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Saturday, September 10, 2011
St. Ambrose on the Blessed Virgin Mary
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The first thing that inspires enthusiasm in learning is the greatness of the teacher. Who is greater than the Mother of God? Who is more glorious than the one whom Glory itself chose? Who is more chaste than the one who bore a body without contact with another body?

For why should I mention her other virtues? She was a virgin not only in body but also in mind. No guile stained her sincerity. She was humble in heart, serious in speech, prudent in mind, sparing of words, studious in reading. She put her hope not in riches but in the prayer of the poor. There was nothing gloomy in her eyes, nothing forward in her words, nothing undignified in her acts. There was not a foolish movement, not an unrestrained step. She was never irritable.

In this way her outward appearance itself became the image of her soul, the representation of what is approved. We ought to be able to recognize a well-ordered house on the very threshold: it should show at the very first entrance that there is no darkness hidden inside it. In the same way our soul, hindered by no bodily restraints, should shine forth like a lamp placed inside.

Source: St. Ambrose, Three Books on Virgins

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