The Meaning of the Virgin Birth of Our Lord

The Meaning of the Virgin Birth of Our Lord

Editor writes…

As we approach Christmas, there will be a treat (NOT) in store for too many Catholics, when they hear fundamental errors preached in homilies by their priests.  One is the false belief that Our Lady suffered the physical pains of childbirth like any other woman, when giving birth to her Son, Our Lord, Jesus  Christ.

Pain in childbirth, however, was a result of Original Sin: “To Eve it was said: ‘In pain you shall bring forth children’ (Gen. 3:16).  Having just celebrated the beautiful Feast of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, marking the truth that she was conceived free from Original Sin, it should be clear to any thinking Catholic that she would be free, also, of the penalty for that sin – pain in childbirth.

Yet, all too often this truth is either contradicted or obscured by priests anxious to make Our Lady seem no different from any other woman. Other clergy may not go that far, but will speak of her giving birth in a physical way, as well as in a spiritual manner, without explaining the doctrine clearly, announcing that this birth was, as the Fathers of the Church believe, shrouded in mystery so that Mary could remain a virgin before, during and after bringing Christ into the world.

Some years ago, I was locked in written battle with a religious Sister in the letters page of the Scottish Catholic Observer on this topic, because I challenged Sister’s article portraying Our Lady in the “she gave birth just like any other woman, blood everywhere…” category. Nope. Wrong. In the end, we became friendly enough to meet for lunch occasionally, but I was never sure if those choking noises were due to the local cuisine or my “outdated” theology.

Read the brief extract from the Catechism of the Council of Trent below, and share your thoughts.

CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT…

“But as the Conception itself transcends the order of nature, so also the birth of our Lord presents to our contemplation nothing but what is divine.

“Besides, what is admirable beyond the power of thoughts or words to express, He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity, just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut; or, not to depart from every-day examples, just as the rays of the sun penetrate without breaking or injuring in the least the solid substance of glass, so after a like but more exalted manner did Jesus Christ come forth from His mother’s womb without injury to her maternal virginity.

“To Eve it was said: ‘In pain you shall bring forth children’ (Gen. 3:16). Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate, she brought forth Jesus the Son of God, without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain.” (“The Creed” Article III)  Source   And check out the Catholic Encyclopaedia Online on the topic.

Feel free to add any articles or short videos on this very important subject.

Comments (14)

  • westminsterfly Reply

    Oh yes, guaranteed. If you go to 99.9% of novus ordo churches you’ll hear that Our Lady gave birth to Our Lord in pain; that She was an unmarried mother; and that Her and St Joseph were refugees SOLELY for the reason of highlighting the ‘refugee’ crisis today (for ‘refugee’ read 99% economic migrants and military age muslim males). Yes, in novus-ordo land Christmas is always a time for the most outrageous blasphemies and excesses. I heard a few years back they did a production of ‘Disney’s The Lion King’ in my local novus ordo parish so that the children could ‘meaningfully participate’ in the Mass. I wasn’t there. Thank God.

    December 12, 2021 at 9:03 pm
    • Lily Reply

      Westminster Fly ,

      That’s been my experience, too. It’s really unbelievable. The clergy these days just haven’t been taught theology at all.

      Your story of Disney to prepare children to participate in Mass is just incredible. It won’t take these young people long to work out that they don’t need the Church – except they won’t actually be rejecting the Church, just some ignorant priest’s version of it.

      December 12, 2021 at 11:06 pm
      • westminsterfly

        Lily,
        I saw a video by the excellent priest Fr Isaac Mary Relyea – can’t remember if it was Fatima Network or YouTube, but he says that Disney films and merchandise are demonic and that parents should not let their children have any of it. I don’t know anything much about Disney, but I do know that they were among the first to champion the LGBT+ cause.

        December 13, 2021 at 9:46 am
      • Michaela

        Westminster Fly,

        I’m not sure about this, but I read or heard somewhere that in Hollywood a decision was made by one of the major film-makers to have someone take the name of Jesus Christ in vain, using it as an expletive at least once in every film. I wonder if that was Disney, but not sure.

        December 14, 2021 at 3:16 pm
    • editor Reply

      WF and Lily,

      If only these modernist clergy would realise that any A Level theology student worth his/her salt knows that they are showing pitiful ignorance – whatever they were doing in seminary (and I shudder to think) they were definitely not learning Catholic theology… of any kind.

      December 13, 2021 at 1:02 am
  • Catherine Reply

    A wonderful explanation. Thank you.

    December 12, 2021 at 9:20 pm
    • Lily Reply

      Catherine,

      I think so, too. It’s really very simple and clear, yet priests seem to think the laity are too thick to understand it. Either that or they actually don’t know the teaching themselves. I’m not sure which, probably a combination.

      December 12, 2021 at 11:08 pm
  • Athanasius Reply

    Editor

    There isn’t a lot to add to your excellent introduction, which was no more than established infallible Catholic doctrine.

    I’m pleased that Westminsterfly raised the other heresy we hear often around this time of year from clergy, which is that Our Lady was an unmarried mother. Not only does this claim betray woeful ignorance of theology, it demonstrates a dreadful absence of historical knowledge. In the days of Our Lady “Betrothal” was in every way a marriage contract. The only difference between betrothal and marriage was that the couple did not live together until the second ceremony was performed, even though they were legally and religiously joined together in betrothal.

    December 13, 2021 at 12:17 am
    • editor Reply

      Athanasius,

      You are correct about the other popular-at-Christmas-heresy – Our Lady/unwed mother – but hang fire, folks, because I’m preparing a separate thread on that topic. I find that these issues are arising more and more, so it’s important that we have a thread available to post when the topic(s) arise.

      Having said that, repetition is the mother of education so say whatever you wish – I’ll keep the “marriage” thread for posting a little closer to Christmas anyway.

      December 13, 2021 at 12:55 am
  • Michaela Reply

    This is a really useful thread. I’m horrified that there are Catholics, priests even, who stumble when explaining this teaching which they obviously are not sure how to explain. It’s really quite simple when thought about “theologically” – it’s only when people try to boil everything down to modern thinking that it becomes complicated.

    December 14, 2021 at 3:14 pm
    • editor Reply

      Michaela,

      Nail on head – it’s because people do NOT think like God, that they get confused and a confused clergyman leads to confused laity.

      St Irenaeus said that “Truth is always simple, it is error that is immense.”

      Game, set and match!

      December 14, 2021 at 7:19 pm
  • Chris McLaughlin Reply

    The Perpetual Virginity of our Blessed Mother is an idea much older than the Council of Trent. It is listed in the canons of the Second Council of Constantinople (553 AD) and was discussed in the proceedings of the councils of Chalcedon (451 AD) and Ephesus (431 AD).

    December 15, 2021 at 11:03 am
  • Athanasius Reply

    Chris

    Yes, like all later-defined dogmas of the faith the Immaculate Conception was always believed by the Church from the earliest times, which you have just demonstrated. Today is the Octave day of the Immaculate Conception, a day worthy of extra devotion to Our Lady.

    I would also like to request, of your charity, prayers for my late sister Mary whose 21st anniversary of death is today. She was very happy in life to have been born on May 1, the first day of Our lady’s month, and to be called Mary. It was therefore providential that she left this world on the Octave day of Our Lady’s Feast clothed in her brown scapular and comforted with the last rites of the Church.

    December 15, 2021 at 3:01 pm
  • editor Reply

    Athanasius,

    Spot on – as the Catholic Encyclopaedia Online details (it’s given as a source in the introduction), belief in the perpetual virginity of Our Lady was taught by the Church Fathers from the beginning. That’s why it’s best to post the Council of Trent and the Catholic Encyclopaedia as sources, because according to the Second Vatican Council nothing really happened before 1962, when the Holy Ghost descended upon us – and then some! 😀

    Be assured of my prayers, for what they are worth, for the repose of the soul of your sister, Mary. Condolences to you and your family, as well.

    December 15, 2021 at 4:08 pm

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