Faith

Immaculate Conception: Mother of Our Redeemer

Her perfection fulfilled the prophesy, 'the serpent's head will be crushed'

From Adam and Eve through modern times, every human being has succumbed to sin — except for one.

The Catholic Church reminds us of this truth on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (from the catechism of the Catholic Church, #491)

She had no original sin at birth, no actual sin during life — not even one.

The devil was never able to convince Mary to sin.

As a kid, I played a lot of golf with my brothers, using plastic golf balls in our backyard. We would choose random targets for holes, like our mailbox, the drainage gutter, a pine tree, a birdhouse — even our statue of the Blessed Mother.

I never fully understood the value of this statue until I noticed a fourth-grade classmate cut through our yard and make a beeline to Mary’s grotto. She put down her book bag, made the sign of the cross, and silently prayed for a few minutes.

Do you support individual military members being able to opt out of getting the COVID vaccine?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

She was simply having a conversation with her heavenly mother.

As I went out to further inspect this statue, I noticed there was a serpent under Mary’s feet. I realized this was a symbol of her power over Satan. The devil was never able to convince Mary to sin — and this particular visual fulfills the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, in which the “serpent’s head will be crushed.”

Related: St. Joseph: God’s Ordinary Man

All moms and dads can relate to the concern about the well-being of your kids — and to the lengths you would go to protect your children from moral or physical harm. Mary is no different.

She considers each one of us to be her son or daughter, and she is always trying to protect us from the snares of the evil one. The main difference is that she has direct access to Jesus in heaven — and Jesus simply cannot say “no” to his mom.

Go to Mary. She beat sin, she beat Satan, she knows the enemy, and she can protect all of us from harm.

This beautiful feast day is a reminder not only of Mary’s “exceptionalism,” but of her sincere desire to truly be our mom and help us reach our heavenly goal.

Fr. Michael Sliney, LC, is a Catholic priest who is the New York chaplain of the Lumen Institute, an association of business and cultural leaders.

Join the Discussion

Comments are currently closed.