“We fear not, though the earth be shaken” (Ps.45:3)
Where do we find a safe place in these times, when true religion is despised, when wars loom on the horizon, and natural disasters occur virtually on a daily basis? Perhaps we see the ominous signs spoken about by Our Lord, and we need a safe place to hide.
Now people go to great lengths to find themselves a safe place, perhaps a safe part of the country, or a cabin in the wilderness, or just a dugout in the back yard,. But most of us don’t have the means or the money to build ourselves a fortress. Perhaps we don’t even have a back yard. Those who are in the inside track will have access to underground strongholds, as perhaps in Denver, where they think they will be safe when the worst happens.
But what about those who are left behind? The psalms give us the answer:
“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea; though the waters rage and foam and the mountains quake at its surging. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob” (Ps.45:2-4).
God sends His holy angels to protect His faithful flock:
“No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent, for to his angels he has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways. Upon their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Ps.90:10,11).
But Our Lord Jesus Christ has outdone Himself in giving us His own Mother, Mary, as our Advocate and Protector. In the Gospel according St. John, Mary’s name is not given, but she is twice called “Woman”. And John does not name himself, but calls himself “the disciple”. In this way we are all invited to see ourselves as “the disciple”, and to receive Mary as our Mother. St. John reports:
“When Jesus, therefore, saw his mother and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold thy son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, thy mother’” (Jn.19:26,27).
The Church hears the voice of Mary echoing in the words of the psalm:
“So now, O children, listen to me; instruction and wisdom do not reject! Happy the man who obeys me, and happy those who keep my ways, happy the man watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts; for he who finds me finds life, and wins favor from the Lord” (Prov.8:32-35).
The saints were extravagant in their praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary was the greatest of all human beings, light years ahead of the rest of us with the single exception of her Son, Jesus. But we do not speak of Jesus Christ as a “human being” since He was, is, a Divine Being, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who took upon Himself our human nature. Therefore Mary was the greatest human being from the first moment of her conception.
Mary conceived the Son of God, Jesus Christ, when she said to the Archangel Gabriel, “Be it done unto me according to thy word,” She set out “in haste” to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who exclaimed, inspired by the Holy Ghost:
“Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be accomplished” (Lk.1:42b-45).
This was the first recorded instance of Mary’s intercession, as the miracle of John’s vivification in his mother’s womb was performed by Our Lord through the mediating words of Mary to Elizabeth. The other best example of Mary’s intercession was at the wedding feast at Cana (Jn2:1-12). When Mary said to her Son, “They have no wine,” Jesus said to her, “What wouldst thou have me do, Woman? My hour has not yet come?” Mary simply turned to the wine steward and said, “Do whatever he tells you!” It seems she was accustomed to having her requests fulfilled by her Son. It is still so, now that she is with Him in Heaven.
But don’t have a “Mother Church” anymore? She has been eclipsed; she is on the Cross like Jesus was. In the eyes of the world the Catholic Church is dying, or already dead, and many who call themselves Catholic seem to agree. Novus Ordo “Catholics” are dropping out in a hurry. Churches are closing; vocations are in steep decline. Our Lord lamented, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find, do you think, faith on the earth?” (Lk.18:8).
The Holy Catholic Church will rise again more glorious than ever. And we still have our Mother, Mary, who will crush the head of the serpent. That the Woman will crush the head of the serpent (the devil) is prophesied in the first book of the Bible:
“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” (Gen.3:15). Protestant and Novus Ordo editions of the Bible state that it is the Son of the Woman who crushes the head of the serpent. But an amazing confirmation of this prophecy of the Woman crushing the serpent’s head is anticipated on September 23rd and 24th of this year, when the constellation Virgo (the Virgin) rises in the morning sky over the city of Jerusalem. And lurking below her right foot…, yes, “the head of the serpent”.