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It was no coincidence that the Blessed Mother intensified her battle against the devil in a major way in the 16th Century by appearing in Guadalupe, the geographical center of the Americas, which triggered the conversion of millions of the Mexican people to the Catholic Faith and put an end to the horrible practice of human sacrifices, and, at about the same time, the devil also launched a major assault on the Catholic Church through the Protestant Reformation in Europe. The essence of the Protestant revolt was an attack on the main doctrines of the Catholic Church, namely, (1) the Apostolic Foundation of the Church established by Christ Himself, (2) the Real Presence of Jesus, the Savior, in the Holy Eucharist and our need for Confession and Penance, (3) the doctrine that we need both the grace from God and our own efforts for our salvation, and (4) the essential role of the Blessed Mother for our salvation. This is a battle of destiny for the human race, predicted in both the Old Testament (Genesis 3) and the New Testament (Apocalypse 12) ó one that will end in a decisive way when the Woman crushes the head of the serpent with her heel.

The battle has been further intensifying since Guadalupe and the Reformation as the devil has been frantically spreading errors and moral decays, while the Blessed Mother has been mobilizing her children by repeatedly visiting them with important messages and signs ó in Paris, France (1830), LaSalette, France (1846), Lourdes, France (1858), Pontmain, France (1871), Fatima, Portugal (1917), Beauraing, Belgium (1932), Banneux, Belgium (1933), Akita, Japan (1973-1981), and more. These apparitions are not isolated, random occurrences but an integrated series of Our Heavenly Motherís efforts to carry out Godís Will to defeat the devil and his forces. The Church has also been marching together with Mary by proclaiming the Marian doctrines: her Motherhood of God in 431 (The Council of Ephesus), her Perpetual Virginity in 649 (The Lateran Council), her Immaculate Conception in 1854 (Pope Pius IX), and her Assumption in 1950 (Pope Pius XII).

In this climactic period of human history, the devilís influence is so pervasive all over the world, while the Blessed Motherís efforts to help us are also so intense that she sometimes manifests her motherly love and sorrows by shedding tears of blood through her statues. The damages by the devil and his forces are so horrible, with recurring wars, "ethnic cleansing", drugs, pornography, violence, broken families, abortions, and moral laxity almost everywhere. The devilís influence has even penetrated the Church, eroding the faith and morals from within.

The devil has been inducing humans to become preoccupied with their selfish concerns and the things of the world and, thus, become oblivious to their spiritual needs. He leads people to forget that God is the only true source of Truth, Life and Love and that God alone is the almighty Creator and Lord of the universe. The devil induces people to falsely believe that faith and morality are private matters and there exists no major spiritual and moral crisis in the current world. He leads people to keep their minds closed to the authentic teachings of the Church and the true messages from the Blessed Mother.

God willed that the Savior be given to the world through Mary and also that we go to the Savior through her. In this most critical and dangerous phase of human history, Mary, who is our true Mother in Heaven, is not only offering us protection and care but also calling us to join her in the war against the devil to end the evils in the world and revitalize the Church. That we may participate in this war on her side, Mary wants us to consecrate ourselves totally to her Immaculate Heart, which means that we place all we are and all we have under Maryís discretion for her intention. She wants us to offer up even the trivial things in our lives, because anything can be precious and have an everlasting value, if it is done with love.

A life consecrated to Mary also requires that we maintain a loving relationship with people around us, forgiving those who hurt us and respecting everyone as a child of God, who has been invited by God to join His Kingdom. A Saint once said that our love for God could grow only in proportion to our love for our fellow humans. Practicing love also means that we are faithful to each other and carry out our duties.

The heart of our consecration to Maryís Immaculate Heart should be fervent prayers and reparations for the conversion of the world. When we offer up our prayers and sacrifices to God together with Mary, she can do wonders in converting sinners and mitigating Godís wrath over our offenses, because Jesus will not refuse any of His Motherís requests. In Fatima, Our Lady said, "Many poor sinners go to hell because they have no one to pray or make sacrifice for them." Also we need to be poor in spirit. We must detach our minds and hearts not only from material possessions but also from spiritual possessions, realizing that we are not the source of anything that is good and that glory does not belong to us but to God. Even when we hear words of praises, we must remember that we are unworthy servants of God, who make many mistakes every day. We also need to keep our eyes open to Godís goodness in everything and be grateful to Him even for our pains and setbacks, because the value of a gift is proportional to the dignity of the giver and God can draw good out of anything. Offering up physical and emotional pains to God as reparation is an act of love, trust and self-denial.

Another essential mark of a consecrated life is the zeal for spreading the Catholic Faith. There are countless people in this world who are starving for the light of truth and love from God and yet have no one to bring that light to them. At the same time, this world is being inundated with information and bad examples that promote materialism, moral decay, and all kinds of errors and prevent people from recognizing the truth in the Catholic Church. This can be effectively overcome, only if more and more of us participate actively in spreading the authentic teachings of the Church and the true messages of Mary. In Naju, Korea, Our Lady said:

Spread my messages of love vigorously to all the children so that the lost Love of God may be restored in every corner of the world. (November 11, 1990)

Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, and the Queen of Heaven, but her way is one of humility and love. So, she is not looking for greatness in us but for little, total love of a trusting child. She wants us to firmly believe that Jesus and Mary are always with us, waiting for our response to the burning love in their Hearts.

óFrom Mary's Touch, September 1999 Newsletter

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