“Lowly of heart, serious in her speech, prudent in spirit, sparing in words, devoted to reading, she did not place her hope in changeable riches but in the prayer of the poor. Industrious in her work, modest in her speech, she let God, not man, judge her thoughts. She offended no one; she had goodwill towards all; she respected her elders, she did not envy her peers. She fled ostentation, followed reason and loved virtue. When did she offend her parents with so much as a glance? When did she ever disagree with her neighbours or despise the lovely? When did she ever make fun of the weak or avoid the needy? There was no leering in her glance, no arrogance in her words, nothing immodest in her movements. Never an agitated movement, never a hurried step, never a raised voice. The very appearance of her person reflected the holiness of her mind and expressed her goodness.
A beautiful house has to appear beautiful even before you reach the front door, and as soon as you enter you have to know that there is nothing dark inside it. In the same way our mind, if not caught in the shadows of bodily obstacles, will disclose its interior light to the outside world.” Ambrose of Milan, De virginibus 2, 6-16; PL 16, 220-22.
I am amazed at the metaphor St. Ambrose uses, the beautiful house. This house can be minds and our souls. If we let the light in, that is God, then the outside will be beautiful. People living in communion with Christ are known from their fruits.
If you are interested in more quotes on
Virgin Mary, you can find them in on Amazon in both in Mary and the Fathers of the Church Kindle and paperback formats. References:
Gambero, L., 1999.
Mary and the Fathers of the Church 1st ed. Translated by Buffer, T., San Francisco: Ignatius Press.