THE FIRST EPISTLE OF S. PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS. CHAPTER II.
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory.
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew ; for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.
The Apostle seems to imply here what was said by S. Ignatius the Martyr in his Epistles to the Philippians and Ephesians, viz., that the Virginity of Mary was concealed from the devil. [See supra, Introd. Chap. iii. p. 63.] If the demons (the princes of this world) had known Mary's virginity, they would have recognised the mystery of our Lord's Divinity, and then, far from exciting the Jews to the fury they exercised against Him, they would rather have dissuaded them from crucifying Him, in order thus to hinder the redemption of the world.
9 But, as it is written : That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But to us God hath revealed them, by his Spirit. For the spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things also that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God; that we may know the things that are given us from God.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him ? But we have the mind of Christ.
" What mind, then, can understand, what tongue, I do not say, tell forth and describe, but even barely mention, what things God hath prepared for this glorious Virgin ] Who of mortals can justly appraise the weight, number, and measure of good things wherewith that same God hath adorned her who gave Him birth, and her breasts to suck ; who nursed and nourished Him, and, holding more than the handmaid's place, ministered to all His needs, serving Him with so great affection and zeal ? She enjoys all that glory and beatitude which can possibly be imagined, or is worthy to be desired, after God. She is more holy than all the Saints, and more blessed than even the most blessed. It is not possible to find grace equal to her grace, nor glory equal to her glory." [Alexius a Salo.]
Of whom could it be said so truly, and in the same degree, as of Mary, that she had received the Spirit that is of God ? She, whom the Holy Ghost overshadowed, in whom He wrought the mystery of the Incarnation of the Divine Word ; with whom the Angel proclaimed that God was united, Dominus tecum; and on whom the Holy Spirit was poured at Pentecost. Greater things were given from God to Mary than even to the Apostles : she had, therefore, more of the Spirit of God to know them. Who as Mary had the mind of Christ, living as she did in close converse with Him alone for thirty years ? [All this chapter serves to explain the Magnificat. See S. Bernard, De diligendo Deo, Cap. 2.]