Of Nestorianism and the Theotokos

I don’t believe so. And here’s why.

TheotokosIf one has thought carefully about the issues (i.e., one is not just in ignorance) and one still chooses to not honor and venerate Mary, one is choosing to consider her not as she is – the Mother of God himself – but one or another kind of contingent means for God’s plan.

Mary is the Second Eve. That’s how the Fathers saw her because, as apostolic successors, they understood that the evangelists recorded her with that in mind.

As Eve received the word of the fallen angel, and through the fruit and the tree brought death to the world, so the Second Eve, Mother of the Second Adam, also received the word of the angel – this time the words of life from the angel of God – and through the fruit of her womb, brought life to the world. As Eve stood by the tree of life and brought death, the Second Eve stood by the tree of death which brought life. Mary reverses Eve’s curse.

More importantly, she is not the Mother of Jesus only, as if she is the only mother of his human nature. She is not the mother of a human nature. No one is a mother or father of a nature. She is the Mother of a Person, the Second Person of the Trinity.

Therefore, one can only deliberately choose not to venerate Mary if one does not consider her one’s own Mother. And one can deny that she is one’s own Mother only by being a Nestorian and thinking of her as a mere pipe through which some human nature comes to the world for the use of the Son of God.

Rather, she is the chosen one by whom God takes up humanity to himself. She is the one in whom Divine and human natures are united in One. She is not a random or contingent means, a mere conduit pipe. She is the one whom God filled with the Spirit more than any other being in history, before or after. She is the one to whom God gave the salvation of man to depend upon her fiat. She is the one whose womb became more spacious than the heaven of heavens, because it contained the uncontainable God.

When we are mystically united to Christ, we are mystically united to her. When we are mystically united to his body and soul, we are mystically united to the one who gave him his body and soul. To the *only* one who gave him that. She is his Mother, and if we are both his children and his brothers, she is also our Mother. As she loves her Son, so she loves us because we are his and therefore hers too. And so she suffers with us, prays for us, and helps us, as she did with her son.

She is the “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” She is the one upon whom the Creator of the universe depended to live, by his own choice. She is the chosen one of all the human race to be eternally called the blessed one, by all generations. She is the one full of grace more than anyone else will ever be. She is our model because God was born in her, literally – and so He calls us to imitate her by “Christ being formed in us” as well.

The early Church revered all saints and martyrs. From the first century, the places of repose of Christian saints were places of prayer, where their relics were revered and their prayers sought. There is no tomb of Mary. There are no relics of the body of Mary. Why? Because the Son of God did not leave the relics of the Theotokos here in this world. He took her, body and soul, to be with Him.

Also, no one in history ever claimed to be a child or descendant of Mary (which would have been unthinkable that Christians would not have known them and traced them throughout the centuries). We also know that for the rest her days she lived with the apostle John, not with any supposed children. There is no tomb of anyone who claimed to be her children.

When St John records that Christ gave her to him as his mother, and him to her as her son, as the Church always understood, he was also giving her to the Church as her mother, and the Church to her as her children.

He gave her to John because she had no other children to care for her. Jesus did not have any brothers or sisters born of her that would have been obligated (by law) to care for her in her widowhood. That’s why none of them were with their mother and their brother when he was crucified. They abandoned Mary and Christ because they were not even really directly related to them.

And so there is also no record of the bloodline of Christ, through supposed brothers and sisters who would have had the same flesh and blood as he did. No record, no tombs, no relics, nothing.

Simply because she was the Ever-Virgin Mother of only one Person: God himself. She was sanctified by God and could not be of common use. She was the Ark of the Covenant in whom dwelt the Word, the Manna, the One who is the budded staff of Aaron.

No one can love a person who loves his mother, and at the same time hate that person’s mother, or consider her of no special account. No one in his sane mind does that with one’s own mother either.

One can only consider Mary to be anything less than the Mother of God – the one who reverses the curse, the one before whom heaven and earth bows down in veneration and awe, and our Mother –  if one is infected in one way or another by Nestorian ideas that have joined other errors in Protestantism.

That’s why one who deliberately does not venerate the Mother of God is a Nestorian.


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