"We believe as Christians, that there was a woman who walked this planet who opened herself so profoundly to the love of God that she literally conceived eternal life in her womb." --Christopher West in this radio interview
Before stating the above in the same interview West dis-incarnates the Eucharist, funnily enough, by saying if we open ourselves to the Sacrament of the Eucharist we conceive eternal life within us. As always, it is what West does not say, together with "the preoccupation of his subject" (in Fr. Angelo's words), that renders his statements...problematic. Christ is our eternal life and if we do not eat His flesh and drink His blood we have no life within us - yes; and it is His flesh and His blood that we consume: our response is a response to that - to Him, to the Eucharist. In West's words, it's as though our response comes first. I'm not exactly sure how a response comes first.
What in actuality is Mary receiving the proclamation of the angel Gabriel, and then her assent, and then the Son of God being virginally conceived within her womb, and secondly, what is in actuality a person being told by the priest who he is about to receive, and then the recipient's fiat, and then Christ Himself being placed on his tongue - with West these instead begin and end with us. But they don't; they begin and end with Christ.
And the second Person of the Trinity who in reality identifies Himself with the most interior heart of our being such that we come to recognize Him in ourselves as our very selves is, in West world, our gestation of eternal life which is owing first to our opening to the love of God via our knowledge that our sexuality holds a key to the spousal meaning of the divine nuptials of the heavenly banquet that is there to inform our sexuality that we are to be married to God which is our sexual redemption, the key to which is found in our sexuality...
Elsewhere, as in Heaven's Song, West has stated that being immaculately conceived meant for Mary that she experienced her sexuality in its fullness as a deep yearning for communion with God, since our sexuality holds the key to understanding that God wants to marry us - and that's the reason God imprinted us with sexuality - it means that Mary's sexual fullness let her open herself so profoundly that she literally conceived eternal life within her womb.
In the annunciation the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and proclaims that she will bear the Son of the Most High in her womb. Being immaculately conceived without sin, her assent to this is totally free.
The Catechism states that it was necessary that she be conceived without original sin for this very reason:
In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace. (490, Catechism of the Catholic Church)
Her immaculate conception also means of course that she is the ark of the covenant, the pure vessel worthy of bearing God Himself incarnate. Mary's assent to the annunciation brought by the angel Gabriel was not sexual but filial; it was of faith and obedience.
494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
In the wording of West, at the beginning of this post, it is unmistakably clear that he means that it was Mary's opening herself "so profoundly" to the love of God that it primarily caused Christ - nay, caused "eternal life" - to be conceived within her womb, as a result.
Do you see the difference? In actuality, it was Mary's filiality, Mary's obedience, her faith that gave assent, in the annunciation, to the Word being made flesh. The Word was made flesh in her total humility, her even expressing, "How can this be so?" In West world, it's the feminine sexual in its fullness of "spousal meaning" that makes for this "profound opening up", meaning that it is owing to its own fullness that resulted in the conception of eternal life, which is, in fact, quite the opposite to the opening up of total humility with which Our most Blessed Lady gave consent to the Son of God being conceived within her.
While our salvation very much depended on Mary's fiat, her fiat was not the causation of the Incarnation. The angel Gabriel appeared to her first; furthermore, she was preordained - hence her immaculate conception.
491 ...as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by the virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son." The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
In West world, the immaculate conception does not lead to the Incarnation as coming from Christ's redemption; rather, the immaculate conception points back to itself, because it is about sexual fullness and by itself draws to it by its profundity, eternal life.
This also divorces the immaculate conception from the work of God. Which is what West does with sexuality when he claims it as holding the key to union with God.