Chapter One: Grace and Devotion to Mary
Chapter Two: Mary, Holy Objects and God
Chapter Three: Primary Teachings - Mary the Virgin
Chapter Four: Mary and Jesus
Chapter Five: Deeper Teachings -
Chapter Six: Teachings Not Yet Declared Dogmas -
Jesus and Mary
A Mediator with our Mediator
Chapter Seven: Final Thoughts and Reflections
of the Holy Spirit
of Jesus Made Present
and Church Unity
Consecration to Mary Individual and
Litany of Mary's Faith Journey
© Copyright, J. Roy MacIntyre 2009
Spiritual Warfare and Mary
I have been involved in the Charismatic renewal since 1970 and have witnessed a general resistance to devotion to Mary. There is similar resistance to devotion to Mary among other groups within the Church as well. Historically, there is resistance among most Protestant Churches to devotion to Mary. To begin with, I believe this resistance is the result of the spiritual warfare mentioned by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter six.
There are a number of reasons why the battle between Mary and Satan is particularly intense. First, his plan to destroy mankind, beginning with his deception of Eve, is undone by Mary’s consent to God, and by her faith. Mary’s obedience overturns Eve’s disobedience. In fact, Mary became the new Eve, the mother of all the living in Christ Jesus, her firstborn, the first born of many brethren (Rm 8:29). These ideas of Mary being the new Eve first surfaced in the writings of St. Irenaeus in the second century. (St. Irenaeus was a disciple of St. Polycarp who was a disciple of St. John the Apostle.)
In bringing forth Jesus, who is the salvation of all, Mary brings forth the Church, which is born from the side of the New Adam (see 1Cor 15, the last Adam vs 45) as he sleeps in death on the cross and is pierced with a lance (compare Gn 2:21-22). (There is a richness here that deserves pondering.) Jesus affirms this role of Mary when He referred to her as “woman” both at Cana and at Calvary. This brings to mind Gn 3:15, where God, addressing the serpent, says, “I will put enmities between you and the woman” and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head and you will strike at his heal.” The “He” in this passage is Jesus and His sisters and brothers, the Church. The ”woman” cannot be Eve who already gave in to Satan by disobeying God, but prophesied Mary, whose consent and faith brought forth the Saviour. This is what Jesus wants us to understand of Mary when He calls her “woman”.
This use of the word “woman” can again be seen in the Book of Revelations 12 where the text reads, “A great sign appeared in heaven a woman clothed with the sun and the moon at her feet and a crown of 12 stars.” In the passage we clearly see the battle between the woman and the great red dragon – Satan. The hatred Satan has for her is evident in verse 13; “he pursued the woman who had given birth to the boy.”
Secondly, Satan could tolerate being defeated by almighty God but to be defeated by a humble virgin; that represents his greatest defeat and therefore, the cause of his fiercest anger. In this we see God exalting the humble and putting down the proud. This of course applies to any of God’s creatures who defeat Satan by their humility and the Word of Truth. However, with Mary this is especially true, since it is her original virtue that brings forth the Source of all virtue in her Son, Jesus; thereby assuring Satan’s certain defeat.
Thirdly, Satan knows that in Mary lies one of the two main forces that will lead to the unity of the Christian Faith – the other being the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I wish to take a little time on the subject of the Eucharist since it is one of the teachings of Jesus that requires a deep faith, a predominant theme in this book.