Question: Was Mary born with original sin?
Catholics hold the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born without original sin. This belief is referred to as the Immaculate Conception. The concept of the Immaculate Conception goes back to the early Church Fathers, but it was not officially defined by the Church until 1854.
Since God created the earth, marriage has been a part of His divine plan. Though the relationship between man and woman (and, therefore, marriage) was damaged by original sin, Jesus repaired this relationship and raised marriage to a sacrament. The Church recognizes marriage as a sacred institution that is not merely a personal decision, but a vocation.
Many years ago, I used to play pickup basketball with a group of people I had met over the years. We would get together every Friday during lunch break and play at a local YMCA. The players were of all different talent levels, different ages, and from various backgrounds. I always looked forward to playing not only for the game, but also because of the relationships I had formed with the other players.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised to send us another Advocate. That Advocate is the Holy Spirit, which descended on the disciples at Pentecost and is sealed in each one of us at our Confirmation. The Holy Spirit does not give us magical powers or compel us to act in certain ways against our will. However, the Spirit does give us gifts that we can accept and nurture as we try to become more like Christ.
St. Joseph has long been seen as a role model for husbands and fathers. This is surprising for some people to learn. After all, Jesus’ true father is God the Father, and Joseph served as His foster father during His earthly ministry. Yet, despite Joseph’s unconventional fatherhood, this holy man proved to be the best role model that husbands and fathers could ask for.