This coming week we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, an important day for us to reflect on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s life and the model she is for all of us to follow. Her life is the ideal example of the Christian life lived for God, as her whole being was a “yes” to and for God. Pope Francis asks us to;

“Look at her, and let us look to her, in order to be more humble, and even more courageous in following the Word of God, to receive the tender embrace of her son Jesus, an embrace that gives us life, hope, and peace.”

So, as we begin our Advent journey today, let’s strive to imitate Mary, and her profound love of God. You may be saying to yourself right now; “This is much too hard and lofty an ideal for me to reach this time of the year!” But remember, saying “yes” to God for Mary was not at all easy. She was ‘troubled’ when hearing the angel say to her that she was ‘full of grace’, because in her humility she thought of herself as unworthy. Despite her concerns she listens, obeys, and responds to God by saying, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word’. This Advent and coming new year let us pray for the courage to cooperate like Mary to the action of the Holy Spirit, and to pray unceasingly for mercy, in communion with her, in order to praise and glorify God for the great things he has done for us!
 
A Prayer to The Immaculate Virgin Mary
O most pure Virgin Mary conceived without sin, from the very first instant, you were entirely immaculate.  O glorious Mary full of grace, you are the mother of my God – the Queen of Angels and of men. I humbly venerate you as the chosen mother of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords chose you for the singular grace and honor of being His beloved mother. By the power of His Cross, He preserved you from all sin. Therefore, by His power and love, I have hope and bold confidence in your prayers for my holiness and salvation. I pray that your prayers will bring me to imitate your holiness and submission to Jesus and the Divine Will.
 
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
 
Now, Queen of Heaven, I beg you to beg my Savior to grant me these requests…(Mention your intentions)
 
My holy Mother, I know that you were obedient to the will of God. In making this petition, I know that God’s will is more perfect than mine. So, grant that I may receive God’s grace with humility like you.
 
As my final request, I ask that you pray for me to increase in faith in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in hope in our risen Lord; I ask that you pray for me to increase in love for the risen Jesus!
Amen.