The dramatis personae of salvation history is filled with important people. The names may look familiar, but understanding who they are and how they interact is crucial. Take God and the Devil for example. There are many who commonly make the mistake of comparing God and the Devil, like yin and yang. But this gives the Devil far too much credit because it elevates him to an equal (if opposite) status with God. The Devil may have been the highest of all God’s creatures, but let us make no mistake. The Devil had a beginning, but he will have a very dreadful end.
If we want to find the Devil’s true opposite, a good person to look at is Mary. While the Devil is the most powerful creature by nature, Mary is the most powerful creature through supernature. The Devil is full of raw power, Mary is full of grace. The Devil proclaimed himself to be God’s equal, Mary proclaims herself to be the handmaid of the Lord. The Devil screamed, “I will not serve!” Mary says, “Let it be done to me according to thy word.” The Devil was cast down to the world, but Mary, was assumed from the world and has been made the Queen of Heaven and Earth. It should be no surprise to us that the Devil seeks to destroy her (Revelation 12:13-17).
J.R.R. Tolkien once said: “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” The Apostles gathered around Mary at Pentecost and just as she became the Mother of God through the Annunciation, so she becomes the Mother of the Church, the body of her Son. The tenderness and care of a mother, however, can only come when mothers are protected. This is what the Apostles did for Mary in the first century, and the Church has furthered that protection through the proclamation of the Marian dogmas. Mary is the icon of that which we as Catholic men defend. Every virgin and every mother should remind us of Mary, and by doing so strengthen us to fight evil in order to protect true beauty.
At the center of the Christian fleet at Lepanto (1571) was a replica image of Our Lady of Guadalupe – and in less than one hundred years since Columbus discovered the New World, Our Lady led the way to converting the Americas while providing her intercession for the men at war defending Europe from a renewed Islamic invasion. Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, and when Christian men rally around the most holy and sacred container of divine life – the womb who bore God and the flesh which gave Him flesh – we shall always be victorious against the Evil One.
The mortal enemy of the Devil is Mary. Every man that is drawn to Mary’s beauty is brought in turn by her to her Son who makes them brothers at war against the Devil. The Devil’s only hope is 1) to make us think he’s stronger than he really is; and 2) to keep us away from Mary and thus from Jesus. Let us not fall for the lie but instead embrace the truth which will set us free and make us the soldiers of Christ. Let us learn and embrace the cast of characters in salvation history.