“Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.”
We all have a picture in our mind of Our Lady. Our inner vision gives us an image wherein we find her protection and love. It doesn’t matter how we envision her physically. What matters is that we hold onto that image and in that, we are holding on to her. The most important aspect of holding on to Mary is recalling her virtues so that we may emulate her. All of Our Lady’s virtues are important. They are life lessons. They are strength and comfort and they teach us how to live as her Son wants us to live.
We are living in very difficult times. We are surrounded by darkness. All we need do is look around us to realize that evil is alive and well and growing stronger. Our protection against evil is Our Lady. Why? She is our protection because the devil fears her. What is it about Mary that frightens the devil? It is her humility.
The Humblest of all Creatures
Father Gabriele Amorth was the Chief Exorcist of the Diocese of Rome and performed thousands of exorcisms. He experienced things we could hardly imagine. One of the events he recalled was that while performing an exorcism, the devil said to him, “I am more afraid when you say the Madonna’s name because I am more humiliated by being beaten by a simple creature, than by Him. She makes me angry because she is the humblest of all creatures, and because I am the proudest; because she is the purest of all creatures, and I am not; because, of all creatures, she is the most obedient to God, and I am a rebel!”
Pride Comes Before a Fall
The story is told that Satan was God’s most beautiful and highest of all the angels. But he was proud, and because of his pride, wanted to be God rather than serve Him. When God told him that he would be sending His Son into the world and a young virgin would be His mother, Satan became enraged. He did not like the thought of being lower than a female, especially a young innocent female. Because of his pride, God cast him and one-third of his angels, out of heaven.
“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I put you before kings,
That they may see you.’
But one Enmity
Saint de Montfort beautifully explains:
“God has never made or formed but one enmity; but it is an irreconcilable one, which shall endure and develop even to the end. It is between Mary, His worthy Mother, and the devil,—between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and instruments of Lucifer. The most terrible of all the enemies which God has set up against the devil is His holy Mother, Mary. He has inspired her, even since the days of the earthly Paradise, though she existed then only in His idea, with so much hatred against that cursed enemy of God, with so much industry in unveiling the malice of that old serpent, with so much power to conquer, to overthrow, and to crush that proud impious rebel, that he fears her not only more than all Angels and men, but in some sense more than God Himself. It is not that the anger, the hatred, and the power of God are not infinitely greater than those of the Blessed Virgin, for the perfections of Mary are limited, but it is, first, because Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being beaten and punished by a little and humble handmaid of God, and her humility humbles him more than the Divine power; and, secondly, because God has given Mary such a great power against the devils, that, as they have often been obliged to confess, in spite of themselves, by the mouths of the possessed, they fear one of her sighs for a soul more than the prayers of all the Saints, and one of her menaces against them more than all other torments.”
~Saint Louis de Montfort ~ True Devotion to Mary: With Preparation for Total Consecration~
Humility Makes the Devil Crumble
Saint Paisios the Athonite, said, “Humility makes the devil crumble.” We know this to be true about Our Lady and we know that she is the blueprint upon which we build our spirituality to grow closer to her Son. With this in mind, is it not fair to reason that humility is a defense against the devil? Humility is powerful. Jesus said to Saint Faustina, “The greatest misery does not stop Me from uniting Myself to a soul, but where there is pride, I am not there.”
Saint John Climacus said, “Humility drives Satan away and cherishes the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit within us, and for that reason, all the Saints, and especially the King of Saints and His Blessed Mother, have always esteemed the grace of humility above all other virtues.” He also said, “Humility is the only thing that no devil can imitate.” But we must never assume that achieving humility is easy.
Maestro of Vanity
The devil is the master of pride. “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” ~ Saint Augustine. It is far easier to fall into self-importance than it is to remain humble. It takes no effort to accept credit for an achievement, but humility is a constant prayer. It is never “me” who built the mansion. Each board, each nail, each element that goes into creating the magnificence of the castle came together by the grace of God. It is so easy when complimented on our work, to puff up and think of ourselves as having created it on our own but fact is, we create nothing without God. It is God who guides our hands. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the ideas and guides us in carrying through each task from the most menial to the grandest. But the devil wants us to believe that we were the creators of the mansion. It is easier for him to reach us in that.
“It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” ~ Galatians 2:20.
Becoming and Remaining Humble ~ Stay Close to Mary
One of the most promising ways to win in spiritual warfare is to develop and keep a close relationship with Our Lady. The devil fears her and he flees from those who are consecrated to her. Keeping a close relationship with her is an easy thing to do because once we come to know her, our love for her continues to grow. She is our mother. Jesus gave her to us as our mother and her love for us knows no boundaries. Her intercession is beyond all others. All we need do is go back to the image we have of her and we feel safe, loved, and protected. She wipes our scraped knees, dries our tears, always takes our needs to her Son, and she teaches us. We need only to pay attention and to emulate her.
“In fact, the only reason why the Immaculate permits us to fall is to cure us from our self-conceit, from our pride, to make us humble and thus make us docile to the divine graces.” ~ Saint Maximilian Kolbe ~
“The gate of heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it.”
~ Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton ~