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Preparing for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8

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By Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC (Dec 5, 2014)
The Divine Mercy devotion is one of the fastest growing "spiritualities" among Catholics today. With the canonization of St. Faustina and the establishment of the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church officially recognized the urgent need in the world to practice the core elements of the devotion: imploring mercy, trusting Jesus, and being merciful through the practice of both the corporal and the spiritual works of mercy. This is undeniably a great gift for our times!

Jesus Christ is the Divine Mercy; the Immaculate Conception is the created masterpiece of the Divine Mercy. Outside of the gift of the Savior Himself, both in the Incarnation and in the Eucharist, the greatest manifestation of Divine Mercy that God has given to the world is the Immaculate Conception. How can this be? This is so due to the fact that the privilege of the Immaculate Conception is a pure gift flowing from God's goodness.

For example, in all the other aspects of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Divine Motherhood, Perpetual Virginity, Queenship, etc.) she fully participated in the acquisition of the graces required for that particular role. From her virginal motherhood to her assumption into heaven, she fully participated with God's saving plan. However, the Immaculate Conception is the sole gift that she neither merited nor acquired by participation. Thus, this gift is solely dependent upon Divine Mercy.

The Immaculate Conception is the prevenient grace that explains why we call Mary the "cause of our salvation." The causal dimension of the Immaculate Conception can be seen when we consider that this unique act of mercy given to Mary both prepares the way for, and will make her able to cooperate with, Jesus, The Divine Mercy Incarnate, who has come to save mankind.

In a similar way, the Immaculate Conception can also be understood as the "cause of creation." God initiated creation, allowing for its fall, because He planned to spiritually renew and elevate all creation according to the pattern of the Immaculate Conception; thus, the Immaculate Conception is not an after-thought but, rather, the instrument through which God sees the world. It is as though the Immaculate Conception were a set of bifocals given to us by Divine Mercy so that we can come to see both creation and salvation as God sees them.

Saints such as Maximilian Kolbe have pondered the intimate relationship between the Divine Mercy and the Immaculate Conception and concluded that the relationship is so mysterious that its brightness overwhelms the intellect. These two mysteries are so intimately connected that it will take a whole host of saintly theologians, mystics and scholars to unveil the wonder. Just as the mystery of the Trinity is that which sheds light on all things, so the mystery of the Immaculate Conception is that which sheds light on the mystery of both creation and redemption.

Father Donald Calloway, MIC, is vocation director for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.

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Lindsey - Dec 5, 2014

Please pray for my family and the adoption of my daughter

Rolly - Dec 5, 2014

Please pray for my life of holiness; my daughter's financial concerns; my sons' business success; and my brother's metanoia

MARYANN - Dec 5, 2014

PLEASE PRAY FOR MY HUSBAND (JOHN) FOR CONVERSION TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH AND FOR OUR LORD TO TAKE AWAY HIS ANXIETY SO THAT HE MAY LIVE A PEACEFUL LIFE. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Rita - Dec 5, 2014

For Suzanna to have healthy twins and for The Blessed Mary to be at her side
during labour and to be able to handle them with little difficulty. For Jenn's
health. All of my family's health, including my diabetes.

CJ - Dec 5, 2014

Dear Father Donald,
Thank you for speaking/preaching at St Charles Church in San Diego. I wished I brought a couple or so of people that would have spiritually benefited greatly from your talk. You don't know them, but I respectfully ask you to pray for them for their souls are in turmoil _ just like you were.

You have encouraged me to keep on trusting and praying for my loved ones, even if nothing seems to be happening after all these years. Divine Mercy is no respector of persons, so to say.

I and another parishioner have bowed to pray for you for surely the enemy is on the watch for any misstep of yours.

One suggestion, though. It might be beneficial, in the spiritual battle, to start your talk with a Hail Mary prayer.

God bless you,
Cynthia

Victor - Dec 5, 2014

Please pray for my surgery for thyroid
cancer. Pray that everything goes good
and that it didn't spread. Please pray
for the rest of my family who also need
many prayers and blessings.

Paul Rucker - Dec 5, 2014

I try to say the DM chaplet 2x daily

Rob - Dec 5, 2014

Pray for our sons behavior to improve

Paulianne - Dec 5, 2014

Please pray for my brother's anxiety and give him peace and joy., please pray for the sale of ny nephews home. Thank you.

Vangie - Dec 6, 2014

Please convert my family back to Jesus and Mary. May we all love and do Jesus will. Amen

Stephanie - Dec 6, 2014

Please pray for me & my intentions. My daughters are luke warm Catholics more taken with worldly possessions. I keep reminding them we are only here to earn heaven.

teresa - Dec 6, 2014

Please pray a chaplet for my husband to regain his physical and mental strength from a hospital stay and continued healing of cancer. Prayers that my family will experience the kight of Divine Mercy. I will oray a chaplet for all

Deborah - Dec 6, 2014

Thank you for the beautiful prayerful article.
As the Marian Fathers and Brothers prepare for December 8, so too the confraternity members.
As we prepare to renew our solemn promises, we give thanks for the great mercy of God, who gave us his mother.
May she cover us with her loving protective mantle.
May she be our health and our protection.
Confraternity member.

CAROL - Dec 6, 2014

PRAY FOR CAROLS MENTAL ABILITIES.

theresa - Dec 6, 2014

please pray for my husband,Jimmy as he goes to Mass,daily but is very against all that goes with it,OBJECTS to he or I giving to any charities or collections which I have to do secretly.He is very anti priests and helpers in the Church and I get all this vocally when we get home .I am 80 years old

Irene Rose Wee - Dec 7, 2014

Wow! Indeed, Praise and thank God for Mother Mary, the created Immaculate Conception! It follows she is Cause of our Hope and Joy!
Looking forward to tomorrow, 8 December, for my consecration ~ Feast of the Immaculate Conception as I conclude 33 Days to Morning Glory. Thank you Mother.
Glory to God, the Holy Trinity.
Your beloved daughter :)
Irene Rose

Nancy - Dec 7, 2014

Please pray for my husband Greg to come back home for Christmas - let him know that we love & miss him very much. Help him to come back to his faith & welcome the Lord into his life again. Mother Mary, be at his side tomorrow - may he feel your Peace & Love. Amen

Virginia - Dec 7, 2014

Please pray for my husband's return to wholeness. Thank you.

Maria - Dec 8, 2014

Father, please pray for my family most of all my husband and my self that we will be always safe healthy and happy and in God`s care. Pray for Sandra and her family and our son Danny`s success in his business.Please pray for Sandra that she will return to her faith.God bless everyone.

Michael T. - Dec 8, 2014

God bless you in your work! Please pray for my spiritual and physical health.

Michael - Dec 8, 2014

Please pray for my wife and daughter, who I have been exiled from. I have been accused of a crime, which I feel I didn't do, but I have false witnesses against me. I'm so worried about my daughter especially

Augustine - Dec 8, 2014

I need God's protection over my family

Andrew - Dec 8, 2014

Please pray for my marriage to not come to a divorce and for my wife to find the love for eachother's hearts again. Please pray for my marriage to stay together. Thank-you

MM - Dec 8, 2014

please pray for the healing and good health of my son, husband and family dear Mother Mary. I devote my life to you always.

MM - Dec 8, 2014

please pray for the healing and good health of my son, husband and family dear Mother Mary. I devote my life to you always.

justyna - Dec 8, 2014

Please pray for me and my conversion and for a good job for my husband, for all my family

Helen - Dec 8, 2014

Please pray for my safe operation on Dec 19. A safe trip for my sister coming home. To keep my family healthy and free of any troubles. A world peace and may everyone enjoy life.
I will continue praising Lord. Amen.

CMc - Dec 8, 2014

please pray that I find a good full time job real soon! Justin be healed of his addictions!

Toni - Dec 8, 2014

Please pray for my husband who has prostate cancer. Also please pray that we will win our case to see our grandchildren, who we haven't seen for almost 3 years. Thank you.

g.a. - Dec 8, 2014

pls for the healing of my mental illness and to pass the medical exam thank you

AG - Dec 8, 2014

please pray for my intentions, for health and protection over my family and marriage.please pray for my kids to improve with school and their behavior. Please pray for me for a special request. Tomorrow I have court and need all the prayers and blessings from you father.

Lewellyn - Dec 8, 2014

Please pray for me that my knee heals and especially for my family , that God gives us strenght to overcome this very difficult period in our lives , I will offer a the Chaplet everyday for all the intensions listed here .
OH BLOOD AND WATER WHICH GUSHED FORTH FROM THE HEART OF JESUS AS A FOUNT OF MERCY FOR US , WE TRUST IN YOU.

Carlos - Dec 8, 2014

Please pray that my sister-in-law will regain her desire to get well after her brain surgery which has left her depressed and has no desire to get herself motivated. The surgery was a success, but it has left her disillusioned with life.

June - Dec 9, 2014

Please pray for my Spouse, Sery for her healing, for the pain, itching and nausea to finally be gone.

Anne - Dec 10, 2014

Please pray for my niece's son who is only 13 months old. He was given a heart transplant but is not doing well. They are now looking for another heart for him. Please pray that God's will for Ethan is done and that, whatever the outcome, the family will be drawn to Jesus. Thank you!

Yvette - Dec 8, 2015

Please pray for my 17 yr old sons health. He suddenly got life threatening sick out of the blue with no warning.

Elizabeth, SC - Feb 13, 2016

Dear Father Calloway: Please pray for my relationship with Our Blessed Mother to be intimate. Pray that she draws me closer to her Son Jesus this lenten season (2016) so that my heart will be set on fire to do whatever He tells me to do, and for this grace to continue pouring on me after lent! Pray for me to have a contrite heart, increased faith and love to live the Divine Mercy messages given to St. Faustina by Our Lord - so that I'll have the strength to perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Father Donald: when you pray the rosary please include me among those you pray for. Pray the rosary for my consecration to the Divine Mercy which will begin March 1. May God bless you all, the Marian Priests - I'm always praying for you.