Sheen devotes Chapter Four to establish the reality of the virgin birth. From the revealed Word of God in the Scriptures and the continuous teaching of the Church from its earliest days, the virgin birth was held and passed along to each generation.
In Chapter Five, I find, what I’ll call “zingers”…these one or two liners that pack a concentrated dose of theological insight and cause me pause for reflection. The chapter focuses on the unique role of Mary as Mother of God and that to understand her we need to start with Christ. “Zinger One” – “The less we think of Him (Jesus), the less we think of her (Mary): the more we think of Him, the more we think of her.” Here, Sheen is not referring to “less” as the amount of time our thoughts dwell on Jesus and Mary, but how fully we embrace the Divinity of Christ.
“Zinger Two” is related – “There is never any danger that men will think too much of Mary; the danger is that they will think too little of Christ.” For Sheen, our appreciation of Mary is, in a sense, proportional to how important Jesus is in our lives. This leads to “Zinger Three” (which is definitely coming out in some homily!) – “It may be objected, ‘Our Lord is enough for me. I have no need of her.’ But He needed her, whether we do or not”. Mary became an integral part of God the Father’s plan for salvation through her free cooperation. She was the Immaculate bearer of the Divine Word. Jesus needed Mary as the sinless mother who gave birth to Him and cared for him. How foolish are we not to also seek her intercession and give her a special place in our spiritual life.
Sheen, in the middle of Chapter Six, gives a touching and insightful view of all mothers. Because it is God who infuses the eternal soul in every person, a woman, in giving birth, participates in her vocation of being the bearer of the Divine. How beautiful! In her womb, the human and divine unite.
Please share your thoughts and comments. Did anything stand out as a “zinger” for you?!