✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Dec 08, 2022: Thursday

“Being fervent and zealous to lead a holier and immaculate life, pleasing to God – like Mamma Mary!”

(Based on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

A priest went to visit a violent criminal who was condemned to death…
… hoping to prepare his soul to die well.

But the man wouldn’t even talk to him.

The priest pleaded him to get reconciled with God…
… but the man’s heart was highly closed!

Finally, as a last resort, the priest entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and then said to the criminal, “Before I leave, will you grant me one little favor?”

The man, with an intention to get rid of the bothersome priest, said he would.
“Let us then,” the priest responded, “Say one Hail Mary.”

So, together they began to pray that simple prayer…
… “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with You…”

They hadn’t even got through the first sentence when the criminal turned pale…
… and his voice started to shake.

The priest to continued the Hail Mary…
… and as he finished tears started to flow from the man’s face, and he fell on his knees at the priest’s feet.

As soon as the prayer was done, the man asked to make confession.

He then confessed his sins with a great sense of repentance!

The words, “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you…”
… had ignited the spark of repentance in him!

Yes, that’s the power of the intercession of Mother Mary!

She is the refuge of sinners

Her life of Faithfulness to God’s Grace, is an inspiration to all of us…
… to live an Immaculate and Holy Life!

Today, we celebrate the Solemn Feast of the beginning of the faithful life of the Most Beautiful and Loved Creation of God: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother.

Sin is part of every human life.

St Paul testifies to this fact when he says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

By themselves, human beings are incapable of freeing themselves from sin.

… Everyone needs a Saviour
… Everyone needs a Redeemer

But God, in His infinite wisdom had thought of the most excellent way of redeeming humanity.

Salvation was to be accomplished not through any magical power
Salvation was to be brought about not through some superhuman force
Rather, the salvation of humanity was to be won by a Human Himself – the most perfect Human.

This perfect Human deserved and required the most sinless of all wombs for being born
This perfect Human demanded and necessitated the most immaculate of all lives to be nurtured

Thus, God in His perfect wisdom, applied the Grace of Redemption and Salvation to the One He had chosen – Mary of Nazareth.

Mary is the first recipient of the Redemption of Christ!
Mary is the first fruit of the Salvation, won by Christ!

This is the story of the Immaculate Conception of Mother Mary.

The Holy Scripture testifies to this Immaculate nature of our Blessed Mother through the words of Angel Gabriel to Her, “Hail, FULL of Grace!” (Lk 1:28)

The Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother points to Her sinlessness, Her being full of Grace, Her perfection in holiness and Her absolute adherence to the Will of God.

“Yes, Lord… Thy Will be done” (Lk 1:38) was a chorus that She sang in all the moments of life!

Today, on this Feast day, this our Blessed Mother invites and exhorts us, also…
… to make a choice for God, always, and lead a sinless life
… to always opt for God alone, at all times, and being immaculate in life
… to unswervingly be faithful to God’s Will, and thus seek to be perfect in life

The challenge is great… the efforts required are radical.

But we are not left alone in this “pursuit of holiness” (1 Cor 9:24)

Our Blessed Mamma – the Beautiful Lady in blue and white – grace in holiness and immaculate in love – holds our hands and tells us:
“My Little Child, I am with you!
I love you, and together, we shall walk in this exciting path of Holiness…
… towards My Son and Your Brother…
… towards Our Saviour Jesus!”

Yes, let us give heed to the loving call of our Blessed Mother

And be fervent and zealous to lead a holier and immaculate life, pleasing to God…
… as we pray, “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with You…!”

Happy Feast of our Immaculate Mamma!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance:
“All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession…
… even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue
… for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly.”
When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon.

But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, “for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know.” (CCC # 1456)

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