Tower of Ivory

The unusual sounding title, \”Tower of Ivory\”, is another found in the Song of Songs: 

Your neck is like an ivory tower.

Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,

    by the gate of Bath-rab′bim.
–Song of Songs 4:4ab

First our lover compares his beloved\’s neck to the tower of David, a tower made ready to withstand a battle. Now, he compares his beloved\’s neck to a tower of ivory. Many times the phrase \”ivory tower\” is used to describe someone (especially someone in the academic field) who is completely separated from reality, but still claims to understand what is going on in the world. Thankfully, this is a meaning we would never ascribe to Our Lady. 
Mary is an ivory tower in the sense that she is strong, upright, courageous, pure and lovely. Mary is an example of true strength. It took immense courage to accept God\’s will when Gabriel presented it to her. That courage carried her forward through her marriage to Joseph and the birth of her only Son. Mary was strong when she let Him go on His way, knowing the plan of God had to be fulfilled. She stood beside Him when He hung on the cross, unafraid of what might happen next. And throughout her life, she possessed the loveliness and purity of one who has given her entire life to Christ. This is not necessarily a matter of physical attributes (although in Mary\’s case, this was true as well). It is primarily the beauty of one who allows the splendor of God to shine through. Blessed Raymond of Capua, OP,  the follower and biographer of St. Catherine of Siena, once had a mystical experience where he saw the face of Christ upon the face of St. Catherine. In this same way, Christ shines through us when we allow Him to possess us completely. Mary knew this without being told. But she did not remain aloof from the world. Instead, she was right there in the midst of everything, the good and the bad, the marketplace and the synagogue, the well and the sewer. She was untouched only in the sense that she, unlike almost everyone else around her, saw God in all things and in everything that happened in daily life. 
Mary, Tower of Ivory, help me to live as you did, in the world but not of the world, placing all my trust in your only Son Jesus Christ, allowing His radiance to shine through me more and more. 

Tower of David

Your neck is like the tower of David,
    built for an arsenal,
whereon hang a thousand bucklers,
    all of them shields of warriors.
Song of Songs 4:4
A tower in its simplest idea is a fabric for defence against enemies. David, King of Israel, built for this purpose a notable tower; and as he is a figure or type of our Lord, so is his tower a figure denoting our Lord’s Virgin Mother.
She is called the Tower of David because she had so signally fulfilled the office of defending her Divine Son from the assaults of His foes. It is customary with those who are not Catholics to fancy that the honours we pay to her interfere with the supreme worship which we pay to Him; that in Catholic teaching she eclipses Him. But this is the very reverse of the truth.
For if Mary’s glory is so very great, how cannot His be greater still who is the Lord and God of Mary? He is infinitely above His Mother; and all that grace which filled her is but the overflowings and superfluities of His incomprehensible Sanctity. And history teaches us the same lesson. Look at the Protestant countries which threw off all devotion to her three centuries ago, under the notion that to put her from their thoughts would be exalting the praises of her Son. Has that consequence really followed from their profane conduct towards her? Just the reverse—the countries, Germany, Switzerland, England, which so acted, have in great measure ceased to worship Him, and have given up their belief in His Divinity while the Catholic Church, wherever she is to be found, adores Christ as true God and true Man, as firmly as ever she did; and strange indeed would it be, if it ever happened otherwise. Thus Mary is the “Tower of David.” —St. John Henry Cardinal Newman 

Mary, Tower of David, be our protection and strength.