The Tree of Life Planted in the Midst of the Earth

The following is taken from Msgr. Gentilucci’s, Life of the Blessed Virgin, on how the Scriptures prophesied the coming of our Lady:

The first who announced our glorious Lady, was her royal ancestor the prophet David, when to the sweet strains of his inspired harp he sang: “The earth hath yielded her fruit,” which according to St. Jerome’s explanation, signifies: “Mary, who is also our earth, because on our side she is the daughter of Adam, and formed consequently of the same clay as we, has yielded from her chaste and virginal womb the divine fruit, that fruit of immortality, with which, too, we were to nourish ourselves in the sacrament of the Eucharist.”

[David] also predicts Mary, when…..he sings:  “Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place, thou and the ark which thou hast sanctified,” and he also alluded to Mary, when he said:  “God is our king before ages: he hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth;” words which St. Bernard thus explains:  “The womb of Mary is called with admirable propriety ‘the midst of the earth.’ since those who dwell in heaven, and those who are beneath the earth [referring to limbo and Abraham’s bosom] ; those who lived before us, and we who are now alive; those who come after us, and all their posterity, all turn their eyes to Mary as the centre, as towards the ark of God, as towards the reason of all things, as towards the hope of all ages….In thee, O Mary, the angels find joy, the just grace, and sinners pardon; and well do all creatures turn their eyes to thee, because in thee and by thee, that is to say, by thy divine Son, the merciful hand of the Almighty has created in a new and spiritual manner, all that He created in the beginning.”

[Solomon echoed his father’s prophecy] when he says:  “Wisdom hath built herself a house; she hath hewn her out seven pillars.”   …[T]he wisdom of God, the co-eternal Word….Jesus Christ….made Himself an abode in the womb of Mary, where, on proceeding from the bosom of the Father, he assumed the human form.  The womb of Mary is then the house, the temple of the Word…The fullness of the Divinity dwells in that temple, where He hath hewn out seven pillars to support and adorn it;  that is, which He hath enriched with the theological and cardinal virtues; or rather, as St. Bonaventure says, He infused into the soul of Mary the seven graces of the Holy Ghost, in order to render it, by faith and works, an abode worthy of the divinity.”

The whole Canticle of Canticles may be considered as a prophecy relative to the Blessed Virgin, who is the Creator’s daughter of predilection.  In fact, the Holy Fathers say that, in the Canticle of Canticles, Solomon predicts the Blessed Virgin, under various figurative expressions, some of which we shall select.

to be continued….

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