Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 25 March – The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Isaias 7:10-15, Luke 1:26-38 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Hail, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee,
blessed art thou amongst women!”
“And Mary said to the Angel:
How shall this be done
as I know not man?”
CHASTITY and HUMILITY
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
“VIRGINITY AND ABSOLUTE CHASTITY, is an angelic virtue but, although it belongs, more especially to Angels than to men, yet the purity of Our Lady infinitely surpassed that of the Angels, having three great perfections above theirs, even that of the Cherubim and Seraphim…that of the Angels is sterile and can produce no fruit.
On the contrary, that of our glorious Mistress was not only fruitful because she produced, for us, this sweet Fruit of Life, Our Lord and Master but, in the second place, she has begotten many virgins.
It is it in imitation of her, as we have said, that virgins have vowed their virginity …
But she was not only virgin par excellence above all others, Angels as well as men – she was also more humble than all others. This was manifest excellently on the day of the Annunciation.
She then made the greatest act of humility that was ever made, or ever will be made, by a pure creature; for seeing herself exalted by the Angel, who saluted her, saying she was full of grace and that she would conceive a Son Who would be both God and Man…Our Lady, being reassured by the Angel and having learned what God willed to do with her and in her, made this supreme act of humility, saying:
“I am the servant of the Lord.
Let it be done to me as you say.”
She saw herself raised to the highest dignity that ever was or will be, for although it should please God to create anew many worlds, He could never make a pure creature be greater than the Mother of God.
Our Lady humbled herself and acknowledged herself unworthy of being raised to the high dignity of Mother of God, therefore, she was made to be His Mother, for she had no sooner uttered the protestation of her littleness, than, having abandoned herself to Him, by an act of incomparable charity, she became the Mother of the Most High, Who is the Saviour of our souls!” (Sermon on 25 March 1621at a religious Profession).