Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a powerful advocate in heaven: His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Catholic Church, we honor the Mother of God who is the highest of all mortal beings ever created; “…all generations shall call me blessed.” But, what is often misunderstood, Catholics do not pray to Our Lady; we only ask for her intercession. For, she is truly a friend in high-places. This brings to mind, which a reader recently brought to my attention again, Christ’s healing of the paralytic; because of the efforts and prayers of his friends:
“And again he entered into Capharnaum after some days. And it was heard that he was in the house, and many came together, so that there was no room; no, not even at the door; and he spoke to them the word. And they came to him, bringing one sick of the palsy, who was carried by four. And when they could not offer him unto him for the multitude, they uncovered the roof where he was; and opening it, they let down the bed wherein the man sick of the palsy lay. And when Jesus had seen their faith, he saith to the sick of the palsy: Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.”
Our Lady often serves in the same capacity: lowering our beaten and diseased bodies to Our Lord. He heals us. But, as Our Lord was “subject to them,” once he returned to Nazareth after Mary and Joseph found Him in the temple, and upon performing His first public miracle, at Mary’s request, Our Lord will deny her nothing.
Probably the most powerful documents ever written about Our Lady come from Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort. From his “True Devotion to Mary,” he wrote:
“God has established only one enmity – but it is an irreconcilable one – which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer.
Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin’s, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God, for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats more than all their other torments.”
Items that are in Our Lady’s arsenal, that we have direct access to, here on earth, include: the Rosary, the Scapular, and the Miraculous Medal. The Rosary, the oldest of the three, was given to Saint Dominic in 1214 during an apparition of Our Lady; although in use by the Benedictines for centuries, Our Lady introduced the Scapular to a wider devotion after her appearance to Saint Simon Stock in 1251; and lastly, Mary’s Miraculous Medal was given to Saint Catherine Laboure in 1830. None of these sacramentals should be regarded as magical charms or amulets. According to “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” sacrematals: “do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it.” With this in mind, I greatly encourage the use of sacramentals by all Christians; especially those who are suffering with addictions, particularly an addiction to pornography, homosexuality, or any other sexual deviance. Because the three objects I mentioned are associated with the Virgin Mary, they are particularly hated by the devil and his minions. Their power has been repeatedly proven during countless exorcisms, as anyone who is possessed by a demon will not go near them or screams out in pain and horror when a sacramental touches them or is even nearby. Only, for the rest of us, their mere presence is not enough; since I once committed a grievous sin while wearing a sacramental. However, that was not because God had abandoned me, but because I had abandoned Him. That sacramental, if I had been truly predisposed to the Will of God, would have reminded me of His Love. But, I got swept up in the glamorous lies of satan – and forgot everything. In order for sacramentals to work, we must be like the “Wise Virgins:” ever prepared and alert.