Last week, I described my personal experience of seeing the shattering power of dawn. The dawn arrived almost imperceptibly but yet most clearly and its progress was inexorable; darkness had no choice but to retreat before the dawn. There was no contest; darkness had no choice other than to retreat as the light of dawn displaced the darkness.
And that is the point of this entire reflection: Dawn Displaces Darkness. Our spiritual warfare is not militancy, of violence, of anger or fear. In fact, we needn’t think very much at all about our enemy and his darkness. Instead, we focus on being the light. We focus on cooperating with the great outpouring of grace in the Flame of Love by diligently living its practices. When we do that, Jesus is present in us; the Unity Prayer becomes our life. When we focus on being the light, the darkness has no choice but to retreat because Dawn Displaces Darkness.
Let’s explore three characteristics of the Light of Dawn:
- Light does not fear the darkness
- Light does not focus on the darkness
- Light obliterates the darkness
But, at the expense of a little extra length, let’s explore the context of Mary’s statement, “I, the beautiful ray of dawn, I will blind Satan.” Mary made that statement on May 19, 1963 (p. 154 in the Blue Diary) but the context started the previous day with Jesus’ statements.
Jesus: “Always give Me new and abundant sacrifices. I am sowing in your soul the seed of My graces, My holy doctrine. Cultivate it in your soul by your prayers, mortifications, and a continual acceptance of sacrifices.”
Jesus begins talking about His “holy doctrine” and it is all about Elizabeth’s life (and our lives) being poured out for others – may our hands gather in unity, i.e., gather souls. Jesus continues:
“My teaching, My little one, is simple and unaffected. . . When your written words and your sufferings for My work of Salvation have risen to Me, My living rays of the sun will shine upon you. With the dawn, the sun rises, but the valley is still in the shadow. The early risers are filled with ecstasy as they contemplate the magnificent beauty. That is enough for now. In conclusion: live by My new teaching and return it to Me as a prayer.”
He continues to talk about His new teaching of this life that embraces even suffering in love if it brings about the salvation of souls – just like Jesus willingly walking to Calvary – may our feet journey together. Though this has been gathered in the Flame of Love with new intensity and clarity, it has been the call of Christianity all along – to take up our cross if we want to follow Jesus. Yes, new and old at the same time.
“Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (I John 2:7-8 NABRE)
Notice that Jesus introduces the themes of the rising sun and the early risers who can see the dawn rising while others do not because their lives of sacrificial love mirror Jesus. It in this context that Mary joins – her voice interwoven with Jesus’ and referencing the themes of the early risers and the dawn that Jesus introduced:
Mary: “You also, my little one, were among the early risers. When your soul was still in the darkness of night, I made my Flame of Love shine on you, and by its smooth, caressing warmth, I gave you a new strength. Many souls are asleep out there like yours was, and I also want to project on them the life-giving rays of my maternal heart, the effect of grace of my Flame of Love. Listen, currently, earth is like nature before a storm. It can also be compared to an erupting volcano which smothers, kills and blinds with the infernal smoke and its falling ashes. Its tremors disturb everything around it. Such is the terrible situation of the earth at this moment. The crater of hatred is boiling. Its deadly sulfur ashes change souls created in the image and likeness of God into gloomy and colorless creatures.
And I, the beautiful ray of dawn, I will blind Satan. I will free this world darkened by hatred and contaminated by the sulfurous and steaming lava of Satan. . . My Flame of Love is already lighting up. You know, my little one, the elect will have to fight against the Prince of Darkness. It will be a terrible storm. Rather, it will be a hurricane which will want to destroy the faith and confidence of even the elect. In this terrible turmoil currently brewing up, you will see the brightness of my Flame of Love illuminating Heaven and earth by the effusion of its effect of grace I am passing on to souls in this dark night.”
So now we see the context and how the pieces fit together. Jesus exhorts us to follow His teaching of living a life of sacrificial love in union with Him – pouring our lives out for others (I John 3:16). This awakens our soul with His light because, as we start to live as He lives, we see as He sees. We become the early risers who can see when others cannot. We see the dawn rising. As early risers, we are in a terrible battle with evil – a great storm but, as sure as the dawn displaces darkness, there is victory as we focus on the brightness of Mary’s Flame of Love and the effusion of its effect of grace.
Yes, our battle is not one of militancy, harshness, anger, or fear. We stay focused on The Flame of Love and it effusion of grace. We stay focused on living the light and when the live the light, the darkness must recede because Dawn Displaces Darkness. So let’s examine these three characteristics of the light of dawn.
Light Does Not Fear The Darkness
As my friends and I stood watching the shattering dawn rise over the Finger Lakes, there was no contest. There was no thought that the sun would not rise or that the darkness could someone threaten the light and drive it back. The light had no need to fear the darkness; it progress was inexorable and its victory over darkness absolutely certain.
Despite the dire state our Blessed Mother describes when she says she, the Beautiful Ray of Dawn will blind Satan (erupting volcano, crater of hatred boiling, hurricane, terrible turmoil), there is no need to fear. The light does not fear the darkness.
One of my many favorite scripture is I John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” (NABRE) No fear! What is Satan going to do to us?
Make us sick . . . . so that we can be in the hospital with the person God knows needs to meet us?
Miss every light on our commute so we are late to work . . . . because God knew we needed to smile at that person in the elevator?
Lose our job . . . . so that we learn more deeply to trust God?
Give us long term COVID . . . . to offer our sufferings for the salvation of many souls? Talk about Satan’s plans backfiring!
Kill us . . . . . so we are one step closer to Heaven?
I was recently chatting with a woman in the Southwest who had a problem with a demonic presence in her house. The dog came tearing into her bedroom terrified. As she stepped into the living room she could sense this very evil presence. I reminded her not to fear. Not only is our Daddy bigger than their daddy but our Mommy is bigger than their daddy! The light does not fear the darkness.
Light Does Not Focus On The Darkness
As the dawn is rising, it does not need give one thought to the darkness. The dawn focuses on bringing the light. As long as the dawn is bringing the light, the darkness has no choice but to retreat. Remember, dawn displaces darkness.
So it is with us. We do not need to worry about the darkness; we need to focus on our prayer and on following every movement of grace and every moment of our lives. We focus on the light and the darkness must flee.
In fact, this is the key to overcoming sin. We will not overcome sin by simply resisting it. That’s fighting a defensive war and one can’t win a defensive war. We vanquish sin in our lives not by being focused on the sin but by growing in grace so that Jesus’ life in us displaces sin. Where Jesus is present, sin is not!
Notice James 1:13: “No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one.” (NABRE) Why is God not subject to temptation to evil? Because it doesn’t even cross His mind to put self before other because He is so completely love. I may be tempted to eat chocolate ice cream but I do not have much inclination to sip a cup of hot tar. To God, the idea of sin is as attractive as drinking hot tar.
When we have become so transformed by grace into the image of Jesus, those sins that are so attractive to us now – gossip, pornography, lying, judging others wrongly, seeking compliments and attention for ourselves, anything that puts self before other – will be as attractive to us as drinking hot tar. Then, we have truly overcome sin not by focusing on the sin but on growth in grace – not by focusing on the darkness but focusing on the light.
If our lives are completely filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, there is no room for transgressions of the law – Gal 5:22-23: “In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
I make it a habit to pray the Unity of Prayer, the Prayer of Union with Jesus, each morning as I awaken and each night before going to bed to ask to be so completely united to Jesus, so full of humility and love guided by wisdom that there is no room for sin. If we are filled with God’s love (as opposed to our human love), there will be no room for sin: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, [namely] ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Rom 13:8-10 (NABRE)
Light Obliterates The Darkness
The shattering dawn was not displacing the darkness for itself. Dawn was displacing darkness for everyone in its path. So it is with us. The last two points were more about us, i.e., we do not fear and we overcome sin.
But, as the dawn continues to rise, as grace continues to have its effect in our lives, we move beyond this. All traces of the darkness of self are dispelled – even the darkness of spiritual selfishness.
Every several months, I asked in our cenacle how people are being changed by the effect of grace of the Flame of Love. A couple of months ago, I phrase the question differently and asked how they found it had changed the way the interacted with others. One woman with a truly beautiful soul replied that she found she was no longer living for herself but rather all her thoughts were about how to save others – how to save souls.
I thought to myself, “yes, Yes, YES!!!” This is the effect of grace. This is living the Unity Prayer – when our lives have become united to Jesus’ life which is completely poured out for the salvation of souls:
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Phili 2:3-8 (NABRE)
The effect of Satan is to draw us toward self – even spiritually. The effect of grace is Jesus and His perfectly selfless love within us always pouring out toward other. Stop worrying about getting to Heaven or how much you are growing spiritually or about any reward. Jesus will take care of that. Instead focus away from self even spiritually. Focus on bringing joy to our Beloved and alleviating His pain over the loss of souls. Pour out our lives for the salvation of souls – those near (like family, neighbor, and coworker) and those far (the ones whose names we will never know but, by blinding Satan in their lives, we opened the door to salvation). Focus on the bringing forth the light for others as the dawn does. Participate in the dawn our Blessed Mother is bringing to obliterate the darkness and this dawn brings light not for itself but for all upon whom it shines.
This brings us back to the context. Remember that it all started with Jesus’ teaching about our lives being poured out for others. When we do this, the living rays of the sun fall upon us. Mary makes us early risers, moving our soul out of spiritual darkness by projecting on us “the life-giving rays of my maternal heart, the effect of grace of my Flame of Love.” The effect of grace makes Jesus so present that even our spiritual selfishness is displaced by His selfless love. This is the miracle of grace that displaces sin in our lives.
So, as we contemplate our Blessed Mother, the Beautiful Ray of Dawn who will blind Satan, remember:
Do not fear.
Do not focus on the darkness.
As children of the light, obliterate the darkness of others.
And do this all in great peace without strife, militancy, or anxiety. Our spiritual warfare not one of violence but of displacement. Yes, Dawn Displaces Darkness!