Be Little Children
“The immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin leads us to realize and adore the omnipotence of God because grace totally vanquished nature in her . . . . The knowledge that God gives us of the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin should cause us to glorify him eternally for this masterpiece of his ominipotence in a nature that is purely human.”
–Saint Louise de Marillac
Pope Pius IX declared in 1854 that the Immaculate Conception tells us that God the Father had kept the Blessed Virgin Mary free from the stain of original sin. Due to the fall of Adam and Eve, everyone since that time has been born with original sin. That is, save for the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose Immaculate Conception reveals a particular privilege granted her, whom God has chosen in accordance with his Divine Plan to be the mother of Our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus, we could say that the salvation bestowed upon Mary is one of “anticipation,” and, therefore, most appropriately commemorated within the Advent season.
“The season of Advent is like springtime in nature, when everything is renewed and so is fresh and healthy. Advent is also meant to do this to us — to refresh us and make us healthy, to be able to receive Christ in whatever form he may come to us.”
–Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
In waiting and preparing for the birth of Christ, we cleanse our selves so that we can be pure, like the Blessed Virgin, in receiving him. It is for that reason that we try to emulate her. By loving and being close to Our Lady, we follow her example and in so doing, love more and become closer to God.
How can we love Our Lady?
“I’ll tell you a secret. By becoming little!”
— St. Josemaria Escriva
Look at the example of little children, how they run and embrace their mothers, go and seek their fathers. Talk and confide in Our Lady, St. Josemaria advises, as our children do to us. And just like that, we will love her more, by becoming little children.
To be little, we have to believe as children believe; love as children love; abandon ourselves as children abandon themselves; and pray as children pray.