What does this mean, the Immaculate Conception?
Through sin Adam and Eve threw away the divine life that we call grace. And since they were the ancestors of all of us, we lost through them the inheritancethat should rightfully be ours.
All men, the children of Adam and Eve, were born without grace, without divine life, without the power to see God or know Him or possess Him.
Then Mary came. Because she was to be the Mother of Christ the Savior, it was right and proper that she have all that our first parents had. She who was to be the Mother of God must be the beloved daughter of God.
So it was that by the power of God the Father and through the anticipated merits of Christ the Savior, Mary entered the world full of grace. Like Eve before the fall she was God’s beloved daughter. Like our first parents she had divine life in her soul. Like Adam and Eve in Paradise she had the right to know, love, and possess God for all eternity.
God’s Mother was never involved in the guilt of Adam. And this we call the Immaculate Conception.
To Mary, sinless and full of grace from the moment of her conception, we pray:
The Prayer of the Immaculate Conception
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for thy Son, we beseech thee that, as by the foreseen death of this, thy Son, thou didst preserve her from all stain, so too thou wouldst permit us, purified through her intercession, to come unto thee. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
(Copyright 1947 Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Nihil Obstat: John M. Fearns, S.T.D. Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop, New York)