Celebrating the Immaculate Conception

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is certainly an important day for the Catholic Church.  In anticipation of this feastday and Holy Day of Obligation, please take some time to find a Mass near you using our Locator. For some, it will be a sacrifice to fit Mass into their Wednesday schedule. This prayerful sacrifice, however, is particularly appropriate in Advent as we strive to wait patiently for the Lord at Christmas and to encounter Him in prayer and the sacraments.

To mark the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Loverde wrote about how Mary may seem to be a difficult person to relate to, as she was conceived with no stain of original sin on her soul. Take a moment to learn more how Mary is the perfect role model for us as we strive to prepare our hearts to receive Christ:

“As Christmas approaches, it is not uncommon to pass by scenes depicting the Nativity, whether in front of a church, on a greeting card or in our homes. In these tableaus, we see an image or statue of the Virgin Mary, often looking serene and joyous at the birth of her Divine Son. While we rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas present in Nativity scenes, it may be difficult for some to relate to the Blessed Mother, appearing seemingly unapproachable in her perfection, especially when we consider our own weaknesses and challenges. Yet, as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception nears, we are asked to consider the central role of Mary in the Nativity and the power of her witness and intercession in our lives.”

Read the full text here.

One thought on “Celebrating the Immaculate Conception

  1. It seems to me that the ways and manners in which complex biological molecules can evolve might have a hidden message or some sort of hidden information regarding nature.

    I am not referring to any supernatural considerations here, but instead am pondering the particular ways in which thermodynamic and statistical mechanical pathways coupled with quantum mechanics and physical constants such as the fine structure constant and the like all conspire to produce any of the various life forms that may exist throughout our universe.

    The consideration here goes deeper than the constructs involving a Big Bang fine-tuned so as to permit the formation of complex period table element based molecules. The notion involves a deeper and fundamental significance yet, analogous to any would be future finding of certain unanticipated patterns in the decimal expansion of the constants pi, e, or within any irrational numbers such as the square root of 2,3,5 and so-on.

    Any such patterns could yield clues or meanings at the fundamental level of organized existence, and would have significance beyond any natural or supernatural generative causes, just as any hidden patterns of fundamental significance within various irrational numbers would have where such would be patterns cannot be statistically explained as mere coincidence or as statistically non-significant.

    It may be the case that such hidden meaning has relevance not only to the nature and existence of rational creatures such as persons un-augmented by the life of grace or supernatural life, but also even so for the highest of created natures augmented by grace such as that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and even the physical body and created soul of the human nature of Our Lord Jesus, and the grace bestowed directed within His Body and Soul.

    Thus, the mere fact that all creatures exist or are real may hint at some commonality among all creatures and thus at some level, even if only ontological, a solidarity among all creatures especially created persons. This solidarity would exist most profoundly with respect to human to human solidarity in the Kingdom of Heaven, and even more so in the New Heavens and New Earth that will be the abode of the Blessed after the Final Resurrection at the End of Time.

    Any such hidden meaning might point to some aspect of creation in some mysterious manner that is different from nature and supernatural augmentation but which we are not yet given to understand. Now do not get me wrong here! I am not suggesting that any human person has some form of preconceived existence or some form of origin that is independent to GOD’s creation of the human soul ex nihilo, but am merely stating that the heuristic and epistemological division of human ontology between the natural and the supernatural might be categorically incomplete or not exhaustively complete.

    To the extent that we can learn or discern any such metaphysical meaning or other constructs besides nature and super-nature in creatures especially within created persons, can have relevance in some currently veiled manner on a future knowledge of GOD HIMSELF. This seems likely since each creature reflects in its own way, a ray of Divine Goodness and Beauty.

    Although I am in no way a pantheist, I think that fundamental truths about what it means to exist or to be real or to have being can also have application in an abstract understanding of the NATURE, REALITY, and BEING of GOD HIMSELF and thus also have relevance to THE ONE TRIUNE GOD, THRICE HOLY, AND EACH OF HIS THREE DIVINE PERSONS, FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT.

    By studying exobiology and biochemistry in general, we can aim for an understanding of what it means to be physically real. Teasing any such information out of nature will likely be a process of future cosmic time duration.

    Such findings might somehow shed light on what it means to be real or what it means to exist in so far as these ontological constructs are further describable by numerical quantities and rationalized patterns and/or qualitative rationalized patterns.

    In the meantime however, we can ponder the wonderful life forms that may exist on the moons of our solar system and then on extrasolar planets and extrasolar moons once we are able to travel to them.

    We need to encourage youth to relish their academic life, as no wisdom or intellectual growth to trivial and there is not one GPA earned that is for naught. Anyone can contribute to mankind’s store of Wisdom and as a result, learn more about themselves and others, with a distant goal of learning how all of the pieces of existence, reality, and being fit together. In doing such, we will come closer to reading the MIND and HEART OF THE TRIUNE GOD, which nonetheless, is in no way a pantheistic GOD, but rather is that incomprehensibly sublime and transcendent WHOLLY OTHER, who loves each and every one of us as individuals with a love beyond fathoming.

    Fostering such an attitude regarding the wonders of physical molecular based life, can spur the current grade school generation and the one’s yet to be born, a new and profound respect for the dignity of the newly conceived human embryo and what can be irrevocably lost through the sad usage of artificial contraception.

    I am not saying that all fertile and married women should have ten or more children, but finding a new found openness to the procreation of human life can result from a deeper respect of the mysteries of creation and how creation is related to its CREATOR, THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF.

    By the way, for all of you Catholic parents who may have kids languishing in grade-school with current academic underachievement, have hope. As a physicist and prolific inventor with numerous U.S. issued Patents and with additional IP pending, I was once that academically lazy high school teenager who grew bored with even high school science and mathematics curriculum, and whom at times failed science and math exams, because I was searching for something higher; a higher sense of meaning of it all. While in 10th grade, my high-school biology teacher encouraged me to follow my dreams. He would not hesitate to discuss notions and theories of far out physics, and we would even delve into the field of exobiology which was a poorly excepted field at the time that was often scorned. The point is, encourage your troubled youth to think out of the box, but then so with a sense of relevance to their spiritual life, and they will eventually come to a more Pro-Life appreciation of creation, especially that of the Human Person.

    By now, some of you may be thinking that I am an out of touch, right-wing, Catholic zealot. I must counter such opinions with the admission that I am just an interstellar pioneer wannabe, who as a physicist, works to promote the decidedly non-religion-specific oriented vision that we humans will one say roam our galaxy and beyond.

    For those who may be what some might say are political liberals with respect to human sexual expression and reproductive rights and who further conclude that I am an out of touch prude, I must cheerfully admit that nothing can be further from the truth. Even though I have definitively decided to remain single for practical, personal, and spiritual purposes, I notice a good-looking and sexy woman just as quickly as any other fully and solely heterosexual middle-aged guy, so much so that a major reason why I want to see our civilization reach out to locations ever further abroad within our cosmos and colonize them where appropriate, is that I want all the more beautiful and sweet women to be procreated so that I can have all the more beautiful women in the next life to befriend. So an anti-women prude? No way, No How! I am just the opposite.

    The main point is the fact that just as Our Lady as the Mediatrix of all graces was conceived and who thereafter eventually conceived and bore a Son called Immanuel, an act which would begin the cosmic history of salvation, we can best respect Our Lady and Our Lord by respecting the process of conception itself, and by not tampering with it through the use of artificial contraception.

    When married couples are open to human procreation, they just might be bringing another future Pope into the world, or perhaps only a poor homeless begger, who humiliated by His or Her state of life, finds the inner courage to offer it up in order to help others thereby becomming a Saint, perhaps even a Canonized Saint in the process.

    We should never regard conception as a burden to society, even by couples who many might feel are so-called “bottom feeders” because of mental, emotional, physical, or intellectual handicaps, or who earn a living within a lower social economic class whatever that means.

    As the New Year approaches, lets foster a greater respect for the Dignity of the Sacrament of Marraige which supernaturalizes human sexuality and romance with its own unique Sacramental graces, and which leads to a inalterable increase in the size of the set of spiritual creatures by virtue of GOD’s direct and immeadiate creation of a new human spiritual and immortal soul united to a wonderfull new body, itself destined to be Ressurected and Immortalized, Incorruptable and spiritualized, on the Last Day.

    GOD BLESS!

    Jim

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