The Tree of Life

The Madonna on a Crescent Moon, Anonymous (1450s)

The tree of life in the garden of Eden has meaning meanings. It can represent the Cross and it can also represent the Church, both of which supply us with the fruit of eternal life: Jesus Christ.1

In the same light, the tree also points to Mary. This is clearly seen by studying the tree in the Old Testament (see Typology) and confirming it with the Tree in Revelation.

In the Garden of Eden were two trees: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. God said that our parents should not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, but what about the Tree of Life?

Interestingly, no conditions were placed on the Tree of Life (Genesis 2:1-17). This was because Christ said that the righteous were permitted to eat from the Tree of Life (Revelation 2:7) and Adam and Eve were righteous when they were first created.

Whoever eats the fruit of this tree will live on earth forever (Genesis 3:22, St. Thomas Aquinas1). But, the food that leads to eternal life in Heaven is Christ Jesus (John 6:52-29). Therefore, the fruit of this tree points to Christ. If the fruit points to Christ, who does the tree point to?

When Mary visited St. Elizabeth, she:

…exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” – Luke 1:42

If Christ is the fruit of Mary and if the fruit of the Tree of Life points to Christ, then the Tree of Life must point to Mary.

This is significant because Revelation reveals several details about Mary if we see her relationship to the Tree of Life.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ – Revelation 2:7

Mary is in paradise with God; and just as our first parents had access to the fruit from the Tree of Life before they sinned, we will always have access to Christ and His mother.

Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – Revelation 22:2

The river is the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). Interestingly, the river flows through the tree (since the tree is on either side of the river), meaning that the Holy Spirit flows from the Father and Son through Mary to us.

Also, notice that the leaves of the tree heal us because it is watered by the river. In other words, Mary helps us because the Holy Spirit works through her.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. – Revelation 22:14

To enter the eternal city means to have a right to the tree of life. In other words, to enter Heaven means to also have Mary in our lives.

… And if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:19

If we are not witnesses to Christ, we will lose access to Heaven, to Mary and to the fruit of her womb, Christ.

Turn to Mary. She is your mother (see “Mediatrix of All Graces“) and will feed you from the Tree of Life and help you attain eternal life by the merits of Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit.