Wednesday 17th September 2014

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:

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

A ‘dereliction of duty’? Catholics react to Cardinal Dolan’s role in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s decision to act as grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade despite its decision to allow an openly homosexual organization to participate has drawn strong criticism from Catholic writers and outrage from many…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Caves

notredame

The following comes from an Aug. 30 email from the Sycamore Trust, “alumni protecting Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.” Notre Dame is complying with the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate in renewing its student health insurance program for 2014-15. Aetna, the insurer, will now provide students with…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Burke dismantles ‘Who am I to judge?’

burk

Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court – the Apostolic Signatura – has given a lengthy televised interview in which he decisively rectifies the false notions about Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge” quote that has been…Continue Reading

You’ve Been Dolanized!

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City has finally thrown in the towel and agreed to let gay Irish groups march. The announcement was made yesterday. In response, Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington posted on…Continue Reading

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 subscribe 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Tells Catholics To Go Forth With The Gospel Message

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis encouraged Catholics go forth and bring the Gospel message to the world and to their communities. Speaking on Wednesday during his General the Pope spoke of the universal and apostolic nature of the Catholic Church. He explained that the word catholic means that she is universal, something that she shows by speaking all languages, which –…Continue Reading

Pope And Santa Marta: Closeness And Compassion

pope525

(Vatican Radio) Beautiful homilies are useless if you are not close to the people, if you do not suffer with the people and do not give hope, they are vanity: This was Pope Francis’ reflection Tuesday morning during Mass in Santa Marta, the day on which the Church remembers the Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, bishop martyrs. The Gospel of…Continue Reading

One Thing Hillary Clinton’s Memoir Doesn’t Explain About Benghazi

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY In her memoir, Hard Choices, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton included a chapter on the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. But she failed to specifically explain why Ambassador Chris Stevens was there that day. “U.S. ambassadors are not required to consult or…Continue Reading

Violence Begets Violence

By REY FLORES Is it me or is violence becoming more prevalent across our society? Is it because most people have a cell phone nowadays with a camera and are able to share these ever-increasing acts of violence across cyberspace on social media? Perhaps it’s a little of both, but it’s definitely a lot more…Continue Reading

Birth Statistics Show Collapse Of The Family

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column; all rights reserved.) + + + If you count a generation as spanning 20 years, then approximately 36 percent of the American generation born from 1993 through 2012 — which has begun turning 21…Continue Reading

Deacon Describes Last Hours… Convicted Killer In Prolonged Execution Was Baptized

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Although most news attention focused on the nearly two hours it took for a convicted Arizona double murderer to die during the execution by lethal injection in July, he had been baptized a Catholic not long before, according to a deacon who helped Joseph Wood prepare for death. Ed Sheffer,…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A “Better Life Index” That Ignores What Makes For A Better Life

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . “And Who Is My Neighbor?” The Embryo And The ALS patient

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 20 bewails his isolation as a result of the scorn of nonbelievers: “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” He describes his temptation to throw in the towel as a prophet tasked by God with a message for mankind: “I say to myself,…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? Celibacy In The Teachings Of St. Paul

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 St. Paul was not one of the twelve, but he is known as “the Apostle,” certainly because of the richness of his apostolic zeal in teaching, possibly more than all the other apostles put together. He was educated in the faith by Jesus Himself, and after that intense training, he became as zealous…Continue Reading

The Implications Of Faith In One God

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks, we have reflected on but an infinitesimal fraction of all that the faithful affirm when they reverently and genuinely say the first four [or five] words contained in the Creeds of the Church: “I believe in [one] God.” In saying these words with heartfelt sincerity, one is acknowledging his belief in who…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I have recently read a book entitled Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll. I was taken aback by its premise and wonder about its veracity. Do you have an opinion on the book? — E.J.S., New Jersey. A. You have good reason to wonder about the veracity of Constantine’s Sword (and the movie based on the book) since its author,…Continue Reading

Magnify The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9 Phil. 1:20c-24, 27a Matt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, Isaiah cries out to all the people that they are to seek the Lord while He may be found. This becomes extremely important to us because Scripture speaks of the possibility of the Lord coming to…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

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… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading