Nothing else had been so holy among the chosen people as had the ark of the law.
Within this sacred tabernacle had rested God’s promise to his people.
Yet within this ark there rested only a few things that God had touched or designed. The table of the law, precious writings of God’s dictation, the loaves of sacrifice.
Now in the person of Mary there was a new and holier ark. She was the tabernacle designed to hold earth’s most precious possession, heaven’s most wonderful gift.
“Blessed art thou among women,” cried the angel. Into her body came the Word of God made flesh. For nine lovely months she was the only tabernacle that held the living Christ. Not the law of God, but the Son of God rested within her. Not the dictated words of the Scriptures, but the eternal word used her as his dwelling place.
If then the order of God and the natural reverence of men made the ark of the law rich and precious, how can we doubt the beauty and purity of the body and soul that were to tabernacle the incarnate God? If the touch of the Jew’s enemies profaned and soiled the wooden ark, surely the touch of the devil and the touch of sin would have made the tabernacle of Mary’s body and soul unworthy of the indwelling of God.
So to Mary, tabernacle of God, we say:
The Prayer of the Immaculate Conception
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for thy Son, we beseech thee that, as by the foreseen death of this, thy Son, thou didst preserve her from all stain, so too thou wouldst permit us, purified through her intercession, to come unto thee. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
(Copyright 1947 Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Nihil Obstat: John M. Fearns, S.T.D. Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop, New York)