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32. The Conception of Christ

1. The whole Trinity effected the conception of ourLord's body. But in a special way the conception is attributedto the Holy Ghost. For Christ came because of God's great lovefor mankind. Scripture says (John 3:16): "God so loved theworld as to give his only-begotten son." Hence, it is rightthat the conception of our Lord should be attributed to the Spiritof Love, that is, God the Holy Ghost.

2. We rightly say that Christ was conceived of the HolyGhost. This suggests that the Holy Ghost is the active principle ofthe conceiving, and also that the One conceived is consubstantialwith its active principle.

3. However, it is not right to say that the Holy Ghost isthe father of Christ. St. Augustine (Enchir. xl) says,"Christ was born of the Holy Ghost, not as a son; he was bornof Mary as a son." In his eternal personality, Christ is theSon of God by the eternal generation of the Father. He, therefore,is eternally the Son of God; he was not made the Son of God bybecoming man under the active power of the Holy Ghost.

4. In the conceiving of Christ, the Blessed Mother had noactive part to play beyond cooperating by giving consent thatGod's willshould be accomplished in her. And Mary didcooperate in God's will and work: "Be it done to me,"she said to the angelic messenger, "according to thyword."

"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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