Fr. Jerry Pokorsky: How Mary Crushes the Head of Satan

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By Fr. Jerry Pokorsky, Catholic Culture, March 06, 2020

 Fr. Jerry Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington who has also served as a financial administrator in the Diocese of Lincoln. Trained in business and accounting, he also holds a Master of Divinity and a Master’s in moral theology. Father Pokorsky co-founded both CREDO and Adoremus, two organizations deeply engaged in authentic liturgical renewal. He writes regularly for a number of Catholic websites and magazines.

The familiar statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with her foot forcing the innards out of the serpent, is grotesquely satisfying. We delight in the final victory over the powers of darkness. But is devotion to Mary as a dragon-slayer a mere pious distraction based on tenuous Scriptural citations? In our fight against evil, instead of invoking Mary’s prayers, should we put more faith in bureaucratic “policies, procedures, and protocols” ensuring that [fill in the blank] never happens again?

The Devil’s successful temptation of Adam and Eve into Original Sin brought suffering and death into the world. After describing the ensuing afflictions, God promises a Redeemer: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15). The Woman kills the serpent through her seed.

In Luke’s Gospel, there is a significant reinforcement of Mary’s exalted role as the maternal “Defender Against Demons.” During her visit with Elizabeth her cousin, Mary responds with a spontaneous prayer rooted in her familiarity with Scriptures. Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) not only anticipates the Devil’s temptations of Jesus thirty years later but prophesies victory over evil in “every generation.”

At the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness (cf. Mt. 4:1-11). He is hungry after forty days and forty nights of fasting. The Devil entices Jesus with a threefold temptation.  ….

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