The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 132.

8. The Ark of the Covenant.

In the Litany of our Lady the Church invokes Mary as Fæderis arca —in this following the example of St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Maximus of Turin and many other Fathers. And surely with reason, for the Ark made of precious and incorruptible woods containing the tables of the Law and the Manna of the desert, which was regarded as the Seat of God and the safeguard of the children of Israel, brings before our mind the Holy Virgin, immaculate and incorrupt, who bore within her womb not merely the Tables of the Law but the Divine Legislator Himself, the living Bread that came down from Heaven; who is the Tabernacle of the Godhead and the protection of Christian people. Fæderis arca: auxilium Christianorum, ora pro nobis.

9. The Eastern Gate, of which the Lord said to Ezechiel: " This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened and no man shall pass through it, because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut for the Prince." (Ezechiel xliv. 1-3.)

"What is this gate but Mary ?" asks St. Ambrose. "And it was shut because Mary is a Virgin. Mary, then, is the gate through which Christ came into this world. . . . .He came forth from the Virgin, whose sublimity is such that the world is unable to sustain it. A good gate is Mary, that was closed and was not opened. . . . This gate looked towards the East, since it shed forth the true Light, gave birth to the Orient, and brought forth the Sun of Justice."

And St. Jerome :

"Christ is a Virgin, and the Mother of this One Virgin is herself a perpetual Virgin, Mother and Virgin. . . . She is the Eastern Gate of which Ezechiel speaks, always shut and full of light, which, closing on itself, lets pass the Holy of Holies, whereby the Sun of Justice, even our High Priest, according to the Order of Melchisedech, enters in and goes out."

In a sermon preached before the Bishops at the Council of Ephesus, St. Proclus spoke as follows:

"I see the miracles [of Christ] and proclaim His Godhead. I see the sufferings [of Christ] and deny not His Manhood. But Emmanuel would, as Man, have opened the gates of Nature, but, as God, He burst not the bars of Virginity. ... * And the gate shall be shut.' Behold a clear demonstration of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Silenced therefore be all contradictions. And let us be enlightened with the knowledge of the Scriptures, that we may obtain the Kingdom of Heaven for ever and ever, Amen."