Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 8th is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States and the Sisters of Christian Charity , whose subtitle is Daughters of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception.
Each year the SCCs observe a preparatory triduum of retreat and reflection on the weekend preceding the feast day. As an associate (and even before), I tried to spiritually join the Sisters in observing these days in spiritual preparation for the feast. This year, as I have tried to prepare spiritually, one theme keeps returning to me:
"What is the meaning of the Immaculate Conception for us today in our world?"
I thought about how in general this feast is considered on the factual and abstract level, but this year my prayer keeps returning me to the practical and relational. God deigned to have Mary conceived without original sin not only because she would bear and give birth to Jesus but also for us. There are lessons for us in Mary's Immaculate Conception and I realize that I have only begun to scratch the surface of what the lessons are for us, for me.
So, as I continue to contemplate the meaning of the Immaculate Conception today, I invite you, too, to consider:
"What is the meaning of the Immaculate Conception for you today?"