And nature stood opposite, and natural intercourse at a distance, beholding with amazement The Lord...

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 And nature stood opposite, and natural intercourse at a distance, beholding with amazement The Lord...

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And nature stood opposite, and natural intercourse at a distance, beholding with amazement The Lord of nature, in a manner contrary to nature, or rather above nature, doing a miraculous work in the body; and by the very weapons by which the Devil strove against us, Christ also Saved us, taking to Himself our passible body in order that He might impart the greater Grace to the being who was deficient in it. And "where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound." (Romans 5:20) And appropriately was Grace sent to the holy Virgin. For this word also is contained in the Oracle of the evangelic history: "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house and lineage of David; and the virgin's name was Mary;" (Luke 1:26-27) and so forth. And this was the first month to the holy Virgin. Even as Scripture says in the book of the law: "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month among the months of the year to you." (Exodus 12:12) "Keep ye the feast of the holy Passover to The Lord in all your generations." it was also the sixth month to Zacharias. And rightly, then, did the holy Virgin prove to be of the family of David, and she had her home in Bethlehem, and was betrothed rightfully to Joseph, in accordance with the laws of relationship. And her espoused husband was her guardian, and possessor also of the untarnished incorruption which was hers. And the name given to the holy Virgin was one that became her exceedingly. For she was called Mary, and that, by interpretation, means Illumination. And what shines more brightly that the light of virginity? For this reason also the virtues are called virgins by those who strive rightly to get at their true nature. But if it is so great a blessing to have a virgin heart, how great a boon will it be to have the flesh that cherishes virginity along with the soul!

- St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, Second Homily On The Annunciation.

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