Louis Marie de Montfort
on the devil
from the book: Jesus Living in Mary — Handbook of the
Spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort published by Montfort
Publications in Bayshore, NY, 1994) (Reprinted
with permission of the publisher)
links together the devil and the world (e.g., LEW [The Love of
Eternal Wisdom] 199), for he understands the world to be
creation not yet turned to God. Anything, therefore, that is not motivated
by an authentic religious purpose, whether it be theater, science, art,
literature, etc., Montfort considers to be at best a waste of time and a
possible means of distancing us from God. The "world,"
therefore, and "demons" are joined together in opposing the
reign of Jesus Christ. The world in this sense is "the synagogue
of Satan" (H [Hymns] 29:6) and "the
infamous Babylon" (H 107:12). The missionary’s interest
in demons is not for the sake of increasing his knowledge; rather, he sees
devils as a hindrance to his apostolate of reform and renewal…
humiliated in seeing that human beings are called to take his place in
heaven (H 127:74; LEW 43), tries to separate people from
God. He attempts to drag as many as possible toward all sorts of sin in
order to make them the reprobate, i.e., radically turned against the Lord.
Montfort echoes the words of 1 Pet 5:8: "Your enemy the devil, like a
roaring lion, prowls round looking for someone to devour."
Our Lady is the antithesis of
Lucifer: "What Lucifer lost by pride, Mary won by humility. What
Eve ruined and lost by disobedience, Mary saved by obedience. By obeying
the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself and delivered them
up to him. Mary by her perfect fidelity to God saved her children with
herself and consecrated them to his divine majesty" (TD [True
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin] 53). Satan has been conquered by Mary’s
"Yes," and therefore, she is the enemy of the devil: "The
magnificence of the devil is even more humbled to see himself under the
feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the most humble person who has
ever been, than to feel crushed by the arms of the Almighty" (N
[Notebook] 70; cf. TD 52). The devil also tries to fool
people by leading them into false devotions to Our Lady (TD 90).
But "when the Hail Mary is well said, that is, with attention,
devotion and humility, it is, according to the saints, the enemy of Satan,
putting him to flight; it is the hammer that crushes him (TD
253). Devotion to Our Lady is, therefore, a powerful means of conquering
any and all temptations of the devil. St. Louis Marie’s doctrine reminds
us that, like the angels, we are destined for service to God, not like the
fallen angels, who fell from service to pride.
Stefano De Fiores, S.M.M.