“We are at war with Evil, and your mama wears combat boots”, Father Corapi says in his own special way. This is so true. We, now more than ever, are under attack from the evil one. So many different attacks on goodness attempt to blind us to the reality of the sin. The idea of sin itself is under attack. Ideas such as relativism and liberalism seek to either justify sin or remove God from the mainstream, basically accepting sin (above holiness). This backward world will tell us “Sin…good…God…bad”. Following up from my last article on the communion of saints, remember that we are the Church Militant. But how do we, fallen soldiers of God’s church, battle the powerful forces of sin? This battle is not like what we see in movies with demons, vampires, monsters, etc. While I am not seeking to suggest the existence or lack of existence of these creatures, I am pointing to the “everyday” Suzie and Jonnie out there; you and I, normal citizens, with normal lives. We fight an internal battle that began with the fall of Adam and Eve. The “weakness of character…concupiscence” (Catechsism 1264), the tendency to fall into sin (whatever our weaknesses may be). This may also include our own inclination to justify sin (with some help from the world). What can we do? We keep falling… Remembering that Jesus is the center of salvation; just like a child beaten by a bully, we run to our “Mommy” for help. Yes, I am a “Mama’s Boy”, and you should be one too. Mary, the Mother of God, Theo-tokos, and our Mother will aid us in battle. Remember the beautiful words of Luke’s Gospel:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,my spirit rejoices in God my Saviorfor he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:the Almighty has done great things for me,and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear himin every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israelfor he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,to Abraham and his children for ever. (Luke 1:46-55)
So much is said about Mary throughout the Catechism, scripture, and the Church Fathers. This short article cannot do justice to this topic. Pick up a Catechism, Google search, find what you can about Mary and begin learning. Pope Paul VI had some eloquent words about Mary:
The Church indeed, contemplating her hidden sanctity, imitating her charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father's will, by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By her preaching she brings forth to a new and immortal life the sons who are born to her in baptism, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of God. She herself is a virgin, who keeps the faith given to her by her Spouse whole and entire. Imitating the mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she keeps with virginal purity an entire faith, a firm hope and a sincere charity. http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/v2church.htm
You absolutely will not short change Jesus by loving his mother. Jesus loved his mother. He, in fact, is the only Son to ever choose his Mother. He in fact, throughout all ages, knowing all men and women who ever was, is, and ever shall be, chose Mary to be his mother. Jesus is never wrong, so Mary must be special. Jesus last words before his death on the cross included instruction to us all:
“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son. The he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”(John 19: 26-27)
Jesus was telling his Mother to treat the disciples (and us all) like her son, AS her Son. He was also telling his disciple to treat Mary like his Mother, AS his Mother…as we all should.
The point of this article is not to “prove” the Church’s teaching on Mary. There is much out there on that, and I will address that at another time. Today, I am simply taking for granted that you are reaching for help in glorifying the Lord. While there are many ways to start “strapping up your army boots” with Mary, might I suggest a few. First, get a rosary (www.rosaryarmy.com: request a free one), a guide to the Mysteries and instruction on praying the rosary ($.85, or free on my rosary webpage) and start praying it everyday. If you think you don’t have the time, find some. I takes me about 15 to 20 minutes. I will sometimes do mine on my commute with the aid of a recorded version on my IPOD. Invoke Mary’s intercession in times of temptation, sorrow, pain, etc. You think you have struggles, pain, sorrow…”you ain’t seen NOTHING!” Mary “feels your pain”. She will wrap your prayers in diamonds and gold, and present them to her Son, Jesus Christ…and he will answer as he did at the Wedding in Cana (John 2: 1-2). For further reading see:
May you be blessed with health, happiness, and holiness. Until next time: