nicholas_cabasilasThe “middle wall and barrier of enmity” (Ephesians 2:14) were of no account to her; indeed, everything that divided the human race from God was abolished as far as she was concerned.

Even before the common reconciliation, she alone had made peace with God; or rather, she was never in any need of reconciliation, since from the very beginning she stood foremost in the choir of the friends of God.

However, such a reconciliation was made for the rest of mankind. And she was, before the Comforter, “an advocate for us before God” (Cf. Romans 8:34), as Paul puts it, not lifting up her hands to Him on behalf of mankind, but holding out her life as an olive branch.

The virtue of a single soul was sufficient to put a stop to all of the evil committed by men from the beginning of time.

And, just as the Ark, which saved man during the general shipwreck of the inhabited earth, was not itself subject to the calamities that befell the entire world, and just as it preserved for the human race the resources for its continuation, so also did it happen in the case of the Virgin.

And, as if no man had dared to commit even one single sin, but all had abided by the Divine commandments and were still occupying their ancient habitation, thus did she ever keep her mind inviolate; and she had no awareness of the wickedness that had, so to speak, been diffused in every direction.

The cataclysm of evil, which held all things in its grip, closed Heaven and opened up Hades, started a war between God and men, drove the Good One from the earth and introduced the Evil One in His stead, was yet completely powerless against the blessed Virgin.

Although evil had dominion over the entire inhabited earth and had everywhere wrought confusion, commotion, and havoc, it was defeated by a single thought and a single soul, and it yielded not only to her, but also, on account of her, to the entire human race.

This was the contribution that the Virgin made to the common salvation of mankind, even before that day arrived on which God was to bow the Heavens and descend.

As soon as she was born, she constructed a dwelling-place for Him Who is able to save and fashioned a beautiful house for God—and one that would be worthy of Him.

The King could not find any fault with His palace; and indeed, not only did she provide a dwelling fit for His royal majesty, but she also prepared from herself His purple robe and cincture, and the majesty, strength, and the Kingdom itself.

Nicholas Cabasilas (1319/1323–after 1391): On the Occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation, 3, Translated from the Greek text in “Homélies Mariales Byzantines (II),” ed. M. Jugie, in Patrologia Orientalis, Vol. XIX, pp. 484-495@ Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece.

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