The Immaculate Conception and Our Call to Adore GodAnne-and-Joachim

In this first week of the Totus Tuus Consecration we think about the mystery of the Conception of Mary without original sin.

What is Conception? Conception is the time when a baby is first alive in his or her Mother’s womb.  This occurs about nine months before a baby is born and everyone else gets to meet him or her.

Mary’s parents, St. Anne and St. Joachim, waited a long, long time to have children.  They were good, holy people who lived holy lives and, as legend has it, were not able to conceive any children until late in their lives.  St. Anne prayed fervently to God for a child and promised to dedicate that child to God if, indeed, they were blessed with one.  In the Jewish culture, being infertile (unable to have any children) was considered a curse from God.

Anne and Joachim were very happy when they finally did get pregnant with Mary.  As Catholics, we believe that at the moment of conception in St. Anne’s womb, Mary was brought into this world without original sin.  Original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand.

Original sin is not a personal fault or sin; the world has been wounded by Adam and Eve’s original sin.  Sin is everywhere in the world, and so it is easy for us to sin too.  This inclination to sin is known as “concupiscence.”  In Baptism, original sin is taken away and we are brought back to God, but after Baptism we are still subject to temptation.

Because God selected Mary to be the mother of His Son, Jesus, He gave Mary the same gift that He gave to Adam and Eve.  He gave her freedom from original sin, the opportunity to be perfect and not be inclined to sin, just like Adam and Eve before the fall.  Adam and Eve were tempted by the devil and sinned; Mary was surely tempted in her life too, but she chose to obey God in all things and so remained sinless.

Have you ever felt like doing something bad? and even though you knew it was wrong you did it anyway?  That is an example of original sin in your heart.  Since Mary was born without original sin, she rarely or never thought about doing something bad like we sometimes do.

This was a great gift from God to Mary, and she responded by glorifying God and following His commands all her life.  Mary was open to all that God called her to do, the easy and the difficult, and gave glory to God always.

How do we respond to God’s gifts to us?  Do we give God glory in all things?

One very good way to glorify God and give Him the praise and honor due to Him is through Adoration.  Adoration can be a simple action that acknowledges God’s power and glory.  You can also visit a Eucharistic chapel and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  You can find nearby parishes that have hours of Adoration at The Real Presence.org.

Daily Practice this week

Make a personal act of adoration three times each day.  Just take a moment to recognize God as your Father and Lord.  This prayer of adoration may be new to you.  We are used to making prayers thanking God for something or asking Him for something, but this prayer just gives Him glory while we are not asking Him for anything in return.

Here are some examples (just to get you thinking of how you can adore the Lord in your own words):

  • When you wake up, fold your hands in prayer and say, “Blessed be God, the Lord of the Universe”
  • At lunch, open your hands like you are receiving a present and say, “Thank you Lord for this day and this food, praise and glory to You alone”
  • At bedtime, bow your head and say, “Praise the Lord for helping me through another day, blessed be the name of the Lord”

Daily Prayer this week

The Magnificat

The daily prayer is included in the Day 1 Meditation Page

Reflection based on Totus Tuus:  A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Mary, edited by Fr Nathan Cromly

Click below to download a coloring page for your younger children:

Saint Anne and Saint Joachim © 2015 R Miller coloring page