TODAY IS A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION. IF YOU’RE READING THIS, YOU CAN’T PRETEND YOU FORGOT OR DIDN’T KNOW. GO TO MASS.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the day commemorating the conception of the Virgin Mary in the womb of St. Anne without the stain of original sin. The Church holds that Mary was born without original sin because it is the only way that anyone could have been prepared to carry God Himself in her womb. If Mary had been able to sin, her person would have been tarnished and defiled and in order to bear God in Her body, she needed to be undefiled and without attachment to worldly pleasures and sinful inclinations. Thus, we honor Her as the perfect model of earthly living in that She was a creature just as we are and yet She was perfectly united to God. All of Her thoughts, words, and actions were ordered toward God and loving and serving Him, just as ours should be.
In addition to its solemnity today, the entire month of December is devoted to the Immaculate Conception of Mary. As we contemplate the life of Mary and the effects of Her Immaculate Conception on Her life, we can look at our own lives and pinpoint the areas we need to work on with Mary as our guide. We may not be sinless like Her, but we are still called to strive toward that perfection and Mary can help us as we persevere toward our heavenly home to be happy with Her and Her Son forever.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!