Thursday 3rd September 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity . . . Mary, The Virgin Ark Of The New Covenant

May 4, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 5

In my first article written for The Wanderer, I mentioned the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, in order to encourage Catholics to seek and rediscover the Lost Art of Catholic Apologetics. In this article I’d like to investigate the symbolism of the Ark of the Covenant in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary from the viewpoint of her perpetual virginity.
All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed is an outstanding work of biblical Mariology by the great scholar Fr. Stefano Manelli, cofounder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. He wrote:
“Of all the Marian symbols in the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant enjoys pre-eminence. In the 4th century, St. Ambrose and St. Ephraem called Her ‘Ark’ and Richard of St. Victor (1073) called Her Foederis Arca, the Ark of the Covenant. The similarities are simply outstanding. What the Ark meant in symbol, in prefigure, Mary is in reality. But the original Ark was only a symbol. In Mary, God was really present, so much so as to become Her Son. That typology brought the early Christians to consider Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant.”
So, what the Hebrews had in figure, the Church has in reality. The Ark was so sacred among the Hebrews that they went so far as to refer to it as God Himself (Num. 10:33-36). For instance:
“So they marched from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey, and the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord went before them, for three days providing for a place for the camp. The cloud also of the Lord was over them by day when they marched. And when the Ark was lifted up, Moses said: ‘Arise, O Lord, and let thy enemies be scattered and let them that hate thee flee before thy face.’ And when it was set down, he said: ‘Return, O Lord, to the multitude of the host of Israel’.”
David, the Royal Prophet, echoes Moses’ words: “Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified” (Psalm 131:8).
What was the Ark made of? The Book of Exodus, chapter 25, tells us that God commanded Moses to: “Frame an ark of setim wood. . . . And you shall overlay it with the purest gold, within and without.”
Now setim is an incorruptible wood and gold is the symbol of purity — purest gold. The Ark of the Covenant carried within itself the Word of God in stone. The Blessed Virgin Mary carried within herself the Word of God made Flesh — she is the Ark of the New Covenant, the dwelling place of God among men, just as the old Ark was the dwelling place par excellence of God’s presence.
On the day of the Incarnation, “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). When Mary said “fiat” to the angel, God became incarnate in her and she became the dwelling place of God among men — the Ark of the New Covenant.
From the Trinitarian perspective, the Ark of the Covenant was the dwelling place of God the Father among men; the Blessed Virgin Mary was the dwelling place of God the Son among men; the Catholic Church, the Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem, is the dwelling place of God the Holy Spirit among men.
We see a similar situation in the Book of the Apocalypse:
“And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice saying, Behold the tabernacle [dwelling] of God with men, and he will dwell with them” (Apoc. 21:2-3). This dwelling, this city, like the Ark, “Was pure gold” (Apoc. 21:18).
A most important aspect about the purity of the golden Ark was that no man was allowed to touch it.
The priests carried the Ark during the crossing of the river Jordan and around the city of Jericho. But only one man was allowed into the Holy of Holies, once a year, on the Day of Atonement: the High Priest.
The Epistle to the Hebrews refers to Jesus as our High Priest — “for it was fitting that we should have such a High Priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26).
Only that High Priest, her only Son and God, dwelt within her sacred womb.
The Levites carried the Ark but never touched it. “David said, no one ought to carry the Ark of God, but the Levites, whom the Lord has chosen to carry it, and to minister unto himself for ever.” The Levites placed poles through the rings and carried it from place to place. They knew that anyone who touched the Ark would die.
When the Ark was taken by the Philistines, its very presence among them caused havoc — they died by the thousands. The Philistines had to touch the Ark in order to carry it away and especially to see what was inside of it. And those who touched it, died. Plague came over them, mice, disease, death. Fifty thousand Philistines were killed before they quickly realized that to take the Ark from the Hebrews was a bad idea. They promptly returned it to them.
Read the whole story in 1 Samuel 5 or 1 Kings 5 in the Douay-Rheims. The point I am making here is that no man was allowed to touch the Ark.
But that prohibition of not touching the Ark was not made to Gentiles only: Hebrews could not touch it, either. And he who did, died on the spot. Here is the story:
“And David arose and went, with all the people that were with him of the chosen men of Judah, to fetch the Ark of God, upon which the name of the Lord of hosts is invoked, who sits over it upon the cherubims. And they laid the Ark of God upon a new cart: and took it out of the house of Abinadab, who was in Gabaa. And Oza and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart…and when they came to the floor of Nachon, Oza put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it: because the oxen kicked and made it lean aside. And the indignation of the Lord was enkindled against Oza and he struck him for his rashness: and he died there before the Ark of the Lord” (2 Kings 6).
No man was allowed to touch the Ark. We do not know Oza’s intentions in touching it, but although we may surmise that he wanted to prevent it from falling out of the oxcart, the fact remains that he disobeyed God’s order — and no man is allowed touch the Ark!

Protected By
God’s Providence

But St. Joseph was a man; he lived with the Ark of the New Covenant under the same roof for over 20 years, and was not struck dead by God. Why? Simple: He never touched the Ark as a husband is wont to touch his wife.
Haven’t we noticed our Lady’s freedom to move during the Passion? She was protected by God’s Providence, and no man ever touched her.
The Ark of the Covenant carried within it the Word of God carved in stone. The Blessed Virgin Mary carried within her the Word of God made Flesh — she is the Ark of the New Covenant, the dwelling place of God among men. And no man ever touched the Ark.
Next article: The faith of the Early Christians on Mary’s virginity.

+    +    +

(Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International [HLI], president of the Sacred Heart Institute and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. His web site is: www.RaymondeSouza.com.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Good News . . . Brief update on Father John Corapi

A bit of good news to share: A reliable source has informed me that Father John Corapi, a popular priest among orthodox Catholics who departed public life after a tumultuous period a few years ago, remains in the priesthood and…Continue Reading

9th Shocking Video: Planned Parenthood Sells Intact Aborted Babies, One “Just Fell Out” of the Womb

The Center for Medical Progress released a new video this morning — the 9th in its series of videos catching the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies and their body parts. This latest video catches a Planned Parenthood medical…Continue Reading

All priests will be able to forgive sin of abortion during Jubilee for Mercy

September 1, 2015 7:33 AM Vatican City, Sep 1, 2015 / 06:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new set of pastoral guidelines for the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy Pope Francis has made some significant moves, allowing all priests to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Francis Arinze: 50 years as a Bishop

Yesterday Saturday 29 August 2015, Francis Cardinal Arinze, 82, marked fifty years as a Bishop. In an interview with Vatican Radio’s English Africa Service to mark to the milestone, Cardinal Arinze was in high spirits. Although now retired and living…Continue Reading

Russians to construct ‘the tallest statue of Jesus Christ in the world’

Towering 80 meters monument to ‘Christ the Teacher’ by Zurab Tsereteli to find home in Vladivostok, Christian Telegraph reports according to RISU. The statue was cast in 2013 by Tsereteli, the famous Georgian-Russian sculptor, known for his gigantic projects such…Continue Reading

If You Still Support Planned Parenthood, You Are Simply Not A Decent Person

Another Planned Parenthood video has been released. I promised I would write about every new video that comes out, so here is my write up on the latest. Please read and share. I don’t usually ask you to share things…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Group Sends Cakes to Thank Planned Parenthood Staff After It Sells Aborted Babies

Apparently, Catholics for Choice want their friends at Planned Parenthood to know how appreciated they are since they will be “harassed” tomorrow at the protests across the country regarding their organ harvesting business.  As LifeNews previously reported, tens of thousands…Continue Reading

Facebook’s very (very) suspicious ‘trending’ Planned Parenthood story

Update Aug. 20, ’15 at 7:54 AM EST: I woke up this morning, and lo and behold, the “trending” news topic had changed. It now reads, “7th video critical of organization released by anti-abortion group.” That’s more like it. I…Continue Reading

Questions raised after pro-life activist Twitter accounts suspended without warning: one now restored

ONTARIO, August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life activist campaigning against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion extremism as well as a pro-life organization on a mission to show the violent reality of abortion through large graphic billboards had their Twitter…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 23, 2015 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new…Continue Reading

Catholic Priests’ Forgotten Flock: Catholic Men

The New Emangelization Project has documented that a key driver of the collapse of Catholicism in the U. S. is a serious and growing Catholic “man-crisis”.[1] One third of baptized Catholic men have left the faith and the majority of…Continue Reading

Shortages in Venezuela mean priests are running out of Hosts

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 15, 2015 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of Hosts fell 60 percent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

General Audience: love of family combats city desertification

(Vatican Radio) An estimated 15 thousand people were in St Peter’s Square for the Pope’s General audience on Wednesday, as he continued his catechesis on the family, which this week focused on the importance of families in spreading the faith. The Holy Father underlined that by creating the foundations of a solid faith in the home, the fruits are revealed in a more humane society. The Pope said that the alliance of the family with…Continue Reading

Saints Will Welcome Families, Pope to Philadelphia

St. John Neumann Was Bishop of the City and St. Katharine Drexel Was Born Here United States of America, August 31, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter When Pope Francis and thousands of families arrive next month to Philadelphia, they are sure to be welcomed by two saints with ties to the city. Fr. Thomas Rosica, English-language assistant for the Vatican press office, has compiled the following biographies: * * * ST. JOHN NEPOMUCENE NEUMANN, C.SS.R. (1811-1860)…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Angelus appeals for persecuted Christians, migrants

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued a twofold appeal on Sunday: for persecuted Christians and for all persons forced to flee their homes in search of a peaceful and secure existence in foreign lands. Recalling the beatification on Saturday in Harissa, Lebanon, of the martyred Syrian Catholic Bishop Flavyānus Mikhayil Melkī, Eparch of Gazarta – or what is Cizre in modern-day Turkey, who was killed in Gazarta during the sayfo or “putting to the sword” of…Continue Reading

Pope Didn’t Bless ‘Gender Theory’ Children’s Books

pope725

Holy See Denies Any Papal Endorsement of Children’s Books Promoting Same-Sex Relationship Italy, August 28, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Luca Marcolivio Once again Pope Francis is being “used” by those in favor of promoting the same-sex lifestyle. The latest case arose this morning following news of a letter sent by an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State to the author of children’s books that promote “different family types.” The Guardian reported the letter with the headline,…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . The Sabbatine Privilege

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY We recently celebrated, on July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which, according to tradition, is associated with the giving of the Brown Scapular to St. Simon Stock on that date in 1251. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him with the scapular saying, “This will be for you…Continue Reading

Is Trumpism The New Nationalism?

By PATRICK BUCHANAN Since China devalued its currency 3 percent, global markets have gone into a tailspin. Why should this be? After all, 3 percent devaluation in China could be countered by a U.S. tariff of 3 percent on all goods made in China, and the tariff revenue used to cut U.S. corporate taxes. The…Continue Reading

The Family Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris Presents Many Grave Problems

By MAIKE HICKSON After reading the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the upcoming October 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, when it was first published in June, the author of this short article was somewhat stunned and increasingly troubled. Yet I was soon helped by others to acquire a better understanding. It is…Continue Reading

Syrian Apocalypse

By JOHN J. METZLER UNITED NATIONS— Syria continues to descend into the inferno while the international community stands transfixed. A political solution seems elusive as ever, the civil war grinds on having killed over 250,000 people, and more than twelve million people have fled their homeland. Alarmed by these developments, the UN Security Council has…Continue Reading

One Catholic Congressman … Prepping For The Pope’s U.S. Visit

By MATT HADRO WASHINTON, D.C. (CNA)— As the nation’s capital works to get ready for Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. this fall, one Catholic congressman is preparing by reading papal encyclicals. “I say as a Catholic, I’m pretty excited,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.) told CNA of the upcoming papal visit. He added that…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Communiqué Issued at the end of the Pro-Life Conference In Accra, Ghana (August 8-9

Preamble In response to the increasing violation of the sanctity and dignity of human life and the continuing culture of death in Ghana and around the world, and in line with Pope Francis’ call for the need to sustain and support marriage and family life, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the priests, religious and laity of the Catholic Church in…Continue Reading

End Media Blackout On Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Scandal

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The baby parts sale scandal at Planned Parenthood is being aided and abetted by another scandal: the refusal of vast portions of the mainstream media to cover the issue. The release of numerous videos that detail the brutal and criminal killing and dismembering even of babies outside of the womb in order to obtain body…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… The Man Jesus — Humanity At Its Perfection

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 17 What was Jesus like, as a Man? We know about His divinity, we believe in it, but what was He like in His daily life with people in general? We call this topic investigating the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, or, more simply, Jesus the Man. In an obscure province of…Continue Reading

The Episcopal College And The Pope

By DON FIER When Jesus founded the Church, as we saw last week, “He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 874). With the overarching objective to ensure that the ministry He introduced during His time on earth would be carried forward until the end of time, Christ organized her along hierarchical…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. The Supreme Court has a history of immoral decisions, such as declaring black slaves as property, permitting credit card companies to charge usurious interest rates, allowing the public sale of contraceptives, okaying the killing of unborn babies, and approving sodomy. What’s next? Polygamy? Incestuous “marriage”? Person-animal “marriage”? It would appear that we are on a par with Sodom of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St.…Continue Reading