Meditation on the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception

One can also say that the incarnated human being is the product of two heredities—horizontal heredity and vertical heredity, the latter being the imprint of the individuality form above and the former being the imprint of the ancestors here below. This seeks to express that he is the product of two imitations—horizontal and vertical, i.e., that in order to become what he is he owes it to imitation of his ancestors from the past and to that of himself above. In the last analysis, therefore, it is a matter on the one hand of horizontal heredity going back to the archetype or terrestrial heredity, i.e. Adam, and on the other hand of vertical heredity rising up to the Father who is heaven, i.e. God. This is why it is so important to allow light from the dogma of the immaculate conception to convince us of its truth, for what is at stake is the line of vertical heredity—“God-man heredity”. ~ Valentin Tomberg

The Father gave her his Son, the Son came down into her virginal womb to become her child; in her the Holy Spirit miraculously fashioned the body of Jesus and made her soul his own dwelling place, penetrating her whole being such an ineffable manner that the expression “Spouse of the Holy Spirit” is far from adequate to express the life of the Spirit in her and through her. In Jesus there are two natures, divine and human, but one single Person who is God; here on the contrary we have two natures and two persons, the Holy Spirit and the Immaculata, but united in a union that defies all human expression. ~ St Maximilian Kolbe

For the Word generated by the Father is understood by the one in whom it is received perfectly – by that person who is the Immaculate Conception. ~ St Maximilian Kolbe

By the power of the Holy Spirit the Word became incarnate from the Virgin Mary. ~ Nicene Creed

Just as Eve was the genetic equivalent to Adam, apart from the X chromosome, so likewise is the New Adam the genetic equivalent to the New Eve. In our time, given our knowledge of biology and genetics, the possibility of a virginal conception is no longer inconceivable.

So Jesus, the New Adam, is the genetic image of his Mother, Mary, the New Eve. Moreover, while the body of Jesus was in Mary’s womb, her soul was, in Kolbe’s words, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. As we saw in Letter II on the High Priestess, the Holy Spirit can be reflected only in the completely unperturbed soul, a soul protected from sin. That is Mary, who understood the Spirit perfectly.

As Tomberg points out, we are under the law of horizontal heredity, in imitation of his ancestors, going back to Adam. This prepares the biological and social environment in which the individuality can incarnate. Hence, Jesus appears at a specific time and place, to the mother prepared to receive him.

While Mary was “full of grace” from the beginning, we are likewise called to be full of grace; this is theosis. The is confirmed in Mary as the Queen of Heaven. For us, it is something to be achieved. For that she is our model.

Jesus has two natures, divine and human, in one Person. We, through theosis, can have a divine as well as a human nature. However, we retain our own Person, so this union of the human with the divine requires two persons. By purifying our own soul, the Holy Spirit can become better and better reflected in our own consciousness. Then the Logos is born in us, too, and we put on our true Self:

And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered
himself for me. ~ Galations 2:20

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