As many of you know, when getting behind the wheel, whether it be to get to work, school, run errands or joyride (I do that a little too often!) your mind gets flooded with numerous thoughts.

A while back, as I was driving to work I was thinking about the current cultural climate we are immersed in. Needless to say, it is a cesspool with little hope in sight.

You may very well have your own families, or like me, you have siblings starting their own families. There is something about seeing the innocence of a child that makes you want to protect them from any and all harm. The current state of affairs is marching us towards a new age seeking to strip any moral foundation from us and dispose of innocence and human life as easily as throwing away a used piece of Kleenex. Frankly, it scares me as it does so many friends of mine.

Many ask, “What will the United States look like in twenty years? What kind of world will our children and grandchildren grow up in?"

Unsure what to think, I decided to fall back on our go-to gal, as Catholics, Our Lady. Then a thought hit me, “What are we really saying when we recite the Hail Mary?”

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Growing up Catholic I was taught the Hail Mary. However, no one told me of its profound significance, nor about the power we are asking Our Lady to unleash when we utter these beautiful words within a mere 20 second span.

What is the hidden power of the Hail Mary? Ironically, it can be found in words uttered by the devil to the chief exorcist of Rome, Father Gabriel Amorth. The devil told him “Every Hail Mary is like a blow to my head.”

My immediate reaction was, “So Mary is giving Satan a little bop on the head for bad behavior. That’s nice.”

I could not have been more naïve. This one sentence uttered by Satan holds the key to more fully understanding the power the Hail Mary possesses. In order to understand this, we need some background information.


In Christian circles we tend to hear that God has a plan for our lives. Rarely, if ever, do we acknowledge that Satan too, has a plan.

If God’s plan can be summed up in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” The plan of Satan is that of “a thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)

God’s lone desire for all of us is not to rob of us of the life and love we desire in the depths of our hearts. His singular desire is to heal our wounds, no matter how numerous they are and restore in our hearts the deepest and purest desire for life and love. He never desires to deprive us of what is true, good and beautiful. Like a good father he desires to see us become fully human, fully dignified, fully . . . ourselves!

Satan knows God wishes to see us shine like the brightest stars in the heavens and he cannot stand it! Like a villain, a murderer he desires one thing and one alone, to use us as pawns and then oversee our demise. I liken it to a scene from The Force Awakens as Han Solo tries to bring his son Ben back from the dark side, “Snoke is just using you for your power. When he has what he wants, he’ll crush you.” Satan could not care less about us. He hates us with every ounce of his being. Like any villain, Satan sets traps and snares to wound us and then once we fall he points out our failings to us to keep us down and out.

However, this conflict is not the end of the story. Like any great drama between two adversaries, the story would not be complete without a beautiful heroine. Braveheart has Marian. James Bond in Casino Royale has Vesper Lynd. Han Solo has Princess Leah. The Dark Knight has Selina Kyle. Adam had Eve. We . . . have Our Lady.

Copyright 2017 James L. Berkon