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Apostolic Movement

Immaculate: Full of Grace

By: Lucía Zamora Valero

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word”. God’s strong aspiration dwelt in Mary, and she accepted to fulfill that which was asked of her.

Was it necessary for God that Mary be immaculate? Perhaps not, yet she did something to become a perfect dwelling place for his Son. “Mary was the first trodden ground, conquered by grace”. This beautiful quote by Garcia Paredes, conveys to us the divine action within the heart of a young woman, who was born on Earth, but with God’s gaze on her heart, from the first moment of her conception. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you” Jer 1:5.

The dogma speaks to us of the new Eve, therefore, it touches on the topic of original sin, which is not a sin committed by us, but is a forced state, not an action. The fact that Mary was exempt and preserved from original sin speaks to us of the Lord’s grace in her, a gift that gave her true freedom of will, without leaving aside a personal commitment. Grace always dwelt in her and was transformed into an unconditional love for God. That love moved her whole being to proffer a “Fiat” to the Father every day of her life and it became greater and deeper with time transforming her into a new model of womanhood for humankind. How could we speak of a New Eve if there was even a small trace of the old one in her? Impossible, in Mary there was never any sin, her whole being is pure and immaculate, because she only allowed herself to be touched by the gift of the Lord.

Santísima Virgen

Grace and will can produce holiness in an individual. Mary was asked and she answered: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). She could have refused the Creator’s plan, but God’s yearning dwelt in her, and she accepted to live the task that was asked of her. The dogma of the Immaculate speaks to us of the vocation and consecration of the Blessed Virgin, as being completely God’s grace. “God who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) With grace, the Father prepared the perfect dwelling place for his Son Jesus, and the Virgin, being a woman of the Earth, welcomes the New Man, and gives herself to him, while in the crucifixion, Jesus gives her to humanity.

In the Blessed Virgin there was no sin, she was simply an instrument of love. Her presence is discreet, silent, and transparent. In her the mystery is revealed to us: “God did not want to approach mankind without mankind”.

We are all called to become the Lord’s dwelling place. He awaits a response from each one of us, for grace awakens in us all that makes us God-like, and the will transforms this into acts of love and mercy towards our brothers and sisters.

ImmaculateThe dogma of the Immaculate Conception should lead us to reflect on what humanity has become without God. It seems that our Creator has no home, that there is no place for Him, because we have occupied the heart with nonsense, we have turned it into a disorderly room, where grace is waiting to be released. Our initiative is needed to rekindle love, to enlighten our understanding and do what we must do, because everything we do out of our good will is a merit of the grace that can only come from our beloved Lord. Saint Augustine, in one of his phrases, is very clear when he tells us: “God who created you without you, will not save you without you”.

We are God’s dwelling place. Accepting him will make us his faithful instruments and we will be able to carry out the tasks that, no matter how difficult they may seem, will be illuminated by grace, and our heart will be pure before God’s gaze.

 

You can also read: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/immaculate-conception-defined-by-pius-ix-8040

 

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