MARY, VICTORIOUS MOTHER
‘I’m like a powerful arrow in your hand.’ In prayer, Fr. Claret used the arrow, a symbol seldom applied to our relationship with Mary. The context of this sentence is apocalyptic : staged within the eschatological battle between God and the forces of evil, and personified in this wicked Ahab, King of Israel in the ninth century, as we read in the first Book of Kings, chapter 16.
The vocation of Claret had a vivid apocalyptic tension from early childhood. At his ordination as a deacon in 1834, it was ratified in a sharper way: ‘When at the ordination as deacon the bishop read from the Pontifical those words of St. Paul: For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world…. At that moment the Lord made me understand clearly the meaning of the demons…’ (Auto 101) Prompted by this conviction, his entire life had no other horizon than to fight the forces of evil that poison men.
Moreover, Mary was, after the Lord Jesus Christ, the most beloved and important person in his life. And because she was always associated with the cause of God’s own Son, it is not surprising that Claret felt himself to be part of the Apostolate and an instrument of Mary. As with the arrow symbol, which appears both in our prayer, and with the arm or chest images found in his other writings, the active presence of Mary is emphasised in the task of proclaiming the Gospel and repelling the forces of evil.
Claret’s relationship with Mary was not only filial. He was also underlining the Apostolic aspect. He was a great missionary because he was a good son of Mary. Does this not have for everyone, including you, dear reader, a clear message? By your personal relationship with Mary, do you feel closer to her Son ? Does this strengthen you to fight against evil?