This feast of the Immaculate Conception is the day set aside for thanking the Father for keeping Mary completely sinless and lovable.
Although we were raised to believe that Adam’s sin stains every child conceived, our Church has been having second thoughts about that.
For one thing, Pope John Paul II told us that there is no such place as Limbo where unbaptized infants are shut away fro God’s presence. He said the existence of such detention goes against what we know of God’s mercy.
For another thing, Vatican II clearly stated that from the first moment our existence we receive an invitation from God to converse with him. Here is paragraph 19 of the 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.
This invitation to commune with God
is addressed to him as soon
as he comes into being.”
Then, there is nothing about Original Sin in the Bible. The first use of the term came from St. Augustine around the year 400.
There was a priest named Pelagius who was saying we have the inborn ability to make ourselves perfect. Against that St. Augustine quoted St. Paul when he said:
“I take delight in the law of God in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking my captive in law of the sin that dwells in my members.”
By that other principle in our members, St. Augustine had in mind all of our hereditary weaknesses. The following Christian generations that believed in Adam and Eve as historical persons, took Augustine’s term of “Original Sin” to be a black mark on the soul that could only be washed off by the Sacrament of Baptism.
By the Immaculate Conception we look on Mary as the one person who never fell prey to hereditary inclinations toward evil.
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