The Final Battle: Marriage and Family

One: Mary-with-Joseph is the Terror of Demons

In 1917, in the month of May, when special devotions to Mary are observed, our Blessed Mother appeared to three small children in Fatima, Portugal. She spoke to them and promised she would return; she returned each month until her final appearance on October 13. In this final appearance, thousands — including many non-believers — witnessed and testified to the “miracle of the sun.” This appearance began with Saint Joseph, the Husband of Mary, holding the baby Jesus, and together Joseph and Jesus blessed the world.

Lucia, the oldest of the three children at Fatima, later joined a convent. In the convent, Sister Lucia received special insights related to the Message of Fatima, and years later, wrote a letter to the pope describing one particular insight. Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, who had seen the original letter, quoted Sister Lucia’s words from it: “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about marriage and family . . . nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head.” (Radio interview with Cardinal Caffarra following Mass at the tomb of Saint Padre Pio, February 16, 2008)

On January 1, 2020, a new book by Father Donald Calloway, MIC, Consecration to Saint Joseph, was released, immediately sold out, and repeatedly reprinted. In his book, Fr. Calloway documents — from papal teaching over the last 150 years, and from many saints and doctors of the church — that the Holy Spirit is making Saint Joseph known today.

Together, the statement from Sister Lucia that the final battle is over marriage and family, and Father Calloway’s thorough documentation of the movement of the Holy Spirit to make Joseph known today, reveal God’s plan. I am not asking why, or trying to explain why. When Jesus warned us of the great battle against evil, He told us to “learn a lesson from the fig tree.” (Matthew 24:32–33) I am simply observing the obvious signs we see today: one, we are in a worldwide battle over marriage and family; two, the Holy Spirit is making Saint Joseph known today.

The Blessed Trinity is the original uncreated Holy Family: three Persons who are one and remain distinct Persons. “In the beginning,” He reveals His plan for human life: “It is not good for humans to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” (Genesis 2:18) “Let us create human life in our image, after our likeness. . . . So, God created human life in His image. Male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26–27) God creates human life in the image of the divine unity of Persons who are one and remain distinct Persons. In the beginning, the humans “are no longer two but one body” (Genesis 2:24); they are one and remain distinct persons — with freedom to disobey their Creator.

God doesn’t “change His plan” when the Word becomes flesh. The human Holy Family of Nazareth is the image and likeness of the divine uncreated Holy Family; and the final battle is over marriage and family.

“Where two are together in my Name, I am with them.” (Matthew 18:20) Mary and Joseph were together in the Name of the God of Israel before the Incarnation, and Jesus became flesh in this virginal, immaculate Matrimonial Union. Jesus is with Mary and Joseph. “In the fullness of time,” Immanuel (God-with-us) enters into the Sacred Union of Mary and Joseph. God creates and redeems human life in marriage and family.

The title of the final chapter in Father Calloway’s book is “Terror of Demons”; Joseph is the Terror of Demons and Mary crushes the serpent’s head. Mary and Joseph are no longer two but one in Christ: they are of one heart and one mind in doing God’s will. When Mary and Joseph are together in Jesus’ Name, He is with them and together they are more powerful than all hell together. “Our Lady [together with Joseph] has already crushed his head.”

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, wrote a prayer for the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. I began praying this prayer before I was baptized and still pray it regularly:

O Mother of Perpetual Help, into your hands do I place my eternal salvation, to you do I entrust my soul. If you, dearest Mother, protect me, I fear nothing . . . not from the devils because you are more powerful than all hell together.

Mary-with-Joseph is the Terror of Demons. In this Year of Joseph, I ask for the intercession of Mary and Joseph together:

O Mother and father of Perpetual Help, into your hands do I place my eternal salvation, to you do I entrust my soul. If you, dearest Mother and father, protect me, I fear nothing . . . not from the devils because you are more powerful than all hell together.

Two and a half millennia ago the Holy Spirit announced, through Jeremiah the Prophet, that the New Covenant will be written in human hearts (not on tablets of stone). (Jeremiah 31:31–34; and, Hebrews 8:7–12, 10:15–17) Jesus instituted the New Covenant in His Blood and ordained Apostles to institute the common, ordinary, guaranteed manner — the Sacraments of the Church — by which the New Covenant is written in my heart.

As we pray, so we believe. When I ask for the help of Mary and Joseph together, I see that God wrote His New Covenant in their hearts, in an extraordinary and unique manner, before the Incarnation (before He instituted the guaranteed, common, ordinary manner — the Sacraments).

The first humans were created in marriage and family and they were no longer two but one body; then they disobeyed and acted independently, listening to the wrong voices; and they broke the covenant union in which they were created.

“In the fullness of time,” God prepared an immaculate virgin joined in virginal matrimonial covenant union with her righteous human husband; they “are no longer two but one body,” and God “became flesh” entering into Holy Communion with them in the New Covenant. The Psalms of David sing of Mary and Joseph, the righteous ones who do God’s will; they bear fruit in due season. (Psalm 1)

Sacred Matrimony, the union of the mother and father, is the foundation of human life: Mary and Joseph are the “good soil” that bears an abundant harvest (see Matthew 13:23). Jesus chose Apostles to institute the Sacraments, the common manner for you and me to enter into the Holy Family of Nazareth with Jesus our Brother, Mary our Mother, and Joseph our Father in Faith.

Throughout this Year of Joseph, and continually, let us ask Mary and Joseph to help us imitate their total consecration to the God of Israel; let us consecrate ourselves to the Holy Family. The vital importance of wives and husbands acting together-as-one helps us to see Mary-and-Joseph-together reversing the original “independent” disobedience of Eve and her husband, and crushing the head of the enemy.

Marriage and family are under attack as never before, and God has revealed His Victory Plan: all human society is built on the cooperation, the Covenant Union, of wives and husbands acting together to do His Will. “Where two are together in my Name, I am with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

On Calvary, the veil of Mercy burst open; Blood and water — Grace and Mercy — fell on the earth. Fatima and Saint Faustina announce the Flood of Mercy poured out today. “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20); the Holy Spirit calls us, “Go to Joseph and Mary.” In the end the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Pure Heart of Joseph, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, will triumph.

Two: What did Jesus do on earth?

“The Word became flesh” to redeem us humans by sanctifying human life: about 33 years after the Incarnation began, Jesus offered the one, holy, acceptable, living, eternal Thanksgiving Sacrifice on Calvary for our Salvation. He offered the Holy Sacrifice — in one Holy Week plus 40 days more; and, ten days later, He sent the Holy Spirit.

For three years, “beginning with the baptism of John,” Saint Peter says, “Jesus went around doing good and healing all” (Acts 10:38). “The Word became flesh” — with Mary’s “Fiat” in “the fullness of time” — 33 years before the Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, when the Divine Word became the human Son of Mary and Joseph. What did Jesus do in the first thirty years on earth?

Today, the Holy Spirit is making Joseph known and shouting “Go to Joseph”; the Holy Spirit is pointing to the “other” 30 years on earth, when Jesus sanctified the human family and family life.

The God of Israel promised to establish a New Covenant written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31–34; and interpreted in the Epistle to the Hebrews 8:6–13 and 10:3–18). In the fullness of time, God fulfilled that promise and wrote the New Covenant on the hearts of Mary and Joseph before the Incarnation. In the Holy Marriage of Jesus’ human parents, God established the first Sacrament of the New Covenant — the Sacrament of Marriage-and-Family (Saint John Paul II; see Redemptoris Custos, #7).

(In the previous sentence, and through the remainder of this essay, I am using “Marriage-and-Family” as one hyphenated word to express one concept, one single word. I believe this single concept of “marriage-and-family” expresses the reality among the People of God before the Incarnation, during Christ’s time on earth, and for some time in the early Church after Pentecost. “Marriage” literally means that two people enter into one family together. Specifically, with the establishment of the Sacraments by the Church, the Sacrament of Matrimony confers unique graces on the husband and wife and their children. Rather than speak of the “Sacrament of Family,” I am using “marriage-and-family” as one word.)

Matthew and Luke report essential details in the first twelve years: the pregnancy, birth, infancy, and early childhood. Today the Holy Spirit is also telling us that Jesus lived another eighteen “hidden” years in His Holy Family in Nazareth, working and sanctifying family life. Jesus did not come to sanctify adults only!

Jesus was fully human in everything but sin: He sanctified all seasons of human life, beginning with Marriage-and-Family. Maria Montessori, an expert in the stages of human development, proposed a fascinating perspective in her book, The Child in the Church. “There are some of those who think that the child’s only value for humanity lies in the fact that he will someday be an adult,” she wrote. “In this way they detract from the true value of childhood by shifting it only into the future. This cannot be justified. The child is a human entity having importance in himself, not just a transition on the way to adulthood.” Later, she added, “We ought to look upon the child and the adult as two different forms [seasons] of human life, going on at the same time, and exerting upon one another a reciprocal influence.” (Maria Montessori, The Child in the Church)

Our influence on our children is obvious, but what is this “reciprocal influence” our children have on us? Divine Providence illustrates this reciprocal influence. Catholic tradition (see, especially, Saint Irenaeus) sees all human history lived and redeemed in the Life of Christ: Jesus redeems each human person individually by sanctifying every season of human life. From the general perspective of salvation history (not in rigidly defined categories), we may think of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, representing the first season of human life — humanity in its infancy; while Sarah, Abraham, Rebecca, and Isaac represent a season of transition into adulthood. Moses, David, and the Maccabees may represent — or prefigure — other seasons of human development. In the language of the Church Fathers, Jesus redeems all humans by “recapitulating” and sanctifying all of human history — by sanctifying every stage of human life (from conception to death).

God writes divine revelation through human agents: human authors write and transmit Sacred History; and God “writes” the revelation of our salvation through the humanity of the Divine Word. The Incarnation fully reveals God’s Plan for human life; Jesus completes, perfects, and fulfills all the Old Testament types. In the Old Testament type, Sarah and Abraham, wife and husband together, become the mother and father of a multitude of nations — the mother and father of God’s Chosen People. In the New Testament fulfillment, God calls and sanctifies Mary and Joseph, wife and husband together, to become the human mother and father of all God’s People, of Jesus and all His adopted brothers and sisters.

Every pope has proclaimed for 150 years, “Go to Joseph”; and this Year of Joseph marks this call from the Holy Spirit. Today, we see Mary and Joseph as the “new Sarah and Abraham”: the human spiritual Mother and Father of every member of the Mystical Body.

Why do the saints repeatedly counsel us to take Joseph for our spiritual father, to ask Joseph to be our spiritual director? (see Consecration to Saint Joseph by Father Donald Calloway) Because we are called to follow Jesus! Joseph is Jesus’ human father and Jesus’ spiritual director in Nazareth. Joseph taught Jesus; and Jesus obeyed Joseph.

God chose Joseph to be Jesus’ spiritual father on earth! We are called to follow Jesus!

What did Jesus do during those “hidden” years in Nazareth? The first verse of the New Testament directs us: Jesus is the Son of David, Son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1) Countries sing “national anthems”; the People of God sing the Psalms of David, hymns in praise, thanksgiving, and supplication. Joseph, the Son of David, sung the Psalms of David daily and taught the Psalms to Jesus. For nearly thirty years, Jesus sung the Psalms of David — daily — with Mary and Joseph. Joseph taught Jesus to be a man! And Jesus taught Joseph to live in Holy Communion with God!

The Incarnation reveals, in the flesh, the beautiful “reciprocal influence” of all the members of a human family: God includes Mary and Joseph in the Incarnation. Saint Luke documents this “reciprocal influence” when, in “the fullness of time,” Mary and Joseph with Jesus learn from each other and grow “in wisdom and stature and grace with God and men” (Luke 2:52 and 40). The sanctification — the recapitulation — of all human life takes place in Nazareth as the Creator teaches and learns from His holy parents; the holy parents teach and learn from the Child.

Jesus and Joseph-with-Mary lived, worked, prayed, laughed, cried, and worshipped together for decades! Two thousand years later, we hear Joseph and Mary praying the Psalms of David! And we pray the Psalms of David — and the whole divine liturgy — with the Holy Family!

The human father and mother and the human Son, the parents and the Child, exerted reciprocal influence on each other! Together as one — in Holy Union of hearts, minds, and wills — Jesus, Mary and Joseph sanctified every phase of family life, every aspect of Marriage-and-Family. Mary and Joseph are included in the Incarnation: Mary and Joseph co-operate with Jesus in sanctifying all human life!

Divine Providence does not place Mary and Joseph outside the Incarnation: Mary and Joseph are called to co-operate in the Incarnation as no other creature. “With a spontaneous theological reflection on the marriage of divine and human action in the great economy of the Redemption . . . the divine action is wholly sufficient unto itself, while the human action which is ours — though capable of nothing (John 15:5), is never dispensed from a humble but conditional and ennobling collaboration.” (Saint John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, #30)

The extraordinary and unique participation of Mary and Joseph in the Incarnation continues forever; and Mary and Joseph have become our Mother and Father of Perpetual Help. Do not hesitate to invite them into your home and ask them to help you in everything you do.

Multiply Nazareth! Live Nazareth! Bring the Holy Family into your hearts and into your homes; and the Holy Family will bring your family into their Home.

Three: The Cost of War, Opening the Floodgates of Divine Mercy

Marriage-and-Family are under attack: how can we defend, support, and nourish Marriage-and-Family?

In the middle of this Year of Joseph, June 27, we celebrated the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. A popular prayer, written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, begins: “O Mother of Perpetual Help, you are the dispenser of all the goods which God grants to us miserable sinners, and for this reason He has made you so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful that you may help us in our misery. You are the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to you.” The prayer by Saint Alphonsus identifies the cooperation of the Immaculate Virgin in the divine plan for creation and redemption: she is the “dispenser” of all the goods which God grants to us sinners, and our “advocate.” In this Year of Joseph, the Holy Spirit directs our attention to the everlasting union of Mary and her human husband: “they are no longer two but one body” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6). “What God has joined together, let no human break apart.” (Matthew 19:6)

Serving God in this marriage-union of hearts, minds, and wills establishes the solid foundation for all human life. Today, the war against Marriage-and-Family has escalated greatly: we will not successfully defend, support, and nourish human life without this solid, God-given foundation. We desperately need Mary-with-Joseph!

Certainly, we have “one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ” (I Timothy 2:5); and Jesus enters into union with humanity so that we may mysteriously participate in our own redemption. We experience this mystical participation-with-divinity every time we offer our whole selves on the Altar with the bread and wine and enter into Holy Communion with Him in the Eucharist. This Year of Joseph began on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, marking the 150th anniversary declaring Saint Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church. The specific date emphasizes the eternal union of Mary and Joseph. Mary-with-Joseph is the Terror of Demons.

The enemy attacks Marriage-and-Family in every corner of the world, in every aspect of our lives; at the same time, Divine Providence is opening the floodgates of Divine Mercy by making Joseph known and imitated. The gospel begins (Matthew 1:24) with Joseph taking Mary and Jesus into his home. The final gospel ends with the Beloved Disciple — who stands for each one of us — imitating Saint Joseph by taking Mary into his home (John 19:27). Every Christian is called to be Jesus’ “Beloved Disciple”: the gospel instructs us to imitate Joseph by taking Mary and Jesus into our hearts and into our homes — and the Holy Family will bring your family into their Home!

Jesus unmistakably teaches us, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5); but God will not save us against our will, God only saves those who want to be with God. We must actively cooperate with God in our own redemption; papal teaching calls this “the marriage of divine and human action” (Saint John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, #30). “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14) to co-operate with us in our salvation.

“In the fullness of time,” two humans cooperate perfectly with God: throughout their entire lives, Mary and Joseph hear the Word of God and bear good fruit (see Matthew 13:23). By proclaiming that Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church, the Holy Spirit teaches us to ask for the help of Mary-with-Joseph together-as-one. Together they “are the dispensers of all the goods which God grants to us miserable sinners, and for this reason He has made [them] so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful that [they] may help us in our misery. [They] are the advocates of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to [them].”

“Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20).

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta is truly a mother — not biologically, but certainly spiritually. Saint Padre Pio is truly a father of countless spiritual children. God Himself — when He was on the Cross — gave Mary to us to be our true mother when we become brothers and sisters of Her Son. Mary and Joseph entered into virginal, immaculate marriage and remained open to joyfully and gratefully accepting children. God creates every human person to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). From the beginning, God is pro-life: He is greatly offended by every human action against life, every effort to prevent people from having children! Some sins “cry to heaven for vengeance” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1867). Marriage-and-Family is the battleground of today’s world war! Every day, the enemy deploys anti-life — anti-Marriage-and-Family — weapons to stop us from being fruitful and multiplying.

“Where sin abounds,” we must escalate our response! The Holy Spirit is making Joseph known! Every pope for the past 150 years has exhorted and pleaded with us to “Go to Joseph!”

Jesus promised, and Pope Benedict reminded us in his 2019 letter to the faithful, that God will separate the weeds from the wheat (Matthew 13:24–29). Attendance and support are rapidly declining in churches and groups that tend to favor worldly attitudes toward Marriage-and-Family; while attendance and support of churches and groups holding firm to the value of human life, for the most part, are growing rapidly today! Those who tolerate sex outside of Sacred Matrimony, of any kind, are having less and less children, while those who honor chastity and virginity and Sacred Marriage are having more and more children. You do the math — but not as the world does math!

“You are deceived if you think that a Christian can live without persecution. He suffers the greatest persecution of all who lives under none. A storm puts a man on his guard and obliges him to exert his utmost efforts to avoid shipwreck.” Saint Jerome (cited by Fr. Peter West, Jan 16, 2008; frwest.blogspot.com)

Pope Benedict (then Father Ratzinger) warned us in a 1969 German radio broadcast: “From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges.” (50 years later, Fr. Ratzinger’s radio speech was published in a book, Faith and the Future, Ignatius Press, 2009.)

Again, Joseph Ratzinger said this in 1969: “The Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has barely begun. We will have terrific upheavals. I am equally certain what will remain in the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith.” (ibid)

In 1976, at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, PA, USA, on the occasion of the United States Bicentennial Celebration, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (two years before he became pope) proclaimed: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has every experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.”

In the end, the Sacred Heart with Immaculate Heart and the Pure Heart of Joseph will triumph: but not without the terrible world war in which we find ourselves today!

Mark Drogin About Mark Drogin

Mark Drogin was born into a family of third-generation atheistic, socialist Jews in Los Angeles; he was baptized in the Catholic Church 28 years later. Today, Mark has a dozen living children, four dozen grandchildren, and half a dozen great-grandchildren; he lives in Texas where most of his children and grandchildren live.

Comments

  1. Avatar Anne-Marie says:

    Hello Mark. I am not commenting on this article but rather your story of conversion, “Like the Dewfall”.
    It is Sunday morning in Vincentia, NSW Australia. Yesterday our whole State went into lockdown due to the Delta Virus now out of control. It happened very suddenly. We were all ready to go to Mass when we found out Mass cannot be celebrated this weekend. Sorry, I’m off track a bit….
    Anyway, I just finished reading this Chapter in the book, “From Atheism to Catholicism” and wanted to reach out to tell you how I admire your honesty and how you opened your scars and exposed all your wounds. Every time, I hear the words, “Like the Dewfall” spoken during the ‘Offertory’ at Mass it does cause a wave of joy in my heart. It is a most beautiful expression of how God pours his love and grace over us.
    Thank you for your story. I said a very heartfelt prayer for you that you will receive God’s Peace like ‘Dewfall’ into your heart, your mind and your soul and never have it taken away from you.
    God Bless you
    Anne-Marie

    • Avatar Mark Drogin says:

      Thank you. I will pray for you also. Your comment about my story in the book is very encouraging to me. I have written a “newer” version of the story as an Introduction to a new book. I would like to send you the new story. I think you would enjoy reading it now if you are in Lockdown. If you wish to send me an email address, I will be send you the new story.
      In the Holy Family of Nazareth,
      Mark Drogin
      droginmark@yahoo.com