The World's First Love by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Part 18.

There is never any danger that men will think too much of Mary; the danger is that they will think too little of Christ. Coldness toward Mary is a consequence of indifference to Christ. Any objections to calling her the "Mother of God" is fundamentally an objection to the Deity of Christ. The consecrated phrase "Theotokos" "Mother of God," has ever since 432 been the touchstone of the Christian faith. It was not that the Church then had the intention of expanding Mariology; it was rather that it was concerned with Christological orthodoxy. As John of Damascus said: "This name contains the whole mystery of the Incarnation." Once Christ is diminished, humanized, naturalized, there is no longer any use for the term "Mother of God." It implies a twofold generation of the Divine Word: one eternal in the bosom of the Father; the other temporal in the womb of Mary. Mary therefore did not bear a "mere man," but the "true God." No new person came into the world when Mary opened the portals of the flesh, but the Eternal Son of God was made man. All that came into being was a new nature, or a human nature to a Person Who existed from all eternity. It was the Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Who became flesh and dwelt amongst us. Theanthropos, or God-man, and Theotokos, or Mother of God, go together and fall together.

It will be discovered that so-called Christians who think they believe in the Divinity of Christ, but do not believe in Mary as the Mother of God, fall generally into four ancient heresies. They are Adoptionists, who believe that Christ was a mere man, but after birth was adopted by God as His Son. Or they are Nestorians, who held that Mary gave birth to a man who had only a close union with Divinity. Or they are Eutychians, who denied the human nature of Christ and hence made Mary merely an instrument in a theophany. Or they are Docetists, holding that Christ's nature was only a phantom or an appearance. Those who are offended at reverence paid Mary, if they will analyze their thoughts, will discover that they are holding a Docetist or some similar ancient error. Even if they profess the Divinity of Christ in His earthly existence, such people shrink from affirming that His Human Nature is glorified with Him at the right hand of the Father where He makes intercession for us. As some no longer think of Christ as God, so some no longer think of Christ as glorified Man. If He is no longer Man, then Mary is no longer His Mother. But if He is still Man, the relation of Mary to Him extends beyond Bethlehem and Calvary even to His Mystical Body the Church. No one, therefore, who thinks logically about Christ can understand such a question as: "Why do you speak so often of His Mother?"

The Virgin Birth, indeed, was a new type of generation. As our mind begets a thought without in any way destroying the mind, so Mary begot the Word within herself without in any way affecting her Virginity. There are various ways of generating: but the three principal ways are carnal, intellectual, and Divine. The carnal is sexual, whether it be in animals or in humans. Second is the generation of a thought within the mind. I take the idea of "fortitude." That thought, or word (for it is a word even before I pronounce it), does not exist in the outside world. It has neither weight, nor color, nor longitude. Whence came it, then? It was begotten by the chaste generation of the mind. This intellectual generation is really a feeble image of the spiritual order of the Eternal Generation of the Son by the Father. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." God thinks a thought or a Word. But God does not think many thoughts or words. He thinks only one Word which reaches to the abyss of all that is known or can be known. That Word is the perfect image of Himself as the Thinker. Because it has been eternally generated, God the Thinker is called the Father, as the principle of generation, and the Word is called the Son as the term of generation.

God willed that there be another kind of generation which would be neither wholly intellectual nor wholly carnal, but which in the order of flesh would reflect His eternal generation in time. God willed to take on a human nature like our own through a Virgin, while conserving the Virginity of His Mother, and showing precisely that He is the Word of God. As our mind does not alter or destroy itself in the begetting of a thought, so neither does the Virginal Body of Our Blessed Mother go through any alteration in begetting Him, as the Son of God made man. The Word of God willed that His generation in the order of the flesh and in time be elevated with as close a resemblance as possible to His Heavenly generation.