Monday, December 19, 2011
From a divine point of view, this is the season of birth rather than of conception. But as there is no birth without conception, I am allowing myself a small measure of divine poetic licence to reflect on the history of immaculate conceptions.
Roman Catholics are well familiar with the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Blessed Virgin, although even these catholics, like their separated brethern and probably the rest of the world, often confuse Mary's two claims to fame: her own Immaculate Conception, meaning that she was conceived without original sin, and so presumably never had a tempting thought in her life; and the Virgin Birth, where she delivered a son without ever having had sex.
While meditating on these matters, both of which I find dubious to say the least, it occurred to me that it must surely be inaccurate to refer to The Immaculate Conception. There cannot have been just one such event, unless Christ the man was conceived with original sin and that would surely be a theological turn up for the books.
So we should be meditating on the Immaculate Conceptions, should we not?
How then to explain Christ's temptation by the Devil, which he was supposed to have resisted as an example to us all. A charade? Can he have been really tempted if he was conceived immaculately.
Is it possible that an immaculately conceived mother and the Holy Ghost could have produced a son marked by original sin?
The mind boggles.
Surely a good start to a Christmas meditation.
Happy Christmas to all you original sinners out there.
And, while you are at it, see if you can think up a few more original sins. Repeat offences get boring and, at the end of the day, testify to a lack of a firm purpose of amendment and a consequent lack of forgiveness.