Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which celebrates one of the great (and oftentimes misunderstood) mysteries of our faith, namely, that the Virgin Mary, from the moment of her conception, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin. This Marian dogma was infallibly defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854:
We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.”
– Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus
Here are a few informative videos clips which discuss the Immaculate Conception. Enjoy!
The Solemnity of All Saints (November 1st) is fast approaching, wherein we honor all of the Saints in heaven and celebrate their heroic witness and powerful intercession for all of us “saints in the making” here on earth. The following is an Audio recording from an apologetics seminar that I delivered a few years ago on “The Biblical Basis of the Communion of Saints”. I hope you find it helpful in understanding more deeply this beautiful doctrine of our Catholic faith.
I’d highly recommend, if possible, that you to follow along with your Bible and Catechism handy.
Just suppose that you could have pre-existed your own mother, in much the same way that an artist pre-exists his painting. Furthermore, suppose that you had the infinite power to make your mother anything that you pleased, just as a great artist like Raphael has the power of realizing his artistic ideas. Suppose you had this double power, what kind of mother would you have made for yourself? Would you have made her of such a type that would make you blush because of her unwomanly and un-mother-like actions? Would you have made her exteriorly and interiorly of such a character as to make you ashamed of her? Or would you have made her, so far as human beauty goes; the most beautiful woman in the world; and so far as beauty of the soul goes, one who would radiate every virtue, every manner of kindness and charity and loveliness; one who by the purity of her life and her mind and her heart would be an inspiration not only to you but even to your fellow men, so that all would look up to her as the very incarnation of what is best in motherhood?
Now if you who are an imperfect being and who have not the most delicate conception of all that is fine in life would have wished for the loveliest of mothers, do you think that our Blessed Lord, who not only pre-existed His own mother but who had an infinite power to make her just what He chose, would in virtue of all the infinite delicacy of His spirit make her any less pure and loving and beautiful than you would have made your own mother? If you who hate selfishness would have made her selfless and you who hate ugliness would have made her beautiful, do you not think that the Son of God, who hates sin, would have made His own mother sinless and He who hates moral ugliness would have made her immaculately beautiful?”
This weekend will be a first for me. It’s hard to believe, but after many years on the Catholic speaking circuit, I will be sharing the platform for the first time with my friend and fellow evangelist/apologist, Jesse Romero.
You could say that we’re cut from a very similar cloth. Like me, Jesse is one of the few nationally-known bilingual Catholic apologists/speakers in the country. We have both been laboring in The LORD’S vineyard for several decades now and are renowned for our high-octane presentations on the Faith. If I had a dollar for every time someone confused me for Jesse at a conference or parish mission, I’d be a very rich man.
I have had the great pleasure of seeing Jesse in action more than a few times. As many of you already know, you can’t walk away from one of his talks without being inspired by his passion for the faith and his zeal for souls. For years he has styled himself “The Latin Lover of Our LORD and Our Lady”. This weekend, he’s going to have to share that title with his east coast brother for what is sure to be a high-energy conference. Keep us in your prayers as we seek to equip our brothers and sisters in Sacramento, CA to better share, explain, and defend our rich Catholic faith. Nuestra querida Morenita, Virgen de Guadalupe, ruega por nosotros.