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THE VIRGIN - the Whore of Babylon.

We must do all in our


power to alert those poor misguided souls of
this fatal flaw before they are totally seduced
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) began by the despairing reality of evil.
the period of Romanticism in English poetry.
The publication of Lyrical Ballads by
Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1798 was the Editor's Note: In Father Louis
most dramatic event in English literature since Campbell's sermon for the Double of the First
John Milton's Paradise Lost. Wordsworth's Class Feast of the Immaculate Conception, he
Tintern Abbey defined the nature of romantic extends great hope to the faithful few to hang
poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of in there - for in the end Mary's Immaculate
powerful feelings," which "takes its origin Heart will triumph! We have the Almighty's
from emotion recollected in tranquillity." The Word on this as Father documents from Sacred
following poem from his Ecclesiastical Scripture and Our Lady's promise at Fatima.
Sonnets is a tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Though we must go through the chastising
"tainted nature's solitary boast." purification as needs be - just as she cautioned
at La Salette and Fatima - so in future
The Virgin
generations the fruits of the efforts of the
Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost faithful remnant devoted to Jesus, His Blessed,
With the least shade of thought to sin Immaculate Mother, and His Mystical Bride -
allied; Holy Mother Church will yield a harvest no
Woman! above all women glorified, human mind can perceive. As finite beings our
Our tainted nature's solitary boast; efforts may not be realized on this fleeting
earth, but our legacy of loyalty will be forever
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
remembered and saluted in eternity. That
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak should be enough to motivate every soul to
strewn restore the purity of the spotless Bride of
With fancied roses, than the unblemished Christ.
moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue Today the Feast of the Immaculate
coast; Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I displaces the Second Sunday of Advent
ween, according to the Traditional Liturgical
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might Calendar. This is right and just, since Mary
bend, under the title of the Immaculate Conception is
As to a visible Power, in which did blend the holy Patroness of the United States of
America.
All that was mixed and reconciled in
Thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity, What God revealed to the Blessed
Virgin Mary spiritually, without words or
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!
concepts, at her Immaculate Conception, is
unimaginable. Mary advanced in grace from
"Our tainted nature's solitary boast" the moment of her conception through gifts
lavishly bestowed upon her by her Creator.
Mary herself testifies, "He Who is mighty has
There is one Woman we must cling to
done great things for me" (Lk.1:49).
without compromise. That is the Immaculate
Virgin Mother of God. Sadly many who follow
the worldly doctrines of the Vatican II church To the worldly mind, which has no
are being lured by another woman of Scripture understanding of spiritual things, this is

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nonsense. St. Paul says, "Wisdom… we speak resisted unto blood in the struggle with sin.
among those who are mature, yet not a And you have forgotten the exhortation that is
wisdom of this world nor of the rulers of this addressed to you as sons, saying, 'My son,
world, who are passing away… But the neglect not the discipline of the Lord, neither
sensual man does not perceive the things that be thou weary when thou art rebuked by Him.
are of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to For whom the Lord loves, He chastises; and
him and he cannot understand, because it is He scourges every son whom He receives'…"
examined spiritually" (1Cor.6,14). Still, one of (Heb.12:4-6).
the great English Romantic poets, William
Wordsworth, referred to Mary as "Our tainted
We must say to that harlot: "I will not
nature's solitary boast."
drink of your wine!" As guests at the Marriage
Feast of the Lamb we have something far
This great feast challenges us to reject better - the Holy Eucharist. "O Sacrum
sin and strive for holiness, since Mary is the Convivium in quo Christus sumitur…," says
image of the Church, which is to become the St. Thomas Aquinas, "O Holy Banquet in
holy and spotless Bride of Christ. The Church which Christ is received, the memory of His
will be purified through these present trials, Passion is recalled, the mind is filled with
which are special graces given to renew the grace, and there is given to us a pledge of
Church in the image of the Immaculate Virgin future glory."
Mary, Mother of the Church.
The Lord has given us an incomparable
We must strive to live without sin, teacher and model of holiness in Mary. Her
keeping ourselves "unspotted from this world" Immaculate Heart, like a new ark, will carry us
(Jas.1:27). The Church's purification is our above the deluge of impurity Our Lady spoke
purification. And the instrument of that of at Fatima. Better times lie ahead for the
purification, without his intending it, is the Church through Mary's intercession. The
devil himself. "Woe to the earth," says the Venerable Mary of Agreda in her Mystical
Apocalypse, "because the devil has gone down City of God speaks of Mary's power in the last
to you in great wrath, knowing that he has but times:
a short time" (Apoc.12:12). His consort on
earth is the Great Harlot, the Scarlet Woman of
"It was revealed to me that through
the Apocalypse, of whom it is said: "…the
the intercession of the Mother of God, all
inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with
heresies will disappear. This victory over
the wine of her immorality" (Apoc.17:2). The
heresies has been reserved by Christ for His
harlot, called the great city of Babylon, we
Blessed Mother. In the last times the Lord will
may understand as the unbelieving world and
especially spread the renown of His Mother:
the apostate church, which loves the world
Mary began salvation and by Her intercession
more than the Lord Jesus Christ. She is the
it will be concluded. Before the Second
evil counterpart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Coming of Christ, Mary must, more than ever,
and of the purified Church, the Bride of Christ.
shine in mercy, might and grace in order to
We are warned against her by a voice from
bring unbelievers into the Catholic faith. The
Heaven: "Go out from her, my people, that you
powers of Mary in the last times over the
may not share in her sins, and that you may
demons will be very conspicuous. Mary will
not receive of her plagues. For her sins have
extend the Reign of Christ over the heathens
reached even to heaven, and the Lord has
and Mohammedans, and it will be a time of
remembered her iniquities" (Apoc.8:4,5).
great joy when Mary, as Mistress and Queen
of Hearts, is enthroned."
St. Paul admonishes us to accept our
sufferings with courage: "For you have not yet

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How about that! Those who are * implicitly found in the Fathers of the
planning "Gulf War II" and boasting of Church in the parallelism between Eve and
military might are not to be the victors. The Mary (Irenaeus, Lyons, 140? - 202?);
victory over the Muslim world will take place * Found in the more general terms
through the awesome spiritual power of the about Mary: "holy", "innocent", "most pure",
Blessed Virgin Mary. Not for nothing did she "intact", "immaculate" (Irenaeus, Lyons, 140?-
choose to appear in the tiny Portuguese village 202?; Ephraem, Syria, 306-373; Ambrose,
of Fatima in 1917. The present interest of the Milan, 373-397);
Muslims in the Fatima Shrine is without doubt
* Explicit language: Mary - free from
a part of her brilliant plan for their conversion,
original sin (Augustine, Hippo, 395-430 to
seeing that the daughter of Mohammed was
Anselm, Normandy, 1033-1109);
named Fatima.

Eastern Church:
"Who is this that comes forth like the
dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent
as the sun, as awe-inspiring as bannered * celebrated a Feast of the Conception
troops?" (Cant.6:10). It is indeed the Holy and of Mary in the 8th to the 9th Century;
Immaculate Virgin Mary. Strengthened by her
powerful prayers and motherly assistance, we Western Church:
will one day see what we may call the
Immaculate Conception of the Church. With
the poet we address her: * celebrated a Feast of the Conception
of Mary in the 12th Century;
* A record of the feast in the 11th
Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
Century in Great Britain; in the 12th Century
With the least shade of thought in Normandy;
to sin allied; * Record in many churches of a Feast
Woman! above all women glorified, of the Conception of Mary in France,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast… Germany, Italy and Spain in the 12th Century
William Wordsworth (Bernard, Clairvaux, 1090-1153);

Father Louis J. Campbell 14th Century:

* was noted for the opposition to the


Immaculate Conception from some of the
The Immaculate Conception of Mary
great doctors of scholasticism. The celebration
of the feast was not denied though. The
by Dr. Robert Schihl difficulty arose from the meaning of the
universal redemption through Christ.
The constant faith (tradition: paradosis)
of the Church attests to the belief in the special 15th Century:
preparation of the holiness of the person of
Mary to bear in her body the most holy person
* Franciscan theologians solved the
of the Son of God.
difficulty--Christ, the most perfect mediator,
preserved Mary from original sin by an
Church Fathers: equally perfect act of healing. Duns Scotus
(Scotland, 1266-1308) explained that the

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Immaculate Conception came through God's
application of the grace of Christ beforehand.

From 15th Century:

* the Feast was universally celebrated;


and Christian piety introduced an oath to
defend the belief in the Immaculate
Conception to be taken not only by Religious,
but also by non-Religious and at the
Universities (e.g., Paris, 1497; Cologne, 1499;
Vienna, 1501, etc.)

1854, Pope Pius IX, infallibly defined, ex


cathedra:

* "The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first


instant of her conception, by a singular grace
and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of
the foreseen merits of Jesus Christ, the saviour
of the human race, was preserved free from all
stain of original sin."

Excerpted and abridged from Chap. 7 of


A Biblical Apologetic of the Catholic Faith, by
Dr. Robert Schihl, Professor at Regent
University. It appears here for personal use
only and may not be reproduced for any other
use without permission of the author. The
complete text may be downloaded from
EWTN's Apologetics library as
APOLOGIA.ZIP.

If you find this Biblical Apologetic of use


please send your thanks to:

Dr. Robert J. Schihl


Regent University
Professor, School of Radio, Television
and Film
College of Communications and the Arts
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23464-9800