Perhaps we might ask: Why does the Church make us read the account of the virginal conception of Christ on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of His mother? After all, our children get confused enough about this. December 8 is the day when our Lady was conceived in the womb of St. Anne. But at Holy Mass we read about the day, approximately fifteen years later, when our Lord was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Guess what? There’s a good reason.
Our Lady did not bear original sin. She did not have the self-destructive tendency that began, for the rest of us, in the Garden of Eden. Satan tempted our First Parents into disobedience of God’s law by telling them that they would become like gods.
Fundamental rule of life: God is God, and we are not. God, with infinite wisdom, has planned all of history. We have not done that. He guides everything toward the good, even bringing good out of evil. We do not do that. God has a mind that can exercise absolute sovereign control over all things. We do not.
Now, I am about to get myself in trouble with both the gentlemen and the ladies. I am going to throw both women’s lib and machismo right out the window at the same time.
The true nature of our race, in relation to our Creator: essentially feminine. Who is “The Man?” God. We are the lady. Our peace, our fulfillment lies in submitting to Him, accepting that He has the plan. On our own, we cannot conceive how our lives will work out. He can. On the great dance floor of life, God leads.
Original sin involves the delusion that we are “The Man.” Forgetting that an infinitely stronger and wiser Power actually governs the world. Original sin involves forgetting how to be ladylike with respect to God. All the Lord asks of us is a sincere Yes. A sincere: I will follow. He takes care of the rest. But we delude ourselves into thinking that we can lead.
This is precisely what did not happen when the Archangel Gabriel came to visit the Blessed Virgin. The angel proposed something altogether wonderful, something our Lady never could have imagined.
If original sin had deluded her, she would have said, ‘No, thanks. I have other plans.’ She would have said: ‘I want to suit myself.’ She would have said what we human beings weighed-down by original sin tend to say: ‘Wait, I’m in charge here!’
But she said none of these things. She said what becomes us, as ladylike human beings, when The Man asserts Himself. She said Yes. So be it. I will co-operate.
God makes everything out of nothing. We can’t even conceive of that. When we receive what He has made with grateful love, however–like the Virgin received the angel’s message—when we say Yes, Lord; we will follow where You lead—when we do that, we share in the immaculate Yes. And the dance of life comes off beautifully.