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Mary

The Immaculate Conception

Mary was preserved from original sin by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.

Immaculate Conception Tract from Catholic.com

It’s important to understand what the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is and what it is not. Some people think the term refers to Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb without the intervention of a human father; but that is the Virgin Birth. Others think the Immaculate Conception means Mary was conceived “by the power of the Holy Spirit,” in the way Jesus was, but that, too, is incorrect. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what “immaculate” means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.

When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference may be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.

The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.

Read the full tract here on Catholic.com

How to Defend the Immaculate Conception by Jimmy Akin (Catholic.com)

Why does the Church teach that Mary was immaculately conceived? Her conception is never even mentioned in Scripture.

If Mary is sinless, doesn’t that make her equal to God? 

How could Mary be sinless if in the words of the Magnificat she said that her soul rejoices in God her savior? 

How can you reconcile Mary’s sinlessness with Paul’s statement that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God? 

Didn’t the Church just invent the doctrine 150 years ago? 

For answers to these questions, click here to head over to catholic.com.