Springtime often lightens the spirits in all of us. The trees bloom, the birds sing, and living things seems to become more vibrant… Spring symbolizes a renewing or a rebirth. Easter comes in early spring and we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Often, in springtime we make new plans or start new projects… There must be something in the air, for this phenomenon seems to be contagious. A lot of folks get spring fever…
May, rightfully stands as the month devoted to Mary, the Mother of God. Nothing on this earth seems more fitting or proper… Our Lady deserves our veneration. After all, she accepted the will of God, gave birth to His Son, the One that died for our sins on the cross and then conquered death by rising 3 days later. Through Him, with the Sacrament of Baptism, we receive resurrection, rebirth, and a cleansing of our sins.
Growing up as a preachers kid, with the exception of Christmas time, we didn’t hear very much about our Blessed Mother… How unfortunate to miss out on something so significant to Christianity. Mary seems like a quiet, simple and unassuming character in the New Testament. Unless of course, one looks deeper into the Word, and into the typology from the Old Testament. Put that all together, and she becomes the most blessed and spectacular person on earth! In order to be the Ark of the New Covenant, she had to be perfect and without sin. She did not need to slay Philistines with the jawbone of ass, or kill a giant with a small smooth stone. She didn’t need to part the Red Sea, or step into a fiery furnace. All she had to do was accept the will of God and raise and protect her child. However, in the process of all this, she crushes the head of the serpent, Satan!
God provided Moses with specific instructions on building the Ark of the Covenant. In order to carry the Presence of God, it had to be perfect. Thus, Mary had to be perfect also. For she carried the Word made flesh. Obviously, with my Protestant background, I never realized this or saw it in the Bible. I am so glad to be Catholic now, for my eyes have been opened to see more of the fullness of the truth!
This last Pentecost Sunday, just a few days ago, our Priest showed us more exciting typology regarding Mary, the Ark, and the Holy Spirit. He spoke from 2 Chronicles where King Solomon, along with 120 Priests, brought the Ark of the Covenant out in the temple. The Presence of God came as cloud and filled the House of the Lord. Then, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings. Father then compared this event to the first and second chapters of Acts. Where the Apostles, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and others numbered about 120 in the upper room. Then a rush like a mighty wind came forth and the Holy Spirit descended upon them with tongues of fire. I get amazed every time I see another example of how the Old Testament ties in so close with the New… One of my Dad’s favorite quotes he often used from the pulpit came from St. Paul, Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.
Oh how I wish my Father could see this and I could talk with him about the Lord… I had many chances to do that when he was alive, but I never cared or exhibited any interest during my selfish youth. I have deep seated regret for that and probably will forever… But, I truly believe he would be happy and proud of my interest now, even though I am a Catholic! My Dad looked and listened to the heart, he had a special gift.
I love the Church, and I love learning more about our Lord. As long as I keep praying and trusting in Him, that desire for knowledge will only deepen. But, we are not alone and we have a lot of help. We have the Communion of Saints and direct access to the Church Triumphant! This does not mean we speak to the dead or worship those gone before us. On the contrary, these great Christian examples that live in Heaven are by far more alive than we are here on earth in the Church Militant. The Saints, the angels, and the Blessed Mother all want to lead us closer to Jesus. We do not worship them or place them equal or above God in any way. Saint Louis Marie de Montfort said this regarding veneration to the Blessed Mother…
“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.” True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, #94
God made us in his image, and he gave us 5 senses. That gives me 5 more reasons to like the Catholic Church. It has a unique way of appealing to all of them. We have statues, icons, colorful vestments, the wonderful smell of incense, and the sounds of heavenly bells. Most importantly, we have bread and wine that once consecrated by the Priest, becomes the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord. We partake of this Holy meal at every Mass. We do this as He commanded. We do all of these things just to get closer to God.
Here are some good links to more about the Ark of the New Covenant…