London commuters get brutal with jihadi-Jane climate protestors


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Eight arrests made after Extinction Rebellion causes rush hour chaos on Jubilee Line

Harry Robertson

Extinction Rebellion protesters sit on top of a DLR train

Eight arrests have been made after Extinction Rebellion protesters caused severe delays on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and Tube during rush hour today.

Furious commuters reacted by dragging a climate change activist from the top of a train before appearing to attack him.

Read more:Extinction Rebellion targets London’s financial heart in day of action

Commuters into London’s financial districts faced a morning of rush hour misery as Extinction Rebellion protests brought services to a halt on the DLR and Jubilee Line in east London.

Transport for London and British Transport Police (BTP) cleared the protesters from the lines by 8.30am, however, letting service resume.

BTP said officers were called to simultaneous action by Extinction Rebellion at Stratford, Canning Town and Shadwell stations.

“Four arrests have been made in connection to the Stratford and Canning Town incidents,” BTP said.

Four people have also been arrested in connection with disruption at Shadwell.

At least one protester glued themselves to the roof of a DLR train at Shadwell station, with Extinction Rebellion calling the disruption “necessary to highlight the emergency and immediate action needed to avert climate catastrophe”.

The protests sparked fury among some commuters, however, and resulted in violent scenes at Canning Town when an activist was dragged from the top of a train to the platform.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I strongly condemn the Extinction Rebellion protesters who have targeted the London Underground and DLR this morning.

“This illegal action is extremely dangerous, counterproductive and is causing unacceptable disruption to Londoners who use public transport to get to work. It is also an unfair burden on our already overstretched police officers.”

Transport union Aslef also criticised the protests.

“The Tube & all modes of public transport are part of the solution to climate change, not the problem,” it tweeted.

“Can we kindly suggest you stick to protesting against those who create the problem. Not our industry, members + hard working commuters.”

But Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Robin Boardman defended the action, saying the disruption was necessary to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change.

“If this is what it takes to make them take notice before it is too late, then this is what we must do,” he said.

“None of us want to inconvenience ordinary people. That’s why we’re doing this in the morning when it will impact business as usual, and not in the evening, when people want to get home to be with their loved ones.”

The protest group said today’s actions are “intended to bring further economic disruption to the capital as part of the ongoing campaign to convince the government to take meaningful action on the climate and ecological emergency”.

BTP warned Extinction Rebellion against taking such action yesterday.

Extinction Rebellion protests continued outside Youtube's London HQ yesterday
Extinction Rebellion protests continued outside Youtube’s London HQ yesterday (credit: Getty)

Assistant chief constable Sean O’Callaghan said: “Despite our countless warnings, we are frustrated that Extinction Rebellion put people at risk to obstruct services on London’s rail network. 

“Those who obstructed services are in custody and will be dealt with robustly. This type of action is completely at odds with what Extinction Rebellion are campaigning for and we will continue to urge them to not target any rail network. 

“However, it was also concerning to see that a number of commuters took matters into their own hands, displaying violent behaviour to detain a protester at Canning Town.

“Understandably, the delay to passengers’ journeys would have been annoying, but this level of response was unacceptable. We are now investigating this morning’s events at Canning Town in its entirety.”

O’Callaghan added that the Tube is one of London’s greenest transport networks, saying Extinction Rebellion has contradicted the point of its own protests by targeting the London Underground.

Read more:Extinction Rebellion protesters ignore police ban to return to Trafalgar Square

Extinction Rebellion activists were defying an order from the Metropolitan Police that on Monday night banned them from protesting in the capital. The group has denounced the ban as “draconian”.

The group’s decision to target London’s tube follows a day of protests in the centre of the Square Mile on Monday, when activists demanded banks stop funding the fossil fuel industry.

Some of the UK’s biggest banks have defended themselves against Extinction Rebellion’s protests. Santander said on Monday that it is “one of the leading providers of green finance in the world, raising close to €50bn [£43.4bn] between 2015 and 2018”.

(Main image credit: Vladimir Morozov/akxmedia)Share


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  1. WHAT EVERY CATHOLIC MUST KNOW
    Dec 3, 2018
    December 8, 2018 Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

    The immaculate conception refers to the conception of Mary the mother of Jesus, even though Jesus was conceived without sin, his conception is celebrated March 25th during the Feast of the Incarnation or Feast of the Annunciation, depending on whether you’re in the Eastern or Western hemisphere.

    From the early days of the Church, the Christian community held that Mary was conceived without Original Sin. She was selected by God the Father, before the creation of the universe as we know it, to be the mother of the second person of the Holy Trinity, God the Son. A conception that was to happen without human intervention, only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    For centuries theologians debated whether Mary was conceived without sin or was born without sin.

    Conceived without original sin: means that from the very moment that the egg and the sperm cell became a human being, this human being was free of original sin.

    Born without original sin: means that the fetus in the womb had original sin, but through an act of God, was cleansed of the stain of sin, before birth.

    There were some biblical indicators that Mary was sinless.

    And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,

    To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

    And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (Luke 1:26-28)

    Saint Luke and the first-generation Christians understood that one who is “full of grace” is filled with God’s life. God’s life cannot share space with sin. Gabriel confirms this when he tells Mary two things: The Lord is with her and she is blessed among women.

    Before Mary became pregnant with the child Jesus; God’s divine life filled her soul. This does not make her divine. Notice that we say, “God’s divine life”.

    Secondly, Gabriel points out to Mary that she is “blessed among women”. He is referring to every woman before Mary, during her life, and those women born in the future. No one has been as blessed as Mary.

    In Genesis 3:15 God speaks to Satan, represented by the serpent (snakes are not devils), he said, “ I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, . . . “

    By enmity it is understood that there was to be no interaction between “the woman” and Satan. She was protected from the devil since time began. When God sentences Adam and Eve, he predicts that there will be a woman whom Satan cannot touch, because there is a “buffer” of grace between the woman and the devil. We understand this woman to be Mary. Who else could be the enemy to “Satan’s seed” if it were not Jesus Christ, the seed of Mary?

    Why would God create a woman who never had contact with sin, not even Original Sin?

    Because she was the be his son’s mother. Jesus is sinless. Reason tells us that he would not be conceived in the womb of a woman who had any contact with sin, even if it was before she was born. The womb that bore him who was to be the Unblemished Lamb had to be unblemished before he was conceived. To prevent Mary’s womb from contamination with sin, she was conceived without Original Sin.

    During the Middle Ages, a Franciscan scholar (Bl. John Scotus) pointed out:

    God can do this. It was appropriate that God do this, So, he did it. Nothing is impossible for God.

    Finally, in 1854, with the Bull Ineffabilis, Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and put permanent closure on the discussion regarding Mary’s own conception and protection from Original Sin.

    “… We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful”

    Observe the words of Pope Pius IX: declare, pronounce and define. He is stating a fact, not a theological opinion. He states that she was free of any stain of Original sin, “from the first moment of her conception.”

    Mary was not cleansed from Original Sin while in the womb. She came into existence in the womb, free of Original Sin. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross redeemed every man and woman before him, during his time, and those to come. Christ redeems his mother before the soul enters the fertilized egg in Anne’s womb.

    The Immaculate Conception is not an opinion or a theory, it is a fact that every Catholic must believe or you’re not Catholic. At the time of our baptism, our parents swore that they believed everything that the Catholic Church teaches and believes. They handed down their Catholic faith to us. We cannot claim ignorance.

    The Immaculate Conception of Mary is the Father’s gift to the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE MOTHER OF GOD
    On the 8th of September, the Church celebrates the birth of the Virgin Mary. Is this the day she was born? We don’t know when she was born. First, Mary was…
    Cast into the deep . . .
    Christ said to Peter, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” (Lk 5:4) and when Peter did they had to call for help, because the nets…

    Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity
    9 December 2019
    Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ
    The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
    “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”

    __________________________________________________

    Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity
    9 December 2019
    The Immaculate Conception of the
    Blessed Virgin Mary
    mary con untitled

    Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    Hail Mary / Ave Maria
    Hail Mary, full of grace.
    The Lord is with thee.
    Blessed art thou amongst 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.

    Ave Maria, gracia plena, Dominus tecum :
    benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
    Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
    nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
    ****************************************
    Patron: United States.
    Symbols: crown and monogram; lily; enclosed garden; crown of stars; glass (symbol of purity) lily often placed in a vase of transparent glass; lily of the valley.
    From CatholicCulture.org
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity
    9 December 2019

    ________________________________________
    Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity
    9 December 2019
    Stations of the cross
    THANK YOU
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    STATIONS OF THE CROSS
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    Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity
    9 December 2019
    Book of Genesis 3,9-15.20.
    The LORD God called to the Adam and asked him, “Where are you?”
    He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
    Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
    The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me–she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.”
    The LORD God then asked the woman, “Why did you do such a thing?” The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”
    Then the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; On your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.
    I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”
    The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.

    Letter to the Ephesians 1,3-6.11-12.
    Brothers and sisters: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
    as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love
    he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will,
    for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.
    In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
    so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.
    ©Evangelizo.org 2001-2019
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity
    9 December 2019
    Psalms 98(97),1.2-3ab.3bc-4.
    Sing to the LORD a new song,
    for he has done wondrous deeds;
    His right hand has won victory for him,
    his holy arm.

    The LORD has made his salvation known:
    in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
    He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
    toward the house of Israel.

    toward the house of Israel.
    All the ends of the earth have seen
    Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
    break into song; sing praise.
    ©Evangelizo.org 2001-2019
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary – Solemnity
    9 December 2019
    Saints of the day
    St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin
    (1474-1548)
    San_Juan_Diego_Cuauhtlatoatzin_AD

    SAINTS OF THE DAY

    St. Leocadia
    VIRGIN AND MARTYR
    († C. 304)
    IMAGE : N/A
    SAINT LEOCADIA
    Virgin and Martyr
    († c. 304)
    SAINTS OF THE DAY

    ©Evangelizo.org 2001-2019
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    PLEASE JOIN
    DAILY MASS & SUNDAY MASS

    READ

    DAILY GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS

    with

    DAILY COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
    and

    SAINTS OF THE DAY

    ALSO READ

    From

    SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER NEWSLETTER IN THAI

    NEWSLETTER IN THAI

    THANK YOU

    ***********************************************

    “May the Lord bless you and keep you;
    may the Lord cause his face to shine
    upon you and be gracious to you;
    may the Lord lift up his countenance
    upon you and grant you peace.”
    Priestly Blessing from Numbers 6:24-26
    ____________________________________________________________

    Regina caeli
    Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia,
    Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
    Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia,
    Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

    Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
    For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
    Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
    Pray for us to God, alleluia.
    ______________________________________________________________

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    MORE IN FRANCIS XAVIER SAMSEN – PAGE 8
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    Mary, Mother of God – Solemnity 1 January 2020 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant…
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    Thursday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time 21 November 2019 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ “If this day you only knew what makes for peace- -but now it is…
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    Moisson Montreal on a mission to feed 20,000 families —
    Posted bysamo lucija December 7, 2019 Leave a commenton Moisson Montreal on a mission to feed 20,000 families — EditMoisson Montreal on a mission to feed 20,000 families —

    Many affiliated organizations close during the holiday season but the food bank wants to make sure no stomach is left empty going into the new year.

    Moisson Montreal on a mission to feed 20,000 families —
    Hebrew Word Study – Repent

    Genesis 6:6

    And it repented YAHUAH that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

    If you ask most Christians what REPENT means they will usually reply with one of two responses.

    We have all heard the expression Turn or Burn. There was a time in this country when that would have been the response of most Christians.

    Today you’re more likely to respond to the question of repentance with a definition that calls for the one considering repentance to turn around and go in the opposite direction.

    YAHUAH who never changes has an entirely different concept of Repentance. It is clearly revealed in the Picture and Number language of the two Hebrew words that are most often used to communicate the concept of Repentance and Regret. In this article, we will examine the picture language of the two Hebrew words most often used in Scripture to communicate what the English translations call Repentance.

    Curiously the first time the word Repentance is used it has nothing to do with man. Let’s read again the passage from Genesis 6:6.

    And it repented YAHUAH that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

    The real scary part of the concept of YAHUAH repenting can be discovered in the following verse where in Genesis 6:7 we read the following:

    And YAHUAH said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

    Let’s explore the meaning of the Picture and Number language of the two words most often translated Repent or Repentance in the English bible.

    The first Hebrew word is comprised of two letters. They are the letter Sheen and the letter Beyt.

    Sheen – To Consume – To Destroy – Sharp – To press

    Teeth

    Beyt – House – Tent Dwelling PlaceIt describes what is Inside pictured as aTent / House

    The literal translation of this word is to Return or to “Turn About” and it is used to mean Repent.

    The two pictures of Sheen and Beyt are connected in a way you may find surprising.

    Instead of Turn or Burn, the Hebrew Word Sheen Beyt has the idea of destroying or burning the house. It could literally be translated Burn or Destroy and then Turn Around and leave.

    The concept is eloquently simple. If you burn the house down then you cannot return to live there, unless you wish to spend your life living among the charred ashes of death and destruction. Sadly some actually do end up returning to live in the ashes.

    To Repent based on the Ideal Picture meaning of Sheen Beyt is to leave the place you were living in never to return. It has been crushed, burned down, demolished and destroyed and there is no reason to return.

    Obviously, the spiritual implications of this Picture meaning are not lost on anyone.

    But this is not the entire picture that YAHUAH gives us of Repentance.

    The first time the word Repentance is used in the Scripture it is not Sheen Beyt but rather it is the four letter Hebrew word Noon Yood Chet Mem.

    This 4 letter Hebrew word translated Regret or Repent in Hebrew adds substance and context to the Hebrew word for Repentance that is simply lost in the English translation

    Let’s look at each letter of this word and see what picture message emerges.

    Picture of Regret and Repentance

    Yood – A Mighty Deed or Work done to accomplish a Divine Purpose

    Noon – Life & Activity

    Chet – A Graciously provided a private place of protection that provides refuge, security, and Peace. A garden sanctuary

    Mem – Water that provides life and comes down like the soft rain or a gentle stream. The Word of YAHUAH that is the Living Water.

    What is YAHUAH trying to communicate to His Children?

    Is it not obvious?

    YAHUAH is inviting His Children to come Home. He is beckoning His children to leave the worldly place that is going to ultimately be burned up and destroyed and come to Him for sanctuary, safety, and salvation.

    YAHUAH is always surprising us with His kindness. Even the harshest word has a gracious purpose in the lives of those that will put their faith and trust in YAHUSHA Ha-Mashiach.

    And so YAHUAH calls after us to Repent. To leave our comfortable home in this world and become pilgrims on a journey that will lead to Eternal Life.

    The Translation of the Picture meaning for the Hebrew Word Repent not only has the warning of devastating Fire it also has in it the invitation to drink the Waters of Life provided so graciously for us by the fully accomplished and sufficient atoning work of YAHUSHA.

    Repentance is a Wonderful Thing if it is what welcomes you into the Arms of our Savior.

    Source:

    Hebrew Word Study – Repent

    Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 8.25.21 AM.png
    PublishedDecember 7, 2019

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    FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
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    Feast of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    SO great are the advantages we reap from the incarnation of the Son of God, and so incomprehensible is the goodness which he hath displayed in this wonderful mystery, that to contemplate it, and to thank and praise him for the same, ought to be the primary object of all our devotions, and the employment of our whole lives. In the feast of the Conception of the immaculate Virgin Mother of God we celebrate the joyful dawning of that bright day of mercy, the first appearance which that most glorious of all pure creatures made in the world, with those first seeds of grace which produced the most admirable fruit in her soul.

    Her conception was itself a glorious mystery, a great grace, and the first effect of her predestination. Her Divine Son, the eternal God, in the first moment of her being, considered the sublime dignity to which he had decreed to raise her, and remembered that august, dear, sacred, and venerable name of his mother, which she was one day to bear; and he beheld her with a complacency, and distinguished her in a manner suitable to the near relation she was to bear. He called her not his servant in whom he gloried, as he did Israel, 1 but his mother, whom for the sake of his own glory he decreed exceedingly to exalt in grace and glory. From that instant the eternal Word of God, which was to take flesh of her, looked upon it as particularly incumbent on him, in the view of his future incarnation, to sanctify this virgin, to enrich her with his choicest gifts, and to heap upon her the most singular favours with a profusion worthy his omnipotence. She could say with much greater reason than Isaiah: 2 The Lord hath called me from the womb: from the bowels of my mother he hath been mindful of my name. From that very moment he prepared her to be his most holy tabernacle. When Almighty God commanded a temple to be built to his honour in Jerusalem, what preparations did he not ordain! What purity did he not require in the things that belonged to that work, even in the persons and materials that were employed in it! David, though a great saint, was excepted against by God, because he had been stained with blood spilt in just wars. Again, what purifications, consecrations, rites, and ceremonies did he not order to sanctify all the parts of the building! This for a material temple, in which the ark was to be placed, and men were to offer their homages and sacrifices to his adorable Majesty. What then did he not do for Mary in spiritually decking her, whose chaste womb was to be his living tabernacle, from whose pure flesh he was to derive his own most holy body, and of whom he would himself be born! So tender a mercy was this great work to him, that the church, in her most earnest daily supplications, conjures him, as by a most endearing motive, that he will be pleased to hear her prayers, and enrich her children with his special graces, by his effusion and liberality towards her, when he most wonderfully prepared and fitted both her body and soul, that she might be made a worthy dwelling for himself. 1
    The first condition in the spiritual embellishing of a soul is perfect purity, or cleanness from whatever can be a blot or stain in her. A skilful statuary is careful, in the first place, that there be no irregularity or deformity in the piece which he is going to carve. And if a house is to be put in order and adorned, to receive some guest of great distinction, the first thing is to remove all filth, and whatever is offensive. Almighty God therefore was pleased to preserve this holy Virgin from contracting any stain of sin, whether original or actual. Without the privilege of an extraordinary grace, the greatest saints daily fall into venial sins of surprise and inadvertence, through a neglect of a universal watchfulness over all the secret motions of their hearts in the course of action. But Mary was distinguished by this rare privilege, and by the succour of an extraordinary grace was so strengthened, that her interior beauty was never sullied with the least spot, and charity or the divine love never suffered the least remission or abatement in her soul; but from the moment in which she attained the use of reason, increased, and she continually pressed forward with fresh ardour towards the attainment of higher perfection of virtue and holiness. Her exemption from original sin was yet a more extraordinary privilege of grace. It is an undoubted truth, in which all divines are agreed, that she was sanctified and freed from original sin before she was born, and that she was brought forth into this world in a state of perfect sanctity. Some have thought it more consonant to the sacred oracles that she was thus sanctified only after her conception, and after the union of the rational soul with the body. But it is the most generally received belief, though not defined as an article of faith, that in her very conception she was immaculate. Many prelates, and a great number of Catholic universities, 3 have declared themselves in strong terms in favour of this doctrine; and several popes have severely forbidden any one to impugn the same, or to dispute or write against it. Nevertheless, it is forbidden to rank it among articles of faith defined by the church, or to censure those who privately hold the contrary. It is needless here to produce the passages of holy scripture usually alleged by theologians, and other proofs by which this assertion is confirmed. It is sufficient for us, who desire, as dutiful sons of the church, to follow, in all such points, her direction, that she manifestly favours this opinion, which is founded in the clear testimonies of the most illustrious among the fathers, in the decrees of several particular councils, and the suffrages of most learned and eminent masters of the theological schools. 4 The very respect which we owe to the Mother of God, and the honour which is due to her divine Son, incline us to believe this privilege most suitable to her state of spotless sanctity. To have been one moment infected with sin was not agreeable to the undefiled purity of her who was chosen to be ever holy, that she might be worthy to bring forth the author of sanctity. Had she ever been in sin, notwithstanding the advantages of her other privileges and graces, and her predestination to the sublime dignity of Mother of God, she would have been for that moment before she was cleansed, the object of his indignation and just hatred. St. Austin thought this reason sufficient for exempting her, whenever mention is made of sin. “Out of reverence,” says he, “and for the honour which is due to her Son, I will have no question put about her when we speak of any sin.” 5 Christ was no less her Redeemer, Reconciler, and most perfect Saviour and Benefactor, by preserving her from this stain, than he would have been by cleansing her from it; as by descending from Adam she was liable to this debt, and would have contracted the contagion, had she not been preserved from it through the grace and merits of her Son. 2
    To understand how great a grace, and how singular a prerogative this total exemption from all sin was in Mary, we may take a survey of the havoc that monster made amongst men from the beginning of the world, excepting Mary. The most holy amongst the saints all received their existence in sin; they were all obliged to say with St. Paul: We were the children of wrath, even as the rest. 6 The fall of our first father Adam involved all mankind in guilt and misery. From that time, for the space of four thousand years, sin reigned without control on every side. By its dire effects the greatest part of the world was plunged into the most frightful state of spiritual darkness and blindness. Even the sons of light were born under its slavery: Abraham, Moses, Elias, Jeremy, Job, and all the other saints confessed with David: Behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sin my mother conceived me. 7 Sin was become a universal leprosy, a contagion which no one could escape; an evil common to all mankind, and infecting every particular individual that descended from Adam, as his own inherent guilt; something accidental, and foreign to our nature, yet so general an attendant upon it, that it might almost seem a constituent part thereof. It was communicated with the flesh and blood which men received from their parents, and from their first father, Adam. Every child contracted this infection with the first principle of life. Mary, by a singular privilege, was exempted from it, and entered a world of sin, spotless and holy. Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array! 8 These words we may understand as spoken by the angels at the first glorious appearance of the Mother of God, astonished to behold her, after the dismal night of darkness and sin, as the morning rising, beautiful as the moon, shining as the sun, decked with the brightest ornaments of grace, and terrible to all the powers of hell, as the face of an army drawn up in battalia, displaying her beams on the horizon of the earth, which had been hitherto covered with the hideous deformity of sin. What a glorious spectacle, what a subject of joy was it to the heavenly spirits, to see the empire of sin broken, and a descendant of Adam come forth free from the general contagion of his race, making her appearance pure, holy, and beautiful, richly adorned with the most precious gifts of grace, and outshining the highest angels and cherubims! Shall we refuse to her our admiration and praises? Shall we not offer to God our best homages in thanksgiving for such a mercy, and for so great a present which he has bestowed on the world in Mary? 3
    The grace which exempted Mary from original sin, preserved her also from the sting of concupiscence, or inordinate love of creatures, and tendency to evil. The first sin of Adam brought on us a deluge of evils, and by the two wounds of ignorance and concupiscence which it has left in us, its malignity has spread its influence over all the powers of our souls. Through it our understanding is liable to be deceived, and to be led away with errors; our will is abandoned to the assaults of the basest passions: our senses are become inlets of dangerous suggestions: we are subjected to spiritual weakness, inconstancy, and vanity, and are tyrannized over by inordinate appetites. Hence proceeds in us a difficulty in doing good, a repugnance to our duties, a proneness to evil, the poisoned charm of vice, and the intestine war of the flesh against the spirit. All this we experience and groan under; yet under the weight of such miseries, by a much greater evil, we are blind, proud, and insensible. The excess of our misery is, that though it be extreme, we do not sufficiently deplore it, humble ourselves under it, and labour by watchfulness, mortification, and prayer to acquire strength against our dangers. Mary employed earnestly these arms during the course of her life, though free from this inward proneness to evil and from the fomes peccati or dangerous sting of concupiscence, which we inherit with original sin, and which remains after baptism, for the exercise of our virtue and fidelity. We court our dangers, indulge and fortify our enemies, and caress and adore those idols which we are bound to destroy. To procure for ourselves some part in the blessing which Mary enjoyed, in the empire over our passions, we must check them, restrain our senses, and die to ourselves. We must never cease sighing to God, to implore his aid against this domestic enemy, and never enter into any truce with him. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. 9 If our weakness and dangers call for our tears, we have still much greater reason to weep for our guilt and repeated transgressions. Whereas grace in Mary triumphed even over original sin; we, on the contrary, even after baptism and penance, by which we were cleansed from sin, return to it again, increase our hereditary weakness and miseries: and, what is of all things most grievous, infinitely aggravate our guilt by daily offences. Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes? 10 O Mother of Mercy let your happy privilege, your exemption from all sin and concupiscence, inspire you with pity for our miseries: and by your spotless purity and abundant graces, obtain for us strength against all our dangers, the deliverance from all our miseries, and the most powerful remedies of divine grace. Thus, from this mystery, we are to draw lessons of confusion and instruction for ourselves. 4
    Mary, in her conception, was not only free from stain, but moreover was adorned with the most precious graces, so as to appear beautiful and glorious in the eyes of God. And the grace she then received was the seed of the great virtues which she exercised, and the higher graces to which, by the improvement of her first stock, she was afterwards raised, during the whole course of her mortal life. By the first graces she was free from all inclination to accursed pride, and from all inordinate self-love, and remained always perfectly empty of herself. This disposition she expressed when honoured with the highest graces, and exalted to the most sublime and wonderful spiritual dignity; under which, sinking lower in her own abyss of weakness and nothingness, she sincerely and purely gave all glory to him. She confessed aloud that he chose her not for any merit, or anything he saw in her, but because he would signalize his omnipotence by choosing the weakest and meanest instrument, and because he saw in her the nothingness in which he most fitly exerted and manifested his infinite power and greatness. By a lurking pride we obstruct the designs of the divine mercy in our favour. The vessel of our heart cannot receive the plentiful effusion of divine grace, so long as it is filled with the poison of self-love. The more perfectly it is cleansed and empty, the more is it fitted to receive. As the prophet called for vessels that were empty, that they might be filled with miraculous oil; so must we present to God hearts that are perfectly empty, when we pray that he replenish them with his grace. The exercise of humility, meekness, patience, resignation, obedience, self-denial, rigorous self-examination, compunction and penance begin the work: but prayer and divine love perfect the cleansing of the fountain from which they spring. Thus are we to attain that purity of heart and affections by which we shall bear some degree of resemblance to the holy Mother of God. This grace we ought earnestly to beg of God, through her intercession, and particularly to commend to him, through her, the preservation of the holy virtue of purity. The venerable and pious John of Avila gives this advice in the following words: “I have particularly seen much profit received through her means, by persons molested with temptations of the flesh, who recited some prayer in memory of her spotless conception, and of that virginal purity with which she conceived the Son of God.” 5
    The Immaculate Conception of the holy Mother of God was not only in itself a great and glorious mystery, but likewise joyful to mankind. Certain glimmerings of the benefit of our redemption had gone before from the fall of Adam in several revelations, types, and figures; in which the distant prospect of this wonderful mercy filled the patriarchs and other saints of the old law with comfort and holy joy. But the Conception of Mary displayed the first rays of its approaching light, and may be said to have been its rising morning, or the dawning of its day. 11 In this mystery she appeared pure and glorious, shining among the daughters of Adam as a lily among thorns. 12 To her from the moment of her Conception God said: Thou art all beautiful my love, and there is no spot in thee. 13 She was the enclosed garden, which the serpent could never enter; and the sealed fountain which he never defiled. 14 She was the Throne and the Tabernacle of the true Solomon, and the Ark of the Testament, to contain, not corruptible manna, but the Author of the incorruptible life of our souls. Saluting her with these epithets, in exultation and praise, let us sing with the church: “This is the Conception of the glorious Virgin Mary, of the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious of the house of David, whose life, by its brightness, illustrates all churches.” 6

    Note 1. Isa. xlix. 3.
    Note 2. Isa. xlix. 1.
    Note 3. See their suffrages enumerated by F. Francis Davenport, called in religion F. Fr. of St. Clare; and by Frassen, t. 8, p. 188.
    Note 4. The question concerning the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary had been agitated with great warmth in the university of Paris, when both the university and bishop, in 1387, condemned certain propositions of John de Montesano, a Dominican, in which this privilege was denied. The council of Basil, in 1439, (Sess. 36,) declared the belief of her Immaculate Conception to be conformable to the doctrine and devotion of the church, to the Catholic faith, right reason, and the holy scriptures, and to be held by all Catholics. But this council was at that time a schismatical assembly, nor could its decree be of force. It was, nevertheless, received by a provincial council held at Avignon in 1457, and by the university of Paris. When some gave scandal by warmly contesting the Immaculate Conception, this famous university passed a decree in 1497, in which it was enacted, that no one should be admitted in it to the degree of doctor of divinity who did not bind himself by oath to defend this point. (See Spondan, Contin. Baron. ad an. 1497. Bulæus, Hist. Universit. Paris, t. 5, p. 815. Fleury, cont. t. 24, p. 336. Frassen, t. 8, p. 227.) The council of Trent declared, in the decree concerning original sin, that it was not its intention to include in it the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and ordered the decree of Sixtus IV. relating to this point to be observed. That pope, in 1476, granted certain indulgences to those who assisted at the office and mass on the feast of her Conception; and, in 1483, by another constitution, forbade any one to censure this festival, or to condemn the opinion which asserted the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception. St. Pius V. by his bull in 1570, forbade either the opinion which affirmed, or that which denied it, to be censured. Paul V. in 1616, reiterated the same prohibition, and, in 1617, forbade any one to affirm in sermons, theses, or other like public acts, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived in original sin. Gregory XV. in 1622, forbade any one to affirm this even in private disputations, except those to whom the holy see gives a special license to do it, which he granted to the Dominicans, provided they do it privately, and only among themselves: but he ordered, that in the office or mass of this festival no other title than simply that of the Conception should be used. Alexander VII., in 1671, declared that the devotion of honouring the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is pious; yet prohibits the censuring these who do not believe her Conception immaculate. Philip III. of Spain demanded of Paul V. and Philip IV. of Gregory XV. a definition of this question, but could obtain nothing more than the foregoing bulls. See Luke Wadding, (the learned Irish Franciscan, who lived some time in Spain, and died at Rome in 1655,) De legatione Philippi III. et Philippi IV. ad Paulum V. et Greg. XV. pro definiendâ Controversia de Conceptione Virginis. In the latest edition of the Roman Index, a certain little office of the Immaculate Conception is condemned; but this censure is not to be extended to other such little offices. In the prayers themselves it is called the Conception of the Immaculate Virgin, which phrase is ambiguous, and may be understood to imply only she was spotless from all actual sin, and was cleansed from original sin before she was born, in which all Catholics agree. Benedict XIII. granted to the subjects of Austria and the empire a weekly office of the Immaculate Conception on every Saturday; but the epithet Immaculate Conception occurs not in any of the prayers, but only in the title of the office. This prudent reserve of the church in her public prayers is a caution to her children, whilst they maintain this pious sentiment, not to exceed the bounds which she has prescribed them: though certain devotions are used in many parts, in which the Conception is called immaculate in the prayers themselves. It is the mystery of the Immaculation, or Sanctification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is the object of the devotion of the church on this festival, rather than her bare Conception; according to the remark of the ingenious author of Observations, Hist. et Crit. sur les Erreurs des Peintres, &c. anno 1771, t. 1, pp. 35, 36.
    Note 5. S. Aug. 1, de Nat. et Grat. c. 36, n. 42, p. 144.
    Note 6. Ephes. xi. 3.
    Note 7. Ps. l. 7.
    Note 8. Cant. vi. 9.
    Note 9. Ps. vii. 3.
    Note 10. Jer. ix.
    Note 11. St. Bernard reproves the canons of the church of Lyons, because, by their own private authority, they celebrated a festival of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, without consulting the Roman see. (ep. 174.) Long before that time this festival was kept with great devotion in the eastern churches; and was a holiday before the Emperor Emmanuel Comnenus enforced its observance, about the year 1150, (ap. Balsam, in nomocan Photii.) George, bishop of Nicomedia, in the reign of Heraclius, calls it a feast of ancient date. Baronius, Benedict XIV., &c. suppose, that in the West it was first instituted in England, by St. Anselm, about the year 1150. But St. Anselm’s letter on which this opinion is founded, seems not to be genuine. (See Lupus, ad Conc. Mogunt. sub Leone IX., t. 3, p. 497.) And Jos. Assemani demonstrates, from the marble calendar of Naples, engraved in the ninth age, that this feast was then kept in that city, and that the church of Naples was the first in the West which adopted it in imitation of the Orientals. Pope Sixtus IV., in 1483, commanded it to be kept a holiday. See Bened. XIV. De Festis B. Mariæ V., c. 15, p. 348. Jos. Assemani, in Calend. Univ. t. 5, p. 433, ad p. 462, and Mazocchius, In Vetus Marmoreum Neap. Calendarium.
    Note 12. Cant. xi. 2.
    Note 13. Ib. iv. 7.
    Note 14. Ib. iv. 12.

    Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XII: December.
    The Lives of the Saints. 1866. December 8.

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