“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament: The “Paradise of God” and “Closed Door,” “Gate of God,” “Gate of Heaven” (Part 5)

The term, “Paradise of God” in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary derives from the homilies of the eighth century Bishop of Constantinople, St. Germain. Traditionally in the Church, the term “paradise” is a Marian symbol closely associated with the Early Church Fathers, such as St. Leo the Great, St. Proclus, St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, and others, who developed it in their writings.

Since the trickery of the serpent and the sin committed by our first parents in the earthly paradise of Eden, resulting in a original sin (yesterday’s Gospel Reading in the Latin Rite), God, in his infinite mercy, desired to fully restore another earthly paradise through the redeeming work of the Incarnate Word. He (God) prepared the “paradise” of the virginal womb of Mary, in which, in the fullness off time (Gal 4:4) came the Divine Son.

In the Litany of Loreto, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been petitioned by the faithful to answer their intercessions as the “Gate of Heaven.” Mary’s immaculate and virginal womb brought forth Jesus Christ into the world, she then is truly the Gate of Heaven.

In the prophet Ezekiel (44:1-2), it references the mystery of the “closed door” which “shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.” The most accurate and detailed scriptural exegetical study of this passage points out that this passage is in reference to Mary’s perfect and perpetual virginity – before, during, and ever childbirth. In Mary’s perpetual virginity, it’s a doorway that is always sealed and always to be closed.

 The image of the Virgin Mother and Infant Christ surrounded by flowers is from the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz in Austria.


The image of the Virgin Mother and Infant Christ surrounded by flowers is from the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz in Austria.

As Saint Ambrose said, “Christ has passed through it, but not opened it.” Pope St. John Paul II has said that Jesus did not violate Mary’s virginity, rather, he sanctified her virginity.

The elect enter into paradise through the “Gate of Heaven” – who is truly the Blessed Virgin Mary. Psalm 117:20 says, “This is the gate of the Lord, the just shall enter through it.” In the antiphon for the Gospel of the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it says the following – “‘Gate of Heaven’: The gate of paradise, shut by the sin of Eve, has been reopened by you, O Virgin Mary.”

Next week we will continue our Old Testament Series in relation to the Blessed Virgin Mary as we examine Marian Symbols used in the Liturgy.

O Mary, as the Paradise of God and Gate of Heaven…Pray for Us. 

Source:

Burke, Raymond L., Stefano M. Manelli, Luigi Gambero, Manfred Hauke, Peter M. Fehlner, Arthur Burton. Calkins, Paul Haffner, Alessandro M. Apollonio, Edward P. Sri, Charles M. Mangan, Enrique Llamas Martínez, Neil J. Roy, Etienne Richer, Vladimir Zelinskiĩ, and Mark I. Miravalle. Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons. Goleta, CA: Queenship Pub, 2008. Print.

Mondays with Mary” – The Blessed Virgin Mary is Our Lady

Over the course of 2000 years, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been given a variety of titles and names to honor her dignity as the Mother of God. Many of her titles come from the places she has appeared such as Fatima, Lourdes, and Guadalupe. Other titles come from her assistance in life of the Church such as Star of the Sea and Mother of the Poor. Furthermore, the five Marian doctrines also help us to understand her role in Salvation History, for she is truly the Theotokos and Perpetual Virgin who was Immaculately Conceived and then Assumed into Heaven where she intercedes for us as our Maternal Mother, Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix of All Grace.

As I was thinking and praying yesterday on what to write for today’s “Mondays with Mary”, it came to me that the Blessed Virgin is Our Lady. She is Our Lady because she is the Great Lady and Great Woman (Gebirah in Hebrew) in Salvation History. Recently, National Geographic Magazine called her the most powerful woman in the world. She remains the most powerful woman in the world because she is not dead, but living in Heaven. Through the power of Jesus Christ, she continues to intercede for us and has appeared to humans in a variety of cultures to remind us of Jesus, leading us to Jesus, and teaching us that Jesus loves us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Although I have not done all of her titles justice, for today’s “Mondays with Mary” I am going to list for you all the titles of Mary that begin with ‘Our Lady’ that I have written on over the nearly four years of this series. It’s my hope that you will read them over the week as well as share the beauty that is the Blessed Virgin Mary with your family and friends.

She is truly the Great Lady and Our Mother who is always ready to take our hand and lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ.

1. Our Lady of Fatima

2. Our Lady of the Americas and the New Evangelization

3. Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows by Carlo Dolci

Our Lady of Sorrows by Carlo Dolci

4. Our Lady of Lourdes

5. Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament

6. Our Lady of Czestochowa

Our Lady of Czestochowa

Our Lady of Czestochowa

7. Our Lady of Aparecida

8. Our Lady of the Snows

9. Our Lady of the Rosary

10. Our Lady Help of Christians

Our Lady, Help of Christians

Our Lady Help of Christians

11. Our Lady of Solitude

12. Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Patroness of Cuba

13. Our Lady of Nanteuil (France)

14. Our Lady of Walsingham

15. Our Lady of Health

Mary, Our Lady…Pray for Us. 

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes

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