I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name.
--Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is a doctrine that continually mystifies me. Each year as December 8th rolls around, I annually struggle to understand what exactly is so significant here that elevates this feast to a holy day of obligation. The meditations of last year never seem to have borne discoveries that adequately satisfy my questioning. What is so important that it merits mandatory Mass attendance? Why is this doctrine one that Pope Pius IX felt infallibly imperative to declare solemnly a dogma in 1854?
Read the rest of my Immaculate Conception reflections here. I think today has quickly become one of my favorite feast days, because it is one I understand the least.