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.

"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"The name of Jesus, pronounced with reverence and affection, has a kind of power to soften the heart. "
St Philip Neri

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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