Ann Barnhardt waxes theologically about the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Jesus Christ, and the Assumption

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There are two phases to Mary’s existence. The first phase was from the moment of her conception until the Annunciation, which is when Jesus was conceived in her womb. The second phase was from that moment of Jesus’ conception forward for all eternity. Each phase has its own physiological delight attached to it which required Mary to be a sinless vessel for Our Lord.

First, the pre-Annunciation period. As it has been discovered just within the last few decades, all baby girls have all of the eggs that are ever going to be in their ovaries fully formed not just at birth, but fairly early in their fetal development phase. Unlike men who are continuously producing new sperm, a woman’s eggs aren’t created and formed with each menstrual cycle. All that is happening during a cycle is that an egg, which has been fully formed in a woman’s body since she was a pre-born fetus, is released into the reproductive tract. What this means theologically is that the egg containing the 23 chromosomes that God would miraculously fertilize with 23 chromosomes that He miraculously supplied (including a Y chromosome) to become the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was physically present inside Mary’s body from the time that Mary was inside of her mother’s womb. That egg, and those chromosomes, that physical constituent of Our Blessed Lord was present inside of Mary’s body, waiting to be . . . if I may use the word . . . consecrated. The word consecrate, when broken into its Latin components means:

Con: With
Secr: Holy
Ate: Territory of a Ruler

And so, Mary was, from the time she was inside St. Anne’s womb, already carrying a portion of Our Lord’s physicality, namely 23 of His chromosomes. And thus Mary was, from her very beginning, already a proto-tabernacle, already the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying within her what would be consecrated into The Law Incarnate, The High Priest, and The Bread of Life – just like the Old Ark, except perfected and fully fulfilled as God Incarnate. And as we know from the book of Exodus, the Old Ark had to be “perfect”. And thus, the Ark of the New Covenant was TRULY perfect, except this perfection was a perfection that only God Himself could accomplish: the perfection of Mary, full of grace and thus saved from all sin, including Original Sin.

The second phase is actually broken into two sub-phases. The first sub-phase is when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and His entire body was inside of hers.

The second phase is that phase from the time of Jesus’ birth forward into all eternity. Jesus is STILL physically inside of Mary in a unique way. It was discovered just a few short years ago that immune cells pass from a pre-born child to the mother across the placenta. Not only do these immune cells, which are the child’s and thus carry the exclusive and complete DNA of the child, pass across the placenta, but they persist in the mother’s body for the rest of her life. A woman who has carried a son has immune cells with Y-chromosomes in her bloodstream that can now be filtered out of her blood and observed. Female children also pass cells to their mothers.

Thus, a woman truly does carry her children around inside of her, with their DNA coursing through her heart, for the rest of her life. That isn’t just a sentiment – it is a physiological fact.

Thus, Mary continued and continues to this day to be a perpetual, living physical tabernacle of her Son, as she carries cells with His DNA in her bloodstream. And so now we see why Mary was and had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward – because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant.

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Editor’s note: This is good stuff!

Short, related slide show

An evangelical Christian details the “back story” of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

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Icon of the Conception of the Theotokos, OCA

Rare is the religious image depicting a couple hugging tenderly by their bed before lovemaking, but today Orthodox Christians celebrate the conception of Mary, and the icon of the feast frankly captures her parents embracing bedside.

An icon? A feast? Because someone got pregnant? Obviously the church considers Mary’s conception of great importance.

Here’s why.

 

The Immaculate Conception of Mary was God’s “firewall” against human corruption and sin.

Godfirewall

by Doug Lawrence

For the computer savvy, architects and firemen, nothing more needs to be said.

For everyone else:

fire·wall

/ˈfī(ə)rˌwôl/
Noun
  1. A wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire.
  2. Any barrier that is intended to thwart the spread of a destructive agent.

For a number of very good reasons, it would not have been fitting for Jesus, the Eternal God and 2nd person of the Holy Trinity, become man, to be conceived in anything less than sinless and holy human flesh … a spotless vessel … set apart and sanctified for service to God, alone.

Due to the existence and the method of propagation of Adam’s Original Sin … absent the Immaculate Conception … where God proactively applied the saving grace and merit of Jesus Christ to the soul of his human mother, even from the moment of her conception … such a thing would have been impossible.

And of course, nothing is impossible with God.

8 Things You Need to Know About the Immaculate Conception

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This Saturday, December 8th, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It celebrates an important point of Catholic teaching, and it is a holy day of obligation.

Here are 8 things you need to know about the teaching and the way we celebrate it.

1. Who does the Immaculate Conception refer to?

There’s a popular idea that it refers to Jesus’ conception by the Virgin Mary.

It doesn’t.

Instead, it refers to the special way in which the Virgin Mary herself was conceived.

This conception was not virginal. (That is, she had a human father as well as a human mother.) But it was special and unique in another way. . . .

7 more

Homage to Mary from a devil: The curious case of Antoine Gay and a devil by the name of Isacaron.

It is relevant to note here that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception had not yet been proclaimed and was not, in fact, promulgated until 8th December 1854.

Then an entirely unexpected event occurred. Antoine Gay was found kneeling at the foot of a statue of the Virgin, his arms extended in the form of a cross, and his eyes filled with tears. From his lips there streamed forth a solemn declaration which could only have come from the infernal spirit that possessed him, since Antoine Gay himself had not the theological background to pronounce such an impressive discourse:

Homage to Mary from a devil

O Mary, Mary, masterpiece of God’s handiwork: God has made nothing greater than thee! Incomparable creation, admiration of all the heavenly host! All honour thee, all obey thee and acknowledge thee as Mother of the Creator. Thou art raised above the angels and above all the court of Heaven: thou art seated near to God, thou art the Temple of Deity, thou hast carried in thy womb all that is strongest and greatest and most powerful and most loving! …

Mary, thou hast received in thy virginal womb Him who created thee, thou art Virgin and Mother, there is none to be compared with thee. After God, thou art the greatest; thou art the Strong Woman, there is more glory to God in thee than in the heavenly host ….

In thee there has been no stain, Anathema be they that deny that thou art Virgin and Mother; thou wast conceived without sin, thou art immaculate …!

I praise thee, O Mary, but all my praises of thee ascend unto God, the author of all good. After the Sacred Heart of Jesus there is no heart to be compared with thine. O loving heart! O tender heart! Thou wilt not abandon even the most thankless or the most guilty of mortals. Thy heart is overflowing with kindness, even to the unfortunate who merit chastisement alone, yet thou obtainest for them grace and compassion: the worst of sinners is converted by thee!

O, if all the inhabitants of the earth should know thee! If they could understand thy tenderness, thy power, thy goodness, not one of them should perish! All that turn to thee in trust and hope and pray to thee continually, whatever their state may be, thou wilt save them, thou wilt bless them eternally…. I am compelled to humble myself at thy feet and implore thy pardon for all the outrages I inflict on the one I possess!

I confess today, one of the most solemn feasts of the whole year, that thy divine Son compels me to say that it is the most solemn of all the feasts.

Thus spoke Isacaron, the devil of impurity, through the mouth of Antoine Gay, and the words were noted by M. Houzelot, who has handed them down. After this enforced confession, we understand more clearly why Mary, five years later, should have answered Bernadette’s plea to reveal her name, by saying: ‘I am the Immaculate Conception!’

The Abbe Toccanier, assistant to the saintly Cure d’Ars, was present when this memorable panegyric to the Blessed Virgin was pronounced by Isacaron.

Link

An incomparable photo essay of an incorruptible saint


Every photo ever taken of the beautiful Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

Watch the inspiring video

Submitted by Nancy W.

Blessed Virgin Mary: A Mother Not Just for Catholics

What is accomplished in Mary points to the glory of God. Her role in human history, and ultimately, salvation history, has meaning for us all. Her life is intimately acquainted with every member of the Trinity: Mary is the faithful Daughter of the Father, the loving Mother to the Son, and the fruitful Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

What’s more, Mary’s way of life is a beacon for many people, even those who do not ascribe to the Catholic Christian tradition. She is a spiritual mother to millions of children around the globe: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Muslim.

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L.A. Marian festival: The most palpable manifestation of The Great American Catholic Story of Our Time

Following a lengthy parade through the streets of the city’s east end, Los Angeles’ 80th annual homage to the Morenita de Tepeyac will culminate with the usual mega-Mass in an outdoor football stadium for a crowd traditionally in the range of 30,000 people.

Bolstered by continuing waves of an overwhelmingly-Mexican Hispanic migration said to comprise some 70 percent of the LA church, the SoCal fold has more than doubled in size since 1985 to some 5 million Catholics today, a population roughly equivalent to that of the entire Irish church. Not only is it the nation’s largest ecclesial outpost of our time, but — by a margin of some two million souls — it is the largest diocese in Catholicism’s five-century history on these shores.

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Editor’s note: Thursday, December 8th, 2011 is a Holy Day of Obligation, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Link to Vatican document on the Immaculate Conception

The celebration of the conception of the Blessed Virgin without original sin is the national feast day of the United States.


Bishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States consecrated the United States to the Immaculate Conception in 1792. This might come as a surprise to those who remember that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was not proclaimed officially until Pope Pius IX issued Ineffabilis Deus (Ineffable God) on December 8, 1854.

The dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception refers to the fact that by a special grace of God when Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother, whom tradition calls St. Anne, she was conceived without original sin, as would be appropriate for the one chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Although the dogma was not proclaimed officially until 1854, the feast has a long history in the church.

Read more from Bishop Kevin Farrell

Novena for the Immaculate Conception

Novena for the Immaculate Conception

O IMMACULATE Virgin! Mary, conceived without sin!
Remember, thou wert miraculously preserved from
even the shadow of sin, because thou wert destined
to become not only the Mother of God, but also
the mother, the refuge, and the advocate of man;
penetrated, therefore, with the most lively confidence
in thy never-failing intercession, we most humbly implore
thee to look with favor upon the intentions of this novena,
and to obtain for us the graces and favors we request.
(Here form your petitions.)
Thou knowest, O Mary, how often our hearts are the
sanctuaries of God, Who abhors iniquity. Obtain for us,
then, that Angelic purity which was thy favorite virtue,
that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone, and
that purity of intention which will consecrate every thought,
word, and action to His greater glory. Obtain also for us a
constant spirit of prayer and self-denial, that we may recover
by penance that innocence which we have lost by sin,
and at length attain safely to that blessed abode of the
Saints, where nothing defiled can enter.

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


Editor’s note: Computer users should quickly understand that we weren’t the first to utilize the concept of a “firewall” in order to avoid sabotage or corruption.

If Jesus’ human flesh had been tainted by sin in any way, then his life and his sacrificial death would have been pointless, and we would all still be trapped in our sins, hopelessly destined for an eternity in hell.

Mary is God’s original “firewall” against human sin. Superabundantly graced by God … Mary … even from the moment of her conception … was preserved from all  sin (original and otherwise) and as a result of God’s grace (and Mary’s willing cooperation) she never sinned at all … before, during, or after Jesus Christ took on the holy flesh that Mary agreed to provide … flesh that was absolutely necessary for Christ’s mission of reconciliation and redemption.

Submitted by Doria2

Martin Luther believed in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Here are some surprising words. It seems that Martin Luther, that once Augustinian priest turned Revolutionary, upheld belief in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (even before it was declared a dogmatic doctrine in 1854 by Pope Pius IX). The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception holds that Mary was preserved from original sin at her conception and from all sin during her life – that she was conceived, lived, and died without any taint of sin.

The eminent Lutheran scholar Arthur Carl Piepkorn (1907-73) has also confirmed that Luther believed in the Immaculate Conception even as a Protestant. Here is Martin Luther in his own words:

“It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin”

– Martin Luther’s Sermon “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” 1527.

“She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin—something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil.

– Martin Luther’s Little Prayer Book, 1522.

Both quotations derive from Luther’s writings after his break from Rome.

Link

Why the Miraculous Medal Is So Important to Catholics

Devotion to Our Lady had been deeply eroded by Jansenism, which, although in great decline at the time, was replaced with more radical forms of Revolution, so that devotion to Our Lady left much to be desired. We can say that the Miraculous Medal was the first major step toward the ‘re-Marianization’ of the nineteenth century, preparing the great movement of souls that would culminate with the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

With the use of the Miraculous Medal, extraordinary graces spread throughout the Church. It became a common custom to wear a Miraculous Medal around one’s neck or to place it on the chest of an impenitent patient while making the novenas and prayers prescribed by Our Lady. It seemed almost certain that the person would convert as a result. Through this devotion, Our Lady began to dispense many other graces to the world.

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The Immaculate Conception

Much more on the Immaculate Conception from the Catholic Encyclopedia

New York Times doesn’t know difference between Immaculate Conception and virgin birth of Jesus Christ

marybabyjesuslamb

by Doug Lawrence

The Immaculate Conception

Refers to the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her own mother’s womb, by normal and typical male/female human sexual reproduction … but by special privilege and provision of God, and by means of God’s super abundant grace … preserved from any ” stain” of the original sin that all human beings inherit from our fallen, first parents.

According to God’s oldest and most fundamental tenet of divine justice … the Law of Sin and Deathit was necessary for Jesus the Messiah to be absolutely free from any and every kind of sin (or his sacrifice on the cross would literally have been of no effect).

Jesus’ human flesh comes from Mary, so the Immaculate (totally sinless) Conception of Mary (and her subsequent, divine grace empowered, total  rejection of Satan and ALL his works …  is a spiritual and corporal prerequisite, as well as a theological and salvific necessity.

The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ

Properly refers ONLY to the fact that Jesus was conceived of the Virgin Mary solely by the divine power of the Holy Spirit, and NOT by means of sexual relations with any human father.

Jesus’ human flesh came from the sinless Virgin Mary. Jesus’ divinity came from God, by the power of the  Holy Spirit … preserving Jesus’ humanity from any and all sin … and also preserving Mary’s own virginity.

Mary miraculously remained  a holy (dedicated solely and exclusively to God) virgin throughout the conception and birth of Jesus Christ … throughout her entire earthly existence … and now in Heaven … Mary remains a virgin, in perpetuity.

That’s why we still call her “The Blessed Virgin Mary” … and God really has done great things to her (Luke 1:48) … primarily, for the purpose of OUR salvation.

Computer users should quickly understand that we weren’t the first to utilize the concept of a “firewall” in order to avoid sabotage or corruption. Mary is God’s original “firewall” against human sin … while her divine son, Jesus … remains the ultimate protection and the exclusive, eternal  remedy … for all mankind.

More on this here

And here

And here

Read the flawed original NY Times article here

A Muslim writes about the Blessed Virgin Mary – “I Hope To Kiss Her Hand”

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The Virgin Mary Isn’t Just for Christians
By HESHAM HASSABALLA
c. 2006 Religion News Service

(UNDATED) December eight is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I, like I suspect many people, had always thought it was to commemorate the conception of Christ. But the Feast actually celebrates the conception — without original sin — of the Virgin Mary.

I have happy memories of this feast day, even though I am not even Christian. I must admit that’s partly because Dec. 8 was a day off from school when I attended Marquette University, a Jesuit institution. Yet, my happiness at commemorating the Virgin Mary goes much more deeply than that.

The story of her birth is one of my favorites: “When a woman of the (House of) Imran prayed: `O my Sustainer! Behold, unto You do I vow (the child) that is in my womb to be devoted to Your service. Accept it, then, from me. Verily, You alone are all-hearing, all-knowing.’ But when she had given birth to the child, she said: `O my Sustainer! Behold, I have given birth to a female … and I have named her Mary. And, verily, I seek Your protection for her and her offspring against Satan, the accursed.”

That story doesn’t come from the Bible, but rather from the Quran. Muslims have honored and revered the Virgin for more than 14 centuries. Also in the Quran is the story of how she came into the care of Zakariya (Zechariah in the Bible), the father of John the Baptist. In addition, the story of Jesus’ birth is also told more than once in the Quran.

The Quran bestows enormous praise on the mother of Jesus Christ. It says the Lord accepted Mary “with a gracious reception and caused her togrow up beautifully.” The Quran also recounts how the angels said to her: “O Mary! Behold, God has chosen you, made you pure, and raised you above all the women of the world.”

The Virgin Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran, and she is the only woman to have an entire chapter (Chapter 19) named after her.

In fact, the Quran holds up the Virgin Mary as the ideal example of a believer: “And (God has propounded another example of God-consciousness in the story) of Mary, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, whereupon We breathed Our spirit into that (which was in her womb), and who accepted the truth of her Sustainer’s words –and (thus,) of His revelations — and was one of the truly devout.”

There’s no way for me to fully describe the love, respect and reverence I have for the Virgin Mary (and her son). I think I can speak for the rest of the Muslim world when I say that no devout Muslim would even fathom maligning the Virgin Mary (or Jesus Christ), as some who claim to follow Christ have done with the Prophet Muhammad. It is truly amazing that a major religious figure of one religious tradition is loved, revered and adopted as sacred by the followers of another tradition.

Perhaps people could use this phenomenon as inspiration to build more bridges of love and understanding between Christians and Muslims around the world, especially after the pope’s comments in September about Islam — and the furor they erupted. Christians and Muslims are natural allies when it comes to working toward the betterment of the world for all peoples.

The Quran says, when speaking of the birth of Mary, that “the male is not like the female.” Many have traditionally interpreted this to mean that the fact that Mary was a woman made it more difficult for her to become a priest, as her mother wanted for her.

Yet, there is another interpretation of that statement: “no male child (that Mary’s mother might have hoped for) could ever have been like this female.” I like this interpretation much better.

I pray that, by God’s grace, I am admitted to Paradise and will get to see the Virgin Mary, kiss her hand, and tell her how much I loved her while I was on earth. There could be no greater reward for me than that.

Submitted by Doria2

Legion of Mary-The Immaculate Conception

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Real Time Webcam of the Famous Grotto at Lourdes, France

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When was God’s Kingdom to begin to rule? Was it in the first century?

Q: When was God’s Kingdom to begin to rule? Was it in the first century?

A: The Kingdom of God exists whenever and wherever the Holy Spirit accepts an invitation to indwell a human soul.The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the first example of this, since the time when Adam and Eve were created.

 

When the divine Jesus took on flesh and became man, complete with a human soul, the “Kingdom of God” instantly became the greatest power on earth.

It still is.