FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
AFTER the fall of Adam and Eve, God declared to Satan, the serpent:
I will put enmities between you and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for her heel. (Gen 3:15; Douay-Rheims)
Not only the woman-Mary, but her seed, the woman-Church, will engage in a battle with the foe. That is, Mary and the remnant which forms her heel.
MARY, THE NEW GIDEON
In the Old Testament, Gideon is called to lead a battle against the enemy. He has 32 000 troops, but God wants him to reduce the number. In the end, only 300 soldiers are chosen to fight the vast armies of the foe—an impossible scenario. The reason for this is to prevent the Israelites from claiming that it was their own powerthat would bring them victory.
So too, God has allowed the Church to be reduced to what seems a remnant. This remnant is small, not so much in number, but in stature. They are housewives, blue collar workers, humble diocesan priests, quiet religious… souls who have been prepared by Jesus Himself during this time of drought when the pulpits have fallen silent about sound teaching and laymen have forgotten their first love. Many of them have been formed by solid books, tapes, video series, EWTN, etc…. not to mention the interior formation through prayer. These are the souls in whom the light of Truth has been growing while it is being extinguished in the world (see The Smoldering Candle).
Gideon provided his soldiers with two things:
Horns and empty jars, and torches inside the jars.(Judges 7:17)
Mary’s army has also been given two things: the horn of salvation and the light of Truth—that is, the Word of God, burning in their souls, often hidden from the world.
In the beginning was the Word… and this life was the light of the human race. (John 1:1, 4)
Soon, she is going to call each of us gathered in The Bastion to rise, and grasp this "sword" in our hands. For the battle with the Dragon nears…
THE COMING REVELATION
Gideon divides the 300 men into three companies, saying,
Watch me and follow my lead. (7:17)
He then takes his troops down to the enemy’s camp "at the beginning of the middle watch." That is, about two hours to midnight.
Mary has formed three companies as well: clergy, religious, andlaymen. As I wrote in Two More Days, the Day of the Lord begins in darkness, that is, at midnight. As the hour approaches, she is preparing us for the moment when the power of God will be manifest to the world, when Jesus comes as Light:
All three companies blew horns and broke their jars. They held the torches in their left hands, and in their right the horns they were blowing, and cried out, "A sword for the LORD and Gideon!" They all remained standing in place around the camp, while the whole camp fell to running and shouting and fleeing. But the three hundred men kept blowing the horns, and throughout the camp the LORD set the sword of one against another. (7:20-22)
The Light of Christ is going to be made manifest to the world in an instant. The Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword, will penetrate…
…even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow… able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. (Heb 4:12; Mk 4:21-22)
THE REMNANT RISES
In the midst of the ensuing confusion, as everyone sees themselves as God sees their souls, the remnant will be sent forth as the heel of Our Lady—as was Gideon’s army—to conquer souls with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
The Israelites were called to arms from Naphtali, from Asher, and from all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian. (7:23)
For when the Light scatters the darkness, it will be the mission of the remnant whom Jesus calls "the light of the world" to gather souls, so that the darkness will not find a place again in the vulnerable. It is during this short period of time (Rev 12:12), after the Dragon has been exorcised from the hearts of many, that the serpent will experience the most crushing blows of the Woman. For many who were lost will be found, and those who were blind will see.
It will be the hour when the Father welcomes home the prodigal son.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. (Isaiah 9:2; RSV)
The dream of the Two Pillars of St. John Bosco, which I have mentioned in other writings, should sound very familiar! He saw that when the Holy Father firmly anchored the Church, the Barque of Peter, to the pillars of the Eucharist and Mary…
…a great convulsion takes place. All the ships that until then had fought against the Pope’s ship are scattered; they flee away, collide and break to pieces one against another. Some sink and try to sink others… —Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco, compiled and edited by Fr. J. Bacchiarello, S.D.B.
Pope John Paul II guided us to these two pillars through the Year of the Rosary (2002-03) and the Year of the Eucharist (2004-05). Pope Benedict has securely fastened us to them through his continued efforts to restore the Mass, and calling upon the intercession of Mary, Star of the Sea.
It is this Mother, the New Gideon, who now prepares to lead us into this Great Battle of our times.
Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way!—POPE BENEDICT XVI, Spe Salvi, n. 50
…in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea. (Isaiah 9:1; RSV)