“What is the veil of protection spread over the world by the Mother of God? It is God’s glory, crowning the Ever-Virgin raised into the heavens. It is the Holy Spirit, who has descended upon Her. It is the power of God, descending into the world and sanctifying it. It is the salvation of the world and of human beings by God’s grace. It is the defeat of ‘spiritual wickedness in high places’ (Eph. 6:12), which is powerless to obscure Her radiant visage. It is the salvation of sinners from their enemies. It is the sanctification of the material elements and of all creation. It is heaven descending to earth. It is the Empress of heaven, who also abides in the world. It is the Mother of God, the mother of every Christian soul. It is the joy of creation. It is the joy of joys, the Unwedded Bride. It is the power of chastity, the virgin heart of creation. It is the bliss of love, unfathomable, ineffable. If human eyes could see the light of the Mother of God in the world, they would clearly know the mysteriously ongoing transfiguration of the world. If people could see the tears of the most pure eyes, they would tremble and their hardened hearts would melt. There cannot be a heart so stony that it would not be softened in the presence of this love, which is pityingly interceding for it — in the presence of this love which answers malice with love, sin with tears, blasphemy with forgiveness, enmity with blessing. But our eyes do not see, do not know; they are shut tight for a time. They will be open at the end of this world on the Day of Judgment.”
— Sergius Bulgakov, Churchly Joy. trans.Boris Jakim (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 2008), 11-12.