated, fully in harmony, beautiful, true, and pristine in thought, word and deed – always in communion with the very source of her being. This is the Immaculate Conception – it is she who alone can claim to be the one signified by her name as the pure virgin promised by Isaiah the prophet. Ahaz did not deem to ask of the Lord God for a gift, whatever it would have been, so God gave the promise that the Virgin, pure and undefiled, would bear a son and His name would be Emmanuel – God with us. The Immaculate Conception – the Blessed Virgin Mary – is the Virgin and it is she who gives us the Redeemer, who in His stead gives us the Sanctifier so that we in obedience to God can be pure, holy and undefiled - free from any foreign or inappropriate elements, totally integrated, fully in harmony, beautiful, true, and pristine in thought, word and deed. When we live thus, the world sees that countercultural lives bring freedom. The people of the world have to see signs or holiness, only in such vivid signs can hope endure and peace be born in every mind and heart. One mind with God is the realm of holding each person in purity, total union.