How can this be?

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Luke 1:34

“This response, ‘How shall this be, since I know not a man?’ meant that she had the intention, though betrothed, of remaining a virgin. The angel announces offspring, but she cleaves to her virginity, preferring bodily integrity to what the angel manifests. She neither lacks faith nor departs from her promise, because she was bound to preserve her flesh, which was consecrated to God as a sacred gift.”

Saint Gregory of Nyssa,“The Nativity of Christ,” P.G. 46 1140D-1141C

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