Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Immaculate Conception

In the Catholic Church we have this celebration of Mary being conceived without original sin.  It is a gift, right?  I mean you don't earn something like this.  So it made me think about gifts in general.  Do we not all have some gifts that we did not earn?  That seems to be the nature of gift.  In the Catholic thinking about Mary, she gets this free pass to grow up without having all the personality shortcomings of people like you and me.  When things don't go her way, she does not have an episode over it.  Maybe she has no plans that have to go a certain way.  Who knows?  The important thing for us, is that one day, in the bible story, an angel tells her that the gift has strings.  She is asked to be the mother of a baby savior but with no sexual relations.  Tough call.  Who would believe that!  Plus, she does not know how it will all work out.  Way over her head, but she is asked to take it or leave it, participate in God's work or not.  She says yes.  Now back to us.  We each enjoy unearned gifts, but at some point, like growing up time, we are supposed to use our gifts in service to make the world a better, or more whole (holier) place.  Believe in God or not, that is what gifts are for, not to be buried or misused.  A spiritual path allows us to not get in our own way, so that we can use or allow our gifts to be used for a better world.  So what are your gifts?  Don't know?  Ask a friend.  Don't ask your big sister.  I did that once, and she said I had no gifts and was useless.


  1. Oh good, a Maureen reference. I've been missing those!

  2. Thank Bl. Duns Scotus, ofm, Pius IX, and the Eastern Orthodox Churches for the dogmatic "gift" of the Immaculate Conception. Sometimes sophistry becomes reified, with due respect for RC Spirituality! // RAL