Three articles for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God:
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity | John A. Hardon, S.J.
Christianity would be meaningless without the Blessed Virgin. Her quiet presence opened Christian history at the Incarnation and will continue to pervade the Church's history until the end of time.
Our purpose in this meditation is to glance over the past two thousand years to answer one question: What are the highlights of our Marian faith as found in the Bible and the teaching of the Catholic Church?
The first three evangelists were mainly concerned with tracing Christ's ancestry as Son of Man and, therefore, as Son of Mary. St. Matthew, writing for the Jews, stressed Christ's descent from Abraham. St. Luke, disciple of St. Paul, traced Christ's origin to Adam, the father of the human race. Yet both writers were at pains to point out that Mary's Son fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah about the Messiah. He was to be born of a virgin to become Emmanuel, which means "God with us." Luke gave a long account of the angel's visit to Mary to announce that the Child would be holy and would be called the "Son of God" (Luke 1:36).
St. John followed the same pattern. He introduced Mary as the Mother of Jesus when He began His public ministry. In answer to her wishes, Christ performed the miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana in Galilee. What happened then has continued ever since. Most of the miraculous shrines of Christianity have been dedicated to Our Lady.
It is also St. John who tells us that Mary stood under the Cross of Calvary as her Son was dying for our salvation. Speaking of John, Jesus told His Mother, "This is your son." To John, He said of Mary, "This is your Mother." The apostle John represented all of us. On Good Friday, therefore, Christ made His Mother the supernatural Mother of the human race and made us her spiritual children.
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Mary in Feminist Theology: Mother of God or Domesticated Goddess? | Fr. Manfred Hauke
Mary, the virginal mother of God, is a kind of central point at which the main lines of the Catholic Faith come together. Since it is impossible to conceive of sacred history without her, she points in a unique way toward the mystery of Christ and the Church. By virtue of that position, she also becomes a criterion against which new theological conceptions must be measured. Mary's criteriological significance is of supreme value when assessing feminist theology, which puts forward demands for fundamental changes in religious life.
Mary Daly's and other Feminist Critiques of Mariology
The decisive impulse to theological feminism's critique of Mariology came in 1973, from Mary Daly's Beyond God the Father. Already in 1968, Daly published a book on the theme of women, its title and basic content closely tied to Simone de Beauvoir: The Church and the Second Sex. For Daly, too, one does not arrive in the world as a woman, but one becomes a woman. In view of the theory of evolution, we can no longer speak of an "essence" of man or of woman or, likewise, of an immutable God who grounds immutable orders of things. Hence, there are no longer any creation-imposed presuppositions to serve as standards for the transformation of society and the Church, but only the ideal of "equality."
In her 1973 critique, Daly has been inspired once again by Simone de Beauvoir, who had pointed out the contrast between the ancient goddesses and Mary as early as 1949; whereas the goddesses commanded autonomous power and utilized men for their own purposes, Mary is wholly the servant of God: "'I am the handmaid of the Lord.' For the first time in the history of mankind," writes Beauvoir, "a mother kneels before her son and acknowledges, of her own free will, her inferiority. The supreme victory of masculinity is consummated in Mariolatry: it signifies the rehabilitation of woman through the completeness of her defeat."
Daly now sharpens this critique and puts it in a wider systematic context: Mary is "a remnant of the ancient image of the Mother Goddess, enchained and subordinated in Christianity, as the 'Mother of God'." To this attempt to "domesticate" the mother goddess, Daly opposes a striving to bring together the divine and the feminine.
In the later work Gyn/Ecology (1978), Daly abandons the ideal of "androgyny" that she had previously still advocated and becomes the most important representative of the gynocentric "goddess feminism." Mary is a "pale derivative symbol disguising the conquered Goddess," a "flaunting of the tamed Goddess." Her role as servant in the Incarnation of God amounts to nothing other than a "rape." For Daly, the subordination of man to God is something negative, especially when this state of affairs is expressed in a feminine symbol such as Mary.
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion | Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.
In the various Christian traditions Marian doctrine and devotion take shape in manifold and diverse ways. Since the Second Vatican Council the Church has striven to promote a new and more careful study of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the mystery of Christ and of the Church; to encourage theological faculties in the pursuit of knowledge, research, and piety with regard to Mary of Nazareth. The Mother of the Lord is understood as a "datum of revelation" and a "maternal presence" always operative in the life of the Church. 
The history of theological reflection witnesses to the Church's faith and attention regarding the Virgin Mary and her mission in the history of salvation. Especially is this evident in the Western Church. 
The deeper understanding of the mystery of the Theotokos, the more profound is the understanding of the mystery of Christ, of the Church, and of the vocation of humanity. Concerning Mary, everything is relative to Christ; only in the mystery of Christ is her mystery fully clear. Conversely it may generally be said that knowing Mary illuminates our appreciation of the mystery of Christ and of the Church. 
To the degree in which the mystery of the Church is understood, the mystery of Mary is apparent. Knowing Mary, the Church recognizes its origins, its mission of grace, its destiny to glory, and the pilgrimage of faith which guides it. 
The Virgin Mary is like a mirror reflecting the mighty works of God, which theology has the task of illustrating. The importance of Mariological reflection derives from the importance of Christology, from the value of ecclesiology and pneumatology, from the meaning of Christian anthropology, and from eschatology, and is an integral part of them.