Today begins the “Novena to the Immaculate Conception for Alcoholics.” For information regarding the Church’s teaching of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, see this link from the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
There is also this excerpt from an earlier blogpost of mine:
…Such a vessel has to be free of all stain of sin, hence the angel’s greeting to her with the phrase “Hail, Mary, full of grace” (or “Hail, Highly Favored One” in some translations.) Mary was preserved from Original Sin by the anticipated merits of Jesus’ eventual death and Resurrection. This is the Catholic Dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. If she had Original Sin, then Jesus, by being in her womb and sharing her body and blood, would have shared in her Sin, which is impossible as God is sinless. One could argue then that why couldn’t Jesus have been conceived immaculately? He could have, but the difficulty in that would be that He still would be in Mary’s womb, and what would be the barrier between Him and Original Sin? His own sacrifice on the cross, decades later? He is divine and sinless, so His own death was not for Himself, He died for humanity. So Mary, by sharing her body and blood with Jesus in her womb, would benefit from the eventual sacrifice of Jesus. Mary is the physical barrier between Jesus and her ancestral line, caught in Original Sin like the rest of humanity. The physical barrier protecting Mary from her mother’s state of Original Sin was Jesus, operating from the fullness of time, as God dwells in Eternity.
I believe it was done in this manner to signify the importance of the sacrament of Baptism. Original Sin is washed away by Baptism, which is the sacrament signified by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. By His Blood we are redeemed of Original Sin and born into the Body of Christ (Christianity). Baptism enables us to receive the Holy Spirit. Mary could not have conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit if she was trapped in Original Sin. If she could have, then there would be little rationale for Baptism. Baptism is so important in our being born into the Body of Christ (well, it’s the only way to accomplish that) that this rather confusing and impossible to fully comprehend method occurred. Her “baptism”, so to speak, was Jesus’ eventual shedding of His Blood during His torture and Crucifixion. Through it, she was preserved from inheriting Original Sin. If Jesus was conceived immaculately, solely by God the Father’s will, then there would be no real need for Baptism. It would be purely symbolic, as the Father could make us into his own by use of His own will…Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"