VATICAN - AVE MARIA - The humble ‘power’ of Mary, Rev. Luciano Alimandi
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “God gave Mary such great power over demons that many times and unwillingly they were forced to confess, through the mouths of the possessed, that they feared even one of her sighs in favour of a soul, more than all the prayers of the saints; feared only one of her threats against them more than all other torments. What Lucifer lost through pride, Mary gained through humility; what Eve destroyed and lost through disobedience, Mary saved through obedience” (TVD, nn. 52-53). With these and other inspired words the great theologian Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, in his “Treaty on True Devotion to Mary” describes the power of the grace the Lord gives to Mary against the Prince of this world.
Our spiritual journey does not exempt us from painful moments in the spiritual battle which consists in continually opting for God, overcoming the many temptations sown along life’s path. Saint Paul who was familiar with the battle against the evil one, says clearly: “Put on the full armour of God so as to be able to resist the devil's tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens” (Eph 6, 11-12).
These are the “rulers” of darkness which Most Holy Mary comes to unmask and defeat with the power of the grace entrusted to her by God to help all mankind! The numerous temptations, attempts by the enemy of the human race, the ancient serpent, to cause the fall of man, created in the image and likeness of God his eternal enemy, could be compared to a spider’s web woven with extreme precision and perseverance. The Evil One, defeated by God is bent on destroying that which is most dear to the Creator: man!
The Blessed Virgin Mary “ab immemorabilis”, has been invoked as deliverer from evil and help of sinners. The saints understood this and their intense Marian devotion has always expressed this impelling necessity of the human soul illuminated by grace: deliver us from evil! How can we forget for example the act of consecration made by John Paul II on 25 March 1984 in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, he obeyed Our Lady’s request and knelt as a son to supplicate the mother, repeating several times “free us”!
“O immaculate Heart! Help us to defeat the threat of evil which so easily take root in the human heart today and which already has its immeasurable effects on the present day and appears to shut the path to the future! Deliver us from hunger and war! Deliver us from nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from all sorts of war! Deliver us from sins against human life since the beginning! Deliver us from hatred and abuse against the dignity of the children of God! Deliver us from all injustice in social life, national and international! Deliver us from easily trampling on God’s commandments! Deliver us from attempts to blur the truth of God lying deep in human hearts! Deliver us from loss of awareness of good and evil! Deliver us from sins against the Holy Spirit, Deliver us! Deliver us!” (John Paul II, act of entrustment to Mary, Rome 25 March 1984).
In every day life, in the daily effort for conversion we are called to make similar invocations for help and not rest in a sort of passivity of spirit, as if we were out of danger, immune from evil. For our body we adopt various measures of defence: from the influenza virus, the simple cold, or other more serious illnesses. For our soul what do we do? Are we aware of that “spider’s web”, which we cannot see but which works against us incessantly? “Keep sober and alert, because your enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him, strong in faith”(1Pt 5, 8-9). Saint Peter experienced how easy it is to fall into the trap and so he urges us to have courage, to put ourselves in the hands of God. To pray the Rosary is to consecrate ourselves to Mary, invoke her with trust, means to hold out our hand to the Queen of Victories, the New Eve who opposes and always defeats Evil One. If we let ourselves be led by Mary we will never be disappointed! (Agenzia Fides 7/2/2007 - righe 50, parole 722)
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