Dimitry_rostovsky_17cThe Lord, Who lives in the heavens, wishing to appear on earth and abide with men, first prepared a dwelling place of His glory: His Most Pure Mother.

[…] And as the palaces of earthly kings are constructed by the most skilled craftsmen, of the most costly materials, and…are more beautiful and spacious than all the other dwellings of men, in the same manner the palace of the King of Glory must be erected (3 Kings 6).

In the Old Testament, when God desired to dwell in Jerusalem, Solomon built a temple for Him, employing Hiram, a most wise master, who possessed full knowledge of every art and science, and was skilled in every enterprise.

He constructed the temple with materials of great value: with costly stone, with aromatic woods of cedar and cypress brought from Lebanon, with pure gold, and upon a high place: that is, upon Mount Moriah (2 Chr. 3).

The temple was of great beauty. On its walls were portrayed the likeness of cherubims, and of various trees and flowers.

The temple was so spacious that the whole Israelite people could be accommodated without crowding, and the glory of the Lord would descend in fire and a cloud (2 Chr. 7).

Nevertheless, that temple did not suffice to contain within itself the Uncontainable God, for even though Solomon built Him a temple, “The Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands. ‘What house will ye build me’, saith the Lord: ‘or what is the place of my rest?’” (Acts 7).

At the beginning of the new era of grace, the Lord was pleased to create a temple not made by hands: the Most Pure, Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

By what builder was this temple erected? In truth, by One most wise; by the very Wisdom of God, as the Scripture says, “Wisdom hath built itself a temple” (Prov. 9).

All things created by the Wisdom of God are good and perfect, therefore, as it was the Wisdom of God that created the living temple of the Word…it was not possible that in her there could be any sort of imperfection or sin.

The Perfect God created a perfect temple; the Most Radiant King, a most radiant palace; for the Most Pure and Undefiled Bridegroom, a bridal chamber most pure and undefiled; for the Spotless Lamb, an unsullied dwelling place.

A Faithful Witness abiding in the heavens said to her, “You are most fair, my love; there is no spot in you” (Song of Songs 4).

And Saint John the Damascene says, “She is wholly the bridal chamber of the Spirit, wholly the city of God, a sea of Grace, wholly good, close to God.”

Dimitri of Rostov (1651-1709; Russian Orthodox): Homily On The Nativity Of The Most Pure Theotokos @ Mystagogy.

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