of the Sin of Adam and the Promise of
When Adam sinned by deciding for himself what was good and what was
evil [tasting the fruit of the forbidden tree], he first put the blame
to Eve, who in turn blamed the serpent who had beguiled her with his
false promises. In fact, all three were guilty and God past sentence on
all of them: First, the serpent; the devil had been punished already by
being hurled into Hell with the other rebel Angels and now God
condemned him again and the serpent with him who is feared and hated by
man because he crawls on his belly and is poisonous, signifying that
the demons in Hell are the lowest of creatures, crawling in their sin.
Eve was punished thus: she would bear her children in pain, and serve
her husband; before the fall she was subject to him in the order of
nature, but her subjectivity did not impose hardship. Now it would.
Adam was punished by having to work for his sustenance through the
sweat of his brow: thorns and thistles would hamper him in his work as
would the ferocity of the climatic changes and storms; he also lost the
friendship of the animals he had been given the power to name; where
once the earth was a peaceful, abode, Adam and his descendants would
have to subdue it. All of nature was now in disorder. The punishment of
the first man and first woman applied to all their descendants who had
lost Paradise as they had lost the immortality of the body. Now death
was man's destiny, his body turning to dust, to mingle with the earth.
The sentence pronounced upon Satan included:
The New Eve: Verse 15
"I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her
seed: she shall crush thy head and thou shall lie in wait for her heel."
Satan had hoped to "befriend" man and thus enslave him by tricking him
to reject God's rule and His friendship. Instead he is punished by
having to wait for "the woman". The seed of the infernal one are those
who are born in sin and give themselves over to sin. the seed of the
woman is the Divine Savior, Who as Man, descended from her; thus she
would trample over the devil who would lose his power over man because
she had been given that power by God. he could resist her, but he could
not injure her, and he had to endure the wait for her heel; meanwhile
he would do as much damage as he could even if he could not overcome
her power. And he cannot because it is Mary, "the woman", who has
overcome Satan with her Son: she trampled over him not only by giving
birth to the Divine Savior Who would redeem man, but an especial
affront to the haughty devil, she would always be perfectly free from
the stain of all sin, the Immaculate Conception, thus she was never
under Satan's dominion, even a little, as she would have been if she
had been conceived in Original Sin. Therefore, God, by a singular
grace, in view of the merits of the Savior, preserved her from Original
While the devil is eternally cursed, Adam and Eve received pardon from
God because they did belief in the coming Savior and lived a long life
of expiation and were delivered by Our Lord from Limbo as Tradition
VIEW AND IMAGE
OF THE VISITATION
Generations Shall Call Me
Luke 1: 44-55
The passage in St. Luke from verse 46 through 55 is called the
Magnificat because in Latin it begins with that word; it is the
canticle of praise that is always sung at Vespers. You will note how
parts of it are reminiscent of some of the passages in the Old
Testament Book, Judith, Chapter 13.
In the immediate passage before the Magnificat, Our Lady,
accepted the Will of God by consenting to be the Mother of God as
announced by the Angel Gabriel, and now carrying the Son of God within
her blessed womb has gone to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is carrying
the precursor of the Divine Child, St. John the Baptist, in her womb.
As soon as Mary enters her house, Elizabeth is inspired by the Holy
Ghost, and testifies to the Divinity of Jesus when she says: "Blessed
art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence
is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For
behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the
infant in my womb leaped for joy . . . [Lk. 1:41-44]
Thus, we know that Mary is the Mother of God because the Holy Ghost has
called her so through St. Elizabeth. And from this we can logically and
infallibly declare that Mary's dignity is very high indeed, for as the
Mother of God, she must be nearer to the Blessed Trinity than any other
creature, even the highest Angel. Mary, being just under the the Triune
God Who is the source of all dignity and grace, holds the highest place
amongst all creatures on the Kingdom of God, and is thus the Queen of
In the passage from Luke below, the Magnificat, Mary prophetically
proclaims: "from henceforth all generations shall me blessed." And this
prophecy is indeed fulfilled in the liturgy and in the prayers of the
Catholic Church which honors Our Lady with feasts and shrines and
special devotions. How can it be ever possible not to pay Our Lady such
honor since she has been raised by God to such dignity and from the
mouths of the Angel Gabriel and St. Elizabeth. St. Gabriel hails her as
"full of grace", not "highly favored daughter" as some modern
translations of the New Testament erroneously refer to her. Our
veneration of Mary is well placed because it is accurately founded on
Scripture, which is without error and on God-given reason.
Now, it is on account her Divine Son, Jesus Christ that we honor Mary,
because when the Holy Ghost, through the words of St. Elizabeth says:
"Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb
"Jesus", He testifies to the close connection between the veneration of
the Mother and the worship of the Son. It is because Mary is the Mother
of God that she is so full of grace, and thus entitled to the love and
veneration of all who love and worship Jesus Christ; all the honor
which we render her, is rendered to her Divine Son, by very definition,
and by ontological reality, that is, this is inherent in the operation
of grace building on nature. Conversely, those who either despise or
devalue Mary thereby do the same to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us use
an analogy. If you love someone who is known to love his mother, would
you even consider hurting him by demeaning her in any way? Of course
not. You may not understand or appreciate her the way your friend does,
you may even think the attention he pays to his mother is excessive,
but you would never say anything derogatory about it or her. You might
friend, but that is all you would do, politely, sincerely and
respectfully, because you love your friend, period. This is just basic
human nature and the way civilized people behave with those they are
close to and love. With the help of grace we behave this way with those
we are not so close to or may not like very much.
Well, if this is so with non-Saints, what must be our attitude before
God and the greatest Saint in Heaven Who are Son and Mother?
The Church has added St. Elizabeth's proclamation, "blessed be the
fruit . . ." to the Angelic Salutation at the Annunciation, to form
part of the prayer, the Hail Mary, to prove that the veneration of Mary
is inseparable from the worship of Jesus Christ. Why did Mary set out
so quickly to visit Elizabeth? Mary loved communion with God and
solitude; she would not have done so without a very good reason,
especially such a long journey. Mary knew that her cousin had been
childless for many years and that this was a cause of grief to her. Now
that she was with child [not just expecting a child, but actually with
child, which is what a pregnancy really is] Elizabeth would be overcome
with joy and Mary, who has empathy to perfection would want join
Elizabeth in praising God's mercy upon her. He who truly loves his
neighbor has a loving sympathy in both his joys and sorrows. And then,
too, Mary, wanted to assist her cousin in her household affairs in
preparation for the birth of St. John the Baptist.
My soul doth magnify the Lord:
And my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Savior.
Because He hath regarded the lowliness
of His Handmaid:
for, behold, from henceforth all
For He that is mighty hath done great
holy is His Name.
And His mercy is from generation
to them that fear Him.
He hath showed might with His
He hath scattered the proud
in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their
exalted the lowly.
He hath filled the hungry with good
sent empty away.
He hath received Israel His servant,
being mindful of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and
The Blessed Virgin specified that the
of God is from generation
unto generation to those who fear Him. No one is excluded from Divine
but it does not produce the effects of salvation except in those who
God. Not with a servile fear, the way an animal fears the whip that
it, although even that sort of fear is a good thing, since it makes us
avoid many sins. Nevertheless, true fear of the Lord should be a filial
fear united to love, a fear founded on charity and inclined to develop
that love. What can those who close their heart to charity and are
in their attachment to sin expect from the mercy of God and of
If we do not fear
if we refuse to keep His Commandments, how will we be able to lift up
eyes to the Mother of mercy? What can Mary do for a soul in open revolt
against Jesus Christ, Her Son and our Judge, a soul that refuses to bow
beneath His authority and defies Him? She has forewarned us Herself
mercy is reserved for those who fear God. Do we think Mary will approve
of our iniquities? She is very willing to implore our forgiveness and
our return to God's favor, but She will do so only if we manifest a
will to revert to the good, and regret having separated from God and
offended Him. Mary has an infinite horror for sin; She can help only
souls draw near to Him, or those who implore Her help to become pure.
us not approach Mary if we are burdened with sin, Her mortal enemy. Or
if that enemy is wound around us like a deadly serpent, let us call
to our help, but let it be in order to be delivered from it. Then we
have a right to Her assistance; through Her we will obtain precious
for this life and final perseverance in view of eternity.
Because "He Was
Subject to Them [Her]" Luke 2:51
"And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to
them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart."
Just prior to this verse Our Lord answers Mary and Joseph's questioning
where He had been as they had been searching for Him for three days, by
telling them, "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's
business?' These were the words Our Lady pondered and nourished in her
Until He was thirty, Christ practiced complete obedience towards His
Mother and foster-father, doing as they asked Him, in everything. He
did this to atone for the sin of man and to set an example for us. Now,
if the God-Man, without the predisposition to sin [concupiscence], was
subject to Mary, ought not we, sinners all, willingly subject ourselves
to her rule by devotion and imitation? Did not Christ, give her to us
as our Mother, as she stood at the foot of the Cross? How could we for
a moment not practice complete obedience to her, not only as the Mother
of God, but as our Mother? To be docile to her exhortations, such as
revealed at Fatima and from various approved revelations to the Saints,
is simply to imitate Christ; for how could she ever tell us something
that is not good for us, or worse yet, false? Impossible!
Obedience is our first duty, it is a necessary virtue, and if we do not
heed the holy Mother of God, we are indeed a liar when we say we are
Christians. To listen to the supplications of the Mother of Mercy, this
age's most prominent and most important prophet sent by Jesus Himself,
is to listen to Him Who sends her for our spiritual welfare.
love Thee, my Jesus, however imperfect, let me love Thy Mother, place
my head upon her lap and take sustenance in every Hail Mary, said
deliberately and with devotion. Let me harken to the sound of her
sweet, holy name, for to but hear it pronounced is the sweetest of
Whenever we have a little difficulty perceiving her Son's will for us,
or at least accepting it in the occasional moment of weakness, we have
only to call out to her and she makes everything aright once more. This
trust and confidence in her pleases her Son and is a source of grace
itself for those times when our daily duty is a struggle.
To be the obedient slave of Mary is not to be enslaved, but to be set
free, for she leads to salvation; a good mother always points out the
right way to her children; this best of all Mothers cannot fail us if
we place our trust in her and strive to amend our lives. The docile
child of Mary is the most fortunate among the creatures here under the
heavens. If the donkey that carried her and the Holy Child safely
through the arduous flight into Egypt, having first done so from
Nazareth to Bethlehem, could be so compliant at her behest
somehow he knew the august privilege given him
we, who are created above the beasts of the earth?
Oh yes, oh yes. When the way seems laborious, when afraid to follow the
Son to the Cross, go to Mary, flee to your Mother, who never left the
foot of the Cross. She waits for us there still, for that is what a
mother does. To just wait there with her is to wait upon the will of
God and to know contentment, both in sorrow and in joy.
The most obedient child always seems to be the happiest, does he not?
While the willful, self-indulgent child is never satisfied, but goes
from one whim to the other?
Let us all go down to Nazareth with the Holy Family and be subject to
them, to Christ as our Savior-King, to Joseph as our father who is the
patron of the Church, and to Our Lady, to whom both were freely,
Judith, Chapter 13
Around the year 690, B.C., the people of Juda, after a brief period of
repentance. had once again forsaken God, Who, in His anger, had sent
them a terrible punishment, the Assyrian warrior-chief, Holofernes, a
power enough to destroy the entire nation, but for the courage of a
singular, holy woman, among them, Judith. Holofernes had captured all
the cities and strongholds of the country with an unmatched savagery;
and now he was on the verge of doing the same to Judith's fortress
city, Bethulia. Holofernes's army was some twenty times stronger
than that of Bethulia's. But rather than attack directly he cut of the
supply of water so that the inhabitants, dying of thirst, would
surrender, which almost happened: the elders had decided to give up up
their city within five days unless help arrived. For this they prayed
fervently and practiced mortification. And this brings us to Judith, a
widow who constantly practiced penance and prayed continually as was
her habit of holiness. She was renowned for her great beauty and for
her virtue and piety. Although her husband had left her great wealth
and many servants and a large flock, she nevertheless lived simply and
in retirement to spend her time with the things of God, seeking only
His will. This made her strong and wise and courageous as only
self-denial can. She was willing to go unarmed into the camp of the
enemy, placing herself in imminent danger, to save her people from
death. And although she possessed this exceptional beauty and rich
holdings, she took pride in neither, but kept her eyes cast down in
humility, one of the virtues she was known for. [The famous painting of
her by Giorgione depicts her as a madonna with eyes cast down.] She was
humble in every aspect, although she was praised by her people. Her
name, means in Hebrew, praise.
Judith saved her people by cutting off the head of Holofernes, which
seems gruesome to us, but recall that God permitted such deeds in some
cases, because the Law of Love from Jesus Christ and the morality of
Christendom had yet to be established. When Jesus came he told the
people that he did not come to abolish the law but to strengthen it,
perfect it. He told them this in reference to divorce, which God
permitted up until then, in certain cases, "because you were hardened
of heart." Once Christ came the Commandments became stricter, but the
Sacraments were there at last to nourish the will of the individual
soul. The more we are given by God, especially by way of grace, and
knowledge, the more is expected of us.
The Protestant bible excludes the book of Judith, perhaps because of
the compelling parallel between Judith's "magnificat" and that of Our
Lady's. It is interesting that the Protestant rebels
placed their trust in Holy Mother Church enough to accept most of the
books of the canon, but chose to eliminate those few which are
particularly troubling to their heretical theology and which could not
be explained away if accepted as part of the canon. If the Church is
not infallible in the selection of the canon of the Bible, how can they
as individuals expect to be, as they are not the Apostles and the
Pontiffs? Yet, they believe that they, the Protestants, cannot err in
this matter, but the Church, founded by Christ, and not by them, can
make a mistake in such a matter of infallible decree. At the heart of
the matter is the fact they they disavow the Pope, while maintaining
their own papacy as individuals. Yet it is Christ who gave the power of
infallibility to His Church, and not to individuals outside her, and
then only to the Pope and the Councils in a limited manner. Obviously
Protestants have not thought it through or they would recognize the
untenable position they claim for themselves.
The Church teaches us that Judith is an archetype of the Blessed
Many persons in the Old Testament prefigure those who appear in the New
Testament and Judith is one of these. Even as the chaste Judith cut of
the head of the tyrant, to free her people from slavery and captivity,
so does the Immaculate Mother, through her Divine Son, trample on the
head of the infernal tyrant, Satan, and free all mankind from his
power. And you shall see below, when you read the passage in Judith
that it mirrors the Magnificat passage in the Gospel of St. Luke:
Note: we left the
as it is in the Challoner version of the Douay-Rheims Bible.
16 And lighting up lights they all gathered round about her: and she
went up to a higher place, and commanded silence to be made. And when
all had held their peace,
17 Judith said: Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them
that hope in him.
18 And by me his handmaid he hath fulfilled his mercy, which he
promised to the house of Israel: and he hath killed the enemy of his
people by my hand this night.
19 Then she brought forth the head of Holofernes out of the
wallet, and shewed it them, saying: Behold the head of Holofernes the
general of the army of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, wherein he
lay in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God slew him by the hand of
20 But as the same Lord liveth, his angel hath been my keeper both
going hence, and abiding there, and returning from thence hither: and
the Lord hath not suffered me his handmaid to be defiled, but hath
brought me back to you without pollution of sin, rejoicing for his
victory, for my escape, and for your deliverance.
21 "Give all of you glory to him" because he is good, because his mercy
endureth for ever.
22 And they all adored the Lord, and said to her: The Lord hath blessed
thee by his power, because by thee he hath brought our enemies to
23 And Ozias the prince of the people of Israel, said to her:
Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all
women upon the earth.
24 Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath
directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies.
25 Because he hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy
praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of
the power of the Lord for ever, for that thou hast not spared thy life,
by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people, but hast
prevented our ruin in the presence of our God.
26 And all the people said: So be it, so be it.
27 And Achior being called for came, and Judith said to him: The God of
Israel, to whom thou gavest testimony, that he a revengeth himself of
his enemies, he hath c cut off the head of all the unbelievers a this
night by my hand.
28 And that thou mayst find that it is b so, behold the head of
Holofernes, who in the contempt of his pride despised the God of
Israel: and threatened thee with death, saying: When the people of
Israel shall be taken, I will command thy sides to be pierced with a
29 Then Achior seeing the head of Holofernes, being seized with a great
fear he fell on his face upon the earth, and his soul swooned away.
30 But after he had recovered his spirits he fell down at her feet, and
reverenced her, and said:
31 Blessed art thou by thy God in every tabernacle of Jacob, for in
every nation which shall hear thy name, the God of Israel shall be
magnified on occasion of thee.