Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and his name shall be called Emmanuel (which means, God with us).
Anybody remotely familiar with the Christian story knows that Jesus was born of a virgin. What is not so easy to hold on to these days is the answer to the question “Why?” That’s because we have reduced sex to a plumbing problem and no longer see it as sacramental and significant; therefore we see in virginity only “no sex” rather than a sacramental significance too. Further, since we see in “no sex” the ultimate deprivation from the highest pleasure mortal flesh knows, we see only loss. That’s why our culture hates virginity. And that’s why our culture hates children. For children are virgins and we trundle them out of childhood and on into an early and promiscuous adolescence as fast as possible. Jesus was born of one who was, in a famous phrase, “younger than sin.” Her virginity was not a loss to her. It was a sign of total love for God. A sign for us to read.