The Woman the World Loves CHAPTER 1 continued
A garden bower in flower
Grew waiting for Gods hand:
Where no man ever trod,
This was the Gate of God.
The first bower was red -
Her lips which "welcome" said.
The second bower was blue -
Her eyes that let God through.
The third bower was white -
Her soul in Gods sight.
Three bowers of love -
Now Christ from heaven above.
This special purity of hers we call the Immaculate Conception. It is not the Virgin Birth. The word "immaculate" is taken from two latin words meaning "not stained." "Conception" means that, at the first moment of her conception, the Blessed Mother in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, and in virtue of the anticipated merits of the Redemption of her Son, was preserved free from the stains of original sin.
I never could see why anyone in this day and age should object to the Immaculate Conception; all modern pagans believe that they are immaculately conceived. If there is no original sin, then everyone is immaculately conceived. Why do they shrink from allowing to Mary what they attribute to themselves? The doctrine of Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception are mutually exclusive. If Mary alone is THE Immaculate Conception, then the rest of us must have Original Sin.
The Immaculate Conception does not imply that Mary needed no Redemption. She needed it as much as you and I do. She was redeemed in advance, by way of prevention, in both body and soul, in the first instant of conception. We receive the fruits of redemption in our soul at Baptism. The whole human race needs redemption. But Mary was desolid-arized and separated from that sin-laden humanity as a result of the merits of Our Lord's Cross being offered to her at the moment of her conception. If we exempted her from the need of redemption, we would also have to exempt her from membership in humanity. The Immaculate Conception, therefore, in no way implies that she needed no redemption. She did! Mary is the first effect of redemption, in the sense that it was applied to her at the moment of her conception and to us in another and diminished fashion only after our birth.
She had this privilege, not for her sake, but for HIS sake. That is why those who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ can see no reason for the special privilege accorded to Mary. If I did not believe in the Divinity of Our Lord -which God avert -1 should see nothing but nonsense in any special reverence given to Mary above the other women on earth! But if she is the Mother of God, Who became Man, then she is unique, and then she stands out as the new Eve of Humanity as He is the new Adam.
There had to be some such creature as Mary - otherwise God would have found no one in whom He could fittingly have taken His human origin. An honest politician seeking civic reforms looks about for honest assistants. The Son of God beginning a new creation searched for some of that Goodness which existed before sin took over. There would have been, in some minds, a doubt about the Power of God if He had not shown a special favor to the Woman who was to be His Mother. Certainly what God gave to Eve, He would not refuse to His Own Mother.
Suppose that God in making over man did not also make over woman into a new Eve! What a howl of protest would have gone up! Christianity would have been denounced as are all male religions. Women would then have searched for a female religion! It would have been argued that woman was always the slave of man and even God intended her to be such, since He refused to make the new Eve, as He made the new Adam.
Had there been no Immaculate Conception, then Christ would have been said to be less beautiful, for He would have taken His Body from one who was not humanly perfect! There ought to be an infinite separation between God and sin, but there would not have been if there was not one Woman who could crush the cobra's head.
If you were an artist, would you allow someone to prepare your canvas with daubs? Then why should God be expected to act differently, when He prepares to unite to Himself a human nature like ours, in all things, save sin? But having lifted up one woman by preserving her from sin, and then having her freely ratify that gift at the Annunciation, God gave hope to our disturbed, neurotic, gauche, and weak humanity, Oh, yes! He is our Model, but He is also the Person of God! There ought to be, on the human level, Someone who would give humans hope, Someone who could lead us to Christ, Someone who would mediate between us and Christ as He mediates between us and the Father. One look at her, and we know that a human who is not good can become better; one prayer to her, and we know that, because she is without sin, we can become less sinful.