The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

God elected to bring salvation through a person, a humble woman of no status, a marginalized outsider. In the vernacular of our day, she was a nobody…invisible to all but God. Mary recognized the voice of God. She listened, pondered and followed the Voice no matter the difficulties she encountered. Today (12/8) we are reminded that we also are called to listen for, recognize and be receptive to the same movement of the Spirit. Mary is a model of surrender.

“Surrender” is a positive word in the language of spirituality. It allows us to receive the gift of new life in God’s saving action. God wants to impregnate us with love. All we need to do is surrender and say, with Mary, “Thy will be done.”

Poverty is letting go. Not to let go, and to surrender to the will of God, is to know misery and despair. It is not important what we do; what is important is what we drop. We need to drop the barriers and boundaries that separate us from ourselves and from others.

Mary feeds the immortality of my soul. In one basic way, we should all strive to imitate Mary, because Mary did what we all must do: bear Christ in the world.

“In Mary is perfectly realized God’s whole creative and redemptive plan. That is why she is said to be for us a light of truth and a pattern for life. That is why her spiritual beauty includes in itself all the beauty which we see here and there, in partial and incomplete form, in the universe.” -Thomas Merton (Seasons of Celebration)


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