Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our Lady And the Battle For Souls


This battle for souls is something I have written about before. It is more than just a battle between good and evil; it is a battle over life and death, for the death of the soul is the ultimate death.
This death of the soul can occur long before the death of the body. Many are walking around today as "spiritual zombies". I should know because for a long time, I was one of them. The thing is though, if by God's grace a soul converts and turns to God before the body dies, life can return.
Jesus tells us not to fear those that can kill the body, but rather those that can kill the soul. (see Matt. 10:28) The death of an unconverted soul is a death that lasts for eternity. This is one reason devotion to Our Lady is a crucial element of our faith. We need her to intercede for poor sinners who have lost their faith and turned from God, and we need her to help us persevere in our own faith. Our faith is a gift, and if that gift is not nurtured, it can be lost.
I truly believe that Our Blessed Mother is instrumental in this battle for souls and obtaining the grace for conversion~ she certainly was in mine.
Satan hates Mary for this reason. He knows that she is a powerful force to be reckoned with because it is the power of Christ that works in and through her.
August is the month dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Much has been written about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary~ a great deal of it deals with the appearances of Our Lady at Fatima.
Fatima's messages are for our times today. The things Mary told the children at Fatima are coming to fruition in our own day and time. One of Mary's strong instructions to the children was: Pray, pray, pray! It wasn't just for them, it is for us as well, and not enough of us are doing it. So many are turning away from Christ and His Church. Devotion to Our Lady is often seen as not necessary or old fashioned piety. If you really listen to the messages of Fatima, you see that we do need Our Lady and devotion to her is not only necessary, but critical.
In looking for something to post for my monthly devotions post, I came across a website for a fairly new religious order. The Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary was formed in 1990. Their spiritual charism is  to be offerings of love and consolation to the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary by choosing in all things the perfection and splendor of love in order to give way to its triumph.
I found an article written by their foundress Mother Adela titled In the End, My Heart Will Triumph. Here is a brief excerpt from the article on why the triumph of the Immaculate Heart is necessary:
In the apparition of Fatima on July 13, 1917, Mary said, “You saw hell where the souls of poor sinners go; to save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I say, many souls will be saved and you will have peace…There will be wars, hunger, persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To impede this I come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and Eucharistic reparation on First Saturdays. If my desires are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors through all the world, promoting persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated …Suddenly the horizon will darken... Later, a brilliant ray of light and hope will arise…In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
In this message from Fatima, Our Lady wants to awaken our awareness to the fact that we are engaged in a battle that involves nations, societies and kingdoms, and every individual residing in them. “We cannot deny the existence in society of forces capable of great influence which act with a certain hostile spirit towards the Church. All of these things manifest the work of the ‘prince of this world’ and of the ‘mystery of iniquity’ even in our day” (Synod of Bishops, 1985, Final Report, 4).

So let us pray throughout this month dedicated to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, and always for the souls of poor sinners and for our own.
Prayers and writings on the Immaculate Heart can be found in the Pages drop down menu above~click on the August Devotions page.








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Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.