How many of us when we consider Mary conjure up an image of a docile young woman? Maybe she is crying over the dead limp body of Jesus. Maybe she is kneeling before an archangel, quietly submitting to God’s will. She is likely wearing a flowing white or blue robe.
But do we ever conjure up an image of a warrior?
Do we ever really consider that Mary really is a fighter? Do we ever connect her universal motherhood to her being a soldier? Well we should. The Church teaches that Mary is the Christian par excellence. Where we are soldiers of Christ, she is more so. Where we fight evil, she does so to a higher degree. We would do well to consider more often that Mary is warrior.
967 By her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity. Thus she is a “preeminent and… wholly unique member of the Church”; indeed, she is the “exemplary realization” (typus) of the Church.
968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”
969 “This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”
970 “Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men… flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it. “No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church
I share this passage from the Catechism because it alludes to the fact that Mary is more than a timid woman gently whispering prayers to God. She is everything the Church hopes to be. One of those things includes conquering the enemy. She is tasked with assisting in restoring supernatural life to souls. How can she do that without wrestling directly with evil? She is not only an advocate, but a helper. She helps us fight. She helps us wrestle the demons in our lives. And like every creature that belongs to, and is in the service of, God, her power comes directly from Christ, the guy through whom all that was created was made. Talk about power.
I hope that all of this makes sense. And I hope that why I share it makes sense. Catholicism is often portrayed as this gigantic machine of wimpy, docile, quiet, pious drones. We fold our hands, pray quietly, and prostrate ourselves before God hoping that he will have mercy on us. And this is true. We must prostrate ourselves before him. But we weren’t made for that purpose. We are brought low, to be lifted up. We are brought low so that we can effectively serve in his army. Catholicism is a faith of warriors, not of weak, mindless automatons.
I could write further, but I would veer off topic rather quickly. Just remember how strong Mary really is. So the next time you pray your rosary, instead of thinking of Mary holding an infant, maybe think of her little bit like St. Michael, wearing armor with a sword and a shield, and maybe a viking helmet, with a devil trembling at her feet as she is about to cast the filthy beast into the pits of hell.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
P.S. Here is an article about this very topic, written a number of years ago by another more versed in this topic than I.