Original sin destroyed for ever that particular state of justice in which God had created and placed Adam and Eve. Henceforth we are born in a state of original sin from which Baptism delivers us by establishing us in a state of grace.
But Mary was created as in an order apart, outside the state of original justice of Adam and Eve, and outside the state of original sin, transmitted to all men by birth. She was formed in exemption and exception: in exemption from original sin and its consequences, so that all the gifts that she received in the privilege of her Immaculate Conception are gratuitous gifts, whose final cause was her divine Maternity; in exception, because only she was, from the beginnings, withdrawn from Adam’s sin and its consequences.
Mary was to be the Mother of the Son of God. So the first grace that she received at the moment of her conception in the womb of S. Anne, was a gratuitous grace of preservation. Original sin marks with its malice every human soul and the body itself partakes of it. The God of all holiness could not be born of a woman who was not blameless.
And this is why He made an exception to the common law in favor of His Chosen One. He turned aside from her, at the very moment of her birth, the muddy stream of our primal fault. Her Conception was immaculate. This immaculate conception is then the primal, essential and preliminary condition of her Maternity. This final reason would suffice to establish the privilege.
(To be continued.)