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"In Luke 1:34, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, she asked the question, literally translated from the Greek, “How shall this be, since I know not man?” This question makes no sense unless Mary had a vow of virginity.

When we consider Mary and Joseph were already “espoused,” according to verse 27 of this same chapter, we understand Mary and Joseph to then have had what would be akin to a ratified marriage in the New Covenant. nanoxia deep silence 2 review They were married! That would mean St. Joseph would have had the right to the marriage bed at that point. Normally, after the espousal the husband would prepare a home for his new bride and then come and receive her into his home where the union would be consummated.


This is precisely why St. Joseph intended to “divorce her quietly” (Matt. 1:19) when he discovered she was pregnant.

This background is significant, because a newly married woman would not ask the question, “How shall this be?” She would know! Unless, of course, that woman had a vow of virginity! Mary believed the message but wanted to know how this was going to be accomplished. This indicates she was not planning on the normal course of events for her future with St. Joseph."

St Augustine does not see in this resolution the fulfilment of a divine precept, but a vow freely taken. In this way it was possible to present Mary as an example to "holy virgins" throughout the Church’s history. anxiety self assessment pdf Mary "dedicated her virginity to God when she did not yet know whom she would conceive, so that the imitation of heavenly life in the earthly, mortal body would come about through a vow, not a precept, through a choice of love and not through the need to serve" (De Sancta Virg., IV, PL 40:398).

In stressing the spontaneity of Mary’s decision, we must not forget that God’s initiative is at the root of every vocation. By choosing the life of virginity, the young girl of Nazareth was responding to an interior call, that is, to an inspiration of the Holy Spirit that enlightened her about the meaning and value of the virginal gift of herself. anoxia adalah No one can accept this gift without feeling called or without receiving from the Holy Spirit the necessary light and strength.

Although St Augustine uses the word "vow" to show those he calls "holy virgins" the first example of their state of life, the Gospel does not testify that Mary had expressly made a vow, which is the form of consecration and offering of one’s life to God which has been in use since the early centuries of the Church. From the Gospel we learn that Mary made a personal decision to remain a virgin, offering her heart to the Lord. She wants to be his faithful bride, fulfilling her vocation as the "daughter of Zion". By her decision however she becomes the archetype of all those in the Church who have chosen to serve the Lord with an undivided heart in virginity.

Neither the Gospels nor any other New Testament writings tell us when Mary made the decision to remain a virgin. However it is clearly apparent from her question to the angel at the time of the Annunciation that she had come to a very firm decision. Mary does not hesitate to express her desire to preserve her virginity even in view of the proposed motherhood, showing that her intention had matured over a long period.

Indeed, Mary’s choice of virginity was not made in the unforeseeable prospect of becoming the Mother of God, but developed in her consciousness before the Annunciation. cerebral anoxia symptoms We can suppose that this inclination was always present in her heart: the grace which prepared her for virginal motherhood certainly influenced the whole growth of her personality, while the Holy Spirit did not fail to inspire in her, from her earliest years, the desire for total union with God.

The marvels God still works today in the hearts and lives of so many young people were first realized in Mary’s soul. Even in our world, so distracted by the attractions of a frequently superficial and consumerist culture, many adolescents accept the invitation that comes from Mary’s example and consecrate their youth to the Lord and to the service of their brothers and sisters.

This decision is the choice of greater values, rather than the renunciation of human values. In this regard, in his Apostolic Exhortation Marialis cultus my venerable predecessor Paul VI emphasizes how anyone who looks at the witness of the Gospel with an open mind "will appreciate that Mary’s choice of the state of virginity … was not a rejection of any of the values of the married state but a courageous choice which she made in order to consecrate herself totally to the love of God" (n. 37).

In short, the choice of the virginal state is motivated by full adherence to Christ. This is particularly obvious in Mary. anxiety attack treatment Although before the Annunciation she is not conscious of it, the Holy Spirit inspires her virginal consecration in view of Christ: she remains a virgin to welcome the Messiah and Saviour with her whole being. The virginity begun in Mary thus reveals its own Christocentric dimension, essential also for virginity lived in the Church, which finds its sublime model in the Mother of Christ. If her personal virginity, linked to the divine motherhood, remains an exceptional fact, it gives light and meaning to every gift of virginity.

How many young women in the Church’s history, as they contemplate the nobility and beauty of the virginal heart of the Lord’s Mother, have felt encouraged to respond generously to God’s call by embracing the ideal of virginity! "Precisely such virginity", as I recalled in the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, "after the example of the Virgin of Nazareth, is the source of a special spiritual fruitfulness: it is the source of motherhood in the Holy Spirit" (n. 43).

Mary’s virginal life inspires in the entire Christian people esteem for the gift of virginity and the desire that it should increase in the Church as a sign of God’s primacy over all reality and as a prophetic anticipation of the life to come. Together let us thank the Lord for those who still today generously consecrate their lives in virginity to the service of the kingdom of God.

At the same time, while in various regions evangelized long ago hedonism and consumerism seem to dissuade many young people from embracing the consecrated life, we must incessantly ask God through Mary’s intercession for a new flowering of religious vocations. Thus the face of Christ’s Mother, reflected in the many virgins who strive to follow the divine Master, will continue to be the sign of God’s mercy and tenderness for humanity."