But the converse is equally true. There is little that is said in Holy Scripture concerning The Church of God that is not also true of the Mother of God. The Church is the Temple, the Bride, the House of God—so too is His Blessed Mother.
The Church—full of grace, as was Mary, and, like Mary, filled with the Holy Spirit—is the
On these words St. Ambrose comments:
"God promises to others that they shall not fail; and will He suffer His Mother to fail ? Mary does not fail."
On occasion the Fathers, when writing of the Church, seem almost to go out of their way to introduce, where we expect it least, the name of the Blessed Mother of God, as though they were anxious that never for one moment should her memory be forgotten. Sometimes, moreover, as we are reading about the Holy Church, the thought of our Lady will rush unbidden to the mind. When the Apostle writes of the Church of Christ as " glorious, without spot or stain or any such thing," who will refrain from forming the picture of Mary in his heart ? Truly " glorious things are said of thee, O thou holy City of God."
It will not therefore surprise us to find that in many of the mystical portions of the Holy Scriptures it is impossible to say whether certain passages refer primarily to our Lady or to the church. It is certain that they can be applied to both, and that they have been actually applied to both by the Fathers. This is true especially of the Canticle of Canticles.