Oh, such joy, knowing that no less than our Church Fathers replied to such questions with the utmost humility, confusing the proud for the ages to come!
St. Augustine, for instance, teaches us:
Stretching out his hand over his disciples, the Lord Christ declared: “Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and sister and my mother.” I would urge you to ponder these words. Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Savior was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her – did she not do the will of the Father?
Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’s will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ’s disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master.
St. Methodius prays:
Hail to you forever, you virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for unto you do I again return. .
Wherefore we pray you, the most excellent among women, who boast in the confidence of your maternal honors, that you would unceasingly keep us in remembrance.
O holy Mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in you, and who in august hymns celebrate your memory, which will ever live, and never fade away.
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches:
When the Blessed Virgin conceived the Eternal Word in her womb, and brought Him forth, she obtained half the kingdom of God; so that she is Queen of Mercy, as Jesus Christ is King of Justice.
Saint Aelred, abbot, preaches:
We owe her honor, for she is the mother of our Lord. He who fails to honor the mother clearly dishonors the son. Also, Scripture says: Honor your father and your mother.
What then, my brothers, shall we say? Is she not our mother? Yes, my brothers, she is indeed our mother, for through her we have been born, not for the world but for God.
She is our mother — the mother of our life, the mother of our incarnation, the mother of our light. She then, as mother of Christ, is the mother of our wisdom and justice, of our holiness and redemption.
She is more our mother than the mother of our flesh. Our birth from her is better, for from her is born our holiness, our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification, our redemption.
Saint Sophronius also preaches:
The Lord is with you. Who would dare challenge you? You are God’s mother; who would not immediately defer to you and be glad to accord you a greater primacy and honor? For this reason, when I look upon the privilege you have above all creatures, I extol you with the highest praise: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you. On your account joy has not only graced men, but is also granted to the powers of heaven.
St. Anselm adds:
The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.
Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new.
Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.
Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.
The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.
God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world.
God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life.
For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world.
Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.