"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Annunciation of the Lord

In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of the Annunciation of the Lord (Luke 1:26-38), when the angel Gabriel delivered the message to the virgin Mary at Nazareth, and she replied "be it done to me according to your word", and she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Today we celebrate Christ taking on our human nature.

Since this feast has to do with the virgin Mary, it seems like an appropriate time to offer some aid in understanding the Church's Marian dogmas. In January I mentioned that the Marian dogmas are one of the stumbling blocks to unity. Br. Jim Brent O.P., Ph.D., a friend whose dissertation defense I attended recently, wrote a very accessible paper explaining the basis for the Marian dogmas. That paper can be found here.

Regarding the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, I addressed a related question last year regarding the perpetual virginity of Mary here. And Dr. Pitre recently offered some thoughts on this particular doctrine here in relation to chapter 30 of the book of Numbers. The encyclical Sacra Virginitas is also helpful in coming to understand the Church's general conception of consecrated virginity.

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