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33. The Mode of Our Lord's Conception

1. St. Gregory (Moral. xviii) says: "As soonas the angel announced it, as soon as the Spirit came down, theWord was in the womb . . . was made flesh." The body assumedby the Word must be a body perfectly formed. Nor was it formedpreviously to the Annunciation and held in readiness to be assumed.It was formed and assumed in the same instant, the instant in whichMary assented to the divine Will, saying, "Be it done to meaccording to thy word." In that instant, "the Word wasmade flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).

2. At the very instant that Christ was conceived, therational and spiritual human soul animated his body.{-Recall St. Thomas's theory that the ordinaryprocess of conception puts the conceived matter through twopre-human stages, vegetal and sentient. This, he here asserts, wasnot the case in the conception of our Lord.-}

3. Our Lord's body was not first conceived andafterwards assumed by the Word of God. It began to exist at theprecise moment in which it was assumed.

4. Our Lord's conception, in its active producingprinciple, was entirely miraculous and supernatural.

"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."
St Louis Bertrand

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

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