By: Jason Songe, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
I wait. I sit on my heels. Disillusioned. Disoriented. Conned. I wait and nothing comes. But I remember:
“She who is the Mother of Sorrows and the Mother of Consolations can understand you completely and help you.”–St. John Paul II
“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”–Saint Francis de Sales
…………….I’m six years old. I run across the throne room to Mother Mary sitting in her big chair. I cast myself into Her arms with a perfect confidence. She holds me tight as I fold my shoulders inward toward my chest and nuzzle into Her neck with a tranquilized smile. Sublime. Her chin rests on my hair. Her blue mantle is canvassed with diamonds. Diamonds upon diamonds upon diamonds. It covers me, and I use it to dry my tears from minutes ago. The tears turn to diamonds.
My rest is short, as Mary turns my attention to two swords that hang on the wall. She asks me to retrieve them. I get up and analyze them, perceiving their weight. I take a deep breath, and when I try to lift one, it turns into a rosary, and so does the other. I look at both rosaries. One is made of different kinds of wood(like something you’d make a cross from) and the other is made of red agate stone(like something you’d make a chalice from). I take the wood and give Her the stone. We sit down together and pray “The Sorrowful Mysteries.” I recite the “Hail Mary’s,” and as Mary announces each mystery, She shares very unique insights…………….
Bishop Robert Barron of Word on Fire devoted two of his homilies to the image of the Virgin Mary as a Warrior Queen. Listen to one in audio form here and watch the other at the bottom of the page. He points to the “fighting words” in the Magnificat and the battle between Mary and the dragon in Revelation Chapter 12. He says:
“Mary is a warrior opposed by the dragon and she commands this impossibly powerful army of angels. That is very good news for us. She’s more powerful than the dragon…let’s join the struggle with her. We fight with love, justice, compassion, and forgiveness. We fight with the Rosary. The ‘Hail Mary’ calls upon the Warrior Queen, the Commander of the angels.”
But, why and how is She so powerful?
She is the new Ark of The Covenant. She is filled with grace. She is the wise woman who observed and collected into Her mind all the ways in which Her Son fought evil and all the ways in which evil attempted to fight Her Son.
Blessed Columba Marmion was a 19th century Irish monk who signed his letters “E. de M.”(Enfant de Marie or Child of Mary) He says that “Mary was associated so intimately with all the mysteries of our salvation that at her Assumption into heaven Jesus crowned her not only with glory but also with power.”
In Blessed Pius IX’s Ineffabilis Deus, his apostolic constitution on the Immaculate Conception, he teaches that Mary is powerful in that Satan has no power over her. He said, “Enmity exists between the Woman and the serpent only because She is never under his power through Original Sin.”
If you’re wondering how this powerful-mighty-warrior tack aligns with the Biblical meek-humble-servant tack, writer Peter Kwasniewski reminds us Mary also showed grit and courage while on Earth.
“Our Lady stood under the cross when nearly everyone else fled, and in the darkness of faith offered up her most precious treasure, her own flesh and blood, to the heavenly Father,” he said in an article for The New Liturgical Movement.
“In trial or difficulty I have recourse to Mother Mary, whose glance alone is enough to dissipate every fear.”–Saint Therese of Lisieux
Certain moments and places in history have cried out to Mary for protection. Joelle Mellon wrote The Virgin Mary in The Perceptions of Women: Mother, Protector, and Queen. In the book she says that during the reign of Elizabeth I, English Catholics, who faced death or imprisonment for practicing their faith, gave Mary a new title: Mother of Power.
“English priests presented Mary as accessed through the Rosary as a warrior. The beads began to be thought of as a holy weapon that could set Satan’s armies to flight,” Mellon writes.
St. Louis de Montfort’s weapon was also the Rosary. He was a 17th century French priest whose method of consecration to the Virgin Mary was lauded by several popes. He thought of Mary as a spiritual warrior whose efforts could be intensified according to the needs of Her children and the will and redemptive plan of God.
“In these latter times Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, ” he said. “She must shine forth more than ever in power and grace; in power, to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush by promises and threats all those who oppose them; in grace, to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for His cause.”
About the Author: Jason Songe, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
Jason is a seminarian in Second Pre-Theology.
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