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Perfection Joins Our Pilgrimage in Mary [Catholic caucus]
Catholic Lane ^ | 4/01/11 | Mary Kochan

Posted on 04/01/2011 9:18:40 AM PDT by Mary Kochan

One of the readings from the Divine Office today concerns the making – the crafting – of the Ark of the Covenant. Here it is, in part:

Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and has filled him with a divine spirit of skill and understanding and knowledge in every craft: in the production of embroidery, in making things of gold, silver or bronze, in cutting and mounting precious stones, in carving wood, and in every other craft. …

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. The inside and outside were plated with gold, and a molding of gold was put around it. Four gold rings were cast and put on its four supports, two rings for one side and two for the opposite side. Poles of acacia wood were made and plated with gold; these were put through the rings on the sides of the ark, for carrying it — Exodus 35:30-32; 37:1-5.

The parallels of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Ark are notable and frequently cited: She carried within her womb Christ who is Bread from heaven, the Great High Priest, the Greater Moses and the fulfillment of the Law. This corresponds with the items stored in the Ark, Manna, the budded staff of Aaron, and the tablets of the law carved by Moses. But the account above of the making of the Ark shows other ways the type correspondences with the antitype.

How was the Ark made? It was not made in heaven, but it was designed in heaven. Every detail of its perfect design was transmitted from heaven to ordinary humans who made it through ordinary human means. But note that the Ark itself, because of God’s Spirit upon the craftsmen, did not partake of the imperfections that in the ordinary course of event would have left some mark upon it. Not even the smallest flaw would be allowed to mar the perfection of the Ark because God filled the craftsmen with “a divine spirit of skill” for its making.

And what of the antitypical Ark, the Blessed Virgin? She came to be according to the ordinary way that children of men are borne – but perfect, her parents prevented by the Spirit of God from passing along to her any of their imperfections. From the moment of her conception she was cleansed from any stain of sin that natural generation would have, in the ordinary course of events, caused in her.

The typical Ark was created to accompany the Israelites on their wilderness pilgrimage and into the Promised Land. It was designed to be carried by priests. Four rings were affixed to it and two poles slid through the rings so that it could be carried. Not merely for its own sake, or for the sake of its own beauty and perfection — as wonderful as those things were — but because it was there, with that Ark, that God choose to be present. The presence of the Lord traveled with the people as the Ark, carried by the priests, accompanied them.

So Mary, our Dear Mother, accompanies us on our pilgrimage through this life. The Church’s teaching carries and exalts Mary, by means of the Old and New Testaments and the Four Gospels, not merely for the sake of her beauty and perfection – as wonderful and lovely as they make her – but because it is with her that God chooses to be present to us.

There are many other ways that we can see Mary in connection with the Ark of the Covenant in Scripture and pondering them is always good for us. We are thereby reminded how much God cares for us and wants to be close to us, helping us on our pilgrimage through this life, while in Mary’s perfection we have a glimpse of the beauty of the life to come.

[Mary Kochan, former Senior Editor of CatholicExchange, is Editor-in-chief of

Raised as a third-generation Jehovah's Witness, Mary worked her way backwards through the Protestant Reformation to enter the Catholic Church on Trinity Sunday, 1996. Mary has spoken in many settings, to groups large and small, on the topic of destructive cultism and has been a guest on both local and national radio programs. To arrange for Mary to speak at your event, you may contact her at]

TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: arkofthecovenant; blessedvirginmary
I'd love to know your thoughts on the points that struck me during the readings today. If you are on Facebook, please like Catholic Lane. Thank you.
1 posted on 04/01/2011 9:18:43 AM PDT by Mary Kochan
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To: Mary Kochan

Hi Mary:

I’m already your “friend” on FB, but right now some dread confluence of Firefox, dial-up, my bizarre ASUS computer, and bad karma is making FB unavailable to on FB, while the Blackberry version seems crippled. When, by the intercession of St. Isadore, things get squared away, I’ll happily “like” the page.

Yeah, when I prayed the Office of Readings today the antetype of Mary really got all up in my grill. Don’t have much to add except “Thanks.”

2 posted on 04/01/2011 9:33:27 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg

Remember how we invented computers to make our lives easier...

3 posted on 04/01/2011 9:37:56 AM PDT by Mary Kochan (
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To: Mary Kochan

I think a strong argument can be madevthatvcomputers have souls on the grounds that no inanimate creature could be as vicious.

4 posted on 04/01/2011 10:28:04 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mary Kochan

God Bless you Mary!

I haven’t heard of you before, and I am not on FB so I can’t like the page, but I am so glad to meet you here on FR.

I love the way you speak of the Ark and Mary as having been made perfect by God even though they are the work of human hands. It reminds me of the Eucharistic Bread and Wine and the prayers the priest says during consecration.

I am especially encouraged to see that you have come out of the Jehovah’s Witness and back to the Church. It gives me hope for my sister.

Don’t intend to spark any debate, just thanking you for sharing your wonderful insights and personal story.

5 posted on 04/01/2011 11:26:55 AM PDT by Jvette
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To: Jvette

Thank you, Jvette, for your kind comments. I like you relating it to the Eucharist, because of course all that Jesus was physically he got from Mary, so his flesh came from her.

I am so sorry about your sister. I know what a tremendous strain it is on family relations to have a someone convert to the JWs. If you email me, I can put you in touch with a group called the Fellowship of Catholic ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many Catholics with JW family members use their board for advice and support.

Even though you are not on Facebook, you can still register on Catholic Lane.

The site is fairly new, but I have worked in Catholic media for 10 years at another, very well known, site. And before that I made tapes for St. Joseph Communication.

6 posted on 04/01/2011 12:43:01 PM PDT by Mary Kochan (
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To: Mary Kochan

That was very enjoyable.

7 posted on 04/01/2011 4:04:49 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Nadie me ama como Jesus.)
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To: Tax-chick

Thank you. I am working on editing and imaging an article as friend of mine wrote about the social justice issues of Easter eggs. It will be up shortly. I can’t post it here though because it is not about the Catholic faith.

8 posted on 04/01/2011 4:31:27 PM PDT by Mary Kochan (
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To: Mary Kochan

Social justice issues of Easter eggs sounds fascinating ;-). If you remember, FReepmail me a link to wherever it’s posted.

9 posted on 04/01/2011 7:29:47 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Nadie me ama como Jesus.)
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