Choose a topic from Part 3a:

29. The Espousals of Mary

1. Scripture says (Luke 1:27) that the angel Gabriel wassent to "a virgin espoused to a man named Joseph." It issuitable that Christ was born of an espoused virgin, and this forhis own sake, for Mary's sake, and for our sake. (a) Forhis own sake: lest he be thought illegitimate; so that hisgenealogy might be traced through a male line; so that, as anewborn child, he might have a proper protector; so that hismiraculous birth might be hidden from the devil. (b) ForMary's sake: lest she be stoned as an adulteress; lest shebe subjected to ill fame; so that she might have the loving andholy aid of St. Joseph. (c) For our sake: because St.Joseph bears witness to us that Christ is born of a virgin; becauseMary's claim to virginity is at once rendered credible (for, ifshe were unespoused, it might seem that her claim was to coversin); because Mary typifies the virginal Church which is espousedto Christ.

2. The espousals of Mary and Joseph constituted a truemarriage. The essence of a marriage is an inseparable union ofsouls, even if this union is never brought to carnal use orfruitfulness. Scripture calls St. Joseph the husband of Mary, andcalls Mary the wife of Joseph (Matt. 1:19, 20). Therefore, Mary andJoseph were truly man and wife; they were truly married.

"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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