Throughout the liturgical year, the Church presents us with mysteries for our enlightenment. The Immaculate Conception is one of a handful of Church teachings that, frankly, made no sense to me. (Humanae Vitae being another, one that I now see as spectacularly, dazzlingly right. Maybe there’s something to this whole humble obedience thing…) I got over it.
Unlike other faiths, which seem to me to come up with mysteries ad hoc – for example, Sola Scriptura + ignore a bunch of explicit Scriptural stuff + add a whole laundry list of mandatory beliefs that are found only obliquely in Scripture, if at all – the Church’s mysteries seem well expressed, few and central. Salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus. The True Presence. The Communion of Saints. You know? These are mysteries that you can come back to again and again, think about, pray over, and never get to the end of while gaining a deeper and deeper understanding of reality and God’s Presence.
So, the Immaculate Conception used to baffle me – how does this mystery help us to understand God any better? That seems like a really dumb question, but I felt that way for years. So, in honor of our Blessed Mother, conceived, born and for ever Immaculate, let us pray this day for perfect humility and greater understanding.
Gotta run – taking the kids to Mass tonight.