Mary the mother of Jesus is the Immaculate Conception. She is called the Immaculate Conception because Jesus renewed creation by reinstating himself as the new Adam and Mary as the new Eve. To be better than the original Adam and Eve, they both had to be without sin and obedient to God – from the beginning to the very end.
While Jesus was God and did not need expiation from sin, Mary was a creature and needed to be saved from original sin. This was done by preservation, meaning, unlike us, she was preserved from the stain of original sin right from her conception.
We celebrate this mystery of Mary on December 8 every year in the Catholic Church. Here are some ways to live out this feast more deeply:
- Do the Novena to the Immaculate Conception
There are several Novenas to the Immaculate Conception online. The Novena begins on November 30. Others are provided in the resources section below. Pray for a special intention in this Novena – whether the intention is for you or someone else or both. Mary is listening.
2. Meditate on a Mystery
Every day from now until December 8, as soon as you wake up, give thanks to God. Then immediately think for a few seconds in mediation on one mystery of the rosary. Think about Jesus being born. Imagine Mary caring for him and feeding him. Let your mind wonder at God being a baby as she did. Use your mind to bring these precious moments to life in your heart and you will have many graces bestowed upon you by Mary who is herself, full of grace.
3. Do the Angelus Well
Set an alarm on your phone for noon daily. At noon, get up and quietly pray the Angelus. It is ok if you have to say this a bit later than noon. Spend your prayer of the Angelus in gratitude to Mother Mary for saying yes to the vocation to be mother of God. While she was immaculately conceived, she still had her free will to say yes or no. Intently pray your angelus with focus and concentration. Just a bit more than before.
4. Pray with Mary
Pray for the intentions of mother Mary. Here, we take a break from constantly asking for what we want. Before you go to bed at night or at any time of the day, do one Hail Mary for all the intentions mother Mary has in her heart. Do this to show solidarity with her as your mother who you wish to do something for even while relying on her.
5. Praise Mary
Which woman does not like to be praised – especially when the praise is based on truth? Take one of the greetings of Mary in the Litany of Loreto and use it to praise her from time to time. Consider especially the greeting – Queen Conceived without Original Sin – to remind her that we are grateful that she is the Immaculate Conception. Ask for her intercession in fighting sin and all temptation.
Other Novenas to the Immaculate Conception: