THE possibility that there will be an "Era of Peace" after this time of trial which the world has entered into is something the early Church Father’s spoke of. I believe it will ultimately be "the triumph of the Immaculate Heart" which Mary foretold in Fatima. What applies to her also applies to the Church: that is, there is a coming triumph of the Church. It is a hope which has existed from the time of Christ…
First published June 21, 2007:
THE HEEL OF MARY
We see this concurrent triumph of Mary and the Church foreshadowed in the Garden of Eden:
I will put enmities between you (Satan) and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for her heel. (Genesis 3:15; Douay-Rheims)
What will crush Satan, but the little remnant flock who form her heel? Her seed is Jesus, and thus we, His body, are her seed as well by virtue of our Baptism. Do not expect to see Mary suddenly appear in the heavens with a chain in her hand to personally bind Satan. Rather, expect to find her beside her children, with the chain of the Rosary in her hand, teaching them how to become like Christ. For when you and I become "another Christ" on earth, then we rightly set about destroying evil through the weapons of faith, hope, and love.
Then the legion of little souls, victims of merciful Love, will become as numerous ‘as the stars of heaven and the sands of the seashore’. It will be terrible to Satan; it will help the Blessed Virgin to crush his proud head completely. —St. Thérése of Lisieux, The Legion of Mary Handbook, p. 256-257
This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)
Note, that Genesis 3:15 says Satan also has "seed."
Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus. (Rev 12:17)
Satan wages war through his "army," those who follow after the "lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" (1 Jn 2:16). What is our victory, then, but to conquer the hearts of Satan’s children with love and mercy? The martyrs, "the seed of the Church" in particular, conquer evil by their ineffable witness to the truth of the Gospel. Satan’s kingdom will eventually fall, then, by the obedience, humility, and charity of little "red" and "white" martyrs formed by Mary. These form the "armies of heaven" that with Jesus will throw the Beast and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire:
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war… And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses… The beast was captured, and with it the false prophet… These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone. (Rev 19:11, 14, 20,)
THE ARK OF VICTORY
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Rev 11:19)
(As I write you now, an extraordinary storm has broken out all around us with tremendous lightning and peals of thunder!)
When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord, your God, which the levitical priests will carry, you must break camp and follow it, that you may know the way to take, for you have not gone over this road before. (Joshua 3:3-4)
Yes, Mary is calling us to "break camp" with the world and follow her lead through these treacherous times. Like the Israelites entering the Promised Land, it is a road the Church has never gone over as it prepares to enter a new Era. Ultimately, Mary will accompany us to surround "the wall" of the enemy as did Joshua and the Israelites when they surrounded the wall of Jericho.
Joshua had the priests take up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests bearing the ram’s horns marched in front of the ark of the Lord… on the seventh day, beginning at daybreak, they marched around the city seven times in the same manner… As the horns blew, the people began to shout… the wall collapsed, and the people stormed the city in a frontal attack and took it. (Joshua 5:13-6:21)
Part of the remnant will be those bishops and priests whom Satan could not sweep away into apostasy. Some scripture scholars suggest that approximately two thirds of the hierarchy will not apostasize (see Rev 12:4). These "seven priests" bearing the ram’s horns (bishop’s miter) are not behind, but ahead of the ark carrying the seven Sacraments, symbolized by the number "seven" in this text. Do you see how the Mother always puts Jesus first?
Indeed, Satan’s attempts to entirely extinguish the Sacraments will meet utter failure, his grand efforts collapsing in an instant like the wall of Jericho. The Church will enter "at daybreak" into a new Era in which the Holy Spirit will descend in a Second Pentecost, and Christ will reign through His Sacramental presence. It will be an age of saints, with souls growing in unparalleled sanctity, united to the will of God, forming a spotless and pure Bride… while Satan remains chained in the abyss.
This will be the ultimate victory, the triumph of Mary, when evil is conquered in the hearts of the Church, until that final loosing of Satan, and the return of Jesus in glory.
In these "end times," ushered in by the Son’s redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognized and welcomed as a person. Now can this divine plan, accomplished in Christ, the firstborn and head of the new creation, be embodied in mankind by the outpouring of the Spirit: as the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 686
If before that final end there is to be a period, more or less prolonged, of triumphant sanctity, such a result will be brought about not by the apparition of the person of Christ in Majesty but by the operation of those powers of sanctification which are now at work, the Holy Ghost and the Sacraments of the Church. —The Teaching of the Catholic Church; cited from The Splendour of Creation, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, p.86
VOICE OF THE EARLY CHURCH
I and every other orthodox Christian feel certain that there will be a resurrection of the flesh followed by a thousand years in a rebuilt, embellished, and enlarged city of Jerusalem, as was announced by the Prophets Ezekiel, Isaias and others… A man among us named John, one of Christ’s Apostles, received and foretold that the followers of Christ would dwell in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and that afterwards the universal and, in short, everlasting resurrection and judgment would take place. —St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Ch. 81, The Fathers of the Church, Christian Heritage
So, the blessing foretold undoubtedly refers to the time of His Kingdom, when the just will rule on rising from the dead; when creation, reborn and freed from bondage, will yield an abundance of foods of all kinds from the heaven’s dew and the fertility of the earth, just as the seniors recall. Those who saw John, the Lord’s disciple , [tell us] that they heard from him how the Lord taught and spoke about these times… —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Church Father (140–202 A.D.); Adversus Haereses, Irenaeus of Lyons, V.33.3.4, The Fathers of the Church, CIMA Publishing Co.; (St. Irenaeus was a student of St. Polycarp, who knew and learned from the Apostle John and was later consecrated bishop of Smyrna by John.)
We do confess that a kingdom is promised to us upon the earth, although before heaven, only in another state of existence; inasmuch as it will be after the resurrection for a thousand years in the divinely-built city of Jerusalem… We say that this city has been provided by God for receiving the saints on their resurrection, and refreshing them with the abundance of all really spiritual blessings, as a recompense for those which we have either despised or lost… —Tertullian (155–240 A.D.), Nicene Church Father; Adversus Marcion, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Henrickson Publishers, 1995, Vol. 3, pp. 342-343)
Since God, having finished His works, rested on the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years… —Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (250-317 A.D.; Ecclesiastical writer), The Divine Institutes, Vol 7.
Those who on the strength of this passage [Rev 20:1-6] , have suspected that the first resurrection is future and bodily, have been moved, among other things, specially by the number of a thousand years, as if it were a fit thing that the saints should thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest during that period, a holy leisure after the labors of six thousand years since man was created… (and) there should follow on the completion of six thousand years, as of six days, a kind of seventh-day Sabbath in the succeeding thousand years… And this opinion would not be objectionable, if it were believed that the joys of the saints, in that Sabbath, shall be spiritual, and consequent on the presence of God… —St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.; Church Doctor), De Civitate Dei, Bk. XX, Ch. 7 (Catholic University of America Press)