There is a lot of enmity in the world today. With all that’s happened just in 2020, the preceding sentence could probably be called the understatement of the year.
With all of the contentions and divisions that we see in society today, especially between those who defy God’s laws and those who hold to the teachings of Christ and His Church, one can’t help but think of the words of Our Lord: “And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold”. (Matthew 24:12)
Who would have thought that such an “advanced and civilized” society could be so divided on such obvious issues as whether an unborn child should or should not have the right to life? I am reminded of a writer that said that the more a civilization moves away from God, the more it falls back into barbarism.
It is important that we recognize that, ultimately, the struggle that is taking place in the world is “not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers,against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
It is the same struggle that has been going on since the fall of Lucifer and the other rebellious angels who were his first followers. Perhaps at no time in history has this struggle and the division between the followers of Christ and the followers of Lucifer – disguised though he be as an angel of light – been more obvious.
The two standards as described by St. Ignatius of Loyola are unfurled and openly displayed.
Christ Himself has warned us that for everyone involved in this struggle, there can be no compromise
“He who is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23)
Now, enough of the doom and gloom for the present discussion. Such reflections are important and beneficial in their own right, but if we’re not careful can easily take over our thoughts, rob us of our peace of soul, and spread a shroud of gloom to those around us.
“Saints are not sad”, and joy is one of the 12 fruits of the Holy Ghost, so let’s move on to a very bright, very cheerful subject: Mary, the Mother of God.
She is the “Cause of our Joy”, the “Comfort of the Afflicted” and the “Help of Christians”.
She is the solution to the problems that we face in the world today.
Pope St. Pius X said, “There is no surer or easier way than Mary in uniting all men with Christ.”
“I Will Put Enmities Between Thee and the Woman”
This quote comes from the third chapter of the book of Genesis and are the words addressed by God to the serpent after the fall of Adam and Eve. It is fascinating to consider that immediately following the first and most damaging victory of Satan over mankind, Almighty God pronounced Satan’s doom.
Satan may have thought that he had brought about the ruin of mankind, but God foretold that one of the daughters of mankind would bring about his complete and utter ruin.
The pride of Satan would be crushed by the humility of the Mother of God. The works of Satan would be brought to nothing by the handmaid of the Lord.
No doubt, most every Catholic has heard an explanation of this excerpt from Genesis. Many also know that when Christ spoke to his mother in the Gospels, he addressed her as “Woman” in order to point to her as the Woman foretold in Genesis.
He did this when he would work his first miracle, thus giving the first public sign of his divinity: “Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.” He would again do this as He was hanging on the cross, accomplishing the Redemption of mankind: “Woman, behold thy Son. Son, behold thy Mother.”
It was the will of God that the Blessed Virgin Mary was to have a very important role in the Redemption of man as well as a vital role in man’s sanctification and salvation.
Perhaps no one explained this role better than St. Louis de Montfort. True Devotion to Mary is an incredible work, as is The Secret of the Rosary, and The Friends of the Cross.
Several Popes highly commended his writings and the special devotion to Mary that he practiced and preached.
Pope Pius IX said that Saint Louis De Montfort’s devotion to Mary was the best and most acceptable form of devotion to Our Lady.
Pope Leo XIII beatified him and granted a plenary indulgence to those who made the consecration to Mary that St. Louis promoted.
Pope St. Pius X: “I heartily recommend True Devotion to The Blessed Virgin, so admirably written by [Saint] De Montfort, and to all who read it grant the Apostolic Benediction.”
Pope Pius XI said that he had practiced this devotion from his youth.
Pope Pius XII canonized him a saint and declared that his “great secret of attracting and giving souls to Jesus was his devotion to Mary. All his activity was founded upon her, all his confidence rested in her. In opposition to the joyless austerity, melancholy fear and depressing pride of Jansenism, he promoted the filial, trustful, ardent and expansive love in action of a slave of Mary.”
The above examples show us how heartily the Church approves of this special devotion to Our Lady.
This is important.
The Church, the immaculate Bride of Christ, can only approve and promote that which is good and holy, for if She did otherwise, the promise of Christ to be with the Church would have failed.
That which is taught and promoted by the Church can only be good and lead to holiness.
If you have never read True Devotion to Mary or The Secret of the Rosary by this Saint, take the time to do so. One fantastic advantage we have in our day is such easy access to a plethora of Catholic books and writings, and we ought to take full advantage of this opportunity.
When we stand before God to render an account of our life and how well or poorly we fulfilled our obligation to know, love and serve Him, we will not have the excuse that we couldn’t have learned any more because we didn’t have the opportunity. The internet ( and in particular, Amazon’s 99 cent digital books) has robbed us of this excuse.
The insight of St. Louis de Montfort when speaking of the Mother of God and of the Rosary is powerful and inspiring.
Here are a few excerpts from this great Saint:
“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”
“Mary has produced, together with the Holy Ghost, the greatest thing which has been or ever will be—a God-Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest saints that there will be in the end of time.”
“For God, having given her power over his only-begotten and natural Son, also gave her power over his adopted children – not only in what concerns their body – which would be of little account – but also in what concerns their soul.”
“One and the same mother does not bring forth into the world the head without the members, nor the members without the head; for this would be a monster of nature. So in like manner, in the order of grace, the Head and the members are born of one and the same Mother; and if a member of the mystical Body of Jesus Christ—that is to say, one of the predestinate—was born of any other mother than Mary, who has produced the Head, he would not be one of the predestinate, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but simply a monster in the order of grace.”
“The greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.”
“Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if-and mark well what I say-if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”
Let’s follow the advice of this holy Saint and devote ourselves to the Mother of God. Let’s be sure to take the time every day to do spiritual reading and fill our minds with good things, instead of only letting in the things of the world. (Garbage in, garbage out.)
Pray the Rosary every day. If we tell ourselves that we don’t have time for it, let’s take a look at the screen time on our phones or the amount of time that we spend on Youtube and ask ourselves if we can’t make a little time for the Queen of Heaven.
“Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary … in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart … If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination.”