In today’s Office of Readings, St Anselm writes a beautiful sermon about the feast. Some of his quotes are memorable: “God gave to Mary his Son.” “Every nature is created by God and God is born of Mary.”
But for me the one that rings most deeply in my heart is this: “God is Father of all created things and Mary is mother of all that has been recreated.”
It is difficult for us to imagine what the Immaculate Conception meant to Mary. We have no idea of what it means to be born without sin. Mary was to be the mother of Jesus so the Father granted her the gift of being free from sin so that he might have a vessel worthy of carrying his Son.
It is written somewhere, although I forget where, that Jesus said to one of the mystics that the whole of humanity put together has not as much virtue as Our Lady. This reflects the depth of the stain that Original Sin has brought to the world.
Another writer in describing Mary referred to her as “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”
This is the day we celebrate the preparations that God the Father made for the coming of His Son. You can imagine the Father saying to the Son, “Now it is time for you to play your part in the redemption of the world. We need to find someone worthy of carrying such a prize into the world.”
Then he looked down and chose Mary.
This is a wonderful feast!