Back in August, I wrote a little blip about “the mud puddle.” It is an analogy I heard from the wonderful Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN. According to this hilarious and holy nun, there are 3 types of Catholics: the sinner, the good person, and the saint. They have many things in common, but one thing is for certain… every single one of them falls into “the mud puddle” of sin. What sets them apart and defines them is their response to mud. If you’d like to read the full analogy, you can find it here.
Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day on which Our Lady was miraculously conceived without the stain of original sin. How did this happen?
Though the answer is simple, it’s sometimes hard to wrap our human understanding around the divine answer.
Simply put, God applied the graces of the Paschal Mystery to Mary outside of time, thus saving her before she even existed and before his suffering took place within our world. She did nothing to merit this immaculate conception and neither did her parents. It was a total gift and an act of salvation… not just for her, but also for the rest of mankind.
Christ could have entered the world in any way he pleased. He chose to come into the world like the rest of humanity; through the womb of a woman. Since God was becoming man, his genetic code and all his human characteristics would be inherited from his mother. Everything about this vessel had to be pure, so that he would remain pure. Thus, God saved Mary from the mud puddle ahead of time.
For the rest of us, Jesus helps us “out” of the mud puddle. He shows us how to clean off and persevere. He gives us the grace of the sacraments and the teachings of the Church to help us clean ourselves off and not let the “stains” sink in too deep.That is how his salvation applies to us. In Mary’s case, he saved her from the mud puddle ahead of time. Though she still had free will, she was born without a darkened intellect and weakened will (the effects of that time Adam and Eve first fell into the mud puddle). She saw the mud puddle, was able to chose it if she wanted to, but did not. She was able to avoid it all of her life because she was “full of grace.”
And now, like an overflowing fountain, she shares that grace with the rest of us.
Any other Marian consecratees out there? Today is the 9th anniversary of the day of my Total Consecration to Mary. On which Marian feast day did you consecrate yourself?