- Sr. Therese
"Who Are You O' Immaculate Conception?"
May the Lord bless you all with open minds and hearts.
I was reading “Day 10” from the “33 Days to Morning Glory” book. That chapter is part two of “Who are You, O Immaculate Conception?”. And I set myself about reading this chapter and it said:
Who are you, O Immaculate Conception? (Part Two)
So the Holy Spirit is the uncreated Immaculate Conception and Mary is the created Immaculate Conception. Why not make it easier and just say that the Holy Spirit is the Immaculate Conception and Mary was immaculately conceived? Again, it’s all because of Lourdes. Blame St. Bernadette!
In all seriousness, we should thank both St. Bernadette and St. Kolbe profusely, because their fidelity to grace is now opening up for us a glorious truth that undergirds the whole theology of Marian Consecration. This truth has to do with the union between the Holy Spirit and Mary. Kolbe explains this in a passage that is long and difficult but incredibly rich and deserving of deep reflection:
The passage says,
What type of union is this [between the Holy Spirit and Mary]? It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the “essence” of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in her, lives in her. This was true from the first instant of her existence. It was always true; it will always be true.
In what does this life of the Spirit in Mary consist? He himself is uncreated Love in her; the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves himself, the very love of the Most Holy Trinity. He is a fruitful Love, a “Conception.” Among creatures made in God’s image the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all (see Mt 19:6). In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being. He makes her fruitful, from the very first instant of her existence, all during her life, and for all eternity.
This eternal “Immaculate Conception” (which is the Holy Spirit) produces in an immaculate manner divine life itself in the womb (or depths) of Mary’s soul, making her the Immaculate Conception, the human Immaculate Conception. And the virginal womb of Mary’s body is kept sacred for him; there he conceives in time — because everything that is material occurs in time — the human life of the Man-God.
... If among human beings the wife takes the name of her husband because she belongs to him, is one with him, becomes equal to him and is, with him, the source of new life, with how much greater reason should the name of the Holy Spirit, who is the divine Immaculate Conception, be used as the name of her in whom he lives as uncreated Love, the principle of life in the whole supernatural order of grace?
In light of this remarkable passage, I’d like to make three points. First, ponder it again, deeply, and prayerfully. As you do, keep in mind that these are the parting words of one of the greatest Marian saints of all time, answering the very question to which he dedicated his life and energies. Second, if it seems that Kolbe has gone a bit overboard with this talk of Mary and her union with the Holy Spirit, don’t worry. Pope Paul VI went out of his way to reassure the faithful that Kolbe’s teaching is sound Third, if you only get one point from this challenging passage, may it be this: Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. In fact, her union with the Holy Spirit is even deeper than what we understand by a spousal relationship.
That was the end of the chapter which I had read, and after finishing the chapter, I set myself to thinking—I thought, Holy Spirit is the Immaculate Conception conceiving Mary immaculately. They concluded that Mary is the Spouse of the HOLY SPIRIT and as a wife takes after the name of the husband, so does Mary take the title of the Holy Spirit, which is the Immaculate Conception. Holy Spirit, the One behind the birth of all Life. He breathes upon the seed of everything, giving it the Breath of Life, and the seed then comes into being and grows. Be it the seed of a plant, a tree, an egg, in the womb, a planet, anything. He is the Lord Giver of Life, the One Conceiving Life, immaculately. [obedience]
It made me ponder the image I had seen a while back of Mary, a dove above her, Jesus’ face right after, and a light way in the back behind Jesus. And I thought, “No one comes to the Father except through Me,” Jesus says. “No one can confess Jesus as Lord except through the Holy Spirit. And the one coming as a Forerunner before the Holy Spirit (or together with the Holy Spirit) is Mary, His immaculate spouse. Mary comes with the Holy Spirit, bringing you to Jesus the Son so that you can go and have access to the Father. [Loving God]
I set me also to thinking, “Are you saying that all throughout the ages, every believer has passed through Mary’s praying hands to be brought to salvation in Jesus’?” [Shall I leave it be, Lord, not to erase it? “Brotherly Love/Long Life”]
She and the Holy Spirit together throughout history. Holy Spirit brings souls to Jesus, the Son, but since He (the Holy Spirit) and Mary are inseparable, The Holy Spirit does not leave her aside and go tend to it alone. It is only natural and due to think Holy Spirit comes along with Mary. [God’s love]
Let’s think of this: She is the mother of the physical body of Jesus. And since she is the mother of the physical body of Jesus – Jesus has another body, a wide spiritual body, which is the Church. So, being the mother of the physical body of Jesus, it would only be due that she would be the mother of Jesus’s second body—the Church—a Church which is made up of many nations and tribes and tongues.
Then my thoughts, again, went on to thinking:
The uncreated Immaculate Conception (which is the Holy Spirit) generated the created Immaculate Conception where He lives (which is Mary) – Holy Spirit inside Mary. Ever there with her now, since the start of her Immaculate Conception in the womb of her mother, overshadowing her at the descend of Jesus, and now being with her unto all eternity. They will not be separated.
I also thought of something else which goes something like this:
Holy Spirit is the first one to beget “his spouse” (his sinless Beloved Mary, who had no sin in her blood). Then, Jesus is the second in line to beget “his spouse” (the Church—the Church made out of many nations and tribes and tongues). Then, Father God is the last one to beget “his spouse”, which is Israel. Israel is everybody who believes—the Seed of Faith—not only physical Israel itself but Spiritual Israel also. Which [means that] physical Israel is engulfed and consumed inside Spiritual Israel itself, they are a part of it. The Bride of Christ is inside Spiritual Israel. The Bride of the Holy Spirit is from the seed of Israel and is the Mother of the Bride of the Son. And the Bride of the Holy Spirit (who is Mary) is a daughter to God the Father herself. So we have a whole family—all are linked as in a huge family setting. [the “spouses idea” got “obedience”] [Israel and the Bride “obedience”]
I thought, wow!
Mary has been allowed to know the exact number of those who will come to believe. She knows the exact number of every believer who will ever come to believe [eternal life]. Can you imagine that? And I remember (this came from a book that I read about her) that she knows the number. So, the Mother with the Holy Spirit are Forerunners before the Son. [parents duties]
She comes with the Holy Spirit to bring you to the Son—the Son who would bring you to the Father.
Endnote: The italic sentences at the end of a phrase are my Discernment stages, confirming it with the Lord.