There was a moment when the salvation of the world depended on the consent of Mary. Man could not be redeemed, satisfaction could not be made for sin, and grace obtained, without the Incarnation, and the Incarnation could not take place without the free, voluntary consent of this humble Jewish maiden. We cannot help feeling deep gratitude to Mary for the consent she gave. We call her blessed for the great things He that is mighty has done to her, and we bless her also for her own consent to the work of redemption. She gave to that work all she had: she gave her will; she gave her flesh; she gave her own Son to one long Passion of thirty-three years, to the agony in the garden, and to the death on the cross. It is true that God had selected her from all eternity to be his mother, and had filled her with grace; but neither the election nor the grace took away her free will, or diminished the merit of her voluntary consent. She could have refused; and does she deserve no love and gratitude from us, who have hope only through her flesh assumed by the Son of God, that she did not refuse? Can we say, in view of this fact, that she has no peculiar relation to our redemption, no share in the work of our salvation? To say so would be simply to deny that we are redeemed and saved by God in the flesh; that the flesh, of human nature, of our Lord performs any office in the work of redemption and salvation. Wherefore, to refuse to honor Mary as connected with and sharing in that work is to deny that it is in his human nature that God redeems and saves us; which is either to deny redemption and salvation altogether, or to contend that God redeems and saves us in his divinity, that is to contend that the divine nature suffered and died!
Mary is really the mother of our Lord, for our Lord did in reality, not in appearance merely, come in the flesh. He is true God, and true man of the flesh of the Virgin.
Orestes A. Brownson
St. Anthony Guild Press, 1963