The Immaculate Conception
In the mystery of the Immaculate Conception, Mary is clearly the prototype of the birth of our divine life. Our Christian grace draws us directly and efficaciously toward this mystery, which is not foreign to us; it is an essential part of our divine life. But the birth of our divine life has already begun. Every movement of love makes us live by everlasting life. All our charitable impulses will be fully efficacious only to the extent that their starting point is intimately united to this mystery of Mary. All our efforts and resolutions to grow in divine love, if made outside the Immaculate Heart of Mary, are always tainted with pride, vanity, or selfishness…Because of the consequences of original sin, these resolutions still imply a certain compromise with evil, a compromise that is perhaps unacknowledged, very subtle and very hidden, yet real. Hence the break with sin is not complete; we still have some mud on us! The initial impulse is thus somewhat contaminated, and often for this very reason, it will not last. It will come to nothing. On the surface everything appeared splendid, very pure and beautiful, but there was a very hidden crack, something binding us to ourselves and to our pride. The bird was still tethered by a string! After a first flight full of generosity, it fell down again. If our resolutions to grow in love (all our different Christian resolutions ultimately come down to this one resolution to grow in love) are made voluntarily with Mary, by relying on her Immaculate Heart and by entrusting them to her, they will then have an absolutely divine purity; they will be truly efficacious. Mary, in her mystery of the Immaculate Conception, is thus the proper place for every authentic starting point in the growth of love.