Monday, March 31, 2008
Feast of the Annunciation
(Sinai, 12th c.)
"This greeting ["Hail, full of grace"] was reserved for Mary alone."
(Origen, Homilies on the the Gospel of Luke 6.7, ACCS, 14)
"Truly full of grace was she to whom it was granted to give birth to Jesus Christ, the very one through whom grace and truth came."
(Bede, Homilies on the Gospels 1.3, ACCS, 13)
"Would you like to know how he is born of a virgin and, after his nativity, the mother is still a virgin? 'The doors were closed, and Jesus entered' . . . He who entered through the closed doors was neither a ghost nor a spirit."
(Jerome, Homily 87, ACCS, 13)
"Learn of character from the Virgin. Learn of modesty from the Virgin. Learn of prophecy from the Virgin. Learn in the mystery."
(Ambrose, Exposition of the Gospel of Luke 2:8, ACCS, 15)
"Wonder! God is come among humanity; he who cannot be contained is contained in a womb; the timeless enters time, and great mystery; his conception is without seed, his emptying past retelling! So great is this mystery!"
(John the Monk, Stichera of Annunciation, ACCS, 17)
"Where the Spirit is begetting, and a virgin giving birth, everything carried on is divine; nothing of it is merely human."
(Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 57, ACCS 18)
"Because death made its entrance through a woman, it was fitting that life return through a woman."
(Bede, Homilies on the Gospels 1.3, ACCS, 15)
"As the human race was subjected to death through the act of a virgin, so was it saved by a virgin was precisely balanced by the obedience of another. Then indeed the sin of the first formed man was amended by the chastisement of the First Begotten, the wisdom of the serpent was conquered by the simplicity of the dove, and the chains were broken by which we were in bondage to death."
(Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.19-20, ACCS, 19-20)
"Each one is a partaker of this spiritual origin in regeneration. To every one, when he is reborn, the water of baptism is like the Virgin's womb, for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing."
(Leo the Great, Sermon 24.3, ACCS, 18)
"The archangel Gabriel answered, 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you.' And now you ask how the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine and water the blood of Christ. And I tell you that the Holy Ghost comes down and works these things which are beyond description and understanding."
(John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith 4.13, ACCS, 19)
"Fittingly is she espoused, but virgin, because she prefigures the church which is undefiled yet wed."
(Ambrose, Exposition of the Gospel of Luke 2.6-7, ACCS, 14)