In 1854, in defining the Doctrine of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius IX said that Mary was sinless from the first moment of her being; and so what we celebrate today is our close relationship with a person who is goodness through and through.
Modern Theologians do not go along with the picture of original sin planted in our minds in grade school. We’d been taught to picture original sin as a big black mark on our souls that was washed away by the water of Baptism. That has not been the Church’s teaching.
Listen to paragraph 19 of the Dogmatic Constitution On The Church in the Modern World. “The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. The invitation to communion with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being.”
The Church tells us that far from being buried in sinfulness at our conception, from the first moment of our being we are called to communion with God. That communing with God is a supernatural activity of which only those in the state of grace are capable.
So, today we commemorate Mary’s goodness. It has us calling to mind the people we have known who were good through and through. That could be children, grandmothers, young teacher, or gallant young men. We should make an attempt at isolating the qualities that made those souls precious. We can think of Mary as having those same fine qualities.
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