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DEFENDING  THE  BRIDE

 

 

 

Satan’s  Enemy  #1

 

In the truest sense God is not Satan’s enemy.  Furthermore, God offered Satan the chance to be with Him in heaven for all eternity.  God is Existence.  He is  “I Am who Am.”  Therefore, existence is a good thing.  God continues to grant to Satan the privilege of existing even though by Satan’s choice it is in the eternal fires of hell.  Since, all that God does and causes to happen is good it is good to exist even though in Satan’s case it is with eternal suffering.

However, Satan has made God out to be his enemy.  And we read in Revelation chapter 12 that Satan has also declared war on all those who obey God and bear witness to Jesus Christ.   

Revelation 12:17   
“Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.”  

Since Satan opposes God the human beings that Satan opposes most are the ones who are most open to God’s grace.   Because holy men and women can, by God’s grace, come to the aid of other Christians Satan wishes to separate them.  Therefore, of all God’s creatures the one that Satan has made out to be his biggest enemy is the one human being that is the strongest in his or her faith, the one most open to receiving God’s grace.  Naturally we can expect that Satan has desired to sow a lot of confusion about this human being who is closest to God in order to attempt to isolate him or her from the rest of those seeking God.   

So, the questions comes to mind:  Who is the woman of Revelation chapter 12 and who of all God’s creatures has Satan made out to be his biggest enemy, that person who is most open to God’s grace, the holiest of God’s creatures ?    

Revelation 12:1-17
“And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman …  she was with child  … And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon ... And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne … And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan … And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come … And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. …” 

The context of Revelation 12 shows that the woman is the mother of Jesus Christ.  And in Genesis 3 we read a proclamation by God about her and Satan. 

Genesis 3:14-15  
“The Lord God said to the serpent   ‘… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.’ ”  RSV 

The “seed” that will crush Satan is Jesus Christ.  The seed usually refers to a man’s offspring, however in this case it is the woman’s offspring because Mary’s pregnancy was virginal in that the Holy Spirit caused Mary to get pregnant.  And so Mary is sometimes called the spouse of the Holy Spirit. 

To be at enmity is for one person to be completely opposed to another.  Notice that it is God who makes this woman and Satan completely opposed to each other.  Also notice that it is not mankind in general or even all women, but a specific woman that God is speaking about.  What God does He does perfectly, and so this opposition between the particular woman in question and Satan is perfect.   

The  “woman”  in Genesis 3:15 cannot be a reference to Eve because she has already given herself over to Satan by sinning.  The woman here is the one who’s  “seed”  is our Savior.  She is the mother of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Mary is further identified by Jesus as the  “Woman”  in John 2:4 when Christ performed His first Miracle.  And He also identifies her as the woman in John 19:26 at the time of His passion on the cross when He suffered for our sins. 

For Mary to be completely opposed to Satan she must never have been on Satan’s side against God, that is, she must – by the help of God’s grace – to have never sinned, for if she had ever sinned she would certainly not be opposed to Satan at that time. 

And it is helpful to understand why it is appropriate that God would have wanted to preserve the mother of His Son from being on Satan’s side.  Satan fell because of his pride.  He could not worship a God who would take upon Himself a nature, a human nature, that was below Satan’s higher nature, that of an angel.  However, God in His perfect justice humbles Satan.  Now, if Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, had ever sinned she would have been in Satan’ camp against God.  And in that case, Satan would have been able to brag to the Holy Spirit,  “Yes.  You have her now, but I had her first.” 

We read in Luke’s Gospel a very important message from the Archangel Gabriel.  The term angel literally means messenger.  In this case we know that he is a heavenly messenger so the message he gives is not his own.  For what kind of messenger would insert his own thoughts into the message?  In Luke chapter 1 we read our heavenly Father’s message to Mary.  In the Greek the word that Gabriel uses to refer to Mary is  “kecharitōmenē  (κεχαριτωμένη)”   It means that she is full of God’s grace.  In her there was no room for sin.  She is the holiest of all God’s creatures because she is most open to His grace. 

Luke 1:28 
“And coming to [Mary], [Gabriel]  said,  ‘Hail, full of grace !  [“kecharitōmenē (κεχαριτωμένη)”] The Lord is with you.’ ”

And we find further confirmation of this when we read how Elizabeth when she was filled with the Holy Spirit pointed out that Mary is the most blessed woman on account that she believed in God’s Word to her.  She had enormous faith. 

Luke 1:41, 42, 45   
“ … and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you [Mary]  among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. … Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.’”

 

In a complete and perfect manner God restores all things.

In the first creation Adam and Eve were created without sin.  Christians are a new creation in Jesus Christ who is called the New Adam. [See Romans 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:22-45.]  While Jesus could have been born to a woman who had sinned, it is most appropriate that He chose to preserve His mother, the New Eve, from all sin.  For the Glory of Jesus Christ the new creation must surpass the old creation in every sense.  Therefore, by the grace of God the New Eve must be brought into the world in a state equal to or better than that which the first Eve had been.

One reason Catholics extol Mary so highly is that the One who has molded her and works through her in none other than her Son, Jesus Christ, who is God.  To deny how great He has made her is to rob Him of the recognition that He deserves for His greatest work.  He is the Artist and she is His masterpiece.  Ironically, some misguided Christians in their zeal to give the glory to God do rob him of the recognition that He deserves by denying that His greatest work in her was ever done. 

Don’t Rob God of His Glory.

God works through Mary to make her a great aid to all those who wish to follow Him.  And it is for that reason that Satan has made Mary out to be his biggest enemy of all God’s creatures.  Therefore, it is to our benefit to avail ourselves of her help. 

The contemplation of Christ has an incomparable model in Mary. … Mary lived with her eyes fixed on Christ, treasuring his every word: “She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19; cf. 2:51). …

[The] role of Mary, totally grounded in that of Christ and radically subordinated to it, “in no way obscures or diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power”. … Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort  explain[s] … Mary's role … “Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ. Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ”. …

If Jesus, the one Mediator, is the Way of our prayer, then Mary, his purest and most transparent reflection, shows us the Way.

[Rosarium Virginis Mariae by JPII, sections 10, 11, 15, and 16.]

 

 

The Catholic Encyclopedia offers the following :

Proof from reason

There is an incongruity in the supposition that the flesh, from which the flesh of the Son of God was to be formed, should ever have belonged to one who was the slave of that arch-enemy, whose power He came on earth to destroy. Hence the axiom of Pseudo-Anselmus (Eadmer) developed by Duns Scotus, Decuit, potuit, ergo fecit, it was becoming that the Mother of the Redeemer should have been free from the power of sin and from the first moment of her existence; God could give her this privilege, therefore He gave it to her.

Again it is remarked that a peculiar privilege was granted to the prophet Jeremiah and to St. John the Baptist. They were sanctified in their mother's womb, because by their preaching they had a special share in the work of preparing the way for Christ. Consequently some much higher prerogative is due to Mary. ...

Scotus says that “the perfect Mediator must, in some one case, have done the work of mediation most perfectly, which would not be unless there was some one person at least, in whose regard the wrath of God was anticipated and not merely appeased.”
 

 

 

Please consider reading my next article

 

The  Greatness  of  God
Spiritual vs. Natural : A False Dichotomy

 

 

 


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