I was talking with a friend tonight after another fairly Pelagian homily at our Cathedral. I think it must be because I was raised Protestant, or because I just like St. Augustine, but I absolutely despise these sermons that consist of "Try harder, if it isn't working, it's because you just aren't trying hard enough". It's a total contradiction to Galatians and all of Pauline theology.
I was thinking about what a "Catholic" way to combat this problem would be, as all my previous methods have been Augustinian or Pseudo-Protestant. But, then I remembered something Papa Benny said. The Immaculate Conception shows us not how great Mary was on her own, but how great God is in his grace. The whole reason Our Lady was the holiest of purely human creatures, was because God preserved her from original sin and constantly gave her the grace to avoid sin. Previous to the Immaculate Conception, it would be easy to say that Mary was sinless by her own cooperation and had to fight against her natural inclinations as a sinful human. BUT post-1854, that option is no longer open to us. Mary was holy because she said to God "let it be done to me" NOT "let me do". She was the passive object receiving the action, not the active doer. She was moved by grace, which enabled her to freely cooperate, she did not cooperate and thus merit grace. This is why I think if there were more devotion to the Immaculate Conception, there would be less Pelagianism.