The New Theological Movement ponders the question, Was Jesus Immaculately conceived, in order to explain the Immaculate Conception of Mary:
Was Jesus immaculately conceived? The dogma of the Immaculate Conception refers, as we know, to the blessed Virgin Mother of God as having been preserved from all sin (including the stain of original sin) from the first moment of her conception. The dogma, of course, is about the Immaculate Conception of Mary – even though many Catholics mistakenly think it refers to the virginal conception of the Christ Child.
Still, this common misconception about the Immaculate Conception leads us to a further point of reflection: Was Christ immaculately conceived? Our answer to this Christological question will help us to understand the Marian dogma in a new light.
What do we mean by “Immaculate Conception”?
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not simply that our Lady was without all sin (including original sin), but specifically that (in view of the merits of Jesus Christ) God preserved her from contracting the stain and guilt of original sin.
Without this singular grace, Mary would have been conceived in sin. Thus, it is clear that Mary needed to be redeemed – but her redemption is unique insofar as it took place at the very instant in which she was conceived. Hence, she has been preserved from both the stain and the guilt of original sin (though she still incurred the debt of sin and had need of a Redeemer).
Thus, in regards to our Blessed Lady, we say that she would have been conceived maculate (with the stain of sin) excepting for the grace of God in view of the foreseen merits of Christ. And this is what the Church means by “Immaculate Conception” – Mary was redeemed by Christ her Son in a preservative (rather than a reformative) manner. According to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Mary was redeemed at the first moment of her existence and was preserved from the guilt of original sin.
Did Christ need to be redeemed? Continue Reading…………
I know this is a late post, but it is my birthday. And for the record I am in no sense of the word immaculate and neither is my house.