Recently I have been reading a book given to me this past Christmas. The book is “Alone of All Her Sex” by Marina Warner. Initially, I thought this might be a great defense of the Blessed Mother. Instead, I am reading a deplorable, pathetic assault on every Church Teaching regarding the Blessed Mother by a feminist, former Catholic just looking for an excuse to assault Catholicism.
I do not intend to make an exhaustive rebuttal to Marina Warner’s book. The post would be way too long, and I don’t believe Mrs. Warner’s trash deserves such attention. Instead, I wish to give praise to my Heavenly Mother on this Mother’s Day.
Eve was the first mother of the human race. From her, as science has proven, descends all mankind. “Mitochondrial Eve”, however, was flawed. Though created pure, Eve gave into sin. She desired to rise above her status as a mere human, and she attempted to be more “like God”.
It was through Eve that suffering, sin, and death entered the world. Before Eve’s sin, the world was a paradise. But Eve’s sin ruined this paradise, and Earth often seems more like Purgatory. Through the First Eve, salvation was lost. Yet, hope survived.
Our God is a good God, and He would not so easily allow His creatures to throw away their chance at true happiness. He promised us a Savior would come, and through His suffering and death, would restore what Eve and Adam (because Eve was certainly not all to blame) had lost. Yet, our God is not merely good; but He possesses a tremendous sense of irony.
It was not enough for God to simply restore what was lost. No, God must also restore what was lost in an exact reversal. Just as a woman was the first to be guilty of sin, so a woman would be the first to usher in our salvation. God would give us a woman better than the first. One who would obey God’s will. He would give mankind a Second Eve.
Just as the First Eve was flawed and became a slave to Satan, so the Second Eve would have to be flawless. It is only in this way that the Second Eve could be free of the domination of Satan. It was absolutely necessary that the Second Eve be free of Satan’s domination, because God the Son must reside in a pure vessel.
If you think about it, the Catholic position makes perfect sense. Think about the Old Testament for a moment. The contents of the Ark of the Covenant were considered the holiest objects in Judaism. The Ark contained the rod of Aaron (the first high priest), the tablets of the Ten Commandments, and manna which reigned from heaven to feed the Hebrews in the desert. These objects made the Ark itself holy. Hence, the Ark had to not only be pure from the moment it was made, but it had to remain pure. This would be achieved by keeping it from contact with anything considered impure.
Mary contained within Herself the holiest object to ever enter our world. Mary contained God Himself within Her womb. This effectively makes Mary the New Ark of the Covenant. She is the Second Eve because, as Revelation 12 is clear, She is the Mother of Christians. Just as Eve is mother of all physically living, Mary is the mother of all spiritually living.
Yet, Mary is also the New Ark of the Covenant, because She contained the holiest object in Christendom. She contained Jesus Himself. Just as the Old Ark of the Covenant had to be pure at its “creation”, and then kept pure by avoiding contact with impure objects, so it must be with the New Ark of the Covenant. Jesus must reside in a pure vessel. New Testament figures are always superior to their Old Testament types. Jesus being superior to the contents of the Old Ark of the Covenant, He must reside in a vessel even more pure than the Old Ark.
This, I suggest, is exactly what happened. Mary was superior to the Old Ark first, because She was human. Humans always trump inanimate objects and irrational animals. Second, Mary was purer than the Old Ark because She was the only human (other than Christ) who was never under the domination of Satan. Just as the Old Ark was kept from contact with impurity, so Mary was kept from contact with impurity in a much more remarkable way!
So, on this Mother’s Day, let us not forget this greatest of all mothers. Let us remember to praise Her. Let us spiritually join together today in reciting a Rosary to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother!
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity