In what what sense is the Virgin Mary the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and how does (or did I suppose?) this affect her relationship with Joseph? Also, what would be the proper terminology be for this belief. As in, I’m pretty sure it’s not a dogma, like the immaculate conception. Thanks!
It’s a figure of speech. Mary is not literally married to the Holy Spirit. So it does not affect her marriage to Joseph.
Luke 1 describes how Jesus’ human nature was conceived in Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1 also describes the Holy Spirit as having conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. Thus, our Lord’s human nature has a human mother, but a Divine Father. In this role, Joseph was the human foster father of Jesus.
Now, this invariably leads to recent ssertions that Mary had “other children” when there is no record of uterine brothers or sisters of Christ. The Knox Translation of the bible clarifies the disputed Matthew 1:25 by reading as follows: “and he had not known her when she bore a son, her first-born, to whom he gave the name Jesus.” This was to certify that the conception and birth was miraculous, and not by purely human means - a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14.
Wen the scriptures were written, there was no such belief in “other children”, as the oral tradition records none of this, and Mary vowed to the Archangel Gabriel to be the “handmaid” or even the “bond slave” of the Lord - her own Son!
As well, the prophecy of Zechariah (12:10) as to our Lord is as follows: “On David’s clan, on all the citizens of Jerusalem, I will pour out a gracious spirit of prayer; towards me they shall look, me whom they have pierced through. Lament for him they must, and grieve bitterly; never was such lament for an only son, grief so bitter over first-born dead.”
To fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah, Jesus had to be an only son as well as a firstborn.
This does not mention daughters, but the “brothers and sisters of the Lord” are explained by the other scriptures as cousins or perhaps half-brothers and sisters. Not even the reformers doubted Mary’s perpetual virginity. That assertion has developed in recent centuries, with no historical foundation.
The Book of Tobit clearly details that members of one’s own tribe were brothers and sisters. In that book, Tobit takes a “sister” as bride, but she is clearly a distant relative at most.
She was “espoused” so to speak, by the Spirit in regards to spiritual order.
Mary is espoused to the Holy Spirit in a moral and spiritual sense, just as Israel is espoused to YHWH in the Old Testament. Although Mary and the Holy Spirit aren’t actually married in the conventional sense, their relationship to each other is redolent of a marriage. The unitive and pro-creational aspects of marriage characterize how the two are united in the order of the hypostatic union for the incarnation of Christ. It was in view of the Divine maternity that Mary was preserved free from contracting the stain of original sin by the foreseen merits of her Son, so as to be a most worthy spouse and mother. True, the designation of Mary being the Spouse of the Holy Spirit hasn’t been dogmatically defined, but it proceeds from the infallible teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals. And it derives its integrity from the following Scriptural passages, among many others.
“And I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, and in love, and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord.”
“Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love. So** I spread the corner of your cloak over you to cover your nakedness**; I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you; you became mine,” says the Lord.
Ezekiel 16, 8
And he said to her: Who art thou? And she answered: I am Ruth thy handmaid**: spread thy coverlet over thy servant**, for thou art a near kinsman.
Ruth 3, 9
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Luke 1, 35
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