Joseph Ratzinger: The Mystery of the Annunciation is the Mystery of Grace

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Detail from "Virgin Mary Annunciate" (1431-33) by Fra Angelico []

Selections from two works by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

CWR Staff, March 25, 2023 

From Dogma und Verkundigung, quoted in Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year (Ignatius Press, 1992):

The mystery of the annunciation to Mary is not just a mystery of silence. It is above and beyond all that a mystery of grace.

We feel compelled to ask ourselves: Why did Christ really want to be born of a virgin? It was certainly possible for him to have been born of a normal marriage. That would not have affected his divine Sonship, which was not dependent on his virgin birth and could equally well have been combined with another kind of birth. There is no question here of a downgrading of marriage or of the marriage relationship; nor is it a question of better safeguarding the divine Sonship. Why then?

We find the answer when we open the Old Testament and see that the mystery of Mary is prepared for at every important stage in salvation history.  …

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