One of the devil’s tactics in the modern world has been to convince people that he doesn’t exist. For those with eyes to see, it’s clear he’s thriving on anonymity. Want to protect yourself from his insidious plots? This past Sunday, Pope Francis gave a powerful homily that, based on its internet exposure, struck a chord. Here, in part, is what he said:
Where our Mother is at home, the devil does not enter in. Where our Mother is present, turmoil does not prevail, fear does not conquer. Which of us does not need this, which of us is not sometimes distressed or anxious? How often our heart is a stormy sea, where the waves of our problems pile up and the winds of our troubles do not stop blowing! Mary is our secure ark in the midst of the flood. It will not be ideas or technology that will give us comfort or hope, but our Mother’s face, her hands that caress our life, her mantle that gives us shelter. Let us learn how to find refuge, going each day to our Mother.
This reminds me of Saint Louis de Montfort’s advice. In his famous treatise True Devotion, de Montfort reminds us that Mary is not only untouched by the evil one, she’s untouchable. This means that if we place ourselves “within” her (de Montfort is fond of the image of placing our lives in Mary’s womb where we are formed into “other Christs”), we, too, are protected from the enemy. It doesn’t mean we won’t hear him roaring, but he won’t be able to reach us if we are safe within the mystery of Mary’s womb.
Totus Tuus, Maria – I’m totally yours, Mary: this was Saint John Paul II’s papal motto, based on the teaching of Louis de Montfort. Why should we want to place our lives in the womb of Mary? Because we are followers of Christ not only in his passion, death, and resurrection, but in the whole reality of his earthly life, which began in the womb of Mary.
Icon: Mary of the Sign
For such a time as this have we been given Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. By taking us beyond the alternatives of prudish repression and damaging indulgence, the Theology of the Body opens the path to the redemption of sexuality and the real healing of our wounds. Learn more by watching my short film, The Cry of the Heart. Watch the trailer below.