"Our Lady is the culmination of that long process of selection, of choosing here and rejecting there a human instrument suited to his purpose. which is so characteristic of God's dealings with his ancient people...God's grace and man's free will corresponding with it--that ancient mystery is illustrated at every turn of the Old Testament story, until at last we turn over the page into the New Testament and find its ideal illustration in the life of our Lady herself...She is the culmination of all that process; for in her human nature reached to its highest dignity, to greet the divine condescension of the Incarnate. In her, as nowhere else, God had found the human instrument suited to his purpose; the worthy receptacle of a grace that had not dwelt on earth since Adam lost his paradise. The work of selection is consummated; mankind stands ready for its Redeemer." --Msgr. Ronald Knox
Today we celebrate the birthday of the Virgin Mary. We don't know a whole lot about Mary's birth or childhood because these things aren't mentioned in the Gospels--but there are a lot of apocryphal stories about her floating around, which is where we get the names of her parents, Joachim and Anne, for example. Still, we are happy today to celebrate our Blessed Mother's birthday! As Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P. writes, "Mary's is a birthday to remember because the answer to our sorrow, misery, malice, loneliness, inability, and strife is to be born of Mary." Happy birthday, dear Mary!