Benedictus Antiphon: The Lord God said to the serpent: I will lay down a feud between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. She shall crush your head, alleluia. There are some things you hear or read, that come at you with such a force of emotion there could only be One that was sending the message to you. It brings everything you have learned and have based your faith on together, and you can almost hear the pieces clicking into place. The moment when the light shines a little bit brighter, and you can't help but stop everything and meditate on those very words; that powerful piece that the Holy Spirit passes on to help close that gap in your faith. The moment that The Lord knew it was time to step in and help you understand. This one grabbed my heart, mind and soul and made me focus on why we turn to her as our spiritual mother, our greatest advocate, our Holy Queen. One more time: The Lord God said to the serpent: I will lay down a feud between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. She shall crush your head. Was this God's fair warning to the devil? Was He letting the serpent know that he got lucky with Adam and Eve? That through His creation of Mary, He would send the Good Shepherd to bring His strayed children back to His flock, and show them the path to His heavenly eternal kingdom? This is the divine battle between Good and Evil: The battle for our souls. Mary, the Blessed, the most full of Grace, the Immaculate, Our Holy Queen has taken the lead of God’s most precious creation, and has accepted her role in His children’s Salvation. She will crush the serpent’s head with her heel, and deny him the pleasure he finds in mankind’s sins and stealing our souls. Through her seed, The Son of God, our souls return to The Father. It is Mary that has shielded us from the grinding teeth, the wailing souls and the eternal fires of hell. She made a choice by her own free will. Her answer was yes. She was born through Immaculate Conception, defining spotless, purity, innocence and perfection. God created Mary. He designed her. He knew her before she existed, just as He knew us. He knew that she would love Him so, and that when His angel Gabriel called out to her at the Annunciation, through her own free will she would respond, “Let it be done to me according to your will.” She responded to God just as Christ did in the garden of agony when He said, “not my will, but yours be done.” Through her obedience to the Lord, she became His gracious gift to us. A mother so perfect and full of grace that not even the serpent’s fangs of temptations through sin could pierce the armor our Lord bound her will in. The Lord was with her and she was full of grace even before the Incarnation. She shared both body and blood with Christ, and through His birth she brought salvation into the world. She stayed with her son as we crucified Him. She endured watching His pain and lived through her own, knowing what was at stake. At the Crucifixion, as she stood at the foot of the Cross, Christ gave us His mother, and He gave His disciples to her. Loving her as much as He does, Mary is taken to heaven in both body and soul. She has crushed the serpent’s head by saying yes becoming the Daughter of God, the Mother of God and the Spouse of God. She is crowned as Holy Queen. She takes our prayers to the Lord with the same influence that she had at the Wedding of Cana. She truly is our greatest Advocate. Whom else would we turn to when approaching The Lord? And so I pray: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.