"Who is this fruit of the womb, but He of whom it was said: Behold the inheritance of the Lord, children, the recompense of the fruit of the womb? That is to say, the inheritance of the Lord is children, and these are the recompense of that fruit which came forth from the womb of Mary. He is indeed the fruit of the womb, the flower of the root, whereof well did Isaias prophesy, saying: A rod shall go forth from the root of Jesse, etc.""*

"The Lord Himself, born of the Virgin, is become the fruit of the womb. Whose assumed humanity has received this recompense, that the Gentiles, called to be amongst the sons, should be His inheritance; as it is written: He gave them power to be the sons of God, who believe in His name."+

"Behold we have heard of it in Ephrata: we have found it in the fields of the wood." -- cxxxi. 6.

"Here David sets forth what was the object of his desires, and with prophetic eyes beheld about to come, Him whom we believe to have already come. For the Hebrew word ZO, as I learnt from thy teaching,++, does not signify the Lord's Mother, that is, auten, but [the Lord] Himself, that is, auton. And therefore David speaks with confidence: We will go into His tabernacle: we will adore in the place where His feet stood (v. 7). And am I a poor, miserable, sinful woman, accounted worthy to kiss the manger wherein the Lord cried as a little one? and to pray in the cave, wherein the Virgin Mother gave birth to the Infant God? This shall be my rest, because it is the birth-place (patria) of my Lord."**

"The ark is verily the holy Virgin, gilded within and without, who received the treasure of universal sanctification. Arise, O Lord, from the Father's bosom, to raise up again the ruined race of our first parent."||

"Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting-place: Thou and the ark which Thou hast sanctified. -- cxxxi. 8.

"The ark is without doubt the Virgin Mother of God. For if Thou art the gem, with reason is she the ark; and because Thou art the sun, the Virgin will necessarily be called heaven; since Thou art the unfading flower, the Virgin must assuredly be the plant of incorruption and paradise of immortality. Which things Isaias, seeing from afar, exclaimed later on: Behold a Virgin shall conceive in her womb, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel.***

* See infra, Is. xi. 1. S. Ambrose, In Luc. Lib. ii. n. 24.

+ Brev. in Psalt. in loc. Int. Opp. S. Hieron.

++ S. Paula is here represented as speaking to S. Jerome.

** S. Jerome, Epist. cviii. 10. Ad Eustoch. Epitaphium Paulae Matris. It is plain from these words of S. Jerome, that had the Hebrew text which he used, expressed the feminine gender, as do the Septuagint, and the Hebrew MSS. which we have, he would have interpreted the passage of the Blessed Virgin, signified under the figure of the Ark (1 Kings xvii. 12; vii. 1; 1 Par. xiii.; xv. 1, 25, 29; xvi. 1). The Vulgate has eam; and the Anglican version, it.

|| Orat. in Deip. Annunciat. Int. Opp. S. Greg. Thaumaturg.

*** Is. vii. 14.



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