The Immaculata vs. the Philosophies of Pride
Pope John Paul II once observed that: “Original sin attempts... to abolish fatherhood... leaving man only with a sense of the master/slave relationship.”
In all the 19th Century Philosophies of Pride ranging from Marx to Nietzsche to Freud to Darwin were founded on the denial of God as Father, and the consequent perception of God as Master, giving us only the choice to be slave or rebel. Consequently, they inevitably taught that the human person
Conclusion: Since nature is all there is, and humans dominate nature by virtue of natural selection, humans can be said to be the "face" of nature and the most successful humans should, by any means necessary, take their place as the only gods there will ever be, knowing the difference between good and evil.
If that sounds like the temptation of Eve, it’s because it is. And so, right in the middle of this 19th Century intellectual assault, the Holy Spirit did a providential thing: He prompted the Church to formally proclaim the Immaculate Conception and hold up for us the image of the most profoundly redeemed human person in the entire universe: Mary, the Second Eve. For the Philosophies of Pride lie that the first word about the dignity and origin of the human person is Chaos, that the story is nothing but one endless power struggle, and that the final word is Death. But the Immaculate Conception means that the first word about the human creature is the Word Who became flesh, that the story is Love and the final word is Glory.
For by Mary’s creaturely humility and God's subsequent exaltation of her through the grace of Christ, she gives the lie to every proposition upon which the Philosophies of Pride were founded and reminds us again that salvation is found not by saying with Shelley's hero Satan "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven" but by saying "Let it be unto me according to your word."
Because Mary is the icon of the Church and highest of God's creatures (yet not herself divine), she gives the lie, in her very person, to the Philosophies of Pride and their promise of liberation through rebellion by showing that
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Copyright 2007 - Mark P. Shea