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27. Our Lady's Sanctification

1. The Blessed Virgin was sanctified before her birth. Shewho was to be the Mother of God was privileged above all others,and we know from the angel's salutation (Luke 1:28) that shewas "full of grace." Scripture testifies that bothJeremias and St. John the Baptist were sanctified before theirbirth; Mary's place was higher than theirs in God's economyof redemption, and her privileges, therefore, cannot have been lessthan theirs. Therefore, Mary was sanctified before her birth.{-Mary was sanctified not only before her birth, butfrom the very beginning of her existence; she was preservedimmaculate by God's gift and grace, and thereby sanctified,from the first moment of her conception in the womb of her mother.St. John and Jeremias had original sin removed from them beforetheir birth; Mary never had the original sin at all; it was notremoved from her; she was preserved from its taint.-}

2. The Blessed Virgin was sanctified when her spiritualsoul had animated her body. {-See note above. Seealso the note at the beginning of this treatise.-}

3. There is, as we have seen, a readiness in fallen humannature, a kind of flammability of the flesh by which a movement ofsense-appetency is almost at once a strong and driving desire. Thisis called the forties of sin. It is not sinful in itself,but, if unresisted, it sweeps a man on to sin. Now, in thesanctified (and immaculate) Mother of God, there was nofomes. This defect and blemish of fallen nature had noplace in one of her high dignity and stainless birth (andconception).

4. The Blessed Virgin was, by her sanctification, fittedfor the most exalted office of Mother of God. There was no sin inher, either original or actual, either mortal or venial. In her isfulfilled the prophecy (Cant. 4:7): "Thou are all fair, O mylove, and there is not a spot in thee."

5. By her sanctification, the Blessed Mother received thefullness of grace; for Mary was nearest of all to Christ throughwhom all grace comes. Hence, her fullness of grace was greater thanthat of any other receiver.

6. It is fitting that the Blessed Mother should besanctified from the first. As noted above, Jeremias and St. Johnthe Baptist were sanctified before their birth. Of Jeremias it iswritten (Jer. 1:5): "Before thou camest forth out of the womb,I sanctified thee." And of St. John the Baptist scripture says(Luke 1:15): "He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, evenfrom his mother's womb."

"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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